Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to get work done?

The options for getting work done are likely greater that ever because the internet has made physical distance far less important. Options include full time employees, part time employees, subcontractor firms, and subcontractor individuals. All of these could be either local or afar. Intermediaries range from headhunting firms, to Samasource.org to Amazon's Mechanical Turk. These options are merely the most obvious. I wonder what characteristics of the work to be done determine which contractual arrangement is preferred for accomplishing tasks. For example: does the job require firm specific knowledge, are trade secrets at risk, and what is the efficient economies of scale for the tasks? My goal would be to design a short questionnaire the results of which would guide an executive toward the preferred contractual arrangement. Has this been done? Please share where. What do you think? Would it be useful?

Monday, July 26, 2010

UWCs does the Wikileak help or hurt the USA?

World powers react to WikiLeaks' documents - CNN.com:

I, and others, think that the leak might not be entirely unintentional.

"WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange said the documents are 'legitimate,' but he added that it is important not to take their contents at face value.

'We publish CIA reports all the time that are legitimate CIA reports. That doesn't mean the CIA is telling the truth,' he said."

Might the USA offensive benefit from the word knowing that some Pakistani agencies are assisting the Taliban?

Might pressure increase to crack down on these agencies?

Might the CIA prefer to act like this increase in pressure is unintentional, like the CIA did not expose their "partner"?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yahoo! Will Lock You in and Knock You Out

Is Yahoo Dead? I Don't Think So. Who Else With This Scale Can Be Neutral? - John Battelle's Searchblog

I will never trust Yahoo! again after they increase the price of my previously registered domains from $9.95 to $34.95 per year. No, the $9.95 was not an introductory offer, but they wrote the contract to allow price increases. Since that time I have registered about 10 domains through Google and their partners (Godaddy.com and enom.com). I hope they don't bite me.

I repeat. Yahoo! is not to be trusted so all they can do is establish themselves as equally exploitative to all.

On "Bad Government" Posts

Yes, these analyses are largely normative and "bad" will be judged according to my personal preferences that are often based upon the relatively pithy sayings: "Live and let live" and
"Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you".

Inclusion will also depend largely on entertainment value. Politicians prevaricating (that's rare), extreme inefficiency (dead weight loss), targeted benefits, corruption, and shear stupidity will be commonly featured.

Suggestions are welcome.

Diminishing marginal returns for wealth occur more so than for fame or victory in the NBA

Report: New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul wants trade - NBA News - FOX Sports on MSN

It is good to see in way that they are in it for winning, after the money is taken care of. But parity might be a thing of the past with players treating each other as complements rather than substitutes. One would expect the NYC teams to be attractive for a group of stars but not yet. If management and players are also complements it makes sense.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is wsw4 a selfish way to live?

A close fried explained that wyw4 could be easy interpreted and narrowly selfish. I agree, though that is not how I consider it. "Who you want" refers to people which are where most people recieve their greatest gratification. My perspective on enlightened self interest includes large investments into close, trusting, sharing relationships. More to come own wyw4.

Bad Government: Oakland Strangles Most Pot Growers

Oakland council OKs plan to set up pot factories - latimes.com

Leave it to Oakland to take a short-run strategy of restricting the number of entrants and thus competition and innovation. The only thing I think Oakland has relatively free entry into it crime. Of course I'm biased after being mugged there last year.

This line of logic is the most laughable.
"The plan would authorize four potentially enormous pot factories, but makes no provision for the hundreds of growers who now supply Oakland's four dispensaries, which sold $28 million in marijuana last year." Meaning only four firms can now grow.

"he 5-2 vote came after two hours of testy debate between pot growers who argued the proposal could destroy their livelihoods and businessmen who said it could turn Oakland into the Silicon Valley of pot, create jobs and generate new tax revenues."

Um? So silicon valley prospers because there are only for tech companies there are opposed to a vibrant ecosystem of capital and entrepreneurs creating new companies? Wrong!

Can I have one of these jobs? Wonder if any insiders will get quality control positions?
"But Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid, the two council members who drafted the proposal, want the city to exert more control over cultivation, including setting up a city staff that would routinely inspect the four operations. They say it could eliminate violent robberies, fires caused by faultily wired grow houses and excessive use of pesticides."

And finally, no surprise...
"The city, which has led the state in its innovative approach to marijuana, was the first to adopt a pot tax, which is 1.8%, but is considering asking voters to approve a substantial increase."

Humboldt is likely celebrating. Why?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Minimalism and freedom

In the last year my desire for material possessions has fallen. It began years ago when traveling with my buddy and he wanted to take pictures of a famous spot and I replied, "There are pictures of that on the internet." The next step was realizing that I do not have to own something to appreciate it. A small apartment fits me well. I am never to far from my laptop, my bed, or the kitchen. My laptop has a long cord that reaches essentially the entire apartment and with my external speakers plugged in I can hear This American Life, RadioLab, or Pandora from wherever I am without moving the laptop from wherever it is.

