More on Jobs Haiku

My Jobs haiku has received some discussion in the blogosphere.

It is reproduced, along with haikus submitted by other economics bloggers, in an entry of the blog of the Economist magazine:

I especially like a comment to the Economist blog entry:


Oct 26th 2011 7:59 GMT

What a creative way to describe the economy. It is so interesting to see how everyone interprets the economy through poem. I personally like the “jobs and Jobs” one. I think it describes our economy, and gives a snapshot of a major moment in our history.


Nov 2nd 2011 1:41 GMT

It is interesting to see people’s opinions about the economy being put into haikus. My favorite out of these is the haiku that refers to the fact that we have lost Steve Jobs and many jobs for US citizens. And in order to regain these jobs we are going to need more people to contribute in ways Steve Jobs has.

(Note: I added kbuch5’s comment on 11/7/11.)

CNBC correspondent Jane Wells describes my haiku as “poetic” on her blog:

Innovative Entrepreneurs Finance Basic Research in Mariana Trench

OceanDepthGraphic2011-08-10.jpgSource of graphic: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. D1) A new generation of daredevils is seeking to plunge through nearly seven miles of seawater to the bottom of a rocky chasm in the western Pacific that is veiled in perpetual darkness. It is the ocean’s deepest spot. The forbidding place, known as the Challenger Deep, is so far removed from the warming rays of the sun that its temperature hovers near freezing.

“When I was a kid, I loved not only amazing ocean exploration but space, too,” James Cameron, the director of “Avatar,” “Titanic” and “The Abyss,” said in an interview. “I can think of no greater fantasy than to be an explorer and see what no human eye has seen before.”
The would-be explorers can afford to live their dreams because of their extraordinarily deep pockets. Significantly, their ambitions far exceed those of the world’s seafaring nations, which have no plans to send people so deep.
The billionaires and millionaires include Mr. Cameron, the airline mogul Richard Branson and the Internet guru Eric E. Schmidt. Each is building, planning to build or financing the construction of minisubmarines meant to transport them, their friends and scientists into the depths. Entrepreneurs talk of taking tourists down as well.
The vehicles, meant to hold one to three people, are estimated to cost anywhere from $7 million to $40 million.

For the full story, see:
WILLIAM J. BROAD. “Ambitions as Deep as Their Pockets.” The New York Times (Tues., August 2, 2011): D1 & D4.
(Note: the online version of the article is dated August 1, 2011.)

Statute of Caps “Required People to Wear Caps Instead of Hats”

(p. 381) Sumptuary laws were enacted partly to keep people within their class, but partly also for the good of domestic industries, since they were often designed to depress the importation of foreign materials. For the same reason for a time there was a Statute of Caps, aimed at helping national capmakers through a depression, which required people to wear caps instead of hats. For obscure reasons, Puritans resented the law and were often fined for flouting it. But on the whole sumptuary laws weren’t much enforced. Various clothing restrictions were enshrined in (p. 382) statutes in 1337, 1363, 1463, 1483, 1510, 1533 and 1554, but records show they were never much enforced. They were repealed altogether in 1604.

Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. New York: Doubleday, 2010.

“A Landmark Achievement for Regenerative Medicine”

TracheaMadeInLab2011-08-09.jpg “A lab-made windpipe was implanted June 9 into a 36-year-old patient whose own windpipe was obstructed by a tumor.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. A3) Doctors have replaced the cancer-stricken windpipe of a patient with an organ made in a lab, a landmark achievement for regenerative medicine. The patient no longer has cancer and is expected to have a normal life expectancy, doctors said.

“He was condemned to die,” said Paolo Macchiarini, a professor of regenerative surgery who carried out the procedure at Sweden’s Karolinska University Hospital. “We now plan to discharge him [Friday].”
The transplantation of an entirely synthetic and permanent windpipe had never been successfully done before the June 9 procedure. The researchers haven’t yet published the details in a scientific journal.

For the full story, see:
GAUTAM NAIK. “Lab-Made Trachea Saves Man; Tumor-Blocked Windpipe Replaced Using Synthetic Materials, Patient’s Own Cells.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., July 8, 2011): C8.

Schumpeter on the Difference Between “Making a Road and Walking Along It”

(p. 85) Carrying out a new plan and acting according to a customary one are things as different as making a road and walking along it.

