Book bleg

I am in need of a quick summary of every major economist, CNBC talking head or organization’s position on the current prospects for recovery for the second half of 2009 and beyond. If you are aware of these, please throw them in here.

I’ve already got Krugman, Roubini, Schiff, Bernanke, Kudlow, Cramer, Shedlock, the Fed, the IMF, and the Blue Chip Consensus, but if you think anyone else is worth mentioning, please throw them in here with a link to the relevant statement. I’m dividing forecasts into four categories:

1. It’s all good now in the second half. (Bernanke, Kudlow, Cramer, Blue Chip)

2. U-shaped jobless recovery/W-shaped double dip (Krugman, Roubini, Calculated Risk)

3. Deflationists (Prechter, Shedlock)

4. Inflationists (Schiff)


Atheism and Asperger’s syndrome

This English study of people with Asperger’s syndrome practically describes Sam Harris’s Reason Project:

The suggestion is that people with Asperger’s syndrome do have difficulties with theory of mind: unlike those of us with neurotypical brains, they lack the ability to jump straight to the right decision, almost as a matter of instinct. What they seem to do instead is to work out other people’s beliefs and intentions by means of logical reasoning. As Professor Frith told me, this could easily explain some of the social awkwardness of people with Asperger’s.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with either logic or people with Asperger’s syndrome. But this study does help explain the exasperating inability of atheists, particularly militant atheists such as the New Atheists, to understand the beliefs and intentions of the neurotypical religious majority of the people on the planet.

The fact that a scientific non-entity such as Harris would think to publicly question the ability of a scientist, whose scientific credentials are impeccable, to direct the National Institutes of Health on the sole basis of his unexceptional religious beliefs suggests the real possibility of a link between his atheism and a material brain handicap. Ironically, the theory of atheism as the manifestation of a physical phenomenon fits very well with Harris’s own neuroscientific perspective.

It also helps explain the observable gap between the average atheist’s reliance on logic and his ability to make competent use of it.

WND column

The Economics of Obamacare

It is fascinating to see a second Democratic president immolating himself on the political pyre of nationalized health care. One would have assumed that with the original architect of Hillarycare in his Cabinet, Obama would have known better than to spend his political currency with the public in an area that has been such a major minefield for politicians at both the national and state levels. If Obama is fortunate, his health care proposals will go down to defeat, he will regroup and turn his attention to more amenable matters. If he is unfortunate, he will manage to convince a sufficient number of skeptical Democratic senators and congressmen to vote for a plan that will not only ensure that he does not serve a second term, but may even preclude his winning the Democratic nomination in 2012.