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3 days ago
Nicola Barker: “I’m a niche writer and see no harm in it. I like niches”
At a recent Goldsmiths Prize event it was argued that the novel has lost its cultural centrality and is destined to become a niche artform. What do you think – and if you agree, why do you think that has happened?

I think this is absolutely true, but it doesn’t really upset me because I’m a niche writer and see no harm in it. I like niches. I also see the world as a series of ongoing narratives – eternal conversations – expressing themselves, perpetually, through all of the art forms (painting, dance, music, fashion, TV, film). All these forms bleed into each other and enrich each other. It’s a big patchwork quilt. Why should one form be dominant? Everything flows, borrows, nudges. That’s exactly as it should be.
writing  HTBI  from instapaper
24 days ago
How economists rode maths to become our era’s astrologers – Alan Jay Levinovitz | Aeon Essays
The economist Paul Romer at New York University has recently begun calling attention to an issue he dubs ‘mathiness’ – first in the paper ‘Mathiness in the Theory of Economic Growth’ (2015) and then in a series of blog posts. Romer believes that macroeconomics, plagued by mathiness, is failing to progress as a true science should, and compares debates among economists to those between 16th-century advocates of heliocentrism and geocentrism. Mathematics, he acknowledges, can help economists to clarify their thinking and reasoning. But the ubiquity of mathematical theory in economics also has serious downsides: it creates a high barrier to entry for those who want to participate in the professional dialogue, and makes checking someone’s work excessively laborious. Worst of all, it imbues economic theory with unearned empirical authority.
HTBI  from instapaper
july 2017
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