Irrational Actors

posted by anwar on 05.09.01 at 11:05, Economics, rant, 1 comment Permalink
''I heard it was going to go up to $4 a gallon tomorrow and there were going to be shortages, so when I got home from work I kissed my wife goodbye and said I was going out to find gas,'' he said.

And the Environmental Protection Agency said it would temporarily allow gasoline retailers nationwide to sell fuel that does not meet stringent summer air-quality standards.

At least we'll have fewer New Yorkers driving up around here...

Matt McKenzie, spokesman for from AAA-Northern New England, predicted gas prices would hit $3.70 to $3.80 by month's end in that region of the country, causing frugal motorists to begin carpooling, curbing errands and maybe even scaling back fall leaf-viewing trips.

Comment from: graham [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php?blog=9
Oh the humanity! God forbid New Yorkers should have to forgo their leaf-viewing trips!

Note the A.N.W.R. staying very still, hoping that Bush doesn't remember it's still up there.
Permalink 09/02/05 @ 05:10

All things are impermanent

posted by anwar on 05.07.01 at 11:09, Economics, null, Leave a comment Permalink

Perhaps one day even the butterflies will make it to the top of Samanala Kanda.

BTW. He'll get to appoint 2.

Classic SOM Design

posted by anwar on 05.06.29 at 07:31, Engineering, null, 1 comment Permalink

Now this is an excellent design. Clean lines, tall, elegant. (Contrast with the previous Superman II Ice-fortress design).

--Anwar

Comment from: graham [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php?blog=9
It sounds like they spent about 30 seconds coming up with a name for the building.
Permalink 06/29/05 @ 22:35

The secret word is "Asinine"

posted by anwar on 05.06.27 at 15:46, Economics, null, Leave a comment Permalink

Apparently this group pickets the funerals of soldiers (chosen at random?) in protest of the tolerance of homosexuality (that is tolerance by American culture, not the particular dead soldier).

The secret word is "Asinine"

posted by anwar on 05.06.27 at 15:46, Economics, Leave a comment Permalink

Apparently this group pickets the funerals of soldiers (chosen at random?) in protest of the tolerance of homosexuality (that is tolerance by American culture, not the particular dead soldier).

What Underemployed Engineers do for fun...

posted by anwar on 05.06.22 at 07:27, Engineering, null, Leave a comment Permalink

(Shamelessly stolen from boingboing)

Sunnyvale traffic signal prankster on the loose

Police in Sunnyvale are keeping an eye out for a highly skilled and frustratingly elusive prankster who has been tampering with the city's traffic lights...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/06/21/BAprankster21.DTL

posted by anwar on 05.06.16 at 12:28, Engineering, null, Leave a comment Permalink

I went to see the office pranks page and noticed sadly that all office cube farms are identical, everywhere.

posted by anwar on 05.06.07 at 06:12, Economics, null, 1 comment Permalink

...because I pulled myself up by my bootstraps (all by myself).

Slackers.

Comment from: collin [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php?blog=3
My favorite part...
I will be pro-death penalty and anti-abortion, pro-child but anti-child care, for education but against funding of public schools.


As an aside, I read this Mallard Fillmore comic in today's [?] Boston Globe. I don't really read it that often [not carried in Denver/Chicago papers?] but it seems kinda asinine to say the least. Although looking at the quote and comparing it to the comic, objectively they aren't that different [besides the objective fact that Republicans are evil]. Maybe I just expect my editorial cartoons to be, well, on the editorial page.
Permalink 06/08/05 @ 00:31

...but some do it better than others

posted by anwar on 05.06.04 at 09:16, Economics, null, Leave a comment Permalink

After $1.3 billion in subsidies, about 160,000 homes have solar power systems. Solar power remains two to three times as expensive as the electricity supplied to households. But homeowners say that with time, the "free" electricity pays for the high installation costs. And the government is willing to devote taxes to the effort, preferring to spur rural employment through solar power installations to help reduce payments for foreign oil, coal and gas.

Governments shape behavior

posted by anwar on 05.06.03 at 08:36, Economics, null, Leave a comment Permalink

This is exactly the kind of forward thinking civic policy we need in today's world! Oil is plentiful, energy is cheap, and no link has been found to prove human activity influences large scale climate change. w00t!

Shanghai, home to about 9m ordinary bikes, aroused a flurry of media criticism last year by banning them from main roads in the centre. But they are less and less used these days.

