Despite various attempts at reform, France remains the most centralized state in Europe. The organization of the country around the Parisian center was originally a consequence of the French Revolution, which gave birth to the departmental regions. These regions have retained an oppositional relationship towards the metropolitan center. In 1875, an enduring republic was formed despite the competing claims of the Comte de Chambord and the O...more
Personality and Social Interaction I
In this final lecture on Paradise Lost, Book Twelve's justification for the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden is examined alongside the Genesis account. The nature of Milton's God, whether literal or liberal, is examined at length. The poem's closing lines are closely read, with substantial attention paid to Milton's final, complicated take on the poem-long consideration of Providence and free will.
Standard financial theory left us woefully unprepared for the financial crisis of 2007-09. Something is missing in the theory. In the majority of loans the borrower must agree on an interest rate and also on how much collateral he will put up to guarantee repayment. The standard theory presented in all the textbooks ignores collateral. The next two lectures introduce a theory of the Leverage Cycle, in which default and collateral are endog...more
Computational models: random walk simulation
If the early years of the twentieth century were marked by a general consensus that a major war was impending, no similar consensus existed concerning the likely form that war would take. Not only the carnage of World War I, but also the nature of its alliances would have been difficult to imagine. Indeed, in 1900 many people would have predicted conflict, rather than collaboration, between France and Britain. The reasons for the eventual ...more
The course will concern European history from 1648 to 1945. The assigned readings include both standard historical texts and works of fiction, as well as films. Although the period in question encompasses many monumental events and "great men," attention will also be paid to the development of themes over the long term and the experiences of people and groups often excluded from official histories. Among the principle questions to be addre...more