Ubiquitous yet nowhere to be found: on the Invisible Hand’s success
Adam Smith’s invisible hand is a tremendously successful metaphor. Quotes abound to state how important and pervasive the idea is (and was) for both economics and social sciences at large. Yet, the invisible hand also happens to also be a remarkably ill-defined metaphor. It seems nearly impossible to find an agreement through the literature as to what the metaphor is, exactly, or which phenomena would count as occurrences of the invisible hand. I want to suggest that the lack of a precise definition was not a problem, but the precise reason why it got so successful: it offered a versatile label that could be used to refer to causal links across scales of analysis, while avoiding to commit to any more precise mechanistic explanation....
Scientific aesthetics, sacred values, and interdisciplinary collaborations
What it took for break-up songs to become cultural items
Some of the skills you develop as a PhD student were not on the program. Now two years into my PhD, I realize that I have become much better at composing nice playlists, and in particular break-up songs playlists. Admittedly, this is not what I thought I’d get good at, but, well, it still counts as a skill or knowledge of some sort, and I enjoy my newly-won status of information-provider. After years been given advice about music by others, ending up in the position of the adviser feels like an achievement.