If There Were a Prediction Market for Events That Are Likely to Become "Talk of the Town" Articles …

We'd go long on this.

The Self-Help Psychologist Is In

Many of us who try to live an examined life find something lacking, though usually nothing so serious that it requires professional help. This has given rise to an entire genre of books aimed at indulging our urge to open up our own psyches and tinker with the wiring. But the genre's lack of scientific rigor drives University of Hertfordshire psychologist Richard Wiseman to distraction.

Freakonomics a Chart-Topper

On the list of illegally downloaded e-books, that is.

Here's the Washington Post with the story, and here's the N.Y. Times.

The underlying study claims that more than 9 millions copies of books were illegally downloaded last year.

Perfect Pitch

I recently attended my third Renaissance Weekend in Charleston, where among the normal cornucopia of ideas and fellowship, Sam Horn was incredibly generous in helping me sharpen my elevator pitch for a new project.

A Higher Purpose for That "Old Book" Smell

Scientists in the U.K. and Slovenia have developed a new, new technique for dating old books that's far less damaging than the typical methods which require destroying part of the book.

Why My Students Don't Get Rebates

Ian Ayres recently posted about his returning to his students the royalties on his book that he assigned to them.

This has caused me trouble: one of my students read it and asked why I don't do that as well for my little book, Economics Is Everywhere. I have done this before, when I assigned my labor economics text to a class of 35 students, but not in her class.

Ask Your Teachers for a Rebate

Students, if your professor has asked you to buy his or her book, ask for a rebate.

1899: A Very Good Year for Books

According to Google Books, it's the year Raymond Chandler's Killer in the Rain was published, along with Stephen King's Christine and a landmark biography of Bob Dylan -- not to mention the Italian editions of Freakonomics and Super Crunchers.

Read This If You Hate Meetings

This is the best explanation I have ever read of why I hate meetings so much, and why other people love them. If you are like me, you should save this link and simply forward it to anybody who asks if you'd like to "grab coffee" or "have a quick phone call to pick each other's brains" or, God forbid, actually go somewhere and sit around a table with a lot of other people and have a proper meeting.

Writing With Constraints

Anu Garg, who runs the wonderful site Wordsmith.org, sends a weekly e-mail describing the theme of the words that will be featured in his word-a-day e-mails. This week’s theme is interesting for writers of every sort. (I would particularly like to see professional economists impose a few constraints.) Negativeland is the title of a slim […]