Monday, August 11, 2008
There's an excellent article by Adam Liptak in today's New York Times on how different legal systems qualify expert witnesses to testify. The U.S. in unique in delegating to the adversarial parties the choice of experts, with each side typically producing its own expert. In contrast, the rest of the world has the judge choose the expert.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Here are several things that I've been thinking about or reading lately:
1. Robert Ellickson, The Household: Informal Order Around the Hearth. The book will be available from Princeton University Press on August 21, 2008. Here's the Amazon.com page.
2. Bjorn Lomborg of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the Copenhagen Consensus (a really interesting website) had a full-page op-ed in the Monday, July 28, Wall Street Journal entitled "How to Get the Biggest Bang for 10 Billion Bucks." One might quibble with some of the recommendations, but the general exercise of thinking comparatively about what most needs fixing in the world is extremely useful. The article is available here.
3. The New York Times had a marvelous article -- available here -- about on-line Open Science and the company InnoCentive. "Open Science" refers, roughly, to the practice of putting a research question -- perhaps with a monetary reward attached -- on the Internet and inviting lots of people to submit solutions.
4. The Times also had, on July 29, an interesting article on the economics of revenge: Patricia Cohen, "Calculating the Economics of an Eye for an Eye" -- here. There's some fascinating research reported here, but I'm puzzled that the simple idea of the deterrent effect of a revenge culture did not figure in the article.