Friday, November 11, 2022

Eight steps to Gauss

 Just eight co-authorship steps to Gauss! Small world indeed. And the route backward is not too shabby… 
--> Marc Nerlove --> Kenneth Arrow --> David Blackwell --> Richard Bellman --> Ernst Straus --> Albert Einstein --> Hermann Minkowski --> Carl Friedrich Gauss

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Something May Be Wrong With Me

It strikes me that something may be wrong with me.  

In a new paper in progress I wanted to cite the famous and beautiful Sims, Stock and Watson (1990). I found the bibtex on Jim Stock's Harvard site. Fine. Then I noticed that it listed the authors as Stock, Sims, and Watson. OK, fine, I changed it to the correct alphabetical order of Sims, Stock and Watson. (Probably just Jim's administrative assistant aggrandizing on his behalf.)

Anyway I also noticed that the bibtex omitted middle initials, just giving C. Sims, J. Stock, and M. Watson. The amazing thing, and why something may be wrong with me, is that I was instantly able to supply from memory the full C.A. Sims, J.H. Stock, and M.W. Watson. Do I not have anything better with which to fill my head?!

Indeed it gets worse.  Not only do I have burned into my memory C.W.J. Granger and P.C.B. Phillips, but also their full names, Clive William John Granger and Peter Charles Bonest Phillips.  I really don't know how I learned them, or why I retain them. Of course people like Granger, Phillips, Sims, Stock, and Watson are my heroes, among the very greatest of the past sixty years of econometrics, but still...