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After doing some reading at

After reading Longitude - What It Means to be an Entrepreneur: The Remarkable Story of John Harrison at, I have a few thoughts on how the content of this blogging relates to our Local Food Economy Game project

"John Harrison stood up to, and held his ground in earnest opposition of, the Powers That Be. In the Big Is Good World, the Powers That Be define the rules of the game and are its referees. It is unbelievably difficult to 'reinvent the game' when competing against those who have that much control over Life As We Know It."


An ACE in Ames - Leigh Tesfatsion

We have two primary goals for this project during Jelal's time here as our summer intern:

  • identification of candidate simulation software technologies and development of a proof of concept for The Local Food Economy Game as a web-based exploratory learning environment, and
  • identify and pursue the development of collaborative relationships with Iowa-based kindred spirit researchers in both the local food economy and agent-based simulation domains.

A couple interesting links and a question...

I've been doing some research in the library, and found a couple things that are probably of interest to Jim and Timlynn, but may be of general interest as well.

  • A list of Professor Gordon Bigelow's (author of "Let There Be Markets: The Evangelical Roots of Economics," published in Harper's magazine) scholarship is located at:

    I've been scouring the College library looking for any publications, but so far I've been unsuccessful...I'll let you know if anything turns up.

  • The Institute for Social Network Analysis of the Economy ( is very interesting and relevant. I've skimmed over a few of the articles in their resource section; through the links on the site I found an article called "Re-thinking the Network Economy," by Stan Liebowitz, which I will read today.

Boxed Economy Simlulation Platform

The boxed economy simulation platform discussed in the links on this page:

is very interesting, as we have discussed. If we can obtain a copy of this platform from its authors, we would have--as Jim said--a viable candidate for our simulation software. I plan to print out and read a few more of these articles before coming to Fairfield on Wedensday.

A couple unrelated and random thoughts...

  • The models we design would be an interesting tools for the managers of local businesses, who could use the simulation to help make decisions regarding starting up/shutting down, raising/lowering prices, etc.
  • Although I only recently came across it online and have yet to read it, Michael Rothschild's Bionomics: Economy as an Ecosystem looks to be a very interesting book, especially when put into the context of Barabasi's Linked, and his "universal network theory." The idea that economics is adopted from a biological framework is an extension of Barabasi's belief that all networks are derived from the same basic principles. This book also speaks to the idea that economics is a "human" science, not a hard science that is stricly based upon mathematics and utility maximization

Forecasting Consumer Price Indexes for Food

Located here is an article entitled "Forecasting Consumer Price Indexes for Food: A Demand Model Approach," by Kuo S. Huang. Huang uses an inverse demand function to assess the change in quantity demanded for a variety of goods (including beef, eggs, fruits, vegetables, cereal) based on a one percent change in price of that good. Huang presents a chart that shows, for example, that a one percent increase in the price of poultry would result in a .84 percent decrease in the quantity demanded of poultry. He also gives figures for cross elasticity of demand: A one percent increase in the price of red meat, for example, .91 percent decrease in the quantity demanded of beef.

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