The way people defined literal truth said much about a culture.
Robert D. Kaplan
Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucuses
Once about Knowledge and knowledge systems, especially knowledge applied to economic development, but since I retired branching into politics, music and whatever catches my attention.
According to the space agency, NASA is diverting a little over $3 billion from its science research budget over five years. Though it's not clear how much of that will come from earth science, NASA admits that the climate-monitoring funding has steadily decreased since fiscal year 2004.
The Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Knowledge Base project was set up to support decision makers and practitioners with ready access to information and tools that will assist them in more effective policy planning, development and management of ODL in higher education programmes. It provides Web-based knowledge base regional resources for:* AfricaIt also provides an Inter-Regional Decision Support Tool to assist decision makers to make first-level assessments about the viability and quality of distance education programs. The International Internet Forum on the Higher Education Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base (HEODLKB) Project is also linked to this website.
* Asia and the Pacific and
* CIS/Baltic countries.
A dozen or so Mega Universities (each of which has an enrolment in excess of 100,000 learners per year) utilize a combination of media to accommodate learners. U.S. Mega Universities include:The site also provides a link to the World Summit of Mega Universities held 23-25 September 2005.* City College of San Francisco
* University of Maryland University College and
* University of Phoenix
This UNESCO website provides links to Mega Universities in developing nations, including:* Allama Iqbal Open University (Pakistan)
* Bangladesh Open University
* China Central Radio & TV University
* Indira Gandhi National Open University (India)
* Indonesian Open Learning University
* Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
* Payame Noor University (Iran)
* Korea National Open University
* Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (Thailand)
* University of South Africa
* Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
* Shanghai TV University
· Fundamental science, the results of which are generally published in scientific journals and become common property;
· Applied research, which involves the application of scientific methods to solve practical problems, and which may result in public goods or privately held intellectual property;
· Technology development, which includes the development of new products or processes.
* WORLD INVESTMENT REPORT 2005 (Part Two assesses the implications of the surge in R&D internationalization by trans-national corporations.
* THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES REPORT, 2006: Developing Productive Capacities
David Miles Jr. and Kato Leonard, two 20-year-olds in Louisville, say they collect $100,000 a month from their year-old site, Freeweblayouts.net, which gives away designs that people can use on MySpace social-networking pages.SeatGuru, which gets 700,000 visitors a month, generates $10,000 to $20,000 a month through AdSense, and a comperable amount from ad deals make with companies directly.
There was even a general consensus on what needs to be done to ameliorate those effects. The prescriptions included some old ideas about balancing the federal budget, investing more in education and repealing the Bush tax cuts, and some newer ones such as universal access to health insurance, portable pensions and wage insurance. Protect people, not jobs, was the headline message in the Hamilton Project briefing paper that rejected the protectionist policies of the union left as well as the "you're-on-your-own" economics of the laissez-faire right. (italics added)
Economic models fall into two broad genres. Macroeconomic models, the distant descendants of Phillips's machine, belong mostly in central banks. They capture the economy's ups and downs, providing a compass for the folks with their hands on the monetary tiller. The second species, known as computable general equilibrium (CGE) models, largely ignore the vagaries of the business cycle. They concentrate instead on the underlying structure of production, shedding light on the long-term repercussions of such things as the Doha trade round, a big tax reform or climate change.It casts some light on the Doha Round (see my last posting):
Two years into the round, as trade ministers gathered for a summit in Mexico, the World Bank was pushing another extravagant simulation. It argued that an ambitious Doha agreement could raise global incomes by $290 billion-520 billion and lift 144m people out of poverty by 2015. Those figures found a ready place in almost every news report about the Doha round that autumn.Given the apparent failure of the round, I would stress than saving more than six million people from poverty is not a small thing, nor is 95 million dollars a small amount of benefit, especially when more reasonable negotiators might have gotten even more.
Such extravagance did not last. The World Bank has since cut these figures drastically, in part because the ambitions of the Doha negotiators have fallen short of the bank's expectations. One estimate made last year had cut the increase in global incomes to $95 billion and projected 6.2m people might instead move out of poverty. But even as they curb their enthusiasm for Doha, proponents of freer trade argue that CGE models do not show their cause to its best advantage.
