Hysteresis: systems depend on past, not just current state

Hysteresis is the dependence of a system not only on its current environment but also on its past environment.

Hysteresis occurs in ferromagnetic materials and ferroelectric materials, as well as in the deformation of some materials (such as rubber bands andshape-memory alloys) in response to a varying force. In natural systems hysteresis is often associated with irreversible thermodynamic change. Many artificial systems are designed to have hysteresis: for example, in thermostats and Schmitt triggers, hysteresis is used to avoid unwanted rapid switching. Hysteresis has been identified in many other fields, including economics and biology.

The End of a Catholic Moment

Perhaps not coincidentally, the mid-2000s were the last time the Catholic vision of the good society — more egalitarian than American conservatism and more moralistic than American liberalism — enjoyed real influence in U.S. politics.

.. Whereas eight years ago, a Catholic view of economics and culture represented a center that both parties hoped to claim, today’s Republicans are more likely to channel Ayn Rand than Thomas Aquinas, and a strident social liberalism holds the whip hand in the Democratic Party.

Banksy: Why People Mistake Good Deals for Rip-offs

Last Saturday, an elderly man set up a stall near Central Park and sold eight spray-painted canvases for less than one five-hundredth of their true value. The art works were worth more than two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, but the man walked away with just four hundred and twenty dollars. Each canvas was an original by the enigmatic British artist Banksy, who was approaching the midpoint of a monthlong residency in New York City.

Robert Shiller: A Skeptic and a Nobel Winner

Did you know, I’m going to be involved in teaching more and more. I’m going to be doing a new Coursera course online in January. It’s called “Financial Markets.” I’m told I have 50,000 students signed up at this moment, and I think it’s really important.

.. I have the same skeptical nature. When I was a child, my Sunday school teacher complained to my parents that I had a bad attitude. I didn’t believe anything that this guy said.