Many if not most people do not like math. They will tell you they are “not a math person.” Perhaps you are one of these people. You took exactly as much math in school as they made you, and not ε more!
The problem with being “not a math person” is that math people enjoy a significant earnings premium over non-math people. Take a look at this list of the highest earning degrees (source):
Just three months ago, I wrote my podcasting gear guide to let potential podcasters know about my setup and the equipment I recommend. That guide represents the gold standard in podcasting that existed when I was starting out in 2014.
To recap, I recommended using a digital audio recorder like the Zoom H4n or the TASCAM DR-40 to record yourself and your guest onto two separate tracks, with the guest connecting through Skype and being plugged into the second track via a 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter cable.
Here are the things a podcaster must have in a recording setup:
Reliability. Your recording should not sporadically stop working 40 minutes in to your interview with a Nobel laureate.
Multi-track recording. Each speaker must be recorded onto his own separate track to make it possible to edit them each separately.
I’ve been asked a few times about my podcasting setup. Since I have done a significant amount of research on podcasting and podcasting equipment, I’ll share that with you here. Continue reading Podcasting Gear Guide→
The world is full of snobs. There are music snobs who complain that most people prefer Lady Gaga to Stravinsky, film snobs who complain that most people prefer action movies to art films, and food snobs who complain that most people prefer pizza to fine sashimi. Whatever one’s area of interest, it is tempting to pass judgement on others’ preferences.
In learning economics, and in absorbing its lessons, one learns to be less of a snob. Economic analysis always begins by taking people’s preferences as given. The economist sees someone choosing pizza over sashimi and sees only a person acting towards the highest attainment of his ends. The economist trains himself to leave his personal biases and any inclination towards snobbery behind so that he can keep his analysis value free.
Even common terms like “responsible” and “irresponsible” are value-laden. Activities we recognize as responsible, such as saving for retirement, avoiding risks to life and limb, and living a healthy lifestyle are consistent with a specific set of preferences. Someone who values future experience highly against present experience (i.e. someone with a low rate of time preference) will favour all of these behaviours. Activities we recognize as irresponsible, such as profligate spending, risk-taking, and indulging in junk food, alcohol, or illicit drugs are consistent with a different set of preferences. Valuing present experience highly over future experience (i.e. having a high rate of time preference) makes all these activities more appealing. Economics permits us to understand these different preferences but it never permits us to judge one set of preferences to be superior to another.
Today I will be dispensing life advice. There’s a certain type of person who will tell you that you should follow your passion regardless of money concerns; to do otherwise would be “selling out.” This is pretty terrible advice. If eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom are not my passions, should I never do these things? What is it about money (or rather, all the things that exchange for money) that makes it unacceptable to include among one’s goals?
The big problem with this advice is that it is often given to young people. Young people have passions, but they can only be passionate about the things they have experienced at their young age. When I was young, I was passionate about painting. Now I am passionate about economics. If I had taken the oft-repeated advice to “follow my passion,” I would be struggling to make a living as an oil painter. Only by not following my passion was I able to discover a different (and much more remunerative) passion.