Thursday, December 4, 2008

dormant, but not dead

I know, by means most tangential and involving the slightest of personal interaction, exactly one person who has the chops to read the subject matter of this blog AND has actually checked this URL. That person will probably never visit here again having found nothing but a place holder.

When I discovered this one reader, I got so excited I pushed all else on my stack and went about resurrecting my linear programming skills.

The idea I had in mind for this blog was to report my progress as I attempted to create an extended econometric model wherein I would try to discover how to add to Leontief's basic notions a model of the consumer and of the dependence of the various industries on their natural resources. It is an ambitious attempt but I actually do have experience in this field. I guess my grandest motive is to redress a failing I often chide in economists: not costing out the toll we take on nature.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that beyond improvements to Leontief's basic idea of which I gained some experience at the expense of the DoD, there have been more important extensions by Leontief's student Mohammad Gani. The basic model requires massive computing power and data sets that only governments of advanced nations can marshal. Luckily, the US puts the computing tools on line. The data, I will have to go find. I am pleased to see that the field is advancing. I will write a backgrounder post in my next installment. I beg your patience: my life is utter turmoil at the moment and has been since I mothballed this attempt. But I do like the challenge!