Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 January 24

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January 24[edit]

why does my economics book put the price as a Y axis when the quantity is a function of it?[edit]

all the text talks about quantity supplied, demanded, tickets sold, etc etc all as a function of the price. Then they turn around and make price the y axis! This point is brought home in a graph that's a bit like a parabola, because the quantity goes up with price, then after a certain price back down -- but because price is on the Y-axis, what would be a normal parabola isn't even a function! (It has two Y's for the same X-point).

so, why do they do that? and secondly, do they still do that at all, because this book is from 1983. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:37, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

The short answer is that the people who wrote your economics book didn't read your algebra book first... 12:18, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
so then is this NOT the usual practice? here as an example I sketched. seriously! the accompanying text is : "Figure 13-6 The INDIVUDUAL'S SUPLY OF LABOR. The diagrams [I reproduced only the second - the first just goes up and up] show two possible types of labor supply curves. In Figure 13-6a the labor supply curve slopes upward. The indivudal works more the higehr the real wage. The labor supply curve in Figure 13-6b is called a backward-bending supply curve. As the wage rises, a stage is reached where the individual decides to work less; he decides to use some of the higher income made possible by the higer real wage to consume leisure rather than work. [the lowest point, at the bottom-left of the curve] in each diagram is the wage at which the individual will begin to participate in the labor force. If the wage is below that level, the individual is out of the labor force; for any higher wage, the person is participating".
As you can see, the way they talk makes it crystal clear that the number of hours supplied is a function of the price. In fact, if you cock your head to the right and flip it, it looks like a real parabola -- it looks like this. That would actually be a function, and it's how they TALK about the graph. So why don't they PRINT it that way? Thank you!

and today? Would that chart be printed like this or like this today? Thank you!

In economics prices are always on the y-axis and quantities on the x. I think it's partly down to history, and partly down to economists thinking of price and quantity as being codependent. See this for example. (talk) 11:44, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

If I could just take a moment to say that a parabola on its side is still a parabola, and still a function. Instead of y=x2 it is x=y2 or, if you prefer, y=x½ Maths is nice like that. (talk) 13:31, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

This is from An Introduction to Postitive Economics, Seventh ed. by Richard G. Lipsey:
"Readers trained in other disciplines often wonder why economists plot demand curves with price on the vertical axis. The normal convention is to put the independent variable on the X axis and the dependent variable on the Y axis. This convention calls for price to be plotted on the horizontal axis and quantity on the vertical axis.
"The axis reversal - now enshrined by nearly a century of usage - arose as follows. The analysis of the competitive market that we use today stems from Leon Walras, in whose theory quantity was the dependent variable. Graphical analysis in economics, however, was popularized by Alfred Marshall, in whose theory price was the dependent variable. Economists continue to use Walras' theory and Marshall's graphical representation and thus draw the diagram with the independent and dependent variables reversed - to the everlasting confusion of readers trained in other disciplines. In virtually every other graph in economics the axes are labelled conventionally, with the dependent variable on the vertical axis."
Note that you could technically see it either way: price is a function of quantity in the sense that a storm might wipe out your crop of bananas (which happened a few years back in Australia) and that would affect the quantity produced, which would inevitably cause prices to rise (they quadrupled in that example). Growers not affected by the storms simply cashed in on the higher prices, understandably, so the price was a function of quantity in that case, and had little to do with the specific decisions of farmers. It's been emotional (talk) 15:34, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you so much for the extract above!! I was about going mad. I'm really glad I took the time to come back and look at the responses. Thanks again for typing all that out. (talk) 05:25, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Paper Money in Banks?[edit]

Does the Bank keep all deposits (minus those loaned out) in paper money? --33rogers (talk) 12:17, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

