Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thursday Magazine

In this town we have a weekly publication, named after a particular day of the week - but not the day on which it's published. Go figure! I'm sure there's a history to this, but like lots of things in life, it escapes me.

I used to find the movie reviews section of this publication quite helpful. If they gave a movie five stars, I'd avoid it like the plague; if they gave it just one star I'd be in the line-up to see it at the crack of dawn. Worked liked a charm - every time! Then one week they declared both Furry Veangeance and Macgruber to be lone-star movies, and they were dead  right! The rest, as they say, is history - there was a unusually civil parting of the ways.

The magazine in question also contains a must-read section that appears under the title: "You P*****d Me Off ". Well, the title actually has all of its letters intact in the magazine, but if I included them for you here I'd be breaking Google's Blogspot rules, and I'd have to pack up shop. So have fun filling in the blanks yourself. Various individuals use this section to vent, anonymously, about real or perceived personal affronts. In some places they use guns to deal with this sort of thing, but we Canadians know that the pen is mightier than the sword - right?

It occurred to me that a YPMO section could be a useful addition to certain academic journals - probably after the "Notes and Comments" section. To reduce the number of lawsuits, the section title could be de-personalized to "Things That P*** Me Off", or TTPMO for short. In fact, given the degree of specialization now associated with academic research and publications, there'd be lots of scope for some really neat titles for this new section, specifically tailored to the journal in question. Editors could go nuts dreaming up appropriate names. For instance, consider the following economics journals:
Journal of Economic Theory - Data (DTPMO)
Economic Inquiry - Questions (QTPMO)
Journal of Economic Surveys - Tele-Marketers (TMWPMO)
Economic Modelling - Dress Designers (DDWPMO)
Well,...... maybe not.

Anyway, what are some of the TTPMO after 35 years or so in the 'Econometrics business'? Oh boy - where to start?

  • Econometrica - why are there virtually no econometrics papers published in this journal any more?
  • Applied economists who think it's O.K. to ignore any developments in econometric theory since they were in grad. school.
  • Econometrics courses or books that tell students what to do, but not why.
  • Economists & econometricians who 're-discover' results that are long-established in the Statistics literature. 
  • Practitioners who think they're testing for Granger (non-) causality, but continue to screw up.
  • Seminar presenters who insist on going through the math. in gory detail.

Y'know - some of these things might just be worth blogging about some time! Feel free to let me know your additions to the list.

© 2011, David E. Giles