Sunday, October 13, 2002

Andy writes:
I haven't heard from John or Roger on the issue of punitive damages and the Constitution. A case is before the Supreme Court on that issue. Justice Thomas says there is no constitutional limit on punitive damages, and I agree. It's a matter of state law. Time for large corporations to start supporting conservative legislators, or be sacrificed by liberal attorneys.

The reality, of course, is that feminists dominate the politics of large corporations. Fortune magazine reflects this in its articles, which cater to the politics of corporate ad departments.

Roger says that Nash's Nobel prize had an even longer delay than Coase's, which was 31 years. Except Nash only received 1/3rd of a Nobel Prize, and I believe a key element of that Prize was less than 31 years from its award. But it's hard for me to tell, which says something about the award.

Many Nobel prizes have a liberal gloss, and Nash's is no exception. One or both of his co-winners worked on a nuclear disarmament project.

As to Kelvin's bias towards quantification, the greatest 20th century breakthroughs have been otherwise. The uncertainty principle, Godel's theorem and Coase's work all lack quantification. Kelvin, by the way, was a Creationist who lived long after fellow Brit Darwin proposed his theory.

I certainly do not think that it is reasonable that Philip Morris should pay $28B in punitive damages. I don't even agree that Betty Bullock should get any compensatory damages. Rarely do punitive damages make any sense. They should be abolished, or capped by statute, or made very difficult to get.

But what is the federal issue? Congress regulates tobacco, and PM followed regulations. Is the theory that runaway juries are a threat to interstate commerce? I think a $28B judgment is a threat.

Nash's work was 40+ years previous. I don't know about the co-winners.

See the Carter announcement? Amazing arrogance from a group that gave a peace prize to Arafat.

Huhh? You need Fourier transforms to understand the uncertainty principle. Eg, see this or this.

Goedel's theorem is based entirely on a quantification of proof theory.

Here is one statement of Coase's theorem: The initial allocation of legal entitlements does not matter from an efficiency perspective so long as they can be exchanged in a perfectly competitive market.

I guess I'll agree that there isn't much quantitive info here. It is just an observation.

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