Theory of the Nudnik

This blog post is a companion to mutual work with Professor Roy Shapira of the IDC on Nudniks, Crusading Consumers, and the Informed Minority Theory. Exhibit A: A full page ad on the print edition of the Wall Street Journal (January, 31st, 2018) Ahmed Syed’s Tweets: Eugene Mirman Correspondence between Professor Ben Edelman and Sichuan…
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All-Caps: Paper Companion

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27The_Scream%27,_undated_drawing_Edvard_Munch,_Bergen_Kunstmuseum.JPG

What follows is a list of examples of legislation or regulation that requires or recommends the use of all caps in communications with consumers. Fla. Admin. Code r. 2-18.002 (1996). 2-18.002 Disclosure and Cancellation:  . . .(2) It shall be an unfair or deceptive act or practice for the seller of future consumer services to fail to furnish…
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De Gustibus as a Matter of Taste

https://medium.com/@misterpeej/the-rise-of-cilantro-and-i-hate-it-7d3b26719e11

de gustibus non disputandum est This famous Latin maxim holds that on matters of taste, there can be no dispute. This saying seems self-evident; we are all different, so what’s the point of arguing over what smells nice, looks good, is interesting, or is engaging?  Well, the great economists Stigler and Becker took issue with…
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Defamation By Contract

https://jimheath.tv/2018/10/trump-denies-offering-warren-1-million-but-he-did-of-course/

This post is a companion to my (draft) Essay: Slicing Defamation by Contract The first Truth Bounty, the Carbolic Smoke Ball advertisement The RNC Case Republican Nat. Comm. v. Taylor, 299 F.3d 887, 889 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (Credit: USA Today; special thanks to Culverhouse Law librarian, Blakeley L. Beals, who obtained a copy of the original….
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Reputation Failure

It is very common today for consumers to use peer-to-peer reputational information. Online reviews are the latest incarnation of the old social customs of gossip and word-of-mouth, and they generate considerable excitement among policymakers and scholars. There is a growing sense that, with the advent of the sharing economy and mega reputational platforms such as…
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Paradox of Defensive Medicine

Part of my recent work criticizes doctors and hospitals for taking advantage of patients, trying to circumvent liability for accidents by various means. This gets me, as expected, into a lot of arguments. Had my argument only been contested by doctors, that would have been understandable, but non-doctors make arguments that have very much the…
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The Happy Poor

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2725840/Hope-amid-squalor-The-smiling-children-Manila-slums-overcoming-filth-poverty-homes.html

Two new posts, one on Econlog and one on Facebook, made me reflect on poverty. The first is a post by (the incredible) Bryan Caplan, who talks about a research showing that people in richer neighborhood are not generally happier and sometimes less happy than people in less affluent neighborhoods.  The second was a long,…
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The Argument from Expectations Fallacy

A friend ranted to me about the facts of a libel case (Israel). In this case, a Facebook discussion between a PUA and a feminist expectedly heated up. The feminist called the PUA a “low-life” and charitably added that she has no doubt that “throughout his life, he has committed rape.” Serious accusations, no doubt,…
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The Trauma of Bad Service

This Vox article has a few interesting tidbits, like the origin of the custom of the ‘toast’ and kethcup. But most interestingly it claims that people exhibit signs of a minor trauma when they write a one-star review on Yelp and the such: “Social psychologists have looked at cases of trauma and the language people use…
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Crisis Management and the Theory of the Nudnik

This weird story has been receiving some attention on Facebook and elsewhere: Professor Edelman is a Harvard Business School professor who ordered Chinese food off the web menu of a local Chinese restaurant only to discover that he was overcharged for each of the four items by $1. Apparently, the restaurant updated their menu and,…
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