Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Invisible Econometrics

Welcome to The Museum of Non-Visible Art (MONA). Yes, you read that correctly. So what is this all about? Here's an extract from their site:
"The Non-Visible Museum is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words."
You can buy (the ownership rights to) an imaginary piece of art that doesn't physically exist. For example, pledge $20 or more to the cause and you will receive:

"By Praxis - Sculpture - Fur Balls - A sculpture, the size of a human head, but round, covered with human hair taken from wigs. There are 18 of these which can be arranged, according to the site in any order you wish, so you can imagine those sculptures in your own space. When you are describing the work to your friends, feel free to rearrange everything. The feeling from this work is attractive in one way (you want to pet those balls), but it is also repulsive in the sense that they look a bit like a dead animal. The owner of this artwork will receive a title card with a description of the piece to be mounted on your wall, and used when explaining the work. You will also get a letter of authentication, and a pdf copy of the catalog! • Important! You are not buying a visible piece of art; you are buying the title and description card for the imagined artwork."
(494 out of 500 remaining, so don't delay!)

Puzzled? Check out the MONA video.

And you'll be pleased to know that you can re-sell your piece of art. This could be just the long-term investment opportunity you've been waiting for!

I bet you can tell where I'm going with this one! This is a great idea that is readily transported to econometric research and the associated publishing process. Here are just a few possibilities:
  • I just had a 50-page paper published in Econometrica - it's imaginary, of course. This should really impress the Dean when it comes to salary considerations next year!
  • Here's the first 5-dimensional scatter-plot of consumption of beer, relative price of beer, relative price of wine, relative price of hard liquor, and income:

  • For just $500 you can buy my imaginary book, Alice in Econometrics Land. Here is the imaginary link to Amazon.com         .
  • Imagine if you will - an immensely rich data-set comprising tens of thousands of observations on thousands of the variables that you have never been able to lay your hands on in the past. There are no measurement errors; the data-set is updated annually in perpetuity, with no changes in the definitions of the variables, and no changes in the survey design. It comes with its own user-friendly software that runs on any operating system ever built or ever to be built in the future. It's a gift, at just $375, and you can download it immediately. The best part? You get to decide on all of the numbers - just make them up!
  • Deal of the day, for those with impeccable taste, and only $200 - the best lecture I ever gave to a grad. econometrics class. You get to fill in all of the words yourself!
I can imagine what you're thinking - what a Philistine!

© 2011, David E. Giles

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