Risk and Reward: How Do You Choose?

NOTE: The following post discusses the New York and multistate lotteries as an exercise in probability and decision-making. It does not constitute financial advice or recommendations. You must be 18 years or older to purchase a lottery ticket. If you are struggling with a gambling addiction, please call the HOPEline 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or text HOPENY…

Talking About Flawed Patrons

Who are our forefathers? Why do we care? At one level, all identity/lineage, whether family, religious, or national is in pursuit of the same validation, that we know/have a place in the world, that we are part of a bigger story that runs deeper than the shallow activities that fill much of our days. We…

Hot Take: Debate Rules Fix

After watching the presidential and vice presidential candidates’ debates, my family and I were discussing how they can be improved. Some were in favor of muting the candidates immediately upon the conclusion of their allotted time, or having the moderator mute the candidate if they strayed from the question that was asked. I can understand…

Economics and Arguments

I started out thinking I’d be an econ major in undergrad. The positivity (v. normativity) of “rational actor” analysis appealed to me, and it felt like a way to employ my talents for quantitative thinking for something more than simple math problems. I took Microeconomics with Prof. Robert H. Frank at Cornell, and his “economic…

Shameless Plug: Ithaca Shakespeare 2020

I’m extremely proud of the work that Ithaca Shakespeare did this year to present Comedy of Errors and Romeo & Juliet as livestreamed virtual performances. Choreographing remote fights was challenging, and lacked the thrill of seeing the performers feed off of each others’ energy in the way that they can in-person, but it forced me…

Accepting Ignorance

I’m coming to appreciate the importance of humility. I consider myself a pretty smart/knowledgeable guy about a lot of different topics; prioritizing breadth of education and learning has been a central element of my self-identity for a long time. As a new parent, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I don’t know…

The Problem with the House on Fire

There’s a meme going around that purports to have a great response to people who use “All Lives Matter” as a retort to “Black Lives Matter.” It uses the analogy of a house that’s on fire, stating that if the Smiths’ house is on fire, you wouldn’t say ‘All Houses Matter’ and spray water equally…

Ethical Business Partners

I struggle with the tension between wanting to promote my work/make things accessible to the largest possible audience (including to help make a living) and not wanting to lend my support to organizations that I think are harmful to society or give away my data to those who seek to treat their customers as lab…

The Ex-Economist’s Lament

Every hour has its costIn roads not taken, jobs not doneInfinities of options lost,Of time not spent on work or fun. Comparative advantage freesThe insect just to play one roleIt’s fine for ants or honeybees,But humans need more to be whole. To test ourselves, with brawn and brainTo make what we could well afford—I’ll treasure…

Trigger Warning

Hank and ChopperGrew distressed byThe gunshot thatShattered their peaceIn the dramaWe’d returned toAfter holding offFor yearsTo manage your anxietyAdopted fromFamily trauma ofSeptember 11th andTwo friendsLost to suicide.Hank and Chopper:Two friendsAdopted fromFamily drama.He’d shattered his peaceFor yearsGrew distressedTo manage our anxietyFrom the traumaOf September 11thHe returnedAfter holding offThe gunshotLost, a suicide.