Google Questions Answered

Q:  why do physio have no sense of humor or am i in the worng job

A:  We’re pretty sure CPP has a sense of humor, so even though we don’t see the link, perhaps it is the latter.

Q:  do college professors work everyday

A:  #1 usually does 6 days a week (really more like 5.5)

Q:  how to come true a dream

A:  Uh, that sounds dirty.  Maybe you should ask a teenage boy.  Though that might get you arrested (unless you’re also under 18).  So don’t do that.

Q:  why is my taxes wrapped up my mortgage

A:  Because of paternalism.  The gov’t doesn’t believe that you’ll remember to put aside enough money to pay your taxes in one big lump at the end of the year.  So, unless you have a certain amount of home equity, they help you out on that.

Q:  untenured can i take vacation?

A:  Assuming it is during a break and doesn’t interfere with your teaching etc, yes.  Whether or not a vacation will affect your tenure chances depends on many variables.

Q:  how to decide on right time to have a baby

A:  Think about it, talk about it, listen to your feelings.

Q:  how do average kids treat gifted kids

A:  We can’t answer this question.  We’re too busy trying to relock the black boxes of our memories.  *shudder*

Q:  what expenses do you still pay after you pay off your house

A:  Everything except principal and interest.  (Generally you can also drop insurance, but you probably shouldn’t.)

Q:  do men use the term they have to tinkle

A:  Some do.

Q:  effects of spending money

A:  Generally the main effect is that you have less money than you had before, and in its stead, either a good or service you did not have before

14 Responses to “Google Questions Answered”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Looks like you get a lot of bad spellers that come to you via google.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      This set doesn’t seem to be as bad as usual.

      One weird thing is that yesterday we got the exact same weird question that we’d already answered in a previous Google questions: “is this correct grammar “do you still love me?””

      Sometimes I wonder if people are finding us for their take-home finals. Around the end of the semester we get a lot of repeats about what place ethics has in economics and is the free market enough and so on. (Which, fortunately, we answered quite vaguely last time… as in, that’s kind of what your whole semester was probably about.)

  2. becca Says:

    If at the end of a semester of economics class, students can’t answer the question what role ethics has in economics… maybe the problem isn’t with the students. Just sayin’.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m not sure I understand your complaint here. Ethics has no role in economics. Just like Ethics has no role in math. Economics puts prices on things so that comparisons can be made. It’s up to policy makers to decide what trade-offs they’re willing to make. Probably the question is asking for students to compare positive and normative economics (that’s the Econ 101 topic). We try very hard to stay away from Normative economics. That’s not our job. We talk about what *is* and what *could* be, not what *should* be. If you think that’s somehow unethical, well, we don’t believe in imposing other people’s beliefs about ethics on people… people who think we should impose ethics have their own beliefs about what those ethics should look like and a good economist doesn’t think it’s hir place to pick which set of ethics is the right one. That’s not our job.

      There ya go, student– look up your textbook index for positive vs. normative and you’ll probably get this question right. Hopefully you will learn something while you’re doing it.

  3. chacha1 Says:

    “effects of spending money” LOL oh dear.

  4. femmefrugality Says:

    I don’t mind the paternalism in that specific situation. It totally would help me out if I were a homeowner.

  5. becca Says:

    Oh good, I’m so glad we Objective Numbers people don’t have any nasty mushy squishy ethics to worry about!
    I’ll just get back to practicing positive food science then. Because after all, quantitating exactly how much more pathogenic an organism becomes when I throw Shiga toxin into it is Objective Numbers of Reality and in no way an Expression of Values, and is thus completely ethics-free! Also, consequence free… as long as I, personally, don’t release it to the environment, it’s completely ok!
    I’ma go weaponize some smallpox now…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Feel free to feel superior.

      But economics is full of greys, not full of blacks and whites. Is it more important to make the pie bigger or to ensure that people have more similarly-sized slices (even if it means all slices are smaller)? That’s hard to say, but we can tell you what the trade-offs, the causes, and the consequences are, just not if they are good or bad. It is up to others to decide whose utilities to weight, or at what level to trade-off liberties for social welfare. And different people, different countries, make different choices.

