Dr. Keynes Was Right

It's the Distribution, Stupid
DECEMBER 15, 2013 7:39PM

Numbskulls On Parade

All you need to know about American Intelligence:  the NSA runs Windows.  And worries about computer problems.  Talk about positive feedback.
Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 9:04AM

Maker's Mark

They ads say, it's a really good hootch.  Could be, but I don't often get shit faced, so I wouldn't know.  But in the course of commenting on SA, I wordsmithed (not the first time), so I'll take this opportunity to mark my words.

Thus we have the fabless companies, seeking… Read full post »
DECEMBER 8, 2013 3:02PM

Isaac Singer's Revenge

Thomas Friedman's column today impels me to work out some ideas that have been bubbling away for some time.

Let's start with a sig from the archives,

Like everything else in technology, the cost of starting a startup has decreased dramatically. Now it's so low that it has disappeared into the noise.… Read full post »
DECEMBER 6, 2013 7:27PM

It's in the Bag

Thanks, once again, to Artima for a precious linked piece.  I haven't followed javaworld, on purpose anyway, in some years.

Why this piece?  Well, as sometimes mentioned on various versions of this endeavor, I'm a Bermuda-phile.  I've only been there once, alas, but I've stayed attached… Read full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2013 11:36AM

Positive Feedback

You know that screech that happens when the roadies have messed up the mike/speaker configuration?  Positive feedback.  

Well, the folks at DataMind have produced a ranking of Coursera stats-with-R offerings.  I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that social networking is the number one… Read full post »

DECEMBER 4, 2013 3:55PM

Snidely Whiplash; The Map

Well, there's been a tonne of ink spilled about Bezos' spiders' web.  Everyone concludes that it's just nuts.

Have a look at this map.  Long range octocopters, perhaps?  For the 10 mile radius that Bezos mentioned, and given that most of the centers are more or less in the middle of now… Read full post »

DECEMBER 2, 2013 1:23PM

Snidely Whiplash

There's that line, sort of, from 1930's cliffhanger serials; "Unhand her, you cad!!"  I was watching something else, and I'm not a fan of Bezos anyway, so I missed the piece about the drones.  Helpfully, it's now made print (well, sort of).  As predicted in these endeavors some time ba… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 29, 2013 1:56PM

Angry Birds

When these endeavors began, the first post asserted "Why the Stimulus Will Fail"

In 2009, who are the unemployed? Not, by and large, workers in factories that will make goods for American consumers. The deindustrialization of the economy, in progress since the 1970's, makes any stimulus program a low… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 27, 2013 10:32AM

Snake Bit

Bitcoin is in the news again.  Twice in the NYT in a few days (once, and twice).

What none of the pundit class has discussed, in the cyberink that comes my way, is what a fixed amount of currency (21 millions "units", as I understand it) would have on a global economy? … Read full post »

NOVEMBER 23, 2013 12:51PM

Never Send a Boy to Do a Man's Job

(Another in the occasional techy post.  It's about healthcare.gov, so might be of interest.)

About a month ago, I mused that the Kiddies were the cause of healthcare.gov's abject failure.

I haven't yet found more than vague descriptions of the architecture of healthcare.gov (herein, hc.gov), b… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 20, 2013 2:11PM

Dee Feat is in Dee Flation, Part 28

Well, here we go again.  The CPI percents are out, again.  And, again, DEflation is the rule of the day.  We're going Japanese.  All you folks that been stuffing your moolah in the mattress, you win for the rest of us losing. Read full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2013 3:47PM

Not Such a Nobel Man

Lars Peter Hansen is the Other Guy who got the Nobel in economics this year.  Mostly been quiet about it, although it was generally understood from the outset that he was somewhere in between Shiller and Fama (get it?) on the ideological spectrum.  Well, today Jeff Sommer in the NYT has… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2013 1:01PM

Obambi, Meet Gresham

Gresham's Law is long and widely known in econ circles, though not mentioned often enough among the punditocracy.  Obambi faces it now, and once again, he's blinked (as of the time I'm typing).