No, the banks keep their money as entries in a ledger. Just like you keep your checkbook at home so that you know how much money you have in the bank, the bank does the same, except on a computer, and in a REALLY big checkbook. But otherwise, most (probably 90% or higher) transactions involve moving a number from the "our money" column to the "your money" column in some really huge computer spreadsheet. The actual use of real currency is pretty small in terms of overall financial dealings. 12:22, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
If the above is so, whats to stop Banks from making up new money (deposits that they haven't really received)? --33rogers (talk) 12:52, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, they can if they want, but that would be fraud. I suppose it all comes under the term of "creative accountancy", but it is illegal and would no doubt be found out at some point, either by accountants, officials or your average Joe trying to withdraw money that doesn't exist. With the larger banks, it would be a phenomenally large conspiracy to hide. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 13:12, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
the same thing that stops a company from making up earnings to pump up their stock price, so they can sell some off, say, oops, those weren't our earnings, and be left with free money. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:12, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
The corporations are audited. Are the banks audited in the same way? No. Because of Bank Secrecy laws, that state transactions less than $10,000 is protected with privacy laws. And what about the banks that don't trade in Stock Exchanges? They don't need to be audited? Whats to stop this "Private Bank" to wire to other banks using Swift? --33rogers (talk) 02:18, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
All banks in the same country are audited the same way. The Bank Secrecy has nothing to do with auditing, instead it has to do with the releasing of information. (talk) 06:49, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, banks do make up new money. It's called fractional-reserve banking, and I believe that most if not all countries do it nowadays. Each country's central bank monitors the commercial banks to make sure that they don't make more money than the rules allow. This system works fine as long as everybody doesn't try to take out their deposits at the same time, causing a bank run. --Heron (talk) 17:58, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Even if the bank could add extra money to their ledger, they couldn't actually do anything with it - whoever they were transferring it to (presumably another bank) would want something more than just their word that they had reduced the ledger by the right amount. I think the central bank handles such transactions (well, at the end of each day, anyway, the banks just keep track of who owes who what until then) - banks have deposits at the central bank and those deposits are what get moved around. --Tango (talk) 17:53, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually it depends on whether you deposited cash or your deposit was processed as an EFT or check. Cash is added to the cash the bank pays out to people making a cash withdrawal. The amounts are recorded in the legders mentioned above. Bank offices keep a certain amount of cash "on hand" in their vaults. If they expect many people to withdraw money as cash on a certain day (e.g. before a holiday) they will ask their head office for a resupply. If they have more cash than they think they need they will send some off to their head office. The head office transfers cash to/from the central bank (They have an account there just like your checking account). An EFT or check will be booked in the ledger, too, but the bank will quickly turn around and invest that amount. They will either loan it to another bank, buy foreign currency or buy a financial instrument. There are a couple of issues with this: Some of these investments will get them their money back the next day, but some are fixed for a certain period. If everyone wants their deposits back, but the investment the bank made will only repay the money in say a month, the bank will have to go and borrow money elsewhere. They can also lose the money they have invested, if e.g. an exchange rate fluctuates wildly, the inflation rate of the currency they invested in drops sharply or the other bank they loaned money to went broke. One of the investments that caused all the troubles recently were mortgage swaps. The banks bought and sold the mortgages on their books. When the original borrowers couldn't pay the mortgage rates and defaulted, the banks lost money. (Or people who buy bank stocks were afraid the bank would lose money and sold all their stock, if no one wants to buy it the price drops and the bank isn't considered to be worth as much as it used to be.) (talk) 00:26, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks all


--33rogers (talk) 09:02, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

UK Royal Coats of Arms[edit]

I'm not looking for legal advice, but I'm interested a to whether the coats of arms of former monarchs are still in copyright, and whether this depends on use. Normally, I'd assume that they weren't due to the time scales involved, but where the government's involved there may be an exemption? - Jarry1250 (t, c) 12:21, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

