Monday, November 21, 2005

Quick Update

I just saw that Adam hit 100 posts, so I felt like I should put something on this page! I'll just do a run down of what the application process is like:

1. My letter-writers are working on their letters. I made the mistake of printing tons of paper forms for them to fill out, which took forever, since I had to put a lot of info on each one. Then one of the profs told me he liked the online form better, so I switched to that one for just about every letter.

2. My statement of purpose is almost done. I will alter it for each school, of course, but the basic ideas will stay the same.

3. I finished my presentation on dynamic programming in the math dept. I wanted to do a lot of interesting proofs, but I barely had enough time to get through the basic ideas and one example! I am presenting it again for the econ dept. where I will include some discussion of the Howard Improvement Algorithm, etc.

4. I'm working on my senior thesis. I want to have the basic model and conclusions finished to send in with my application. I have the model worked out (labor responses to terrorist threat), from which I am able to draw a handful of seemingly obvious conclusions, but nothing exciting. I think my expanded model will be more interesting (include capital, two countries), but I have no idea how to approach solving it. I will try to get the thing done and somehow posted on here.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

How go get a nobel prize...

So, as we college students know (or are told if you are as geeky as me), college bars hold wet t-shirt and jello wrestling contests. At these contests, girls drink a lot of beer and eventually, if things go as planned, show their breasts. They may even touch another girl's breast (once again, so I am told). So, here is where the problem comes in:

1. The girls are not paid, per se. Alcohol is usually free, and there is sometimes a small prize for "winning," but the financial gain seems small. If I am wrong about this, please let me know.
2. The men there get a lot of value. They would get more value if they could take pictures and look at them later. Maybe sell them, but at least share them with friends and look at them.
3. Camera phones have made it possible to do this quite easily. Just look at

So, here is the problem. Does the spread of these pictures deter girls from showing off in the future? If so, then it would seem sub-optimal to allow camera phones into the bars, but I don't know of this happening. What if a bar was to have a "camera phone photographer" who took pictures, then sold them to the men at the bar that night, then distribute the money to the girls. Would this increase the displays (supply slope up) or decrease (changes the good to prostitution)? How about this: is it possible that the promise of becoming an internet "star" brings out MORE girls? Maybe the exhibitionists are drawn out so that the proportion of ex-ante "breast revealers" increases?

I tell you this: the person who solves this problem will win the Nobel Prize in economics, maybe even the peace prize, in thirty years!