The longevity of plain TeX

Microsoft Word was first released for MS DOS in Octo­ber, 1983. Some five months ear­li­er, Don­ald Knuth, a pro­fes­sor of com­put­ing at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, pub­lished “The TeX Book.” This was a jokey man­u­al for, and a deft demon­stra­tion of, his TeX pub­lish­ing pro­gram whose sta­ble ver­sion first appeared in 1982. Each of these con­tem­po­rary works […]

The physical science of climate change

I’m late find­ing this Non­govern­men­tal Inter­na­tion­al Pan­el on Cli­mate Change (NIPCC) report. I include the sum­ma­ry of their find­ings on the phys­i­cal sci­ence here because they accord with my present assess­ment. I would have added only one thing to the recita­tion below. I do not know why the NIPCC omit­ted it. That is: the IPCC’s […]

If you need a word …

A com­bined Key­board Mae­stro and OSX Automa­tor action to access Princeton’s “Word­Net” data­base. Word­Net is a remark­able seman­tic net­work of words: not exact­ly a the­saurus but nonethe­less great for hunt­ing down the word you need. Select a word in any Mac appli­ca­tion, hit the key­board trig­ger you select and the macros pop-up a win­dow with […]

The multilateral trade mess — 5 years later

In August 2008, short­ly after the col­lapse of the WTO Doha Round’s agri­cul­tur­al nego­ti­a­tions in Gene­va — which I rec­og­nized, then, as the ‘death-rat­­tle’ of the Round — I wrote the attached paper; part of a project spon­sored by the Rur­al Indus­try Research & Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion to find a bet­ter way to nego­ti­ate in WTO. […]

They never talk about trade

The trade and invest­ment poli­cies of the two main polit­i­cal par­ties in Aus­tralia have flip-flopped in cho­rus over the years so they hard­ly ever fig­ure in elec­tion debates. As if they didn’t mat­ter enough to fight about. Yet there’s lit­tle that mat­ters more to the future pros­per­i­ty of a small, open, still-some­what-remote econ­o­my than build­ing […]

Statistics for (non-mathematical) trade analysts

I teach a ‘sum­mer inten­sive’ grad­u­ate course in Trade Research Meth­ods at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ade­laide. In five days we cov­er every­thing from the role of evi­dence in pub­lic pol­i­cy to how to write a report that your boss will read (and even under­stand). Most of my stu­dents have no for­mal train­ing in sta­tis­tics (or […]

Is it time for WTO 2.0?

Richard Bald­win, whose writ­ing I like and whose schol­ar­ship I respect, thinks so. But I dis­agree for rea­sons I spell out (after sum­ma­riz­ing RB’s argu­ment) in my paper that you can down­load here In brief: if we could real­ly do what needs to be done in a WTO 2.0, then we wouldn’t need WTO 2.0 […]