Since the late 1990s, however, housing has been largely privatised. Many state-owned factories have closed down or been shifted to suburban areas to reduce pollution in the cities and make way for new development. The economic boom has been spurred by a building frenzy, which itself has been fuelled by reckless bank lending and by the government's readiness to allow developers to bulldoze the inner cities. Close-knit communities have been scattered, often to the suburbs, to places ill-served by public transport and far from places of work.

posted by anwar on 05.06.02 at 07:33, Economics, politics, Leave a comment Permalink

US Airways Managers

Well, that's odd ... I've just robbed a man of his livelihood, and yet I feel strangely empty. Tell you what, Smithers - have him beaten to a pulp.

When the airline needed about $1 billion annually in labor cuts, the AFA filing said, the airline had argued that "in light of management's sacrifices, it would be 'inequitable' for labor not to take commensurate reductions."

The objections they have raised in bankruptcy court surround the company's request for up to $55 million to hand out in bonuses and severance pay to executives, managers and salaried workers.

The money essentially would wipe out the $56 million in concessions given by management and salaried employees, according to an objection filed in bankruptcy court Wednesday by the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents mainline and regional workers in the airline.

Smithers, for attempting to kill me, I'm giving you a five percent pay cut!

The AFA filing pointed to the different treatment in union workers, who were saddled with court-imposed 21 percent pay cuts for four months, while management saw only a 5 percent pay cut, "on the heels of a nearly commensurate prebankruptcy pay increase."

Ah, so much professionalism!

posted by anwar on 05.05.12 at 06:13, Engineering, null, Leave a comment Permalink

The following is excerpted from the end of long thread about a proposed bugfix/feature...

I agree with "Joe". "Mike" will agree too, once I explain to him the alternative. Consider his mail a random grenade lob without first checking to see what's in the foxhole. :-)

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

posted by anwar on 05.04.25 at 06:59, Engineering, null, Leave a comment Permalink

Another item in the list of "Things that are HOT"

There have been five known accidents involving RTG powered spacecraft. The first two were launch failures involving U.S. Transit and Nimbus satellites. Two more were failures of Soviet Cosmos missions containing RTG-powered lunar rovers. Finally, the failure of the Apollo 13 mission meant that the Lunar Module which carried the RTG reentered the atmosphere and burnt up over Fiji. The RTG itself survived reentry of the Earth's atmosphere intact, plunging into the Tonga trench in the Pacific Ocean. The US Department of Energy has conducted seawater tests and determined that the graphite casing, which was designed to withstand reentry, is stable and no release of Plutonium will occur. Subsequent investigations have found no increase in the natural background radiation in the area.

Global supply chains

posted by anwar on 05.04.21 at 09:15, Economics, null, 2 comments Permalink

Here's a very interesting article that describes the nitty-gritty details of how Dell manufactures computer systems and who their suppliers are, followed by some unsolicited political commentary about how Dell is responsible for preserving world peace.

Comment from: collin [Member] · http://nonplatonic.com/index.php?blog=3
In an earlier book I argued that the extent to which countries tied their economies and futures to global integration and trade would act as a restraint on going to war with their neighbours. I first started thinking about this in the late 1990s, when, during my travels, I noticed that no two countries that both had McDonald's had ever fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald's. (Border skirmishes and civil wars don't count, because McDonald's usually served both sides.) After confirming this with McDonald's, I offered what I called the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention. The Golden Arches Theory stipulated that when a country reached the level of economic development where it had a middle class big enough to support a network of McDonald's, it became a McDonald's country. And people in McDonald's countries didn't like to fight wars any more. They preferred to wait in line for burgers.
Permalink 04/21/05 @ 23:56
Comment from: ben [Member] · http://ben.nonplatonic.com
...and in the 60's Arthur C. Clarke was talking about how WWIII was impossible because of ever increasing international trade. This is not a new idea.
Permalink 04/22/05 @ 01:45

Dr. Feynman would be proud: HOT chips!

posted by anwar on 05.04.21 at 07:25, Engineering, Papers, math, Leave a comment Permalink

These IBM guys have some wicked good material-science kung-fu. They've figured out how to reliably integrate PFETs (on 1-1-0 silicon) and NFETs (on 1-0-0 silicon)

Its amazing how on the ball Dr. Feynman was about the angstrom-scale world...

http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/feynman.html

"I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be done in principle. This field is not quite the same as the others in that it will not tell us much of fundamental physics (in the sense of, ``What are the strange particles?'') but it is more like solid-state physics in the sense that it might tell us much of great interest about the strange phenomena that occur in complex situations. Furthermore, a point that is most important is that it would have an enormous number of technical applications."