Ten Worst Song Lyrics Ever
"And if you want love
We'll make it
Swimming a deep sea
"Between the parted pages and were pressed
In love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants"
A New Zealand Blog
"And if you want love
We'll make it
Swimming a deep sea
"Between the parted pages and were pressed
In love's hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants"
any old ex-stripper/street hooker with retarded looking "lemon-stung eyes" - or any toothless-Times Square skank-whore turned AA qualifier-turned-fakeTV-celebrity who lights her tits on fire and tries to be funny like ha ha i'm a funny stand-up comedianne look how fucked up I am.....
I got "sandy kaned" last night.
Microsoft has announced that Windows users will have to prove their copy is genuine to be able to update the software (excluding security updates). They recite the usual 'poor us; naughty pirates!' rhetoric, but it seems to me that piracy is a major reason that Microsoft has maintained its OS monopoly for so long.
Software produces what economists call network externalities: the more people who use a product the more valuable it is. The most obvious example of a network externality is in the phone service - not very useful if you're the only one using it, but helluva useful if everyone is. Operating systems produce such externalities through compatibility issues and the fact that if everyone uses the same OS you don't need to learn a new one when you use a friend's computer.
Given that there are reasonable free substitutes, you would expect many (more) people to opt out if they had to pay for Windows. This would loosen the network-externality-based grip that MS has on the OS market and make switching from Windows more attractive for those people who do pay for the software. As more and more people decide to use Linux, the exodus would gather pace and the MS monopoly would erode. Piracy stops this from happening, since if Windows is as free (as in beer) as Linux, there is little incentive for the average user to make the switch.
Of course, it may be that the extra market share MS enjoys through piracy would be outweighed by the lost revenue from customers who would have paid for their product if they had to, but managed to get a pirated copy instead.
So, is MS's move to not offer updates to pirating scallywags foolish? I think it's probably a good idea if we consider it as a form of price discrimination rather than an effort to stamp out piracy. To be able to price discriminate, MS needs to sort customers by their willingness to pay. Some people are not willing to pay anything, but are nonetheless valuable customers since they contribute to the network effect. MS should let them have Windows for free. But if they do that, they will be giving it to otherwise-paying customers for free as well.
By offering paying customers a better product than non-paying customers they can, to an extent, get around the problem. Those who want the updates (an imperfect proxy for those with a higher willingness to pay for windows) are charged, while those who don't much care for updates or can find a way of getting them without paying (an imperfect proxy for those with a lower willingness to pay for windows) get it free.
They would only lose those (non-paying) customers who value Linux more than un-updatable windows and would gain money from those who were previously pirates but value the updates at more than the price of the software, and so would pay up.
There is no reason MS couldn't have done this, and much more, years ago. The fact that they haven't leads me to believe that they see things the same way I do.
The Boston Globe has a nice article on Economic Sociology. I think the time is such that we can ignore a lot of the disciplinary boundaries in the social sciences. Sociology, economics and anthropology (and cultural studies, human geography and so on ad nauseam) are, to an extent, looking at the same things from different angles. It seems rather foolish for sociologists to ignore the insights of economists because they work under different assumptions. I suspect a lot of the antipathy among sociologists towards economics is ideological. It seems practically compulsory to be lefter-than-thou in sociological circles and people in general seem to misinterpret economics as the study of $$how-to-make-money$$.
From the article:
While economists continue to probe into social life, a growing academic subfield known as economic sociology is doing just the opposite--bringing tools and concepts from sociology to bear on the economy. We cannot understand how people earn, spend, and invest their money, economic sociologists argue, unless we understand social relations. If, as economists contend, incentives and choice are everywhere, so are social conventions and personal connections.
''The economy is social. It's a set of social relations. The economy is as social as a family or religion," says Viviana A. Zelizer, a Princeton University sociologist who studies how cultural attitudes and consumption patterns influence each other.
A leading figure in economic sociology, Zelizer is sharply critical of the dichotomy she calls ''hostile worlds," which juxtaposes ''a world of rationality, efficiency, and impersonality, on one side" with ''a world of self-expression, cultural richness, and intimacy on the other--with contact between the two worlds inevitably corrupting both of them." Real human beings, she argues, don't divide their rational and emotional, or personal and commercial, lives that way.