In traditional European-style heraldry, a coat of arms is actually specified by the textual blazon, and many alternative artistic depictions based on the same blazon may be acceptable as a rendering of a single coat of arms -- and if you create from scratch a new artistic rendition of the blazon, then you generally will hold the copyright on your personal rendition. However, non-copyright restrictions on the use of such emblems may still apply (see Commons:Template:Insignia). AnonMoos (talk) 13:16, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point. Normally, I would expect that most depictions of blazons are not copyright of the arms-bearer, I was wondering if there were any exceptions for the Royal Coat of Arms - not bringing it into disrepute, that sort of thing. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 13:28, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
There may be strong restrictions on the use of Coats of Arms, Royal and other. These would have nothing to do with copyright, but various other laws regarding titles, peerages etc. It would also vary between countries, since the rules may in many cases be quite ancient and based on tradition rather than reason. I don't know anything about these laws, and can't really point to any source that might help, but I believe it to be noteworthy that including "copyright" in searches could throw you well off track. /Coffeeshivers (talk) 18:36, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I was using copyright in a figurative sense meaning the restriction placed on it based on the author or otherwise. You're quite right in suggesting that the term probably doesn't cover it, because copyright terms are usually fixed based on subject matter etc. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 19:16, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Using specific legal terms in a "figurative sense" does very little to clarify legal matters... AnonMoos (talk) 04:39, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Trademark is a better analogy: you must not display someone else's coat of arms (even if you created the image yourself) in such a way as to suggest that it is yours. —Tamfang (talk) 19:19, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone other than the Royal Family themselves would go as far as suggesting the Royal Coats of Arms were their own, what I'm interested in are the special restrictions that are placed on the royal coat of arms over and above normal protection. I've emailed the government ( anyway) on this. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 19:54, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
It's nothing to do with copyright, which (as we know) runs out. A coat of arms is heritable and can last for ever, and all are protected by law. It's a very arcane area of law, and very few owners of arms any more go to the expense of defending their ownership, so in effect the protection has broken down. No doubt proceedings can still be threatened. See Court of Chivalry, a court which is still in existence but which (according to our article) was last convened in 1954.
The Royal Arms are specifically protected in the UK (and in some other realms of the crown) by various acts of parliament. I think one of them may have a title like "Unauthorized Documents Act". The effect is that you need the permission of the monarch, or the government, to make any use of the Royal Arms, and I rather think all versions, past and present, are protected. See also Royal warrant. Xn4 (talk) 02:21, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
A related issue (in the UK) is the Royal Warrant - only manufacturers and suppliers who have been specifically authorised to do so can display a royal coat of arms on their products with the words "by appointment" - it is reserved for those companies who supply the royal family and have been granted permission. Exxolon (talk) 03:21, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
And we should not overlook our Royal Warrant article... Xn4 (talk) 07:39, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure that using the Coat of arms on a commercial product in order to suggest that it somehow endorsed by the monarch is illegal (UKIP were prosecuted for the passport covers they sold), but I was more wondering about books on heraldry, that sort of thing, in which the Royal coats of arms regularly make an appearance, and the copyright permission of the artist / photographer are the only ones given. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 10:13, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Books are very different. The first purpose of the protection of arms (viz., of coats of arms), is simply to stop people from bearing arms, that is, from carrying them in person, especially when they are someone else's arms. From this developed the need to prevent the display of arms, for instance, on a building or a carriage, which unless stopped would suggest a connexion between the building (or the business in it), or the carriage, or whatever, and the owner of the arms. And of course, that is just the purpose the holders of royal warrants use the Royal Arms for today.
A book is merely a book. It gives information and in itself asserts no right to bear arms. A use of that kind is nothing to do with copyright law, which is essentially about preventing people from copying intellectual property. It's hard to see any reason why a coat of arms could not also have the protection of copyright law, but I've never seen any assertion of that kind, and (in any event) copyright law is a rather temporary protection. Armigerous people, and corporations who own arms, are usually modestly or immodestly proud of them and like people to know about them. What is objectionable is not the copying of arms but the misuse of them. Xn4 (talk) 01:22, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Recent specific artistic renderings of a coat of arms would of course be under copyright protection in each case, but this wouldn't block other people from coming up with their own new renderings of the same arms, and renderings which were made a long time ago would have expired copyrights. If a symbol is defined such that only one particular specific artistic rendering of it is acceptable, then such a symbol is more like a corporate logo than a coat of arms in the traditional sense... AnonMoos (talk) 10:42, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Walpole's Castle of Otranto[edit]

I am having a hard time understanding the prophecy in the book. Who has grown too large? And what was the purpose of the giant hands and limbs, were those Alphonso's? (talk) 21:40, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

So sad that Clio is gone! She would have jumped onto this like a dog onto a rabbit. Xn4 (talk) 09:32, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Iraqi Bonds[edit]

Does anyone know how to purchase Iraqi government bonds?--Elatanatari (talk) 21:55, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

It may depend on where you are, but a few years ago they were traded on all major financial markets. Call your usual broker. Iraq does at least have oil, but if I were you I should get advice before plunging too deeply. Xn4 (talk) 01:43, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Is there anyway to cutout the broker?Elatanatari (talk) 05:52, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

this[1] gives you a search offering plenty of advice. Julia Rossi (talk) 07:24, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Richard Cardinal Cushing Radio Show Rosary[edit]

When did Richard Cardinal Cushing begin his broadcasting his nightly Radio Rosry Show? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eusubeus (talkcontribs) 23:21, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

At night! (No? Partial credit?) —Tamfang (talk) 05:34, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
No answer, but some additional info. The Radio Rosary program had certainly begun before 1959 when George Carlin was age 22 and nearly fired as a DJ for ending the program when it ran overtime (Cushing called the station, saying "I'd like to speak to the young man that turned off the holy word of God"). It was apparently broadcast on Boston's WEZE for 15 minutes from 6:45 until 7 p.m. So, if Cushing was a cardinal when he started the program, it would have been in 1958; however he could have started it earlier if he was only an archbishop at the time. - Nunh-huh 06:35, 27 January 2009 (UTC)