Monday, January 31, 2011

Where is the Low-Hanging Fruit Now?

The Great Stagnation, Low-Hanging Fruit and America’s ‘Sputnik Moment’ - Real Time Economics - WSJ

I've been stuck in my studio apartment for the last week with an MCL injury, but it hasn't been all that bad. I'm working, watching movies, following basketball, and keeping in touch with friends--all over the internet.

Increases in happiness might not be through rising incomes but rather more time to do what we want. Beyond a moderate income in the US what percent of income is spent on status. If status competitions could focus on things that created happiness such as giving money to schools, throwing fun parties, and telling funny stories, then less resources would be spent on fast cars and extra bedrooms.

I haven't had to visit a doctor because self diagnosis and prognosis was available online. New crutches were delivered for under $24.

Happiness and income are becoming less tied to one another, because with the internet the world is your oyster. And if you want to make more money, learn a skill you can sell over the internet. My girlfriend makes $150 or so a week editing photos part time.

Freedom to be where one wants and do want they want is the next low hanging fruit.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sad for Indonesia

BBC News - Indonesia sex tape star is jailed

I was in Indonesia in 2007 and it was my favorite of 12 countries I visited on the trip. The people we for the most part friendly except for the guy that pulled a pistol at me in a nightclub and the taxi driver that punched my when I refused to have him double the fair. Really, I loved the place. Worried about the direction.

What are they saving?

The Hindu : News / International : China sends plane to evacuate citizens from Egypt

God forbid the Chinese citizens get any ideas from the Egyptians. Get them out!!!

The marginal value of a hand in the face

Sacramento Kings player offensive production by shot contestedness from

This boils the key to basketball down to creating and preventing open shots. I love the simplicity. Notice how a man covering his own man and preventing an open shot has an impact of 40 where adding the same man to a double team has about an impact of 20. Assuming teams are double teaming efficiently, this means that the double teamed offensive player likely shoots too often and finds the open man to infrequently. It is important to realize that the first open man will often not be the shooter against a team making proper rotations, meaning that a posted big drawing double that is passing out effectively might show no direct stats for his good productivity, meaning this skill and judgement is likely under-ewarded. His plus/minus would rise, so maybe he gets paid appropriately despite not earning many all star votes.

More tattoo amusement

Top 20 Worst Tattoos

I think the combination of pain, permanence, and potential for regret mean I never tire of these lists.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

#openmesh Help Egypt

#openmesh Help Egypt

Good to know other are working on it a Internet that can't be shut down.

Flavor Flav vs. KFC: A Dispatch From Flav's Fried Chicken - Joe Fassler - Food - The Atlantic

Flavor Flav vs. KFC: A Dispatch From Flav's Fried Chicken - Joe Fassler - Food - The Atlantic

As a PE fan since '89 I find this a combination of funny, cool, ironic, and sad (the food doesn't sound so good).

Ice Cube is surely working on a franchise also.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm ashamed to be human

Give aid to Egyptians

U.S. Threatens to Cut Off Aid to Egypt -

Eliminating the Arab autocrats has been a US and humanist objective for years. Drop cash, food, cell phones, wifi hubs, walky-talkies or whatever the people need to resist oppression and communicate. We have a chance to be a friend to the people, don't cut them off. Don't support them militarily. Satellite connected wifi hubs might be the best option for re-enabling communication.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you can't go forward, go backward

2011 dodge challenger interior | Dodge Cars

This really looks 1970. I owned a 1969 Mercury Montego and I hope Ford does not recreate it. Interested to see how the Challenger does, but doubt is will sell much. Did the retro t-bird? I don't even see many Vettes anymore. I think the whole muscle car thing is past, literally. Am I wrong?

