84 thoughts on “Weekend reflections

  1. @nanks
    Gerard – you would have been skating on thin ice with your lecturer. Didnt you notice all the other graphs in the text with P on the vertical and Q on the horizontal (come on there is more than one and it should go through at least the first 6 chapters except where you put costs on the vertical (so – its still in dollars)…
    Gerard – its like labelling the curves demand and supply round the wrong way!! And Gerard I agree

    “whole course is bought from a US supplier – textbook, slides, exams and answers, all conveniently pre-packaged for the paying consumer.”

    Unfortunately often the case. Even Bernanke has put his name to a hollow lite little prepackaged textbook with no mathematical explanations (or few and grossly insufficient) doing the rounds now…Alas the pushy intrusion of the market for crappy textbooks into unis..as long as there is a new edition every semester so you lot (students) cant buy a second hand version. There is not enough time for any academic to write a decent one (go back to the past for that and keep them as collectors items).

  2. Gerard – its like labelling the curves demand and supply round the wrong way!!

    No, it’s not. Re-labelling the curves would change the information in the graph. Switching the axes does not change the information, as long as everything else in the graph is also flipped. It’s like saying 2=1+1 instead of 1+1=2, exactly same information as long as you’re not an idiot. No I didn’t read the textbook because there weren’t enough copies in the library and there’s no way in hell I’m forking out $110 for that piece of rubbish (uni textbooks are a complete scam industry especially it seems in econ). anyway I understand there’s a convention, but in the question Q was the left side and the convention in maths is that the left-side of the equation corresponding to the y axis so I assumed… but anyway I think I’ve done enough whining about this matter for now

  3. gerard, IMO you should ask for a remark, stating your case clearly. I assume that the question did not include something like: Draw the picture of A as shown in textbook B. In other words, I assume that the purpose of an introductory micro subject is still to introduce students without a mathematical background to the idea of finding a mathematical object to make an idea precise. Copying a diagram from a text is obviously not consistent with this objective.

  4. @gerard

    ” but in the question Q was the left side and the convention in maths is that the left-side of the equation corresponding to the y axis so I assumed…”

    I do think you have an arguable case based on this information here then..

  5. @Alice

    What on earth makes you think that the government can act even faster? The ETS is about forcing the private sector to make those changes. A carbon tax etc etc is all about forcing private sector forces to make a switch. Instead of saddling an economy in a way which can reduce overall growth and prosperity and reduce the capacity for investment in renewables, we should do everything we can to invest today, to build up a pipeline of human talent at universities to work on projects to make solar, wind, geothermal etc more efficient.

  6. Actually, Australia has had a dedicated few that have quietly chipped away at research problems in alternative energy technology, design, and even policy. In fact we have had (and still do have) a number of excellent research academics who have attracted and helped some very capable students to master the field. It is the next step that is a big hurdle – those successful students who wish to build and sell alternative energy products find it necessary to go to other countries, like China for example, in order to obtain the funding for their entrepeneurial plans.

    My opinion on this is that our policies concerning the promotion and development of alternative energy manufacturing and development are chopped and changed in unpredictable ways, often without much in the way of justification. It doesn’t provide a sufficiently stable policy environment for companies to risk startup in Australia, or for financers to provide initial capital.

    It takes a huge investment of time and energy to establish a company and to move beyond potential to profitable business, so risking the marriage and family life against it is best done in a supportive environment, and Australia doesn’t offer such an environment except in fits and starts. More’s the pity.

  7. @SeanG
    Refer to the latest thread Sean. Im tired of debating the benefits and costs of Govt with you freedom fighters. You only see the costs and want to go on about them incessantly.

    I see bigger costs in the markets without a government Sean. I especially dont want to discuss the ETS with people who are ideologically opposed to it rather than intelligently opposed to it (because they have done some research). Its just too boring Sean.

    Same old same old. No regulation, no government intervention, no ETS in any way shape or form, no taxes.

    In short, its a boring predictable formula. I dont want to debate with a pre packaged fomula of objections. Been there, done that.

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