Sunday, February 22, 2009
I looked up the book on Wikipedia and it seems like it's a cult phenomenon, albeit one I had never heard of. So, it is likely that many of you have already heard of the book, but if you haven't, do yourself a favour and grab a copy. To give you a taste of what to expect, here's a sample.
Friday, February 20, 2009
(Via Salil) Whether you agree or disagree with the content of his speech, Joe Garner makes some very interesting points on trust as the necessary underlier within the banking system, as indeed in society as a whole. I do wish he had shed more light on the lack of trust between banks though. Watch it.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The IRS of the United States is not to be trifled with. In fact, one must never forget that Al Capone was not put away for murder, but for tax fraud. Swiss bankers, in particular those from UBS, found this out much to their chagrin earlier this week. UBS will have to reveal the names of Americans who have used Swiss banks to stash away their black money as part of a $780 million settlement. It is rumoured that the IRS is after 19,000 Americans who may have secret Swiss banking accounts. Of course, this move by UBS also probably means the end of banking secrecy in Switzerland or at least the end of the trust in the security of the Swiss banking system.
The boy's father said such "marriages" were a tradition and would help ease the bad omen of the tooth rooted in Sagula's upper gum.Well, at least they're admitting it's a superstition, I suppose.
The "bride's" father, Parakrama Munda, said: "This is just a ceremony to please the tribal deity - in the great epic Mahabharat a dog helped the Pandavas reach heaven." He said it was a superstition, like wearing a stone or a talisman. One attending resident, Dushmant Rout, said the "bride" had spent a few hours at the "groom's" house "but not inside the room... she stayed on the verandah".
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
At ISB, we celebrated by screening a TED Talk with Steven Pinker. Here's another relevant one -- James Watson on how he and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA.
Screamed out in fright.
“Turn on the dark,
I’m afraid of the light!”
-- Shel Silverstein
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Economics outside the academy has become the continuation of politics by other means. If you wish to know what Mr Krugman thinks on any policy question, do not read his scholarly writings; see which policies are advocated by the progressive wing of the Democratic party. Mr Krugman agrees with liberal Democrats about most things, and for the rest gives as much cover as the discipline of economics can provide – which, given its scientific limitations, is plenty. He does this even on matters where, if his scholarly work is any guide, the economics is firmly against his allies. Liberal Democrats are protectionists. Mr Krugman is not, but politics comes first.Krugman responds accusing Crook of hysterics.
The syndrome affects economists on the right as much as on the left. Just as there is a consensus among economists that protectionism should be opposed, most economists believe that a powerful fiscal stimulus is both possible and desirable in present circumstances, and that the best stimulus would include big increases in public spending. Yet recently, Robert Barro, a scholar with conservative sympathies, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that this view was an appeal to “magic”.
The problem is not that Mr Krugman questions the consensus on trade (if indeed he does), or that Mr Barro questions the consensus on fiscal policy (as he certainly does). It is that both set the consensus aside so carelessly. In doing so, these stars of the profession destroy the credibility of their own discipline. Mr Krugman gives liberals the economics they want. Mr Barro gives conservatives the same service. They narrow or deny the common ground. Why does this matter? Because the views of readers inclined to one side or the other are further polarised; and in the middle, those of no decided allegiance conclude that economics is bunk.
Crook responds to both Krugman and Barro, reproducing an exchange with Barro as well.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
While we wait for the WSJ to launch a facsimile edition in India, here's the online version of WSJ India. Most of the stories seem accessible.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
"I don't think her sexual orientation matters. Our voters are pretty liberal, they don't care about any of that," Skuli Helgeson, Social Democratic Alliance's general secretary, told the BBC.2. The remains of HMS Victory have been found.
Charges: If you want to know why the rest of the world is scared of Americans, consider the fact that after two terms of disastrous rule by a small-minded ignoramus, 46% of us apparently thought the problem was that he wasn’t quite stupid enough. Palin’s unending emissions of baffling, evasive incoherence should have disqualified her for any position that involved a desk, let alone placing her one erratic heartbeat from the presidency. The press strained mightily to feign respect for her, praising a debate performance that involved no debate, calling her a “great speaker” when her only speech was primarily a litany of insults to city-dwellers, echoing bogus sexism charges when a male Palin would have been boiled alive for the Couric interview alone, and lionizing her as she used her baby as a Pro-life stage prop before crowds who cooed when they should have been hurling polonium-tipped javelins. In the end, Palin had the beneficial effect of splitting her party between her admirers and people who can read.She split the party between her admirers and people who can read!! Heh.
Exhibit A: Waving her embryo-loving credentials, in the form of her Down syndrome baby, at "But ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy."
Sentence: Hand-to-hand combat with Vladimir Putin and a pack of wolves.