Wet Burqa Contest

islamic women burqa.jpg (203×152)

I only wish. I don't have a high enough discount rate to put it on a t-shirt, but maybe handing out flyers might get a rise.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a great (funny) politician

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "In 2008, the government sent the 'Family Protection Bill' to the Iranian parliament. Women's rights activists criticized the bill for removing protections from women, such as the requirement that a husband obtain his wife's consent before bringing another wife into the family"

Any US lefties defending the Iranian government please stand up. Nothing against Iranian people. I still believe that most people everywhere pretty much want to enjoy their friends, family, food, and drink and think you are the same. But your government blows. Sorry. Sucks for you. Hope it goes Tunisia, Egypt, Iran...

AM - Gay rights activist murdered in Uganda 28/01/2011

AM - Gay rights activist murdered in Uganda 28/01/2011

Why do so many people hate homos?

Lets look at the stereotypes of gay men, who most hate is targeted at.
-Above average income
-In good physical condition

How bad are these traits?
Do strait guys have an inferiority complex?
Don't worry my straight brethren, you will not be raped by a gay dude. Worst case scenario you might get a complement.
Lets worry about eliminating hate before worrying about who people love of lust after.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why so many nominal numbers

The Nielsen Company Announces Pricing of Its Initial Public Offering and Concurrent Offering of Mandatory Convertible Subordinated Bonds

One thing not here that is of interest is companies value at IPO. We know the number of shares offered, share price, but not the final piece of the puzzles, either the % that is being floated or the total # of shares. I suspect that the authors and editors don't even understand the difference between nominal numbers and real valuations. Most journalists don't understand finance nor economics, but neither to the readers. It's just trivia absent of analysis meant to grab eyeballs and fill space. Annoying...

The keys to a successful career in asset management revealed

County's richest couple battle over a fortune - "In Linda’s version, she had insisted he upgrade his wardrobe, hire a speech coach, have his nose “fixed” and work longer hours. He had to “get serious and ambitious to create a future for them as partners,” Linda’s lawyers maintained, “if they were to be married.”"

Funny, that she got it. He needed a better pitch, more charisma--not better returns.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Knowledge Commons Media Streaming - Item Details

Knowledge Commons Media Streaming - Item Details

This is where I grew up. My friend sent me the video and these are my reactions.

They make us look like the debaucherous Borg.

How did these free love progressives turn into a group who can barely allow a building permit?

I love the pronounciation: "MARin COUNty".

I am amused by the change, because now Marin is so into feeling like they are giving. Then the show emphasized taking, especially by women. Seams sexist.

Strikes me as a feel good piece for midwesterners.

Kid at 42:30 is pretty smart.

The focus on divorce is heavy.

Knowledge Commons Media Streaming - Item Details

Knowledge Commons Media Streaming - Item Details

This is where I grew up. My friend sent me the video and these are my reactions.

They make us look like the debaucherous Borg.

How did these free love progressives turn into a group who can barely allow a building permit?

I love the pronounciation: "MARin COUNty".

I am amused by the change, because now Marin is so into feeling like they are giving. Then the show emphasized taking, especially by women. Seams sexist.

Strikes me as a feel good piece for midwesterners.

Kid at 42:30 is pretty smart.

The focus on divorce is heavy.

Tie time

Man fired for wearing Packers tie is offered new job - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL -

I'm all about freedom, but I agree that the owner should be able to fire John for wearing a Packers tie. I also understand way. The probability that customers will be lost rather than gained is greater in the managers judgement for wearing the tie.

How much control over dress should a company have? The easy answer is, "as much as they can get away with." Assuming perfect information, clearing markets, and profit (rather than control) maximizing mangers, this would work. But not of these assumptions are accurate. Managers are likely to enforce very conservative and controlling dress codes to to cover their own asses in a "nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM type of way." living is such a world would be more boring. I like individuality and surprise.

That having been said. I glad the guy got another job. Might have just been a shrewd PR play.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I damaged my MCL on Saturday hooping and walked home but cannot now

Jay Cutler's Teammates Come to His Defense; Critics Begin Backtracking -- NFL FanHouse: "However, Cutler's demeanor on the field and in front of the media has drawn some ire over the years, and the circumstances of his trade from Denver to Chicago raised eyebrows about his character. So did his noticeable lack of a limp or grimace in front of the camera on Sunday after he left Chicago's game with the knee injury."