Schumpeter, Joseph A. The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle. Translated by Redvers Opie. translation of 2nd German edition that appeared in 1926; translation first published by Harvard in 1934 ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1983.

Arabic Numerals Enabled Better Accounting Systems


Source of book image: online version of the WSJ review quoted and cited below.

(p. A13) Humans have been recording counts for at least 35,000 years, if the notches in a Paleolithic-era baboon’s fibula are an indicator.
. . .
Before the 13th century, European businessmen recorded figures in Roman numerals and computed with their fingers or a counting board. But these creaky accounting systems began to buckle under the growing complexity of regional and international finance. In 1202, Leonardo of Pisa–better known by his family name, Fibonacci–published the “Liber Abbaci,” or “Book of Calculation,” a 600-page tome detailing the rules of Hindu-Arabic arithmetic and algebra. Fibonacci’s volume was directed not to scholars but to merchants, the first work in the West to demonstrate the commercial utility of Eastern mathematics. The book was an instant success and propelled the Pisan maestro d’abbaco to fame.
The “Liber Abbaci” inspired a flood of regionally produced (and lesser) primers on the subject. Arithmetic schools sprang up throughout Italy and would eventually count among their pupils da Vinci and Machiavelli. German merchants flocked to Venice during the 1300s to learn the new accounting practices. In “The Man of Numbers,” mathematician Keith Devlin makes the case that Fibonacci’s book spearheaded the decline and fall of the Roman numeral and transformed scientific, technological and commercial calculation in the West.
At age 15, Fibonacci accompanied his father, a Pisan trade representative, to the North African port of Bugia (now Bejaia, in Algeria). In the preface to “Liber Abbaci,” Fibonacci writes of his early introduction to the “art of the nine Indian figures” and their computational power. After more than a decade of his own studies and tutelage under Arabic mathematicians across North Africa, he returned to Pisa to write his masterwork. Such was the acclaim that Fibonacci appeared before Emperor Frederick II–a colorful intellectual who referred to himself as Stupor mundi or Wonder of the World–and vanquished the emperor’s court mathematician in an arithmetic duel.
. . .
. . . as Mr. Devlin reminds us, even something as prosaic as a sequence of 10 numbers can remake an entire world.

For the full review, see:
ALAN HIRSHFELD. “BOOKSHELF; Counting On Progress; Roman numerals were fine for adding and subtracting. Fibonacci saw that complex math required a better system.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., JULY 7, 2011): A13.
(Note: ellipses added; italics in original.)

Book under review:
Devlin, Keith. The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution. New York: Walker & Company, 2011.

The Huge Value of Exposing Ourselves to Unexpected Evidence

Bill Bryson tells how much we learned from the remains of a man from the neolithic age, who has been called Ötzi:

(p. 377) His equipment employed eighteen different types of wood – a remarkable variety. The most surprising of all his tools was the axe. It was copper-bladed and of a type known as a Remedello axe, after a site in Italy where they were first found. But Ötzi’s axe was hundreds of years older than the oldest Remedello axe. ‘It was,’ in the words of one observer, ‘as if the tomb of a medieval warrior had yielded a modern rifle.’ The axe changed the timeframe for the copper age in Europe by no less than a thousand years.

But the real revelation and excitement were the clothes. Before Ötzi we had no idea – or, to be more precise, nothing but ideas – of how stone age people dressed. Such materials as survived existed only as fragments. Here was a complete outfit and it was full of surprises. His clothes were made from the skins and furs of an impressive range of animals – red deer, bear, chamois, goat and cattle. He also had with him a woven grass rectangle that was three feet long. This might have been a kind of rain cape, but it might equally have been a sleeping mat. Again, nothing like it had ever been seen or imagined.
Ötzi wore fur leggings held up with leather strips attached to a waist strap that made them look uncannily – almost comically – like the kind of nylon stockings and garter sets that Hollywood pin-ups wore in the Second World War. Nobody had remotely foreseen such a get-up. He wore a loincloth of goatskin and a hat made from the fur of a brown bear – probably a kind of hunting trophy. It would have been very warm and covetably stylish. The rest of his outfit was mostly made from the skin and fur of red deer. Hardly any came from domesticated animals, the opposite of what was expected.

Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. New York: Doubleday, 2010.