In essence, in the absence of symmetric true information, bad goods drive out good goods (hard to say,… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 13, 2013 2:18PM

And The Choir Sings, "Amen"

From the outset, this endeavor was built on the notion that economic collapse is always traceable to income and wealth concentration.  The reasoning is straightforward:  collapse of an economy can only happen when most of the folks have little of the GDP and a few folks have most of the GDP… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 10, 2013 1:24PM

RIP, Bob

Bob's dad died.  

You might remember Bob, that yakking paperclip that was supposed to make Windows easier to use?  His pop was Clifford Nass, and the creation of Bob should be enough to ignore his passing.  I mean Bob???

On the other hand, according to the recitation in the Times obit, h… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 9, 2013 6:58PM

The Human Pretzel Factory

Never been a big fan of Agile, which should come as no surprise, since any relationalist subscribes to the notion that one needs first decide on the nature of persistent data.  There are lots of tools for schema migration these days, so don't give me any shit about that.  Changing schema… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 6, 2013 10:00PM

Great Expectations

A bit of history:  in the late 1960s Uruguay's attempt to be the Switzerland of South America was coming unstuck.  Most folks were getting poorer and a few folks were getting richer.  The real economy was more surreal than real.  Perhaps not the first, but certainly the first time… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 5, 2013 3:23PM

Frankly My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn

Let's, for the moment, assume that Obamacare works much as it was designed:  provide affordable healthcare. Next, let's follow Einstein's lead and conduct a thought experiment.  He devised the notion, although not the algebra, for the theory of special relativity whilst sitting on a tram lo… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 4, 2013 8:56AM

Pretty Boy Floyd

Floyd Norris' column this Saturday was unusual, in that there was no cite to the QWERTY Analytics (or some such), just his byline, NYT, and BLS data.  Let's see.

Start with the title:

Changes in Labor Force Mask Gains in the Jobs Situation
With such a title, one would rationally expect…

Read full post »

OCTOBER 30, 2013 7:46PM

Show Me The Money!

Gentle reader, do you recall what I've been saying about quants, that Giant Pool of Money, and predicting the future?  That, even without the various QEs, interest rates would still be falling, since there's less demand for physical capital.  And that's because paybacks are getting longer,… Read full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2013 8:02AM

Obligatory Post Mortem: healthcare.gov

Phil Factor has a piece on Knight Capital, to which I was obliged to comment.  The comment closed with a bit of snark (you're surprised?):

I haven't yet found more than vague descriptions of the architecture of healthcare.gov (herein, hc.gov), but I'm willing to bet a quid that it's a labyrinth… Read full post »
OCTOBER 22, 2013 11:50AM

Klein Bottle

When I was in high school, or perhaps even as early as junior high, I discovered geometric topology (algebraic topology is a tad tougher to grok), in the form of various conundra.  Prime among equals was the Klein bottle.

... informally, it is a surface (a two-dimensional manifold) in which noti… Read full post »
OCTOBER 22, 2013 9:22AM

Pop Quiz

Claaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssss!!!!!!  Listen up!!

From today's newsfeeds, Briefing.com:

08:34 am : [BRIEFING.COM]
September nonfarm payrolls came in at 148K versus the 183K expected by the Briefing.com consensus. Nonfarm private payrolls added 126K against the 183K consensus. The unemployment rat… Read full post »
OCTOBER 21, 2013 3:22PM

Politically Incorrect

More bloviating on the Nobel choice of economics winners.  Today it's one Raj Chetty who argues that "Yes, Economics Is a Science".  He's wrong, of course, despite living in a saltwater economics environment with Krugman, et al.

I'm troubled by the sense among skeptics that disagreements ab… Read full post »
OCTOBER 15, 2013 3:06PM

Noble Gases

These are the noble gases:
Helium, atomic number 2
Neon, atomic number 10
Argon, atomic number 18
Krypton, atomic number 36
Xenon, atomic number 54
Radon, atomic number 86
A bunch of guys in Stockholm, intellectual number 0

Yes, a bit of spleen regarding the good burghers of StockholmM who decided to award t… Read full post »