To understand Christmas, go to the pub

The ???economics of the family??? is a prime example of an economic imperialism that seeks to account for all behaviour through a distorted concept of rationality, an extreme example of economists??? notorious physics envy. Some models developed in physics demonstrate a combination of simplicity and wide explanatory power so remarkable that it makes no sense to think about the world in any other way.

But such powerful explanations are rarely available in other natural sciences, and almost never in social sciences. Even the visit to the bar is governed by a complex and tacit collection of social conventions. How do you know that you have bought the beer but only rented the glass?

An economist and an anthropologist go into a bar… There’s a lot more to it.

Mistruths, Insults from the Copyright Lobby Over HR 3699

I am staunch proponent of open access to scientific information, especially the variety that I paid for by virtue of taxation. The Research Works Act (HR3699) being proposed now will lock away taxpayer funded research from the hands of those whose hard-earned wages funded the research. It???s really a no-brainer and the NIH compromise was generous, allowing publishers to make a profit from research works for a whole year, during the crucial access time for new articles. The AAP argument that they add value by administering peer-review is disingenuous at best, but insulting to the scientists that voluntarily staff their peer reviewer army. Researchers freely add-value to for-profit institutions through providing all peer-review services and assigning copyright to publishers. As Heather Morrison writes in her thorough dissertation on scholarly communication: ???Giving exclusive copyright to any one party is arguably a disservice to all of the other parties who contributed to the research, or for whom it was conducted.??? Additionally, threats of job losses due to the NIH policy on open access are fear-mongering and taxpaying Americans should not have to bear the burden for their failure to innovate an outdated and inefficient mode of research communication.

Computer gamers solve problem in AIDS research that puzzled scientists for years

The result: he and his legion of gaming co-authors have cracked a longstanding problem in AIDS research that scientists have puzzled over for years. It took them three weeks.

Khatib???s recruits played Foldit, a programme that reframes fiendish scientific challenges as a competitive multiplayer computer game. It taps into the collective problem-solving skills of tens of thousands of people, most of whom have little or no background in science.