Archives for: November 2010

posted by ben on 10.11.30 at 15:16, null, null, ben tries to beat Livermore, Leave a comment Permalink

...debt will almost always rise relative to incomes so long as we have an ever increasing division of labor and specialization of tasks, increasing productivity, and a consequent rise in both assets and liabilities as a percentage of income.

-Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence, pg 347

From a micro perspective, does this lead to a self reinforcing cycle where wealthy individual have the ability to take on more debt and thus receive greater benefit? ...makes me think of Ahead of the Curve and the suggestion to take on as much leverage as possible with good terms.

Math

posted by ben on 10.11.01 at 14:14, null, null, math, math, rant, politics, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/22/AR2010102205451.html

So, so wrong. We need more math education. Yes, set theory may not be terribly useful (unless you interact with tuples on a daily basis), but calculus is a prerequisite for understanding the world around us. If we want to understand how many of the automated systems around us work, linear algebra and more is neccessary. The math education that comes with a typical college degree is totally insufficient to understanding the world.

That means only a select few can understand how things work, which in turn means that an even smaller select group can improve on the working of things. This is a problem. Wider math education means the ability of society to build more complex machines. That means great productivity and that means greater wealth.

Some education has value. Some does not. Math has value.

Merlin

posted by ben on 10.11.01 at 14:05, null, books, books, 1 comment Permalink

...shows up so many places:

The Once and Future King
Hyperion
Times Arrow
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Curious Case of Bejamin Button

...probably others I'm not thinking of right now. It's not exactly the hero with a thousand faces.

Comment from: Devin [Visitor]
We learned about Arthur-Merlin protocols in my complexity theory class today.
Permalink 11/04/10 @ 10:24

Almost Trout

posted by ben on 10.11.01 at 10:52, null, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

In the beginning was the Word. Then came the fucking word processor. Then came the thought processor. Then came the death of literature. And so it goes.

Dan Simmons, Hyperion, pg 175