Monthly Archives: January 2008

Two dumb articles…

I’m trying to decide which one is dumber, this article by Anne Applebaum on why there are only beautiful women in Russia post-Soviet Union, or this rock-stupid article in the NYT Times about how economists understand repugnance. While we can attribute the dumb in the former to a single person, the valuelessness in the latter […]

Privacy, data, and the new Sociometrics

As always, Technology Review provides a great glimpse at the innovations coming down the pike. In this case, by innovation, I mean the continued ascendancy of sociological insight wrapped up in physics, taken up by engineering, and brought forward as the ‘next big thing’: you can actually identify people’s social networking in real-time and help […]

U2 is a process, not a structure

Before the new U2 3d drives us all into fits of discussion over the relationship between art and commerce, let’s just take a step back to 1981, shall we? Note to self: shimmery droplets of water effects=good.

How do you know what you like?

While partaking in a stupendous lunch, the conversation turns to the question of how do people know what they like? Drinking deeply from his Effervecense de Pomme, PL chimes: There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take […]

The What – yet another post on unknown unknowns

Dave Egger’s last book is about one of the ‘lost boys’ of the Sudan, and its title is an inspiration: God, pleased with his greatest creation, offers the first Dinka man a choice of gifts: on the one hand, the cattle, visible and known, an animal that can feed and clothe him and last for […]

Is qual/quant hybridity possible?

Jeremy Grantham, principal of GMO, makes an interesting point about quants in his 4th quarter letter to investors (free registration required): The good old days of the domination of the first generation quant models, where you simply show up with three concepts – value, momentum, and discipline – are over. But, even more critically and, […]

Silk Purse, Sow's Ear

I suppose I’m not the first to make this point, but it seems to me that this argument comes up quite a bit: If “capitalism” is taken to mean business administration, wealth accumulation, finance — “bulls . . . bears . . . people from Connecticut!”, as Seinfeld once put it — then one can […]

A fix for b-schools?

I don’t have much to add to this post by Grant McCracken, other to say that you could do worse than reading the whole thing.

Another name for random. Or luck.

An anthropologist attempts to explain variation in how investment banks fared in the current credit crisis. Gilian Tett argues that three elements account for it: 1) successful firms have hands-on management (meddlers); 2) successful firms have management who rose through the ranks via trading desks rather than sales or legal; 3) successful firms have a […]

Airplanes and Accidents

Well, this was bound to happen. I mention an article tells us there haven’t been enough data points for airline crash investigators, and a plane crashes. As usual, it was a mix of tech and happenstance – apparently, on-board computers sent a demand for more power to the engines, but they did not respond. It’s […]