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September 19, 2011

I'm a huge fan of Tom Lehrer and have mentioned him a number of times before. I just came across an interview with him from 2000 in which he discussed his dual life as a mathematician and performer. I especially loved this quote, on the concept of "elegance" in mathematics: I think the construction part, […]

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Never more true than today

January 10, 2010

In his Chart Wars talk, Alex Lundry mentions a quote which he attributes to H. G. Wells: Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write. However, that statement was actually made by Samuel Wilks, who was paraphrasing a line in Wells' book Mankind in the […]

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The rise of VaR

October 1, 2009

Simon Johnson and James Kwak take a look at how VaR got to be so popular in the first place. They make the insightful observation that a bad (or at least an incomplete) model can gain acceptance not only because of its simplicity but, oddly, because of its output as well. Indeed, VaR succeeded not […]

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June 1, 2009

Stock price of GM the day it files for bankruptcy (unchanged): Stock price of Lear the day it skips an interest payment (up 14.5%): Needless to say, both charts are from today. I'm reminded of the quote from the otherwise-terrible Episode I: So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.

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May 21, 2009

From my favorite 5-book trilogy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in […]

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The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

May 16, 2009

I would be remiss if I didn't follow my last post by publishing the excellent passage that reveals that the answer to life, the universe and everything is, in fact, 42. This excerpt is from chapter 27 of Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (Deep Thought is a computer that has been figuring […]

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Putting the "I" in team

May 13, 2009

An angry Dwight Howard, after his Magic gave up a 14 point lead to the surging Celtics: If you’ve got a dominant player, let him be dominant.

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QOTD: disgusting arrogance edition

April 20, 2009

Makes me angrier than anything yet (spotted over at AK): “No offense to Middle America, but if someone went to Columbia or Wharton, [even if] their company is a fumbling, mismanaged bank, why should they all of a sudden be paid the same as the guy down the block who delivers restaurant supplies for Sysco […]

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The Nothingth

April 14, 2009

The reference in the last post was to an obscure HHG2G quote from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, as Zaphod Beeblebrox, the fugitive President of the Galaxy, tries to summon his great-grandfather's ghost: "Concentrate," hissed Zaphod, "on his name." "What is it?" asked Arthur. "Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth." "What?" "Zaphod Beeblebrox the […]

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Whatever Happened, Happened

April 2, 2009

Excellent quote from (my favorite and yours) Douglas Adams' The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Anything that happens, happens. Anthing that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen. Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again. It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though. What does […]

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Or perhaps his aim

February 24, 2009

All this talk of models and their interpretation reminds me of a saying: Sometimes the problem is not the arrow, but the Indian.

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A Few Greedy Men

February 11, 2009

Classic email I received from R (and if you don't know, now you know): I picture the following dramatic scene unfolding later today: Barney Frank: What did Paulson tell you? Ken Lewis: [stonefaced] Barney Frank: WHAT DID PAULSON SAY TO YOU IN YOUR MEETING IN MID-DECEMBER? Ken Lewis: You want answers? Barney Frank: I think […]

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"It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong."

January 31, 2009

Despicable though his character may have been, Keynes said some remarkable things, the title of this post among them. He also uttered the cliched investing mottos regarding animal spirits and beauty contests -- true statements all, but widely abused by financial textbooks. My favorite, which remains somewhat unknown despite its enormous relevance, is: The market […]

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Concession you can Xerox?

February 22, 2008

Aside from Hillary's obvious "Xerox" gaffe in last night's debate I found her closing remark intriguing. Not only did it follow an obvious dodge of the final question, but those same words in any other setting would form the heart of a concession speech. And that's where it gets much more interesting. Let's go to the […]

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Yes, we can

February 9, 2008

It occurs to me that in the time I've been capable of listening, I have never heard a sentence so profound as this: In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. - Senator Barack Obama

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I am just a nerd who has no idea what a nerd he is

February 2, 2008

Of course I turned to R when I began thinking about titles, and this is what she had to say: WHY are you doing a blog thats for losers!! You sohuld call it or or And dont ask dad for suggestions he is not the brightest person for these creative things ya […]

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Hello, blog.

February 2, 2008

So this is the green room, apparently. I probably expended more energy naming this site than I will maintaining it (more on that later).   I know, it's not actually green... maybe one day. Expect to see the design change a lot over the next few days/weeks/etc.   Ben told me that in surfing "the green room" refers to […]

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