Fazia um tempo que não postávamos uma do SMBC. That was an incredibly counterintuitive result to nobody but economists.
Aproveitando o prêmio Nobel, o EconLog trouxe uma passagem do artigo de Galey e Shapley, sobre a matemática, que vale ser citada integralmente:
Finally, we call attention to one additional aspect of the preceding analysis which may be of interest to teachers of mathematics. This is the fact that our result provides a handy counterexample to some of the stereotypes which non-mathematicians believe mathematics to be concerned with.
Most mathematicians at one time or another have probably found themselves in the position of trying to refute the notion that they are people with “a head for figures.” or that they “know a lot of formulas.” At such times it may be convenient to have an illustration at hand to show that mathematics need not be concerned with figures, either numerical or geometrical. For this purpose we recommend the statement and proof of our Theorem 1. The argument is carried out not in mathematical symbols but in ordinary English; there are no obscure or technical terms. Knowledge of calculus is not presupposed. In fact, one hardly needs to know how to count. Yet any mathematician will immediately recognize the argument as mathematical, while people without mathematical training will probably find difficulty in following the argument, though not because of unfamiliarity with the subject matter.
What, then, to raise the old question once more, is mathematics? The answer, it appears, is that any argument which is carried out with sufficient precision is mathematical, and the reason that your friends and ours cannot understand mathematics is not because they have no head for figures, but because they are unable [or unwilling, DRH] to achieve the degree of concentration required to follow a moderately involved sequence of inferences. This observation will hardly be news to those engaged in the teaching of mathematics, but it may not be so readily accepted by people outside of the profession. For them the foregoing may serve as a useful illustration.
O Noah Smith também aproveita o tema para desenvolver um pouco sobre a matemática e a economia.
Bacana, o prêmio Nobel vai para dois autores de teoria dos jogos, Alvin Roth e Lloyd Shapley!
Eu gosto bastante dos trabalhos de Alvin Roth, já havíamos falado dele aqui. Ele é um autor que, apesar da sofisticação técnica, busca aplicar, com sucesso, a teoria dos jogos na prática.
Na lista de blogs à direita, você encontrará um chamado Market Design, cujo autor é o Alvin Roth. Tendo em vista a notícia, o post de hoje é de que talvez o blog se atrase – mais do que merecido!
Existe uma competição dos jogos olímpicos cuja estratégia ótima dos jogadores é um tanto peculiar. Veja a “animação” destes corredores de bicicleta:
Para entender o motivo, leia aqui no Marginal Revolution.
Relendo Von Neumann e Morgenstern, Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, logo nas primeiras folhas há uma passagem que merece ser relembrada, principalmente para aqueles que acreditam em uma explicação geral para tudo, em monismo teórico ou metodológico na economia:
First let us be aware that there exists at present no universal system of economic theory and that, if one should ever be developed, it will very probably not be during our lifetime. The reason for this is simply that economics is far too difficult a science to permit its construction rapidly, especially in view of the very limited knowledge and imperfect description of the facts with which economists are dealing. Only those who fail to appreciate this condition are likely to attempt the construction of universal systems. Even in sciences which are far more advanced than economics, like physics, there is no universal system available at present.