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March 13, 2007 10:39 PM   Subscribe


 
HUH?
posted by MrLint at 11:06 PM on March 13, 2007


It's funny, scientific types like to complain about bad academic writing in fields like cultural studies, but I found the Samuelson article completely incomprehensible. Is it a parody?
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 11:07 PM on March 13, 2007


What does it mean to make the "mean log of wealth as big as it can be made"? Does it just mean to take the maximum amount of risk at each turn?
posted by mullacc at 11:08 PM on March 13, 2007


Will work for N large.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:11 PM on March 13, 2007


He who acts in N plays to make his mean log of wealth as big as it can be made will, with odds that go to one as N soars, beat me who acts to meet my own tastes for risk.

Duh!
posted by inconsequentialist at 11:11 PM on March 13, 2007


"What does it mean to make the mean log of wealth as big as it can be made?'"

This is what happens when you eat refried beans and oatmeal washed down with Metamucil.
posted by davy at 11:12 PM on March 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't gamble more than you're willing to risk. Don't be greedy.
posted by tellurian at 11:14 PM on March 13, 2007


hehehe....he said taint.
posted by sluglicker at 11:14 PM on March 13, 2007


I think the via link confused me even more.
posted by phaedon at 11:22 PM on March 13, 2007


Oh, wait, now i get it.
posted by phaedon at 11:23 PM on March 13, 2007


I can't believe people find Nietzsche unclear, at least not translated by Kaufman, and I'm an 8th grade dropout.

I like this line: "Women aren't even shallow." (Gee, I wonder what he meant by THAT?)
posted by davy at 11:24 PM on March 13, 2007


Samuelson was trying to call attention to his disdain for the log utility function, by discussing it in a paper using only one syllable words. But it smells like ass to me.
posted by metaplectic at 11:45 PM on March 13, 2007


He who would doubt Paul would lose big.
posted by caddis at 12:12 AM on March 14, 2007


Somebody set up us the exponentiation.
posted by dreamsign at 2:14 AM on March 14, 2007


html plz
posted by moonbird at 4:17 AM on March 14, 2007


how to read it: here
posted by caddis at 4:37 AM on March 14, 2007


An economics in-joke from 1979.
posted by smackfu at 6:08 AM on March 14, 2007


Via the via, it's funny to see Tyler Cowen speak on economics, since I've only known him through his supremely excellent ethnic eating guide.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:18 AM on March 14, 2007


If you insist on belittling me, I will hit you with my mean log of wealth. N times.

Sincerely,

Paul Samuelson
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:22 AM on March 14, 2007


Yes, its a very old economics in-joke. He's defending the efficient markets thesis against the so-called "Kelly criterion," a system used by some hedge funds to capitalize on market inefficiencies. He thinks his opponents' idea is so hare-brained that he only uses one-syllable words - which means that he can't use important ones like "market," "efficient" or "Kelly." So it winds up being even more turgid and obscure than the debate itself.

The whole story, and a captivating read to boot, can be found in this book.
posted by googly at 7:57 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Start here to grow your wealth by logs.
posted by caddis at 8:47 AM on March 14, 2007


"And, save for the last word, have done so in prose of but one syllable foot."

There, fixed that for you. Like it is this round of the Feigned Rules Club.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:34 AM on March 14, 2007


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