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No one but the author bears any responsibility for the non-advertising content on this blog. AND PLEASE NOTE: the author neither necessarily uses nor endorses any product advertised on this blog.

August 22, 2014

"The Unauthorized Rules Of How To Dress At Goldman Sachs"

Noted comedian, "GSElevator," tells you all you need to know about how to dress at GS.

August 21, 2014

"Washington is divided because it has abandoned federalism"

As somebody--maybe George Will?--once remarked, one of the biggest harms of the Southern fight against civil rights is that it forever smeared the good name of federalism.

Federalism should be--in the absence of egregious violations of political rights--defended and fought for.

"Strongest Possible Endorsement"

Review of new book, Dear Committee Members, ". . . an epistolary novel consisting entirely of fictionalized letters of recommendation penned by professor Jason Fitger (failed novelist, failed husband, successful misanthrope)."

"What Kind Of Home You Can Buy For $300,000 Around The Country"

Cross-sectional differences in the cost of living very graphically illustrated.

"Medical research: Treat ageing"

Absolutely! Column in Nature.

By 2050, the number of people over the age of 80 will triple globally. These demographics could come at great cost to individuals and economies. Two groups describe how research in animals and humans should be refocused to find ways to delay the onset of frailty

"The Rise and Fall of General Laws of Capitalism"

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson weigh in on Piketty. Abstract: 

Thomas Piketty's recent book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, follows in the tradition of the great classical economists, Malthus, Ricardo and Marx, in formulating "general laws" to diagnose and predict the dynamics of inequality. We argue that all of these general laws are unhelpful as a guide to understand the past or predict the future, because they ignore the central role of political and economic institutions in shaping the evolution of technology and the distribution of resources in a society. Using the economic and political histories of South Africa and Sweden, we illustrate not only that the focus on the share of top incomes gives a misleading characterization of the key determinants of societal inequality, but also that inequality dynamics are closely linked to institutional factors and their endogenous evolution, much more than the forces emphasized in Piketty's book, such as the gap between the interest rate and the growth rate.

August 20, 2014

"The unintended effects of being an administrator"

Great, and enhanced by this comment:

I ignore all of the rest and look only at the eyes. In the first picture there is a hope, an optimism, a joie de vivre as it were. In the second....... I see the 1,000 yard stare. That is administration.

"Campus Activism: The Fight for Imaginary Victories"

Peter Wood, so right:

Campus activism is, by and large, the world of make-believe.  Whenever students occupy a president’s office, Tinkerbell is not far away. . . . 

The premise behind campus activism is always the same.  The college campus is a microcosm of the larger world.  What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens at Oberlin or Sweet Briar is imagined to rock the foundations of the old order.  Patriarchy trembles.  The Zionist Entity is called to account.  The coal-breathing capitalist Earth warmers feel the chill of a generation walking on their graves.

That premise, of course, is always mistaken.

". . . why Python is steadily eating other languages' lunch"

Tal Yarkoni:

The increasing homogenization (Pythonification?) of the tools I use on a regular basis primarily reflects the spectacular recent growth of the Python ecosystem. A few years ago, you couldn’t really do statistics in Python unless you wanted to spend most of your time pulling your hair out and wishing Python were more like R (which, is a pretty remarkable confession considering what R is like). Neuroimaging data could be analyzed in SPM (MATLAB-based), FSL, or a variety of other packages, but there was no viable full-featured, free, open-source Python alternative. Packages for machine learning, natural language processing, web application development, were only just starting to emerge.

These days, tools for almost every aspect of scientific computing are readily available in Python. And in a growing number of cases, they’re eating the competition’s lunch.

See also this much earlier piece by Eric Raymond, "Why Python?"

"Cigars, But Not Close"

Mark Steyn argues forcefully that all police cars should have dashcams:

The most basic problem is that we will never know for certain what happened. Why? Because the Ferguson cruiser did not have a camera recording the incident. That's simply not credible. "Law" "enforcement" in Ferguson apparently has at its disposal tear gas, riot gear, armored vehicles and machine guns ...but not a dashcam. That's ridiculous. I remember a few years ago when my one-man police department in New Hampshire purchased a camera for its cruiser. It's about as cheap and basic a police expense as there is.

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