I also have no intention of buying real estate, neither to live in nor as an investment. I fully understand the tax advantages of owning ones own home, but I also understand that I can rent a new apartment or leave the current one without much more than loosing a months rent. This flexibilty is worth far more than the foregone capital gains. Plus, I don't have to worry about upkeep, taxes, gas, etc. Remodel? No way. Get a different apartment. But moving sucks! Not if you don't own much that weighs you down. Next move will either be into a furnished place or I will buy inflatable furniture. My greatest concern is whether an inflatable bed will be firm enough. By getting rid of most of my stuff and long term obligations I will be able to what I want, who I want, where I want, when I want (wyw^4. I will keep lower case and drop the "^" to save key strokes.)

The blog http://mnmal.tumblr.com/ motivates post. I don't get simplicity for its own sake, though I appreciate when simplicity helps one accomplish their goals. I look as these recent posts picture and comparison. I understand they look simple, but do they help you do wyw^3?

I look at the picture and see a nicely appointed living room with clean lines, but a world of complications underlying it-mortgage, earing the money to pay for it, selecting the furniture or interior designer, worrying about keeping it spotless, washing the windows or hiring someone to do it, having to buy the place and then sell it, etc. The aesthetic simplicity is a facade. UWC is that living room simple? Only if you assume that all the complications I listed are avoidable. I'd prefer rent a place and leave. No hassles.

The comparison is odd to me because while one button is simple, the freedom it allows is very limited. I feel trapped by one button. I want to search freely. And the "Your company" option is ridiculous to compare because how else would one suggest entering this information? Does ITunes not have similar forms?

My point is that simplicity is more than skin deep and I am not sure that simplicity is a worthy end in itself, but rather a proximate end to some preference based form of efficiency that is significantly different from my goal of wyw4. How to live wyw4 will be explored. And yes, these theme is consistent with UWC, because what is wyw4 depends on may factors, such as whether one has kids, how much money they have, and their health.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

BP is strategic during the spill

Report: BP nears $11 billion asset sale to Apache - MarketWatch

No way will U.S. politicians provide permission soon for BP to drill in an environmentally sensitive area. Realizing this BP has sold off underground oil in Alaska to another firm with less name recognition. Smooth move. Also a nice time to have the extra cash. Clean up costs are imprecise with estimates between $4 and $40 billion, making the $11 billion inflow from the sale attractive as a complement to BP's approximately $6 billion in cash and approximately $30 billion in operating cash flow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Apple: UWC to soft or hard launch a product

3rd UPDATE:Apple Admits To IPhone 4 Issues,To Give Away Covers - WSJ.com: "'Haven't we earned credibility for the press to give us the benefit of the doubt?' he asked."

Google, and Apple competitor, is known for keeping it's product in beta and by invitation for years prior to risking is full brand (not in the case of Buzz which was a debacle) . Will the IPhone 4 issues motivate Apple to soft launch future products? I doubt it.

UWC are soft versus hard launches preferable?

1. Likely bugs-soft
2. Open with a bang to create the impression of need to have and scarcity--hard
3. Constant product iteration--soft
4. Discrete major product upgrades--hard

2-4 indicate software is more likely to be soft launched and hardware hard launched, which is consistent with Google and Apples businesses.

UWC does crime in Zimbabwe increase U.S. seigniorage

When the money stinks so badly form hiding it their underwear that it requires washing.

The more you know...

The Dunning/Kruger effect (See link 6) is a specific case, self evaluation, of old hominy "The more you know, the more you know you don't know ."

To what other cases can this be applied with rigorous empirics?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Gotta be the Gum

According to this podcast of RadioLab (Listen to the one called "Limits") tasting without swallowing sugar during an endurance based athletic event can dramatically improve performance by convincing the body's governor that there is no need to keep a large fuel reserve because more fuel is on the way. Thus the body burns deeper into reserve before feeling fatigued or giving out.

Might Michael Jordan's gum (Doublemint) have provided him an (up until recently) unknown advantage and take some credit for his fourth quarter heroics?


This Blog is to discuss things that interest me.
My perspective on the word can be understood as:
Hayek's conception of the value of local knowledge
There is no substitute for experience
In analyzing a questions their are likely five or fewer variables that matter.
When analyzing a business the big uncertainty is typically revenue.
Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.
Most people are followers.
I neither want to lead nor follow.
Basketball is the most best sport!
Sufficient evidence can change my mind about just about anything (I don't know what it couldn't.)
Human behavior is oddly predictable (motivated by sex, fear, and greed) and unpredictable (how much will an individual give in a dictator game).
I'm having as much fun as possible before dieing.
Very often, the more one believes in what they are saying the lower the probability they are correct.
Most people will believe just about anything that is heard enough times, especially if accompanied by fervent emotion.
Most people are shockingly poor critical thinkers.
People will often believe what they want despite countervailing evidence.
If one is too friendly too quickly get ready to be conned.

This list will grow.