Test-Taking Cements Knowledge Better Than Studying, Researchers Say -

Test-Taking Cements Knowledge Better Than Studying, Researchers Say -

What kind of test does each kind of study prepare one for?

Might their be depths of learning: memorization, relationships within the text, relationships with outside information, implications of relationships, and manners for discovery of new knowledge? Testing appears to make memories more accessible. Might more accessible memories be more often utilized in more sophisticated tasks? The essence is that pressure and stress can improve performance and should be used.

If you want kids to run faster, time them.
If you want them to learn their times tables, test them.
Most of my fellow Ph.D. students punched out papers during the final days (not me). But I do believe that the best way to study is make test questions and answer them without notes, then fix them with notes.

Wire in the Blood

Just finished the series on Netflix.  Very good murder mysteries with an atypical hero in Tony Hill and friendly, critical, incisive, clinical psychologist who get inside the heads of serial killers.  All of the 24 one and a half hour episodes were enjoyable, so just start with #1 and take a few minutes to get use to the dim settings.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Accidental Progress

Drunk scientists pour wine on superconductors and make an incredible discovery

Many advances can be attributed less to genius than to a lucky combination or a lark that make it big.

1. Penacilan was uninvited mold.
2. Ray Krok visited the original McDonalds to see why they needed so many milkshake blenders and was so impressed he decided to go big-time.
3. Google's revenue model was not known when the search engine launched, a was supposedly opposed by Brin and Page.
4. Ebay and Craigs list (at least reportedly) were projects built out of the need of founders or their spouses without the initial idea of building a huge business.
5. What about Newton and his apple? Just a joke.

This all goes to show that people often know less than they think and progress is more often due to harvesting luck than perfect planning or insight.

APB: People have sex under false pretenses

Undercover police cleared 'to have sex with activists' | UK news |

UWC is it OK to be less than honest with the person you are banging?

I wonder if the complaining women have ever told a dishonestly told a man that his money was not the reason she like him?

Have these women ever asked a man why he liked her and knowingly accepted that his "you have such pretty eyes and a warm personality" was majority BS?

Were these "very, very very promiscuous" women falling in love with the cops?

The real reason for opposing the practice is its effectiveness. If sleeping with people became illegal then initiation rights become pleasant. "Do her, or get lost."

Hulu vs. Netflix

I pay $10 or so per month for Netflix and have not visited Hulu in the few months since signing up.  Hulu free has too many commercials and I just could not find that the paid version has any fewer commercials, which would obviously be worth mentioning to get paying customers.  Maybe I'll see if they change in another 3 months  Until then, F U Hulu.  And for sports is great with about all NBA games pirated live.  Funny when the pirated site provides better coverage than paying for League Pass from the NBA.

Might this be an election issue in IL?

If someone told you that you get 15 years for recording a conversation with a cop without his consent, what country do you think you were in? China, Russia, Cuba, North Korea? Nope IL, USA. I'm not a lawyer, but might the ability for one to collect evidence regarding how they were arrested be considered due process?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Are these paragraphs arranged randomly?

Miami Beach firm touts safe way to pay online - Small Business -

Many news articles are poorly organized, but this is horrendous. Please give me one paragraph near the beginning that explains how the service works. Might you want to give use the firms web site so we could sign up if interested, as individuals or businesses? Maybe explain why it is different than Paypal or MoneyBookers and discuss how they will compete? This author should be ashamed and the editor should be fired.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Constitutional reforms are needed to build the "Model City" -

Constitutional reforms are needed to build the "Model City" -

How can the government assure investors that the business-friendly laws will remain?

What advantages will Honduras have over Panama?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is drug use bad?

Portugal's Experiment With Drugs | Mother Jones

This article assumes that that less drug use is better. I'm less certain. Alcohol is a drug. Compare the countries that consume the most booze to those who consume the least (notice the map). Booze doesn't look that bad: Luxumbourg, Ireland and Hungary are highest vs. 12 at 0%, all Muslim countries. I'm not saying that more drugs and booze are better, but applying the adage of "all things in moderation" would lead me to ask why not booze? Why not other drugs? Especially since illegal drug markets have so many negative effects such as gangs and the cost of fighting them.

