Today we turned the last page on John Maynard Keynes: General Theory. It has been an extremely impenetrable book: There is hardly any data and the formulas that are there are very simple and not central to the main arguments. I hope to arrange that we can meet with an economist (Sophocles Mavroides) a couple weeks from now. We will each suggest 2 books for what to go through next. Since reading Keynes didn’t make me understand of the overall economy has not increased a lot, so I am keen to study a more modern work with both theory and data analysis. I myself went through 2 very large papers by Mavroides that he then explained to me, which was very rewarding for me. One was on identifiability of a set of dynamics models for macroeconomics and the second was on fitting the New Keynes Philips Curve [NKPC] to economic data for the last 60 years. The Philips Curve was originally an empirical observation of reciprocicity of the levels of inflation and employment. These papers contained much of what I missed in Keynes: Data and Theory.
However, my co-readers felt they had had Economics enough for now. I intend to suggest these two for next readings:
Jotun1: Noam Chomsky (1965) Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
Chomsky is a towering intellect and I read 1 longer 1955 grammar paper and it could be the best paper I have ever read. A larger summary of this theory would be very rewarding to read and it is about 200 pages.
Jotun2: I would not suggest a book but rather to go through 10 Nobel Lectures by key economists doing 2 lectures at each meeting. I recently read 3 2013 Nobel lectures in Chemistry by the Karplus, Levitt and Washell and they were an absolute ideal introduction to the history and problems of Molecular Dynamics. So now I suggest the same for economics and it could be these laurates: Friederich Hayek, Leonid Kantorovich, Paul Samuelson, Milton Friedman, John Nash, Daniel Kahneman, Paul Krugman, Scholes, Stieglitz and Amartya Sen. This could be done in 5 meetings lastting 3+ months.
In general this Book Should:
- Read things I would/could not have read otherwise.
and the actual books fall into 2 topics:
I. Current Affairs: Global Warming, Immigration Studies, What is Democracy, The Cause of Conflicts, Theories of Religion, Understanding the Economy, Conceptual Foundation of Political Ideologies, … I rather want to read 3-500 pages of good overview, than a lot of daily news
II. Real Classics: Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Hume, Global Sacred texts,…
2. I think too long books takes too much time. Ideally 2-300 pages, max 500.
3. I think it is a good idea to put possible books in Dropbox so we can pre-view them before buying them.