Monthly Archives: August 2007

When Information Markets Should Work

Information markets are all the rage. You can dip your feet in the waters with this article by James Surowiecki, whose Wisdom of Crowds has catapulted the idea into the public imagination. Robert Hanson has done lots of work here as well, and his fingerprints are on the FutureMAP project. Crookedtimber has had a number […]

Organizational chaos

Is there anything worse that today’s airline travel, from a customer service point of view? I realize that this is a form of transportation that has gotten incredibly cheap, logistics are complex, competition is cutthroat. And yet. Our flight from New York to Chicago – which has to be one of the most common routes […]

Why energy markets are a hotbed for black box trading

Is it because energy futures have unique risk-qualities? That there is something special about historical relationships of risk in these markets? That they attract a particular brand of quant. trader? Um, well, yes and no. From Futures Industry Magazine: Energy is one of the hottest areas for algorithmic futures trading right now. Especially for the […]

Culture and markets

I’m working on a paper on culture and economic sociology – a sort-of review article of how culture gets used in the field. My main argument is that the field has until most recently been effectively split in its use of culture. Some markets have culture, while other markets are culture. The former, particularly in […]

Some of my lessons from 2007 ASA

1) Talks where you spend 1/2 the time talking about the literature review almost never work, and often make people’s eyes glaze over. I am middling at speaking myself, but telling the audience something interesting is more important than reminding them that you’re well-read in your field. 2) I found the sessions less inspiring than […]

Intermediaries and Ambiguity

Marc Ventresca and I wrote a quickie article for the London Times a few years back, a short what’s-what of economic sociology. In it, we wrote the following: Intermediaries are vivid in these cultural and organizational studies of markets. They are, at the individual level: brokers, experts, consultants, analysts, and appraisers. They also work at […]

Performativity, yet again

This critique, by Omar at OrgTheory, has the dual distinction of being snidely pissy and wrong. First the pissy. Omar suggests that the apparently “busy schedule of a Parisian anthropologist of science” doesn’t accommodate the study of “big” markets, where representational critique is much better than performativity. I also enjoyed the dig that fancy Parisians […]