Why is poor communication popular? | Meteuphoric

Why is poor communication popular? | Meteuphoric

I'm not sure that "poor" is the correct description because it supposes that the purpose of the writing was to communicate a cogent idea or information rather than a general feeling. People make decisions based on feeling not information so often persuasion is not good information and good information is not good persuasion.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New nickname; bad joke

Ellison confirms interest in Hornets, denies San Jose talk - NBA - Sporting News

Chris Paul's nickname would go from CP3 ot CPU. U standing for Unstoppable.

More dumb than evil or funny

WSVN-TV - Porn found on display in elementary

1. If you want to have the school or kids, this does neither.

2. All the kids old enough to know what private parts are have seen them on the internet.

3. Eggs? Rather old school. Sounds like a frustrated, lower IQ, 40 year old perp. Young people likely don't have magazines. Again, why with the internet.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Even funnier tats!!! - whyyyyyyyyyyyyy...

Now I believe in karma

Nigerian Scammer gets Tricked into Tattoo | My Tattoo Sucks

Amusing page

Edward's Blog: December 2010

Do tech stocks deserve lower multiples?

They might be growing fast but can also fall fast. Kellogg's is not going anywhere. Yahoo! was founded in 1995 and is losing air quickly. Still one of the highest traffic sites, it make money with middle America non-tech savvy people, but those in tech tend to perceive an email address as indicating ignorance. To the extent than companies grow quickly, can they also shrink quickly? Groupon--boom to bust? Here are MS and Apples revenues. Not a spike like Groupon's.

Under what conditions can a company grow quickly and retain its profits. Ebay, Paypal, Amazon, all yes. Ebay and Paypal have network externalities. Amazon has grown from a retailer to a community also (plus other businesses such as AWS and Mechanical Turk, but these are small time in comparison) I think Groupon has to become stickier by offering more, but I don't know what.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm conmused

Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber
My new word, a cross of confused and amused. Don't think it will stick.

Funny site though.

Could be improved by having the girls provide a pair of photos: one a Bieber and one looking conventionally sexy. I am typically surprised by how much difference hair, make-up, cloths, etc. can make.

List of countries by population density

List of countries by population density

US: 29 people/KM^2
Idia: 318
Russia: 8.5
Bangladesh: 926
United Kingdom: 244

What strikes me as amusing is that people in the US often think that our land is overpopulated. Clearly not relative to many other countries and not if you have driven across or even looked down when flying.

Mudslides anyone?

YouTube - Brazil Mudslides, Floods Kill 379 in Rio, Sao Paulo
Not the fun kind.
This is some of the least informed reporting ever. They are looking at flooding in the hills of Rio and she asks if it is affecting Sau Paulo? Um 444 KM away?
Then when responding to a question about the economic impact that they make "stuff", followed by "uh...fruit and textiles". The mudslides are in relatively poor residential neighborhoods. They primarily make shit and babies. I wish reporters actually knew something more of the time rather than just having a nice voice or pretty face.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bubble alert!!!

Groupon Said To Be Valued At, Like, $15 Billion

Groupon basically offers "deals" to a mailing list and provides an incentive for members of the mailing list to get others on the mailing list.
What are the barriers to entry? Not much, their are many clones. You can get the software out of the box. Then you need a mailing list and merchants. Find a niche, any niche. Couptessa, living social, dealon...

But Groupon is worth 30% of Facebook?
The same as Best Buy, HG Heinz, and Marriot International?
Microsoft in only 16 times the value and Apple 21 times?
Ebay is 2.5 times? Amazon 5.5 times?

The valuation is insane.

