books are civilization’s best way of transmitting ideas across the centuries. there is a parallel tradition, alongside books, of circulating papers with succinct descriptions of ideas, which I would also like to aggregate over time as I do with books. papers are meant to be less wordy, a more analytical exercise than books, and tend to be less lindy. in that spirit I present here a list of papers I’ve read, thought about, and discussed, indexed by year published.
Standard economic theory uses mathematics as its main means of understanding, and this brings clarity of reasoning and logical power. But there is a drawback: algebraic mathematics restricts economic modeling to what can be expressed only in quantitative nouns, and this forces theory to leave out matters to do with process, formation, adjustment, creation and nonequilibrium. For these we need a different means of understanding, one that allows verbs as well as nouns. Algorithmic expression is such a means. It allows verbs (processes) as well as nouns (objects and quantities). It allows fuller description in economics, and can include heterogeneity of agents, actions as well as objects, and realistic models of behavior in ill-defined situations. The world that algorithms reveal is action-based as well as object-based, organic, possibly ever-changing, and not fully knowable. But it is strangely and wonderfully alive.