Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Now I happen to agree with Professor Dawkins that God is unnecessary, but I think he’s got the reason precisely backward. God is unnecessary not because complex things require simple antecedents but because they don’t.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
- Oklahoma has the 5th highest share of divorced men, and 4th highest share of divorced women.
- Oklahoma is number 2 for youngest median age of men getting married, and number 4 for youngest median age of women (26 and 24 respectively).
- But I save the best for last... Oklahoma has the highest share of women who have been married 3 or more times, and 2nd highest share of men (a startling high 10 and 9 percent respectively. Now that's depressing.)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
If A equals B and B equals C, then A must be equal C. The Transitive Theory. We've all seen it. It makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, the sports world tends to abuse the general concept behind it.
Take the 2009 Denver Broncos. As we all know, during the off-season, the Broncos left everyone feeling that new coach Josh McDaniels was in over his head. The biggest factor leading to that common conclusion was the trade that sent Jay Cutler to Chicago.
So, using the transitive theory, you would conclude that the Cutler trade was a good idea. The Broncos traded Jay Cutler. The Broncos are better than anyone expected. Therefore, the Jay Cutler trade was a good idea.However there are some other good statistical football sites I've discovered recently. AdvancedNFLStats in particular. In just the last week they've addressed onside kicks, resilience of particular statistics to QB changes, and irrational punt vs field goal play calling. Tons of good stuff.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
One thing that does always strike me about Rand, however, is that there strikes me as something particularly odd about the Randian tendency to assume that the business executive class generally constitutes the most intelligent segment of society. As if an Albert Einstein is just a kind of middleweight hack but the VP for Marketing at Federal Express is one of ubermenschen.
One thing that always strikes me about people who have issues with Rand, is that they are so hung up on this particular choice of main character occupations in Atlas Shrugged (they are neglecting Fountainhead or We the Living or Anthem, although I'm actually ok with limiting attention to the former since it is a hundred times better and a hundred times less flawed than the others.) I'm also struck by the fact that the many other (minor, yes, but there) "good guy" characters who are musicians or scientists or mothers or teachers are completely ignored in order to cast the book this way as something written to soothe the egos only of business executives. In fact, it should appeal to anyone who takes pride in what they do.
The industrial world setting in Atlas Shrugged was appropriate to the times and the obvious choice for a writer from the Soviet Union whose parents' business was confiscated and the obvious choice for that plotline in general. That doesn't mean these are automatically supposed to be the only heroic or smart people in society. What analogy can you think of that would work for academic physicists? A lowly unaccomplished scientist sues the Nobel committee for recognition for a discovery he had nothing to do with on the grounds that scientific prestige should be distributed equally? Yeah right...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbor.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away…
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
AN AMERICAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.
ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM:
You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.
A FRENCH CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot and block the roads because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called ‘Cowkimon’ and market it worldwide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION:
You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.
AN INDIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You worship them.
A BRITISH CORPORATION:
You have two cows. Both are mad.
AN IRAQI CORPORATION:
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. No one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy….
AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.
A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.