More on the business model. Groupon keeps 50% of revenue from the deals, just for sending an email. Might price (meaning %) competition creep in?
If people learn that only half the revenue goes the merchant might they start to wonder how it is such a good deal? Merchants are doubtfully loosing money on the deals, so the pre-deal prices quoted are either inflated or the merchants are very high margins since the typical deal is 50% of regular price. So the merchant is willing to accept 25% of the typical price? I doubt it. And when people realize that the deals are not really deals, then the bubble that is Groupon will collapse toward the profitability of another coupon provider.

I wonder if Valpack has considered a competing service? Seriously. They have the local sales force and relationships with businesses offering discounts. Start building lists and get it on with Groupon.

More curiosities:
$15 000 000 000 value/ 24 000 employees = 625 000/employee 
Not a typical valuation method by indicates how much you could spend building a rival organization.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mugabe and the White African

Tells of the fight for a white farmer to save his farm by appealing to international law.  He wins the case and his farm is burnt down.  Did the white farmers not know who they were dealing with?  M is willing to starve millions of blacks, but god forbid the could say I shouldn't kick these whites off their farm.  My theory is that the farmer knew the suit would not save the farm but if we can make a movie out of it maybe other post-farm opportunities will be available.  Nothing wrong with that, but funny how things are so often not what the seam.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just gut the mother fucker

Paul Mason, once the world's fattest man, suing NHS for not helping him sufficiently with obesity

And what's up with his thighs?

Is conservation of matter so difficult to comprehend?

How deep is his belly button?

What funny tattoos could he get? How about Pinocchio's whale on his belly, with P inside?

Yes, I've had 5 beers and some vodka.


Your designer baby?

If you could design the physical phenotype of your child in perfect detail what characteristics would you most want to:

I would make my kids taller (I'm average at 5' 10")

I would like my kid to have symmetrical nostrils (Mine are different sizes.)

I would like my kid to develop earlier (I went through puberty 3 years late.  I should discuss in another post.)

What to retain is tougher.  I'm pretty good in many ways but am in no way perfect.  If one makes their offspring perfect, then does any of them remain?  If little to none of one's DNA remains, what is the evolutionary incentive to reproduce?

I had not thought about the possibility that people have another vector on which to determine their genetic persistence, how much and which DNA does one want to persist and at what probabilistic reproductive cost to the other DNA of theirs?

How does an individual value DNA persistence?   Is each allele valued equally?  The ability for one to be recognized as offspring?  And recognized by which scent?  Or which characteristics?


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Global warming in Miami Beach

Monthly Averages for Miami Beach, FL (33139) -

No claim of scientific rigor here, but the pattern of high temperatures hardly causes me alarm. Despite my bed's location of hardly 5 feet above sea level I'm not scared. And, yes I know the melting ice caps are not in Miami. But the point stands. Miami beach hardly shows an inexorable warming trend. I wish it were warmer now. 67 is a might bit chilly for my tender bottom.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Follow the money...Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud

Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud,' British journal finds -

How timely.

People say what they are paid to say.

Never take a salesman at his word.

Most people are selling you something, so don't trust them.

Cynical? Yes.
Wrong? No.

If you disagree, then go work in a sales oriented business and let me know in a few months what you think.

One of our competitors is currently telling others that their product is cheaper because their investment platform fee is lower, but our platform fee includes commissions etc. They charge an additional 44% for commissions making ours about 23% cheaper when comparing apples to apples. We will un-bundle fees so that their lies are transparent even to those who cannot add.

Not sure how to respond other than "Sooooo SoBe"

You Can't Get Into Miami's Latest Model Hot Spot - Miami News - Riptide 2.0

What is the business model? (pun intended)
Hope that dudes hang at the bar hoping to pounce on vacating beauties?

On the slave trade

New revelations about slaves and slave trade -

The article is a bit interesting though not surprising. The comments are shocking. I guess anything regarding slavery brings out the philosophically eccentric (AKA crazies).

The first: ahmad18ny
all educated people love white people and all that they did for the world. it's the self hating whites, low life bigots, and the flat out racist people that have bad things to say about whites.

