Mind Over Money

I started watching the Nova episode called Mind Over Money. I generally like Nova but this episode was far below their normal standards.

The episode is supposed to be about the idea that traditional economists base their calculations on “rational people”. They claim stuff like people are supposedly perfectly rational when it comes to money and will never pay more for something than it’s actually worth. They then go on to give several massively convoluted examples. They say things like “people take their the interest rate of their retirement plan into account on every purchase” or something like that. They’re basically claiming things no economist has ever claimed.
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The Death of Radio

This might be obvious and maybe others have posted this but it’s clear to me radio will be struggling to stay alive within 10 years just like newspaper is today.

It’s already dead for me. Why? Because I bought an iPhone last year. Since that time, on the way to and from work I listen almost exclusively to either podcasts (This American Life, Radiolab, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History) or streaming music (Pandora, Shoutcast). I get a good enough connection that I can stream all the way to and from work.

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Subtle Racism?

I’m sure this is going to come off to many as something to do about nothing and it certainly didn’t offend me personally but….

I was at a food court the other day. Different sections of the food court had labels. There was the “Green” section which was the salad area, there was a “Drinks” section and a “Vegetarian” section for vegetarian friendly prepared foods. There was one area labeled “Home Cooking” and another labeled “International”. The “home cooking” area had various chicken and beef dishes and things like string beans, zucchini, mashed potatoes. The international section had Chinese and Indian foods.
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IP rights discussion

Just hoping to get some other points of view.

The Slashdot crowd and similar people like to call IP Imaginary Property to try to point out that there is no such thing and therefore it shouldn’t be treated like property. They like to point out that copying some music or a movie or software isn’t like stealing because the person who it was copied from has not lost their original

Well, playing devil’s advocate…

Money is effectively a fiction. It’s just a number in a computer database. When your employer pays you they don’t send physical money to the bank. They just tell the bank to subtract from their account number and add to your account number. It’s all virtual.

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The Parable of the Talents

I started reading a new book, the Mind of the Market, and so far I’ve only read the first chapter but during that time the parable of the talents came up.
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Western Culture Sucks

Coming back to the USA there are some serious cultural differences between the USA and Japan. Some are arguably good. People in the USA are generally more individual. I think that’s good.

On the other hand, something I really hate about the USA (and many other western countries) is there is this attitude that I can only some up as “It’s fun to laugh at other’s expense” or maybe “It feels good to piss on other people”.

Simple examples are vandalism. Why do people key cars? Keying someones car, taking your keys and scratching the paint on their car has no point whatsoever. Most people don’t key the car of someone they know, they just pick some random car and scratch it. Why? What is it about our culture that compels people to do that?

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Gmail sucks! Yahoo rules!

I know I’m going to get flamed but damit, I don’t get the love for gmail.

I’ve been using the new Yahoo for a year or so now and I didn’t see the point to gmail but…… has one thing which it does that Yahoo currently doesn’t AKAIK. Gmail has the option to correctly send Japanese mail in a Japanese encoding (ISO-2022-JP) instead of Unicode (UTF-8).

This means to many Japanese friends, if I send Japanese email from Yahoo they get garbage were as if I do it from gmail it works.

So,……..yesterday I tried switching to Gmail and so far…..YUCK!!!!

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Hotel Design

Just some random thoughts here but I was visiting the USA early last month and I noticed some issues with the places I stayed. Maybe because I’ve been reading so many software design articles they stuck out as poor design.
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Buying a Notebook

This is just a rant but damit, why are the prices for notebooks so varied?

I’ve been wanting a notebook computer lately and have been looking and it’s so frustrating because there are so many tradeoffs. Go for lightweight and then settle for a small screen? Go for cheap and therefore no power? Decide I just want to browse the net and read email and therefore don’t need the graphic speed or decide I might want to program at a cafe and therefore need the graphic acceleration. And so it goes back and forth, back and forth.

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