| Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | Twitter | Previous | Next

C[omp]ute

Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

C-ORM: docs, API.

Last 100 entries

Transcript of German Scientists on Learning of Hiroshima; Calvert Journal; Telephone System Quotes for Cat Soft LLC; Owen Jones on Twitter; Telephone System Quotes for Cat Soft LLC; Possible Japanese Authors; Complex American Literature; Chutney v5; Weird Componentized Virus; Interesting Argentinian Author - Antonio Di Benedetto; Useful Thread on MetaPhysics; RAND on fighting online anarchy (2001); Now Is Cat Soft LLC's Chance To Save Up To 32% On Mail; NSA Hacked; Call Center Services for Cat Soft LLC; Very Good LRB Article on Brexit; Nussbaum on Anger; Credit Card Processing for Cat Soft LLC; Discover new movies on demand in our online cinema; Tasting; Credit Card Processing for Cat Soft LLC; Apple + Kiwi Jam; Hit Me; Increase Efficiency with GPS Vehicle Tracking for Cat Soft LLC; Sudoku - CSP + Chaos; Recycling Electronics In Santiago; Vector Displays in OpenGL; Call Center Services for Cat Soft LLC; And Anti-Aliased; OpenGL - Render via Intermediate Texture; And Garmin Connect; Using Garmin Forerunner 230 With Linux; Payroll Service Quotes for Cat Soft LLC; (Beating Dead Horse) StackOverflow; Current State of Justice in China; Now Is Cat Soft LLC's Chance To Save Up To 32% On Mail; Axiom of Determinacy; Ewww; Fee Chaos Book; Course on Differential Geometry; Increase Efficiency with GPS Vehicle Tracking for Cat Soft LLC; Okay, but...; Sparse Matrices, Deep Learning; Sounds Bad; Applebaum Rape; Tomato Chutney v4; Have to add...; Culturally Liberal and Nothing More; Weird Finite / Infinite Result; Your diamond is a beaten up mess; Maths Books; Good Bike Route from Providencia / Las Condes to Panul\; Iain Pears (Author of Complex Plots); Plum Jam; Excellent; More Recently; For a moment I forgot StackOverflow sucked; A Few Weeks On...; Chilean Book Recommendations; How To Write Shared Libraries; Jenny Erpenbeck (Author); Dijkstra, Coins, Tables; Python libraries error on OpenSuse; Deserving Trump; And Smugness; McCloskey Economics Trilogy; cmocka - Mocks for C; Concept Creep (Americans); Futhark - OpenCL Language; Moved / Gone; Fan and USB issues; Burgers in Santiago; The Origin of Icosahedral Symmetry in Viruses; autoenum on PyPI; Jars Explains; Tomato Chutney v3; REST; US Elections and Gender: 24 Point Swing; PPPoE on OpenSuse Leap 42.1; SuperMicro X10SDV-TLN4F/F with Opensuse Leap 42.1; Big Data AI Could Be Very Bad Indeed....; Cornering; Postcapitalism (Paul Mason); Black Science Fiction; Git is not a CDN; Mining of Massive Data Sets; Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah; How great republics meet their end; Raspberry, Strawberry and Banana Jam; Interesting Dead Areas of Math; Later Taste; For Sale; Death By Bean; It's Good!; Tomato Chutney v2; Time ATAC MX 2 Pedals - First Impressions; Online Chilean Crafts; Intellectual Variety; Taste + Texture; Time Invariance and Gauge Symmetry; Jodorowsky

© 2006-2015 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Machine Dreams - Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 15:49:32 -0400 (CLT)

I've been reading this book for over a month now, making various comments
here as I did so, but now I've finally finished it, so I thought I'd write
a more complete review.


I have very mixed feelings about "Machine Dreams".  It competently
combines "hard" (maths, theoretical computer science, physics) and "soft"
(economics, history) sciences - a rare feat.  The author is smart enough
to understand the difference between cute examples and real maths.  And
the subject matter - connecting economics with ideas like thermodynamics,
information theory, the completeness and halting theorems - is
fascinating.

And yet.  There are times when the liberal arts verbiage becomes
overwhelming.  When the puns grate.  When you wonder why an editor didn't
hack this into a better, leaner book.  The middle third, if you are not
that interested in the minutiae of economics history, is pretty boring. 
Finally, and worst, the author's tone is crass.  You know the kind of
person who thinks the best way to show they are smart is to be sarcastic
about everyone else?   Imagine having to read 600 pages written by that
guy (curiously Mirowski, said author, appears in the documentary "The
Trap" I linked to earlier and, there, appears quite normal).

It remains a good book - but, damn, it could have been a great one.


I don't claim to have understood all that I read, but at least it made me
think a little.  What follows are some of the highlights from the last
third of the book (a summary of wherever I have folded over the page
corner).  They might give some idea of the technical flavour of the book.

I wonder if there is a good introduction to Computational Economics?


p 370-380 - nice description of how economics tried to make connections to
Shannon's information theory.  To my reading it seemed at first that the
author had missed the point, but if you read on into the details things
become clearer.

p 410-415 - fixed point theories.  A nice idea I used in my parallel
Sudoku solver (and it's amusing to see how inefficient that was).

p 418 - sketch of a proof for games in which there is a winning strategy,
but it is not computable.

p 426 - curious postcript about Didion and Nash.  Wonder if Didion's
review (of a biography of Nash, advocating, apparently, a less cheesy
treatment of his mental problems) is in any of her collected works?  Would
like to read it.

p 453 - introduction to Herbert Simon.  Sounds interesting...

p 478 - bounded rationality and the problem of its recursive construction.

p 514 (and nearby) - evolutionary game theory.

p 528 - detailed and illustrative argument showing the ongoing "battle"
between fixed point approaches and incompleteness.

p p 558 (and nearby) - introduces the idea of studying the complexity of
the market rather than the actors.  Makes reference to work by Gode and
Sunder.

Andrew

Computational Economics

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 15:57:21 -0400 (CLT)

This looks like it may be the book I want -
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1405130784

Computability, Complexity and Constructivity in Economic Analysis, by K.
Vela Velupillai

Andrew

More Discussion

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 16:25:33 -0400 (CLT)

http://robertvienneau.blogspot.com/2007/04/binmore-and-mirowski-going-at-it-hammer.html
links to http://www.nd.edu/~pmirowsk/pdf/Philosophizing_with_Hammer.pdf
(the tone of that reply is a lot more human than the book, incidentally).

I also made some related comments on Reddit -
http://programming.reddit.com/info/1rgar/comments

Andrew

Yet More Discussion

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 16:33:23 -0400 (CLT)

A good review at http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2006/12/machine-dreams.html
- I completely forgot to mention a lot of the more "social history" stuff.
 I guess maybe that is more interesting if you already know the "accepted
version" that is being questioned.  To me it often sounded like more of
the usual (military funding drives research?  Well I never....)

Andrew

Comment on this post