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    • Rationality Is A Process, Not A Conclusion (Nuclear Weapons Edition)
      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Ponderables

Just random stuff I think about:

What did everyone see in A Fish Called Wanda?  I’m a sucker for anything with Monty Python members in it but that movie just wasn’t that funny.

For that matter, why is Avengers such a monster hit this summer with all of the angsty discussion about superheros coming to terms with their egos?  Generally, I love superhero action adventures but this one bored me to tears.  In fact, I might have fallen asleep half way through.

Anyone want to offer an opinion on those two?  I promise not to disagree with you or bite your head off.

Ok, here’s more:

Are wine growers getting the hang of making good cheap wine?  Because I’ve had some really good bottles under $10 lately.  The one I’m sipping tonight is an Alsace White called Now and Zen from France.  $7.99/bottle.  Oh sure, it isn’t going to win any prizes but it’s a not too sweet, full bodied wine with a hint of effervescence.  Have you tried any good ones lately?

I finally got some questions on ResearchGate that I can answer with some degree of expertise, which is pretty cool.  But now I really miss my job.  😦

Has anyone been following the LIBOR scandal?  Matt Taibbi has a series of posts on it and here’s Matt talking to Eliot Spitzer about it.  This one might be the biggy that brings the bankers down.  Yep, provided we actually have someone in office who will hold them accountable.

Taibbi says that a friend of his on Wall Street says that this makes the whole global financial system look like it’s founded on quicksand.  Isn’t that special?  One thing I’m curious about though is why the banks are able to fix their own interest rates but AIG wasn’t able to cancel all those credit default swaps it issued.  I mean, if it’s that easy to cook the books, why not just wipe out all the debt?  It was all digital money anyway, except for the pension funds and 401Ks.  But my biggest question is why it is we feel so obligated to make sure that the traders and shareholders suffer no ill consequence but we’re not allowed to look after our own interests.  I mean, if rates are so fungible, why can’t we set it up so everybody who does not work on Wall Street, including the government, gets the money they need?  And why are Republicans so hell bent on making everyone else’s lives miserable?  Is this a new manifestation of the Stanford prison experiment?  As long as they have the power, they’re going to dehumanize the rest of us?

And I’ve been thinking about Brooke in Nuremberg.  70 years ago, it was at the center of Nazi propaganda.  But the Germans purged themselves after the war and now they are on their guard.  Americans are completely vulnerable because they’ve had no direct experience with rule by mass insanity or a governmental/financial infrastructure that is blatantly criminal.  So, roughly half of our population is now insane.  Except for the pogroms and deaths, how is Birmingham, Alabama different from Nuremburg, Germany circa 1940? How are we supposed to deal with that?

Woah, that was deep.  Gotta lighten it up.

Here’s an interesting factoid: The Tasmanian Echidna has a penis with 4 heads.  Zoologists still don’t understand why it needs a four fold redundancy but imagine what a bris would be like.  Well, there goes the intelligent design argument.

(Wiki says that during mating, one side of the penis shuts down and only 2 of the 4 heads are active.  What I want to know is how they know this?  That must have made one heck of a paper)