FYI, I am white, educated, feel fortunate for being white, am not a bigot (black live-in girl friend/best man at black friends wedding etc. other friend of many backgrounds), yet I have plenty of bad things to say about whites. Most of those things apply to most races though. People typically suck regardless of color. Get over it. Extremists of all tend to be the most annoying and dangerous though. Stay humble and keep asking your self the tough questions. Under what conditions tends to work well.

Why can''t we all just get along? and Muhammad tattoo contest!

Roses for Pakistan governor's alleged killer | Top AP Stories | - Houston Chronicle

Isn't life a little too short and insignificant to worry about what someone says, let alone kill them for it?

Lighten up my brothers.

As of this moment, I am launching a Muhammad tattoo competition.

Prize $100 minimum. If I happen to be rich by that time or the winner give me great pleasure I'll increase the bounty at my own discretion.

Entry deadline is August 29, 2011, the final day of Ramadan.

Payment will be made via within a week of determining the entry deadline.

Links to entries should be added to the comments. Entries will be judged according to how much pleasure I receive from them. Image quality, creativity, and placement are all likely to play significant roles.

Good luck!

Kinda long but funny

Dave Barry’s 2010 Year in Review - Dave Barry -

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

basketball is dangerous

NBA Injuries -

It's also my favorite activity outside of debauchery and occasionally over it.

On 30 teams there are 68 injuries. About 1 in 6 players cannot play as of today.

And to think that my friends are constantly telling me that I am too old and should quit. I missed 6 months in a row last year due to tearing my hamstring muscles from my hip. Thanks for the three screws. I sat our a couple of weeks due to slight re-injuries, but otherwise am staying on the court. My ankles, knees, and shoulder are sore, but even younger players endure pain.

Moral is...if you hoop hard expect to be hurt. indoors on hardwood as much as possible to reduce the impact. I notice more knee pain after moving outdoors because of my migration from Chicago to Miami Beach.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Blogging etiquette

A post on blog A takes me to blog B when I see a book of interest recommended.  I Google the book name plus "pdf" and find a summary that is useful.  I want to link to summary.  To who and how should I provide attribution?  There has to be some limit.  My idea is that if you make an original web search, using Google etc. then then attribution chain stops.  Otherwise, maybe link to the last blog that provided value beyond simply supplying a link.  Thoughts?

Yes, my attribution decision for my prior post inspired this post.

Good advice for how to get people to behave how you desire

How to talk to kids...

Would Walter Payton get by?

2011: The year you weren’t expecting - The Boston Globe: "September 3 The NCAA football season begins with one significant change in the rules: Taunting will now be severely punished. Players can now have a touchdown nullified for high-stepping into the end zone, pointing at their opponents, or engaging in other sorts of celebratory dancing as they score."

I am guessing that the NCAA will be hiring the Ministry of Funny Publish PostWalks to consult on precise regulations. Being that the NCAA is a business, they must have focus grouped their desired demographic on the rule change. Ironic that the amateurs are being forced to act in a "professional" manner.

How negative sum game is required to support a positive sum game

Electronic Trading Creates a New Financial Landscape -

Once capital is raised, the rest of trading is negative sum. We have a huge industry of highly paid salespeople, executives, software experts, etc. participating in this questionably productive world, of which I am a part. I'm not one for regulation but have to wonder how this talent could be used in a more clearly positive sum game. As Shapiro suggests, limit trade execution speed to one second, meaning slow it down substantially to eliminate the arms race. The entire stock picking industry has been discredited to insiders since the publication of

Where Are the Customers' Yachts? (1940). Fear and greed are the sources. I don't have the answers. The investment world concentrates the emotion, irrationality, selfishness, and status seeking that frustrates me about humanity most often. Oh well, that a good rant to start the week.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

With so many great options, why so many lame tattoos?

Easy answer. Most people are lame.
These tattoos improved my life.

Funny Tattoos head Funny_tattoos art – FunCage Blog

If I were to get a tat candidates are:
1. A third nipple
2. Mistletoe above my ass crack
3. Cut outs showing what is beneath the skin, such as windows into my brain or intestines.