Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour in ..

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Hundreds of Hayek-Thatcher documents released by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation

The Margaret Thatcher Foundation has release hundreds of documents related to the Hayek – Thatcher relationship.  Here is a letter from Thatcher to Hayek dated May 18, 1979.

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Ronald Hamowy Has Died

Ronald Hamowy has died.  Hamowy was Hayek’s student at the U. of Chicago and editor of the magnificent Collected Works edition of F. A. Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty.

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Milton Friedman’s 100th Birthday – Celebrate by Spending some Time with Milton

Here’s a great conversation with Milton Friedman hosted by Brian Lamb, and another with Russ Roberts from EconTalk.

Google and YouTube have a great collection of Milton Friedman video highlights.

No man was a greater influence on the thinking of Milton Friedman than Friedrich Hayek — and no man influenced by the ideas Friedrich Hayek had a greater impact on the world than Milton Friedman.

Raise a toast to Milton Friedman.  He would have been 100 years old today.

Lots more on Milton Friedman at my Twitter feed.

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Hayek & Wittgenstein — The Parallel Rejection of Formal Modeling as a Proxy for Capturing the Significance of Language or the Causal Mechanism of the Economic Process

Academics attempting to make sense of the significance of words & logical implication had a framework for doing so exactly parallel to that of economists attempting to make sense of the significance of prices & the implication of prices for distribution.

In fact, both modern programs in their mature form came out the the same city — Vienna. In the word & logic domain the key figures were Wittgenstein and Carnap. And you can connect a direct line from Wittgenstein & Carnap to Abraham Wald’s formal existence proof of equilibrium.

BOTH of these programs sought to limn words & logic (language) and prices & distribution (the economy) by mapping these into formal models.

In the first case, by stipulating a mapping of semantics to particular meaning entities & then mapping the formal relation of these in propositional logic, a system of axioms.

In the second case, by stipulating a mapping of values to particular price entities & then mapping the formal value relations of these into an axiomatic system.

These are the “God’s eye view” constructs pretending to limn language and the economy that Wittgenstein & Hayek rejected — rejected because they actually deceive us into misapprehending where the significance we ascribe (as the top-down “God”) to the elements of our constructs actually derive their purchase and significance — i.e. from the social phenomena in which we move and are embedded.  We are embodied within language and within a social pricing system and we never have a synoptic God’s eye or bird’s eye purchase on semantic or price “entities” connected in formal relations — THE WORLD DOES _NOT_ COME THAT WAY.

Prices are signals, imperfectly perceived and imperfect as instruments for orienting ourselves in coordination with others.

Language, ditto, although much more tightly bound in shared practices and successful common ways of going on together (read some Wittgenstein).

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Hayek on the Euro

“I started remarking against the idea of a common European currency, saying why not simply admit all the other currencies competing with yours, and then you don’t need a standard currency.  People will choose the one which is best.  That, of course, led me to the extension: Why confine it to other government moneys and not let private enterprise supply the money?”

F. A. Hayek, 1978, interviewed by Axel Leijonhufvud.

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