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Surfing the web, or From the 10th floor to the 7th floor in four steps

So I clicked on the link on our webpage to Decision Science News, flipped through there and then on to his links . . . hmmm, a link to the psychologist Jon Baron, who studies thinking and decision making. . .

Baron’s blog is pretty cool too. Sort of halfway between a science blog (like ours and Decision Science News) and an opinion blog (like the 3 million other blogs out there). It’s Baron’s opinions, but backed by his perspectives as a leading decision scientist. (In this post, he briefly discusses treatments for obesity. I should forward him the reference to Seth’s article on self-experimentation (or maybe the link about the psychology professor who told us to take drugs).

Well, Jon has his own links (including Decision Science News) . . . I clicked through, and the only other one that was interesting was the blog of Deb Frisch, another psychology professor and decision scientist. Her blog is definitely more of the “personal commentary on ussues current events” style, but the issues and current events she discusses are of interest to me too, so I enjoyed reading it. She has a confrontational style, which shows up in her comment to this entry. It would probably be fun to be a student in one of her classes.

Frisch’s blog had interesting stuff. Right near the top there was a link to an implementation of Eliza, which I of course had heard about but had never tried out. That same entry has a link to a blog called Econlog, by Arnold Kling and Bryan Caplan. Frisch links to Econlog only to mock them, but actually it had some interesting stuff. (Although I’m not inclined to agree with them when they write, “Cato is right to want to topple Social Security. If you don’t have the common sense to save for your own retirement, you shouldn’t come crying to the taxpayers when your hair turns gray.” Seems a little harsh, especially given the many cognitive illusions that decision scientists have discovered over the past 40 years!)

But I don’t have to agree with Kling and Caplan to read their blog. Actually, their most recent posting referred to a study on effects of pre-kindegarten education–a topic of great interest to me right now. The funny thing is, two of the three authors of the study are at the Columbia School of Social Work, and one of the authors is Jane Waldfogel, who I know–she works in my building–and is in fact a co-organizer of this seminar series.

I’ll have to read the paper more carefully before commenting on it, but, hey, it only took me 4 links to find out what’s being done on the 7th floor of my building! As well as learning some other stuff on the way.


  1. DF says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I'm glad I could play a role in your playing the blog version of Erdos Number/Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon with yourself.


  2. Andrew says:

    Yeah, it was fun playing around with the "trackback" feature. And, as a byproduct, I actually got to find out more about what the people on the 7th floor are doing!