      What we do is show what the trade-offs being made are. It’s the job of policy makers to decide what to do with those trade-offs, not economists. Economists who impose their own code of ethics are just not trustworthy and they tend to work at places like the Cato Institute or the Heritage Foundation or to take money from the Koch brothers. Their “ethics” somehow gets in the way of their findings. Personally I’d rather stick with people who don’t try to impose their ethical beliefs on me. That’s why people trust what comes out of places like Brookings or the CBO or RAND and they don’t trust partisan think-tanks. Partisan think tanks are all about the “ethics” and what they produce is garbage.

      You would probably benefit from taking a public finance class. Then you might understand how life isn’t as simple as your world view makes it out to be. It isn’t all about there being a right and a wrong because if it were, we’d be doing everything right. Policy would be easy. But it isn’t.

      Really, I think perhaps the economics profession does a much better job of teaching what ethics really are than what you’re presenting as your biology discipline teaching. It must be so easy to know right and wrong when it comes to biology. Just don’t turn into a bad science fiction story and you’re fine. None of those pesky difficult-to-think about trade-offs. There’s always a right answer– yours.

    • Rumpus Says:

      To me, the funny thing is that you seem to think that weaponizing smallpox is automatically wrong. Is there really no circumstance that could ever occur where it wouldn’t be the right thing for someone to do? As far as I can tell, a dominating portion of our society believes that weaponizing fission was the right thing to do.

      • becca Says:

        I know real economics is full of grays, but that’s exactly why you ignore the ethical dimensions of questions at your peril.

        Also, if what you mean is that when certain economists start to get into the realm of advocating for a particular type of agenda on the basis of ethics (or worse, ‘morality’!), there is a massive risk of them doing so in a fashion that results in advocating for positions that just so coincidentally are exactly what benefits the wealthy interests that line those economists’ pocketbooks, then yeah, I see why you’re squeamish. But seriously? SOMEBODY has to be the economist AND the policy maker. And unless you refuse to read any of their work, or cite any of their papers just because of their role in crafting policy, then the flow between ‘policy makers’ and ‘researcher’ is fairly thin.

        Framing and researching questions is not ethically neutral.

        And, as an aside, it’s remarkably easy to turn microbiology into a bad scifi story, which may be why I’m so passionate about this… the shiga toxin example wasn’t hypothetical (boy is *that* grad student gonna have a heck of a time publishing). It’s amazing how good an idea it can seem to add a virulence factor to a pathogen. Pretty much everything those of us who study pathogens do is dual-use. Which is why you should look askance at anyone who tries to tell you there’s no ethics in microbiology. Because they will probably kill somebody sooner or later. Economists that have any actual influence are likely doing the same, it’s just a lot less direct and messy.

        Rumpus- don’t even get me started on that sociopathic misogynistic maniac Feynman, and Oppenheimer can suck donkey nuts…

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Policy schools have ethics classes. Business schools have ethics classes. But really it’s politicians who set policy– you should be forcing them to take more ethics. Of course, from what I’ve heard, ethics classes are pretty useless when it comes to making people ethical.

        In economics ethics MEANS you show pros and cons and unintended consequences, but economists do not set policy. Economists who do set policies are economists in addition to another hat and they know how to change hats. At least the good ones do. That’s our job. The bad ones work for partisan think tanks.

        Your attacks on economics are still uncalled for.

  6. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    do men use the term they have to tinkle

    I have never heard a grown adult use that term unless they were talking to a child. What I hear adults say: “I gotta whiz” “I gotta piss” “I’m going to the restroom” “I’m going to the bathroom” “I need to urinate”

    More interesting and subtle is the usage, “time to break the seal”. This refers to the situation where one’s been drinking for hours and hasn’t yet urinated, and once one urinates that first time, going forward urination is going to be much more frequent.

    Tell me thatte shitte ain’t f*cken funny!

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