Thursday, December 27, 2018

How do you say, "I don't know" in Discipline X

Performance poet and writer Hannah Chutzpah asked on Twitter:

What are the technical terms, in your field, for 'dunno'? In medicine there's 'ideopathic' [corrected the original, incorrect spelling] In archeology/anthropology there's 'ritual purposes' How do you professionally term 'we haven't got a clue'?

And the answers are a veritable riot!

As they say on Twitter, Thread.

And Fun.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Quotes of the Day

Everywhere around the world, the future is uncertain. But in India, even the past is uncertain.

This quote, from former RBI Governor Y.V. Reddy, has been used by multiple authors (Ajit Ranade, Vivek Kaul) in the context of the revised GDP growth data for 2004-11 using the new methodology. [I managed to track this one to the book, Who Moved My Interest Rate: Leading the Reserve Bank Through Five Turbulent Years by Reddy's successor, D. Subbarao.]

Another favorite, this one from Ronald Coase, has been used (also in the same context) in today's column by A.S. Panneerselvan, the Readers' Editor at The Hindu:

If you torture the data long enough, it will confess [to anything].

Finally, Ashok Desai has some seriously sarcastic things to say in his Economic Times column (which is also a great explainer for what has just happened). A couple of examples:

[The lower GDP growth rates for 2004-11 in the new methodology are] obviously because some new activities have grown very rapidly in recent years. Kumar gave a long list of the modifications. Some of them are so serious that even a PhD thesis might be insufficient to justify them.

... and

Maybe the government has created not only new GDP statistics, it has even invented anew economics, turning old economists into chaiwallas. Anything is possible in a country that manufactured airplanes three millennia ago.