In a recent article, Roberta Piermartini and Robert Teh, two economists at the WTO, urge modellers to "?demystify" their creations, making it clear to their audience what makes their models tick. A failure to do this, they argue, "?risks bringing a useful analytical tool into disrepute and may even induce unwarranted cynicism about the economic case for open trade.".......I suggest large scale mathematical models are most useful in helping us to extrapolate the behavior of very complex systems that are described by large quantities of data. They are especially useful to illuminate unexpected, emergent properties of such systems. However, properties can emerge from the models due not to the behavior of the real system, but from elements of the model that do not accurately represent the real system. I suggest that it is especially important when a model yields unexpected behavior that we go back and understand just where and how that behavior arises from the model. In that way we have a better chance of understanding whether it is a characteristic of the real system, or an artifact of the model.
Shantayanan Devarajan, of the World Bank, and Sherman Robinson, of the International Food Policy Research Institute, point out that policymakers need not grasp exactly how a model works, any more than "?a pilot needs to understand the insides of a flight simulator."? This may be true. But too many policymakers never even "fly" their models. They just want to know where they will land. If they were instead prepared to work through the simulations they might find inconsistencies in their thought, unforeseen implications of their policies, or new reasons for their actions. The big number that sums up a model's story "?$520 billion, 1.5% of world GDP, $4.4 trillion" ?is often the least interesting thing about it.
We have good news. You can increase production by one-third.The production manager, at the right of the president, jumped to his feet and yelled, "we can't sell that much". Simultaneously, the sales manager leaped to his feet and yelled, "we can't produce that much." The president looked to the right and to the left, and said, "thank you gentlemen, I now understand the problem". That was a successful model!
"The United States was unwilling to accept, or indeed to acknowledge, the flexibility being shown by others in the room and, as a result, felt unable to show any flexibility on the issue of farm subsidies," said Peter Mandelson, the European trade commissioner. Nath, the Indian minister, agreed, and said: "Everybody put something on the table except one country who said, 'We can't see anything on the table.'"The wide authority given to the Bush Administration to negotiate trade deals expires in mid-2007, and Congress appears unlikely to extend it.
"We do not expect to be able to use the current [negotiating authority] to enact a Doha round agreement if and when one comes together," Susan C. Schwab, the chief U.S. trade negotiator, said in a conference call with reporters.This is a sad event for the poor majority of the world's population! There is every reason to believe that allowing poor nations to export more freely into the wealthy markets of Europe and the United States would have increased incomes and improved their lives.
The proposal "is kind of trembling on the cusp," said a senior official with direct knowledge of the G-8 vaccine discussions. "It is now in substantial danger of flopping even though there is an extraordinary level of support among some key stakeholders."France now has refused to endorse the vaccine proposal unless the United States backs a French proposal for a new international airline-ticket tax to pay for aid to poor countries, and the Bush administration has refused to do so.
Philip Tetlock's Expert Political Judgment will be sobering. The results of his painstaking research are complex, nuanced, and contingent, but the bottom line is clear enough. Tetlock's data "plunk human forecasters into an unflattering spot along the performance continuum, distressingly closer to the chimp than to the formal statistical models." In fact, "it is impossible to find any domain in which humans clearly outperformed crude extrapolation algorithms, less still sophisticated statistical ones" (emphasis in original). Worst of all, those experts with the poorest track records are the most likely to show up on TV screens and blogsites everywhere.
The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
John F. Kennedy
Man, if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.
Louis Armstrong (about jazz)
Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.
Schkade and Kahneman
"With less than a decade left to meet its development targets, the United Nations said on Monday there were "staggering" obstacles to succeeding and conditions in many poor countries were actually worsening.
"The eight Millennium Development Goals include targets on health, poverty and the environment -- such as halving the number of people living on less than $1 a day and stopping the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis.
"The U.N. progress report on the goals, set in 2000, found that while global incidence of extreme poverty has declined, some 140 million more people have entered that category in sub-Saharan Africa.
"More people are also going hungry in the region, which has seen only modest improvements in child mortality and maternity rates in the past six years, according to the study."