“In mathematical terms, the problem of finding the cheapest airfare between two locations is actually unsolvable. Even if you specify the route or the flights, the problem of finding the lowest fare could take the fastest computers billions of years to solve.” Keith Devlin explains that understanding airfares is even harder than you thought.
“If two people take a round trip together, with three flights in each direction, there can be as many as 10 to the power of 36 fare combinations. If you printed out a ticket for each possible fare, the pile would stretch to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, four light years away.”
D-Squared Digest provides a concise history of expectations in economics to put Daniel Kahneman’s Nobel prize in perspective. Even though I was advised to stop reading after the second paragraph, it’s a great introduction to a range of economic ideas.