Weekend Reading: 05/22/11

Welcome to Weekend Reading. Some economic activity to watch next week:

Why We Don’t Take Care of Ourselves

Interesting new paper puzzling over why we don’t take better care of ourselves as we age. It comes to some intriguing conclusions about our confuson with respect to growing older.

On fatalistic long-term health behavior


Many adults have an overly pessimistic view of old age because they fail to correctly predict their ability to hedonically adapt to old-age health related problems. A standard utility model where the marginal utility of health is higher at a lower level of health predicts that this overly pessimist view raises the incentive for healthy behavior. But this is at odds with empirical research that indicates that people with more negative aging stereotypes tend to adopt less healthy practices, transforming this negative view into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The aim of this note is to show that this fatalistic behavior can be explained through prospect theory by modelling this overly pessimistic view of old age as a failure to predict the change in the reference point due to hedonic adaptation. Given the diminishing sensitivity in the loss domain, people undervalue the future marginal value of health investment and may therefore underinvest in health as long as loss aversion is not too strong.

More here.


Record Snowpack Remains

Rogue Waves Captured

Freak waves that swallow ships whole have been re-created in a tank of water. Though these tiny terrors are only centimeters high, a devilishly difficult mathematical equation describing their shape may help to explain the origins of massive rogue waves at sea..

The Rapture: Sign of the Econo-Beast

And I saw the Sign of the Beast, 666, and it was, unsurprisingly, an… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

Briefly Revisiting LinkedIn

So, where did we end up? At the close, LinkedIn’s first day IPO pop yesterday put it… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

The Triple-Digit IPO League Tables

With today’s performance, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=LNKD"… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

Fun with LinkedIn

‘Nuff said.


Some LinkedIn Lessons & Implications

Some random LinkedIn lessons now that the IPO is done, and it’s traded up 140 percent and… [cont.]

[Full post at my Bloomberg blog]

Three Dudes. A Dinghy. The Ocean. No Gas. What Could Go Wrong?


A crewman on a commercial tuna-fishing boat was the first to spot it: something shiny and metallic in the water off the ship’s bow. The crewman alerted the navigator, and the 280-foot San Nikunau slightly altered course to avoid a collision. As the ship came closer, the object revealed itself to be a small boat, an aluminum dinghy. It was late in the afternoon on November 24 of last year. The New Zealand–based San Nikunau was in open water, a couple of days out of Fiji, amid the vastness of the southern Pacific—an expanse the size of a dozen Saharas in which there are only scattered specks of land.

The dinghy, fourteen feet long and low to the water, was designed for traveling on lakes or hugging a shoreline. There was no way it should’ve been in this part of the Pacific. If the San Nikunau had passed a quarter mile to either side, likely no one would have noticed it. Anyway, it appeared empty, another bit of the ocean’s mysterious flotsam. But then, as the big ship was approaching the dinghy, something startling happened. From the bottom of the tiny boat, emerging slowly and unsteadily, rose an arm—a single human arm, skinny and sun-fried and waving for help.

There were, as it turned out, three people on the boat. Three boys. Two were 15 years old and the third was 14. They were naked and emaciated. Their skin was covered with blisters. Their tongues were swollen. They had no food, no water, no clothing, no fishing gear, no life vests, and no first-aid kit. They were close to death. They had been missing for fifty-one days.

More here.