Just starting out…

    OK, we’ll see how this goes. I figured I’d start
this thing to jot down random thoughts and be able to come back to them
later on. I’m not sure if I’ll make this public or not… Let’s see,
apparently I’m hooked on adult swim, some things I understand why, but
others… What’s up with Wolf’s rain? Not a hell of a lot happens, but
it is interesting. I’m really worried that I may someday watch super
milk chan and get hooked by it’s weirdness… Going down to dad’s place
for thanksgiving tomorrow, should be good. I’ve never seen their new
house finished, and Butler will be making me a meal for wednesday,
can’t wait! I should be writing my papers, but I doubt that I’ll get
back to them until sunday, at least I’ll have the place to myself.
    With any luck, I’ll get some equations over to
Geoffrey by tomorrow and he’ll be able to tell me what I screwed up by
sunday. What’s that paper about you ask? It’s a mathematical model
trying to explain why we like to give presents at Christmas. It’s easy
enough to show why we like giving presents in general, but why at
Christmas and not the rest of the year? The trick is that there is a
feedback mechanism at work involving the presents we get and give. That
combined with a budget constraint (something I need to become familiar
with in my own life) makes us more likely to give presents at Christmas
than any other time. Believe it or not, the math is pretty descriptive
and it gave me a better idea about what’s going on. Maybe that bastard
Congelton was right about mathematic models…
    I’m not nearly so sure about the other paper. It’s
for macro, something that is pretty alien to me. I have a rough idea
involving comparing a representative agent model of the economy to a
node based emergent model. The rep. agent model has always made my skin
crawl. For those of you not familiar with the concept, a representative
agent model treats each person in the economy as the GDP of the United
states divided by the population. This gives you the ideal “average”
person. This agent consumes a little bit of everything in the economy.
Everything, cotton candy, every model of car, every new house built,
every college class, every everything. Since each person in this model
is like every other, you avoid all those messy aggregation problems…
The true irony is that no one can even approach being the average
person. Anyway, I was going to try to build a different type of model
(in the most abstract way) where everyone is different. Not so easy and
I have no idea how to even start. Anyway, it’s time for bed. i just
hope I don’t have any economic dreams, I hate it when that happens…
Isaac

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4 Comments

  1. AH! How can you describe giving presents mathmatically? This makes no sense to me, whatsoever. The whole concept is creepy. Not as bad as making any kind of decision based on assuming that everyone is “average”, but bad enough.

    Uh oh, I haven’t seen Wolf’s Rain yet. I was perfectly happy with Futurama and ATHF. I’m not sure if being addicted to Adult Swim is better or worse than being addicted to all of TLC’s various makeover shows. (Personal and home) I actually make plans to be home on Friday nights to watch What Not to Wear.

    1. I don’t really know why I watch wolf’s rain, there doesn’t seem to be much that happens. But the story has that minimilistic feel to it (think of the way Jarmusch directs his films) and I’ve always been a sucker for that. As far as how to apply mathematics to something like gift giving, it’s important to know that I’m not using any actual numbers. The mathematics is simply a way of being logically rigorous. If you set up asumptions and derive things from them mathematically, the conclusions must follow from the assumptions. Not using numbers makes it both harder and easier at the same time. I’ll post the finished product on my web page when it’s done so you can see what I’m talking about…\

      Isaac

  2. R, E, & T

    BTW XMAS sucks. Like C.Brown used to say too much damn commercialism. R,E,&I bought a new 3CCD mini-DV cam, though. Put us down in your model as ((+cameras)(-cotton candy)(+baby gear)X10(-suv)infinity)), and let’s just say my math education was cut short.

    Ate ourselves silly for THXGIVN; we went with an untraditional hotel buffet that served turkey along with crab louie salad. Nice to be served with no cleanup.

    FYI, having children might help your insomnia…Teresa.

  3. How much did the kid contribute to the camera?:-) I like your model, although when you start putting infinities in there is sort of screws up the works, plus economists don’t really think that infinities are applicable to utility functions. I’ll pass on the whole children thing right now, not that I have any choice in the matter…

    Isaac

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