Monthly Archives: August 2009

Front-stage/backstage behavior

One of Erving Goffman’s brilliant insights is the extent to which people engage in presentations of self. Front-stage behavior is the display meant for ‘public’ consumption: witty, urbane, dangerous, smart, smooth, down-to-earth, intellectual, anti-intellectual. This depends on the audience, of course, and it is meant to make oneself look good. Backstage behavior is closer to […]


There’s a longer post I intend on the ways political/social discourse gets hijacked by experts, well-covered territory to be sure but important nevertheless. In the meantime, I’m still on something of a news hiatus. So I am coming to this a little belatedly. Apparently, Niall Ferguson, a professor dude who writes about money, wrote an […]

Some observations on ASA 2009

Back from ASA, and it somehow feels incomplete without some kind of wrap-up. So: I am coming to appreciate my cohort and close-related cohorts at Northwestern more and more. Within a couple years or three, wow. This year, I ran into or got to catch up with Mike Sauder, Ryon Lancaster, Tim Hallett, Mike Lounsbury, […]

Can't control the Moon – Delta edition

I was scheduled to leave for SF today, and after I arrived at the airport and waited around a half hour or so, I was somewhat horrified to learn that my flight had been irreparably delayed. My choices? Fly to Cincinnati and take an early flight out from there, or fly out tomorrow morning. So […]

Movies, good, decent, blah

It’s been a relatively slow year for movies, which are normally among my favorite forms of entertainment. So far this year, I have only seen 7 movies, a low number. I’m alarmed so far at how much more attention we have been spending avoiding the crap than seeing the gems. Good to great: Hurt Locker […]

Domain hosting

I’m just shouting out that I love my internet hosting service, Hosting Matters. If you ever decide to host your own domain, give me a shout out, and apparently I can get you a decent deal (and possibly get a referral credit). But I would recommend them anyhow. If you hate your current service or […]

quantitative commensuration

Part of my talk this coming week is a criticism of the turn from commensuration to quantification. In particular, one of the striking comparisons between (auction) art markets and financial capital markets is the extent to which art specialists decry quantification. As specialists gain more experience, they are more willing to say that their valuations […]


JL is done with her ASA prep work, and I am not. And so this is the last post for a bit of time, while I prepare then confer in SF. In the meantime, I leave you with Le Pétomane, to make up for the lack of mellifluousness vis-à-vis the last post on melon. Toot-toot, […]

Great melons

‘O fleur de tous les fruits. O ravissant melon!’ It’s summer in NYC, and we’ve been enjoying as many of these Galia melons as we can get. It’s a cross between a cantaloupe and a honeydew, and a bit sweeter than either. Expensive, but delicious. I’ve heard ugly rumors that the Charantais is the best […]