Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Democrats, Cancely your WaPo Subscription

There are about 300 Democratic members of Congress (House + Senate). Each one of them has numerous subscriptions to the WaPo for their office and their staff. I would guess that adding in committee offices, the DNC and other similarl places would raise that number to about 500. If each office could, on average, get 10 cancellations, this would be a 1% decline in paid subscription. That's not going to make or break the paper, but it would get their attention.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

In The Dark Knight, the only characters that choose to be corrupted when given the choice are the police (and Harvey Dent) and the criminals. Ordinary citizens complain a lot, but never actually commit crimes.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So the miles driven by Americans in March 2008 dropped by 4.7% (vs. 12 months ago) and everyone is going ga-ga over the fact that people actually responded to the increase in price - a DROP OF 11 BILLION MILES. By my calculation, this shows that as gas went up about 35%, demand went down by less than 5%. Even if you don't take into account the recession (which for some reason is not official), this is a relatively inelastic response. It's pretty hard to see why people are so excited.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter Can't Die

What would that do to the add-on sales and the movies yet to come out. Within 24 hours after the book is released (and possibly before that) everyone will know if Harry Potter is dead. I will return my pre-ordered book if he does. I agree with Professor Ray:

The books were about Harry's development into a young man, Professor Ray said. "I think it would be very unusual for a book like this to kill off the main character at a time when he's about to graduate from school.

"For Rowling to have put Harry Potter through all seven volumes just to kill him off, the point of all development would be wasted," he said. "Death strikes me as being the strangest ending of all."

Only tregedies end with the death of the hero and for all it's darkness, Rowling has been writing comedy for all these years so it would seem self-indulgent for her to change so radically at the end.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, RIP

"If this ain't nice what is"

That quote is one of the best antidotes I have found to the depressing conclusion that the world is populated by idiots. He used it in his commencement addresses. Go read all of them even the one he didn't write (the sunscreen speech) .


Thursday, April 05, 2007

You can't always get what you want

Scarcity - Economics Basics

You can't understand economics without believing in scarcity. It is the starting point for the whole allocation of resources question that underlies the discipline. If there was no scarcity then why bother worrying about how things get allocated? Since the whole premise of the study of economics is this denial of satiation, it has been termed the dismal science (Even though the history of that phrase shows that it was introduced in a different context, people intuitively understand the implication.) Malthus thought that we were doomed since populations increase geometrically while resources only increase arithmetically. This view has actually proven to be incorrect in a whole host of industries. On the other hand, the idea that there is scarcity in the world is one to keep in mind whenever you hear people wanting to throw money at a problem whether it be global warming, space exploration, services for the mentally ill, or art musuems. There are tradeoffs.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Online Gambling is More Efficient

If you like to gamble then online gambling is a better deal than your local bookie or travelling to a sportsbook. There is no doubt that the odds would likely end up better in online venues. So why did Congress ban online gambling in Fall, 2006. Hypocrisy may be the tribute vice pays to virtue, but Congresscritters take their tribute in campaign contributions from the domestic gambling industry. Well, the WTO's not too thrilled with the uneven playing field vis-a-vis domestic and international operators so the US lost in a case brought against it by Antigua and Barbados. Congress is going to probably come up with some kind of compromise, but this is a proverbial rock and hard place issue because I cannot imagine them loosening the rules on Internet gambling nor putting existing domestic off-track horse race operations out of business. If I had to guess, I would say they will loosen the rules, but trying to make it so difficult and limited as to make it unprofitable.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?