My try at “knowledge transfer” to Telegraph readers

Meddling in UK politics (8 months ago) to promote our paper. Hoped the minor flattery and salacious phrases would get “Sir Telegraph”  to publish the letter.  Does anyone know if there is a trick to getting these things published?

Suggested header: “Transparency is not always best”


In the view of your editors, “transparency is best” (Telegraph’s View,
MPs’ expenses: transparency is best, Published: 8:13AM GMT 21 Dec
2009), when it comes to the perks and expense of elected officials. I
beg to differ.

The Telegraph’s investigation of MPs’ expenses has  provided useful insight into the true motives of many of Britain’s leaders: filling their own pockets. Now we can “throw the bums out”, to use the American expression.  But in the future, if all such behaviour is immediately transparent, MPs will avoid claiming such perks to avoid being caught.  How will we know whether we have elected true public servants or self-interested politicians who will not act in our interest when the lights are turned off?  Consider the many policy decisions that we  cannot monitor so easily as London expenses.

The expenses themselves represent only small drops in the great bucket of the UK public purse. But the signals they send may be invaluable (as my
research with David Hugh-Jones shows; see
for a lengthy discussion and many beautiful equations). I propose
instead that MPs be given the chance to claim some “naughty” expenses
that are *not* revealed to anyone (or not until years later). The
public will learn only the total number of MPs from each party
who claim such perks.  This will serve as a valuable thermometer of
each party’s moral temperature, and allow us to know how much to trust
our governors, and when (and which party) to send home from parliament, so they can pursue the selfish interests they clearly prefer.

David Reinstein, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Economics, University of Essex


(Evolutionary) game theory and equilibrium

So, I have heard third-hand from the “in crowd” that evolutionary game theory in economics is “dead.”  Is this because of any logical or empirical failure, any strong argument why it should not apply to economics (e.g., the survival of firms) or because it doesn’t isn’t generating the kind of clever and tricky predictions that journals like to publish?  … thinking about our discussion on Dave Hugh-Jones blogspot page.