bad analysis


akismet testing

Filed under: — admin @ 7:52 pm

im testing out akismet spam blocker for wordpress…

hopefully wont have to make my users jump through hoops, and also hopefully their comments will appear automatically…

spammers do your worst…


playing dvd on external monitor (tested on dell inspiron)

Filed under: — admin @ 5:17 pm

sometimes when you play a dvd on an external monitor, the dvd shows up as completely blank. apparently this is because of limitations of video memory.

to solve, set your primary monitor resolution low, and the external monitor to whatever is desired and try again. (even when the external monitor alone is being used, apparently video memory is used up for the laptop’s lcd)



Filed under: — admin @ 1:02 am

the cold war is not over, its just the soviet union has been replaced by the UN; Scalia on economic rights:

We may find ourselves burdened with judicially prescribed economic liberties [sic] that are worse than the pre-existing economic bondage. What would you think, for example, of a substantive-due-process, constitutionally guaranteed, economic right of every worker to “just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity?” Many think this a precept of natural law; why not of the Constitution? A sort of constitutionally prescribed (and thus judicially determined) minimum wage. Lest it be thought fanciful, I have taken the formulation of this right verbatim from Article 23 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”


Shudder…i like his point that many think this is a precept of natural law…given that it got incorporated into the declaration is evident of this. Also, to find this sentiment on the street hunt down your nearest western european.


posner, buchanan and the next political innovation

Filed under: — admin @ 6:40 pm

posner has a nice post up about drugs for rare diseases, called orphan drugs in the US:

the main point is that although the government incentive has worked, who knows what the costs are. it is reasonable to believe that the opportunity costs of government deciding which industries should have government incentives (through protection from competition, or in other cases direct subsidy) is greater than the benefits, if not in each and every case, at least in the aggregate. presumably the market will tell industry what to invest in, whether it be drugs or televisions.

this leads me to the postings happening over at the cato institute’s blog, cato-unbound. there buchanan has suggested a constitutional amendment on generality (amongst others). we have reasonable generality in law, but not in politics. for example, within the common law, everyone is equal. everyone is entitled to a trial, and prohibitions on murder, rape, theft etcetera apply to everyone within the society.

in politics however, if the government wishes to subsidise some group, say students or the unemployed, they are pretty much free to do so. previously in history, the law, administered by the executive, such as a king was pretty arbitrary. the king could probably hang “traitors” with impunity. it is much harder now for the executive to hang their enemies. (although of course state sanctioned political assasinations probably still occur under democratic governments) . this suggests a next stage for the march of liberalism though: imagine a country where the government was essentially restricted to generality, that is they could not implement their own pet policies. a flat income tax might be acceptable, to provide for defence and courts, but most special interest politics would be abolished.

of course, the problem with generality (as respondents at cato-unbound have pointed out) is what things are equal. if we have an income tax free threshold, is it general because everyone could have a low income, or is it not general because only the poor get this benefit. these are real problems, but current politics does not even aim to be general (as the common law does) . no-one thinks twice about a subsidy to single parents, or long term unemployed, or people of certain backgrounds. the next step up the ladder for society is to move beyond special interest politics and enshrine generality at least as an ideal. the generality of law has enabled great progress in liberal democracies, and the same ideal in politics will provide yet more gains.


kling on government

Filed under: — admin @ 11:22 pm

excellent post over at tech central station:

kling mentions lots of the right points about why governments fail, and markets work. private firms aren’t any better than government, its just they live in a better system. poor firms and employees get marginalised, whereas in government, this pressure hardly exists at all. people cant walk away from their government, like they can a poorly run firm.

it made me think of a related matter. perhaps there are so many large firms today because you need to be large to fight all the hoops government gets you to jump through. imagine if small business didnt have to negotiate complex tax laws and government compliance and industrial relations laws it would be a lot more competitive. these problems essentially need to be solved once for a big corporation. one (or a few) good tax accountants, a small legal team and you’re set, you can spread this knowledge over thousands of employees. a small business has to have all this as well, and thus large corporations have economies of scale in fighting beauracratic nonsense. in economists terms, companies have reasonably fixed (and high) compliance costs, so you better be big and make enormous profits in order to pay for all of it.

an interesting example is microsoft. if it werent so big, would it even be able to survive constant government harrasment about being a monopoly. imagine that legal bill. and further on this particular case, individuals have come up with solutions to microsofts monopoly long before the battle in the courts was resolved.

joel on software on offices

Filed under: — admin @ 7:57 pm

this is a nice article on designing a modern office for IT types:

interesting points are lighting, the straight desks, and cabling. i like the neatness but also the functionalism; the snake tray sounds cool, wish there were bigger photos. straight desks with power points at desk height, and the trench at the rear of the desk is an excellent idea. no crawling around under desks or tripping over and kicking cables either.

google desks

Filed under: — admin @ 7:53 pm

some interesting photos on google’s early offices:

just saw horses and wooden doors on top. functional minimalism…i like it.

my first computer desk was a door on top of two filing cabinets, a la one of the comments.

im going to acquire some articles and links on office design.


take that euro skeptics and oil hysterics

Filed under: — admin @ 6:23 pm

hahah i scoff at euroland. when will europe wake up? for the uninitiated, imagine you are a mega rich oil company and need to find somewhere to park a couple hundred billion dollars. are you going to dump it in europe or japan with flaky central banks and pitiful economies, or are you going to store your wealth in the land of milk and honey. (for more see this nice piece via kirchner:,pubID.23498/pub_detail.asp)

scenario 2: imagine you are a venezuelan oil producer and you see relatively high oil prices earlier this year. are you going to sit around on your oil and say “we’ve got enough money” or are you going to sell the reserves and get the rigs pumping as much as possible while the party lasts:

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