Monthly Archives: March 2008

More inconspicuous consumption

There are really good sociological analyses of luxury around, including my current favorite, Rachel Sherman’s Class Acts. One of the more interesting things to think about is how luxury becomes singular in a sea of reproducibility. Kevin Kelly’s post Better than Free catches this trend well, and I’m sure everyone will talk-about-without-reading-in-a-Malcolm-Gladwell-way Chris Anderson’s next […]

Housing CMO Primer

I want to re-tell a story from Frank Partnoy’s F.I.A.S.C.O., but a bit of background on Collatoralized Mortgage Obligations is first in order. CMOs, and their generalized cousin Collatoralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) are the current culprits in the sub-prime meltdown, so this is probably useful to know practically as it is to know theoretically. Also, […]

Not about markets – photos!

In Central Park, not far from where I live, I shot this photo – if it looks familiar, it’s because it’s been shot about a gazillion times by people looking over the West Side from the West 70s: I ran across a lovely tutorial, which allowed me to transform that photo into this: I’m proud […]

High finance and you…

Funny story: about a two and half years back, my mother-in-law’s financial advisor suggested to her that she could edge up a point or two of interest income by investing some of her money in Puerto Rican municipal bonds. This was the late spring of 2006. In May of 2006, Puerto Rico went bankrupt, and […]

It doesn't have to be a motto

From Making Light: Act now! Act without thinking! WORK LIKE YOU WERE LIVING IN THE EARLY DAYS OF A BETTER NATION. This is good advice.


For me, moderating this blog is not a problem. There’s something like a dozen people who have commented, most of whom I knew or know, not a really wide readership, certainly not a wide commentariat. But at BoingBoing, one of the larger readerships on the net (at least blog-wise), the hijacking of comments by morons, […]

Shirttails flapping in the breeze behind them, like unambitious dragons

Now that’s pizza.

How do you know what you like? Netflix prize edition

The Netflix prize has provoked a blizzard of data-mining response to this question: how, given knowledge about how you have rated movies in the past, will you rate particular movies going forward? The main goal of the prize, which is ongoing and worth a million bucks if you can do it, is to ‘improve’ the […]