October 30, 2002

Famous Speeches

The university of Chicago has famous (and infamous) speeches online

[via Speaking and arguing: The rhetoric for War and Peace]

Posted at 05:49 PM

Early America

A discussion about the Bill of Rights last night took me on a journey that uncovered some interesting facts about early America.

The first congress me in 1789. The dialog around the ratification of the constitution polarized two groups, the Federalists and the anti-fedarlists. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton et al wanted a strong Federal Govt (read the Federalist Papers). Thomas Jefferson, Mason et al wanted states rights. Jefferson did not believe the constitution could be ratified without a bill of rights. A compromise was reached and the constituition was ratified with the understanding that the bill of rights would be passed shortly. In 1791 the Bill of Rights (encompassing 10 amendments) was ratified.

Another tidbit. The 27th Amendment was originally passed in 1789 and ratified in 1992.

A great place for early American works is here

Posted at 05:35 PM

Thorstein Veblen

MeFi had an entry about Veblen and his book Theory of Conspicous Consumption.

Veblen's thesis is that the lower class does not strive to over throw the upper class (as Marx postulated). He claims the lower class members want to be members of the upper class. This view resonates with my own similar views. Almost every one wants to be better than what they are today. Scores of young software professional hitched their wagon on to the shooting .com star. Unfortunately it was a falling star. The only ones who complained during the hey day of the boom were people who hadn't got into the right start up at the right time.

Posted at 05:24 PM

more links

Time constrains me from savoring these links in the present moment. I hope to revisit them at a leisurely pace at a later date.

Posted at 10:44 AM

October 29, 2002


Nontheistic, nondogmatic, nonviolent, emphasizing individual practice rather than institutional membership or obligations


Posted at 02:59 PM

Whats the purpose of religion

Jared Diamond expresses his views

Posted at 02:52 PM

October 28, 2002


Awareness comes in many forms. Realization.org has an Indian slant on Awareness.

Other links
Divine Life Society

Posted at 08:48 AM

There is no Nobel prize in Economics

No Nobel prize in economics was ever estabilished. The prize is really the Bank of Sweden's award for contribution to Economics in the memory of Alfred Nobel.

Explanation here [via aldaily!]

Posted at 08:25 AM


It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages.
Adam Smith --The Wealth of Nations
Posted at 08:17 AM

October 26, 2002

Baseball - an introduction

The world series is now 3-3. Anaheim takes on San Francisco Sunday night in game 7.

Strange enough, the best introduction to sport is on the other side of the pond.

Posted at 11:09 PM

October 25, 2002


Words come into the language from all over the world. Balaclava (a woolen head scarf ) comes Balaklava where the Crimean war was fought.

Words borrowed from other languages
Names of places in the language

Posted at 10:24 AM

October 24, 2002

A few ratios

Dividend Payout Ratio = Divident / Earnings

Divident Yield = Annualized Dividend/share price

Dividends are a tax disadvantage. Stock holders have to pay normal tax for dividends distributed. However capital gains is given a better tax treatment. Does this incent companies to re-invest dividends in capital appreciation projects?

sidebar: REIT's have to distribute 70% or so of their earnings.

Posted at 11:23 AM

October 22, 2002

Original Sin

Peccatum originale - Original Sin. Adam's sin - pride
What does this mean?
All men are in sinful state thanks to Adam. Since he sinned every human carries his Original guilt. We also have inherited his original pollution. We have a proclivity to sin.

liberum arbitrium - free will

Summary: You either die in sin or live in Christ. So if you don't accept Jesus Christ as your saviour you die with the peccatum originale

Posted at 08:15 PM

Gazpacho recipe

A recipe I am yet to try:

3 peeled cucumbers
1 garlic clove
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups nonfat, plain yogurt
3 tablespoons white vinegar
salt to taste

Blend ingredients in a food processor or blender. Serve immediately or chill. Garnish with chopped tomatoes, green onions, chopped parsley and a few toasted almonds as desired before serving. Serve cold.

Posted at 12:22 PM

October 21, 2002

Where do you stand?

issues2002 lists the position of every candidate in Nov 2002 election.

Posted at 04:34 PM

step back

Cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words, and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest
- Dogen
Posted at 09:18 AM

October 20, 2002

October 18, 2002


A good site on the implication of oil in today's world is hubbertpeak.com.

Posted at 04:09 PM


A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle
--Gloria Steinem
Posted at 10:57 AM

October 14, 2002

Word Perhect

Tomoko Takahashi worked on a interesting little project.

word perhect

Posted at 11:29 PM

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Ave Maria. A request for intercession.

Posted at 04:47 PM

Basic Technical Analysis Terminology

Technical Analysis is the art of keeping your job on wall street when stock prices make no sense. The claim is that stocks (not companies) trade within certain 'technical' parameters.

Support: - the price below which the demand for the stock will prop the price up
Resistance: - the price at which the supply will increase, keeping the stock price constrained

Short Interest ratio: ratio of total short sales positions to average daily exchange volume. It ranges from 2.0 (bearish) to 5.0 (bullish).

