Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Computer program for building & visually simulating dynamic, monetary economic models. A vital tool for a new approach to economics
Computer program for building & visually simulating dynamic, monetary economic models. A vital tool for a new approach to economics
620 backers pledged $78,025 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Photos

Ad9fc3466c442ddb8181beffb1915d1e original
296c5e50374a65a19afdbe15c7eb7fd2 original
B7c4755b1655f498d2e98e8410cd7dff original

Support me on Patreon

2 likes

I originally began this Kickstarter campaign for Minsky because a change to government education policy in Australia undermined my Economics Department at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). The government de-regulated first year intakes, letting Universities decide how many places to offer rather than setting ceilings.

The argument was that this would make the "market" more "competitive", but all it really did was allow higher ranked universities (Sydney, UNSW) to offer more positions in humanities (which are cheap to teach and therefore volume is profitable) at the expense of lower ranked universities like UWS.

Not only did that lead to my academic career in Australia ending, it also meant that I couldn't apply for funding from the Australian Research Council--so a proposal I had for a government research grant to develop Minsky further became one for Kickstarter.

Well Neoliberal lightning has struck twice: the same stupid policy has been adopted by the UK as well, and the viability of lower ranked Universities in the UK has been similarly undermined. My new University (Kingston) has asked me to either quadruple my teaching load in response--and thus abandon my role as a public intellectual campaigning to change economics--or to go 1/4 time.

I've chosen the latter option, but for that to be sustainable I have to raise at least 3/4rs of my salary. And once again, I've turned to crowd funding to do it--though this time on Patreon rather than Kickstarter, because what I need is not a large one off-sum, but a continuous stream of payment. Initially this will provide me with a crowd-funded salary. Ultimately, it will fund continuous development of Minsky, research assistants, etc.

I would appreciate your support for me on Patreon. The amount given can be as low as $1 a month (and I'd prefer people to give small amounts that they don't even notice rather than large ones). Please go to https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen and sign up. And spread the word too. I have reached about 30% of my first target after 1 month, and I'd like to be able to consider going full-time crowdfunded by the end of July.

As part of this project, I've also taken over a stalled Kickstarter campaign to  produce a cartoon book on money (see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1554238498/crashboompop?ref=user_menu). I'll start work on the script for that in July/August, and hope to have a completed book by the end of the year.

Support the "Crash! Boom! Pop!" Graphic Novel on Kickstarter

5 likes

A brilliant team of graphic artist Miguel Guerra, layout artist Suzy Dias, and writer Genevieve Tran have combined to produce what I can describe as a "cartoon version of Debunking Economics". They plan to produce up to six graphic novels around the theme of "M" (Money, Mayhem--the Financial Crisis--Method, Macro and Micro), to use visual media to take the mickey out of economics for those who don't want to wade through a 500 page book.

The cover to the first volume
The cover to the first volume

They're running a Kickstarter campaign now--starting on the 85th anniversary of Black Tuesday 1929. As a backer of Minsky, I hope this is something you'd be willing to back as well.

The product will be brilliant. Miguel's cartoons are Marvel Comic standard, and the text from gonzo-blogger Genevieve Tran will be sharp and modern. It will put the message that mainstream economics is seriously ill in a form that will get through to a much wider audience than any standard book can reach. And it will be funny and beautiful at the same time.

The campaign link is here.

For your enjoyment, here are some of Miguel's existing cartoons.

The Fed Blowing Bubbles
The Fed Blowing Bubbles
Richie Rich gets outside his 0.1% comfort zone
Richie Rich gets outside his 0.1% comfort zone

In other news, there are now Chinese, French and Spanish translations of Debunking Economics (the Spanish version will be available in a few weeks). But it's this fourth translation I'm most looking forward to.

Can you help Minsky right now?

4 likes

Minsky has come a long way thanks to the funds you gave back in 2013--so far that it won SourceForge's "Project of the Month" award in January 2014.

That is also when the funding from Kickstarter ran out, but I was expecting funding from a semi-government authority to come through soon after to allow development to continue.

That funding has been delayed numerous times, and now may only turn in January 2015. I can cope with a hiatus in Minsky's development, but I don't want this hiatus to lead to the project losing one of its most valuable resources, its chief programmer Dr Russell Standish.

Russell has now gone without payment for over six months--as he put off looking for other projects in the expectation of this delayed funding, and because he was so dedicated to the project.

I am trying to raise funds informally for him so that he can continue to afford to wait, and therefore be available when I get funds to restart Minsky's development. I've put a direct link up on my blog to Russell's PayPal account, and I explain the rationale in this post "Assistance for Minsky required".

So I'm appealing to Kickstarter supporters here. If you can, please pop over to my Debtwatch blog and kick in to help keep Russell available for the project.

In other news, I have recently been appointed Head of Economics Politics & History at Kingston University in London. I am dedicated to developing a pluralist curriculum in economics there, and Minsky will become an essential tool of our education program for both undergraduates and postgraduates.

Masterclass in January

13 likes

Minsky has come a long way thanks to your help: we now have a stable "Petty" branch at the Minsky Sourceforge site, which is largely bug-free:

https://sourceforge.net/p/minsky/

The latest iteration in the "Mun" may have bugs--especially since some re-factoring has occurred recently--but it has a more complete interface with the first implementation of group selection, improved graphs, and a neat ability to enter variables and mathematical operators directly onto the canvas without needing to use the mouse and the palette:

http://www.hpcoders.com.au/Minsky.1.5.D42-win-dist.tar.gz

and

http://www.hpcoders.com.au/Minsky.1.5.D43-mac-dist.dmg

I talk about some of these user interface improvements here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtPiPUfdI1s&feature=c4-overview&list=UUM1ubsbE-tG9ru61mc3zX8A

All this is a prelude to saying that, making copious use of Minsky, I plan to give the Masterclass on economics in January 2014. I had hoped to do it earlier this year, but a large number of international speaking engagements had me out of Australia for 10 months out of 12, and unable to devote the time to such a class.

Thanks again for your support.

Sincerely, Steve Keen

Minsky 1.0 now available

We finally have a version of Minsky that I'm happy to regard as a 1.0 release. It will be permanently available on our SourceForge page, and the only changes that will be made to it will be bug-fixes and, when I get the time, a complete help file.

The main issue that this latest release addressed was the speed of plotting. We were using a Tcl/Tk layer for rendering plots, and it was impossibly slow. Russell has bypassed this with his own code and the speed of updating plots is now extremely high--so high that it's advisable to set the simulation speed to well below maximum unless you  have an extremely complicated model (and we now save the selected simulation speed as part of the model schema).

You can download this release from SourceForge:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/minsky/

I'll also try to get a "push" mailing system going for regular updates from now on.

Thanks again for your financial support, without whch we wouldn't have been able to get to this point.