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*To*: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu*Subject*: Re: [dvd-discuss] [openlaw] Government takes more extremelineinsecond"Eldred" case*From*: "Michael A Rolenz" <Michael.A.Rolenz(at)aero.org>*Date*: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 14:07:12 -0800*Reply-to*: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu*Sender*: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu

Welll I won't denigrate English majors in Calculus classes:-) Actually, when I TAed at Douglas College for Women a few decades ago <sigh> my best student in the nonscience calculus class was an English major... I also tutored several people working on their MBAs and even a Columbia graduated itinerate economist once. OTOH....I was puzzled by Posner's notation. I couldn't tell if he had ever taken calculus. He had a three dimensional function expressed as what appeared to be a total differential without partial derivatives. The Economics of Copyright might be horribley amusing.... "Peter D. Junger" <junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu> Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu 01/15/02 01:20 PM Please respond to dvd-discuss To: dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu cc: Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] [openlaw] Government takes more extremelineinsecond"Eldred" case "Michael A Rolenz" writes: : IT's worse than the assumptions that one makes are unrealistic. To be a : tractable problem, they must simplify the problem (which they can't define : completely anywise). The models must have things that can be : measured-somehow even if it's not relevant (e.g. citations) Simplifying : the situation also means that invariably some bias creeps in involving : what is significant and what is not. (e.g, as the farm owners discovered : after the application of broad spectrum insecticides, elimination of a : pest to optimize yields may mean eliminating a pollinator that creates the : yields). So one starts with a large multidimensional time varying : nonlinear system and simplifies it to: : : One dimensional preferably and two or three at worst. : Linear : Time invariant : : Then one LOVES to optimize something. Well the only thing one can optimize : is a function into one dimension. WHich means that ALL the other variables : are eliminated (optimizing a weighted sum doesn't cut it...the weights are : totally arbitrary and subjective)......Yes...doing Operations research and : mathematical modeling is really fun stuff but one should not take it as : established fact without reviewing the model : : (BTW- Posner's paper on obesity could be reduced to a couple of homework : exercises for calculus students..."ASSUME a utility function of the form : X^2..."...I'm not certain if he knows how to do calculus or just has a : lousy wordprocessor) Posner was an English major before he went to law school. I doubt that he ever took calculus. Of course, one doesn't need to know calculus to know that almost everything that is is claimed on the basis of law-and-economic theory is nonsense---all one has to do is read something about the ``problem of the second-best.'' I was an English major, too, but I did take a calculus sequence after I started teaching law as part of my ``know your enemies program,'' the enemies being those who were pushing law-and-econmics. The enemies won. -- Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH EMAIL: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu URL: http://samsara.law.cwru.edu NOTE: junger@pdj2-ra.f-remote.cwru.edu no longer exists

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