Contrary Opinion rule: Whenever 60% or more of the recommendations are bearish then expect the stock to go up. Whenever 15% or less are bearish then expect the stock to go down. This is the anti-portfolio!

Breadth indicator: NetAdvanceorDeclines/Number of issues traded gives you an idea of if the market overall is moving upward or downwards

Posted at 10:52 AM

Fisher theory of interest rates

The Fisher theory states

(1+nr) = (1+i)(1+r)

The nominal interest rate is propotional to the product of inflation and the real interest rate. Interest rate is the 'rental' price of money. If you rent a sofa you pay for the use of the sofa. The sofa undergoes wear and tear and reduction in value due to passage of time. The rental rate usually takes this into account. When you rent money there is no wear and tear but there is a reduction in value due to inflation. Therefore the interest rate takes inflation into account. The standard way to look at real interest rate is to look at it as the increase in consumption. I will give you $100 today if that means I will get $105 next week. This means the real interest rate is 5% per week. However if inflation is running at 2% per week then I need to factor that in. This is what the Fisher theory solves. The nominal interest rate (the rate I charge you) is a combination of my real interest rate (5%) and the inflation (2%). Hence

nr = (1+.05)(1+.02)-1 = 7.1%

Read more

What else did Fisher say?

Quantity Theory of Money
M = money
V = velocity
P = prices
T = level of transactions

Essentially means that as money supply increases prices will increase as well implying expanding the money supply causes inflation. This is the basis for the Fed increasing interest rates to combat inflation in the 80's.

Lot more info at the history of economic thought

Posted at 10:17 AM

Bonding over hate

Love, friendship, respect do not unite people as much as common hatred for something.
Anton Chekhov --Notebooks
Posted at 09:22 AM

October 13, 2002

What is a caliber?

Descriptions of weapons invariably wind their way to the usage of caliber. Caliber is simply the nominal dimension of the barrel of the firearm. It is easy to then presume that the larger the caliber the more powerful the firearm. However, this is not true. For example while in pistols a .22 is less powerful than a .44 or a .38. A rifle with a small caliber will be more powerful than a pistol with a larger caliber. The longer the barrel the higher the velocity of the bullet and hence greater the damage.

Information on firearms from a medical perspective
Information of firearms from a journalistic perspective

Posted at 08:45 PM

October 12, 2002

What's the proof

The strength of alcohol is usually referenced in units known as 'proof'. A proof is 1/2% alcohol (ethyl alcohol). So something that is 50% alcohol is 100 proof.

Beer is usually about 5% alcohol or 10 proof.

More explanation

Posted at 11:24 PM

October 09, 2002

no comment


Posted at 11:31 PM

Self Esteem

My only regret in life is that I'm not someone else.
Woody Allen --Side Effects
Posted at 09:39 AM

October 07, 2002

ALDaily is dead

aldaily is dead. But in its place we have Human Nature Daily Review, Arts Journal, SciTech Daily, Business Daily Review and Philosophy and Literature

Posted at 09:50 AM

October 04, 2002


Interesting blog entry on Investment banking. The summary:

When companies merge they have two options when managing the accounting. Straightforward purchasing (involving transfer of assets to the acquirer's balance sheet) or pooling of assets. In the former case the excess value paid over book value is treated as goodwill.

The pooling option has been eliminated. Now goodwill no longer has to be depreciated over 40 years. Instead its subject to impairment every year based on valuation. (Remember AOL Time Warner's whopping loss this past year due to impairment of goodwill!)

Posted at 11:14 AM

October 03, 2002

Program Correctness

Dijkstra's hypothesis:
Assume a program has N parts
The probability of getting it right is c. Then the probability of getting it wrong is 1- c

The probability of the whole program working is c^N. Which unless c is close to 1 heads closer to 0 when N grows large. So when building a large program unless the pieces are perfect the probability of the whole thing working is low.

Posted at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

What Rummy likes

Quotes from Rumsfeld's paper:

If you're coasting, you are going down hill
--L.W. Pierson

Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out
-- James B. Conant

If you think you have things under control, then you are not going fast enough
-- Mario Andretti

From Donald Rumsfeld

Posted at 03:02 PM

October 02, 2002

Hurricane Strength

Hurricanes are rated on the Saffir-Simpson Hurrican Scale. The range is from 1 - 5. Wind speeds at 5 are past 155 mph.

Find more info here

Given their rage and fury, is it a surprise that they are named after women :)

Posted at 08:00 PM

October 01, 2002


What about dignity? You will die, and when you die, you will know a profound lack of it. It's never dignified, always brutal. What's dignified about dying? It's never dignified. And in obscurity? Offensive. Dignity is an affectation, but but eccentric, like learning French or collecting scarves. And it's fleeting and incredibly mercurial. And subjective. So fuck it.

-Dave Eggers
A heart-breaking work of staggering genius

Posted at 09:12 PM

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