Markets in Everything

Markets in Everything – even homelessness, in this case. The link goes to an interesting article about an internet marketing specialist who helped a homeless man double his begging takes with clever marketing. The connection with this earlier post – about a “homeless” man near my day job who seems likely to be a huckster…

Planning for no plan is planning too

TOWM quote of the day comes from Ed Sperling writing for Forbes: The timing of all these pieces couldn’t have been planned better, which is interesting considering none of it was planned at all. He’s talking about how server farms managed to drastically cut their power bills recently. It depends on several things, all of…

Citizens of Neverneverland, Unite!

I like to think that by the time people reach adulthood they have stopped believing in magic. But of course the evidence suggests otherwise. Case in point: one of my Facebook friends is shocked, SHOCKED! to find that his medical insurance bills have increased in the wake of the new healthcare legislation. Well, hello mister…

The English Disease Has a Cure

TOWM’s quote of the day: So this is the GOP’s problem going forward: people love to hate “socialism” in the abstract, but they love their benefits once they have them, and now the GOP will have to go from saving people from “socialism” to taking away benefits, and that’s a hard row to hoe. That’s…

I think you mean “there are no RIGHT answers”

I think a useful thing for someone to do at some point would be to compile – in book format, I guess – a handy list of all those contradictions you’re in danger of espousing if you don’t properly contextualize your political points of view. To cite a gratuitous example: latte leftists who are all…

Predictably Predictable about Irrationality

Noah has been reading Dan Ariely’s bestseller Predictably Irrational recently. It’s one of the more successful books of a popular new subgenre in pop science: the one that claims that we are evolutionarily wired to get certain things wrong. There isn’t a name for this yet, so let me suggest “Anthropological Relativity.” I’m not a…

Breaking News: old people can’t drive!

Today’s Bogus Stats Award in the amateur category goes to Megan McArdle, who claims, in an Atlantic article called How Real are the Defects in Toyota’s Cars? to have discovered that the “overwhelming majority” of the sudden acceleration incidents involved people “over 55.” First of all, this isn’t even clear from the graph she provides,…

C in Facts, F in Interpretation

I’m not one to defend Sarah Palin, but the 11,000+ comments on HuffingtonPost in the wake of her recent admission that she and her family used to go to Canadian hospitals when she was young seem a bit of a cheap shot. Apparently, it’s “hypocritical” of Palin to denounce Canada’s healthcare system when she herself…

Hucking for a Living

There’s a “homeless” man who stands on a corner near where I work with a sign asking for free money. Even if I hadn’t seen him get out of a car to put in a hard 3-hour day of begging recently, I would have my suspicions: he’s been doing this since at least summer of…