Monthly Archives: July 2008

Unmarked bills

This article notes that a number of Republican senators (Gordon Smith, Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu – wait a second, these are all senators running for…re-election!) are ‘giving up’ money donated to their campaigns by now-indicted Senator Ted Stevens. I love the phrasing, that they will donate to charity the $10,000 Stevens contributed to their respective […]

PAL Happiness Index

What would go into the Peter Happiness Index (PHI)? weather (temp+humidity+rain+sunshine quotient) day of the week (Monday= -1; Tues-Thurs= 0; Fri-Sat= +1; Sun= 0) amount of work accomplished (three-day moving average of some kind of productivity index) relationship status (arguments, romance, etc. as dummies, or perhaps a 7-point scale) work to-do list home to-do list […]

Anonymity, thing of the past?

Jenn notes with sadness the unmasking of Banksky, and how she is both saddened and mildly implicated in the process. Authority and identity are largely left understated in someone like Max Weber’s societal theories on the trajectory towards rationalization, and picked up instead in Foucault’s notions of governmentality. I wonder what it means for us […]

Yet another redesign

I’m sure everything will stop working, of course…

Unhelpful institutional theory, real world

Let’s say that the CEO of an organization publicly announces during a board meeting that if the org misses its (ambitious) numbers over the coming year, she will eliminate X employees. We know that often, public announcements of impossible goals get met not by actually meeting those goals, but by shifting the goalposts down the […]

Politics + XKCD

This is clever.

Why are comments on Crooked Timber so bad?

I read Kieran’s post, essentially a pointer to Bruce Western’s work on the social effects of mass imprisonment, and I’m struck by how much the comments at Crooked Timber just make me sad. It is a virtual showcase of spirit-crushing commentary. We have: the reflex appeal to Levitt: “You cannot carry out a cost/benefit analysis […]

Rethinking markets – market metaphors

I think it’s time to regroup, and actually do some of the ‘re’ thinking of markets I’m always planning to get around to. I want to do so in the context of three recent observations: The Examples The first observation comes from Fabio Rojas, over at the orgtheory blog – though it is slowly becoming […]

Types of variables, drop-down menus

Over at 37 Signals, they have a regular series detailing their design decisions. It is an insightful feature and an insightful blog. Their latest discussion is about how they managed a question on their support forms. I want to drop some research methodology on this problem. While their discussion is about how to design a […]


Canadian Rockies are out of hand. Seriously. I’d post photos of Lake Louise, but it looks like we’re standing in front of a giant postcard. Think I’m joking? This was our hotel in Banff.