''Most people are trying to maximize economic goals and social goals at the same time. It's not like on Monday they try to maximize their wealth and on Wednesday they try to maximize their social status. It's all mixed up together," says Granovetter.
''We need theories that will actually give us some closure on how people do all these things together," he says. ''I think that's the big challenge in social science for the 21st century--to understand how those things all fit together."
Shopdropping is an ongoing project in which I alter the packaging of canned goods and then "shopdrop" the items back onto grocery store shelves. I replace the packaging with labels created using my photographs. The "shopdropped" works act as a series of art objects that people can purchase from the grocery store. Because the barcodes and price tags are left intact purchasing the cans before they are discovered and removed is possible. In one instance a store employee even restocked the cans to a new aisle based on the barcode information.
Shopdropping strives to take back a share of the visual space we encounter on daily basis. Similar to the way street art stakes a claim to public space for self expression, Shopdropping subverts commercial space for artistic use.
Jamais at WorldChanging is reminded of another subversive-artsy-pranky-thing from way back:
Among the best pranks ever performed were the efforts of the Barbie Liberation Organization, which was supported by the organization Â®Âark. In 1989, the BLO purchased hundreds of Teen Talk Barbie dolls (of "Math is hard!" and "I love shopping!" infamy) and Talking Duke G.I. Joe dolls (prone to shouting "Vengeance is mine!"), swapped their voice electronics, replaced them carefully in their boxes, and returned them to store shelves. As a result, Barbie demanded to hear the lamentations of her enemies, and G.I. Joe sought assistance for planning weddings. As the subsequent BLO statement put it, "The storekeepers make money twice, we stimulate the economy - the consumer gets a better product - and our message gets heard."
I always thought it would be cool to replace Barbie dolls with proportionally more correct ones, cellulite and all. Perhaps they could get ever-saggier over time and eventually lose control of their bladder and take on that unmistakable smell of piss and biscuits.
The HMNZS Wellington (F69) is parked outside Te Papa in preparation for being sunk off Wellington's South Coast as a diving attraction, later this year.Link
Trade Me has exclusive rights to auction everything inside her before she is sunk. The 45-tonne main gun is not for sale, but everything else is - including brass shells and red buttons for firing torpedos (torpedos not included).
From C-net's Microsoft Blog:
Vista is a fucking horrible name.
Rumor has it that Microsoft plans to use Vista as the official name for the next version of Windows, which has been known by its codename, Longhorn.
The company won't comment, but it is expected to make some sort of Longhorn-related announcement Friday morning.
This is an actual potato-powered Web server, currently online here. After the great SpudServer joke, I thought it would be interesting to see what an actual server capable of running on potatoes would look like. This server is very, very slow (around 0.2 hits/second), so you may have trouble connecting.
The CPU is a Microchip PIC16F876 running with a 76.8 KHz clock and a nominal 1.5V supply voltage (somewhat outside the manufacturer's specifications). At this speed and voltage, it draws 20 microWatts (0.00002 Watts), or roughly 100,000th to 1 millionth the power of any Intel 386 board I know of. It connects via SLIP at 4800 baud.
Blogs vaulted RSS into the limelight but are unlikely to be the force that sustains RSS as a communication medium. The biggest opportunities for RSS are not in the blogosphere but as a corporate communication channel.
Even now, businesses that were initially reluctantly evaluating RSS are beginning to realize the power and benefit of the RSS information avenue. The inherent capacity for consumers to select the content they wish to receive will be the driving mechanism for keeping advertisements to a minimum and content quality consistent.
In honor of the first manned Moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1969, we’ve added some NASA imagery to the Google Maps interface to help you pay your own visit to our celestial neighbor.
According to Dr Judith Reisman, pornography affects the physical structure of your brain turning you into a porno-zombie. Porn, she says, is an "erototoxin ", producing an addictive "drug cocktail " of testosterone, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin with a measurable organic effect on the brain.Pdf of the paper.
Some of us might consider this a good thing. Not Reisman: erototoxins aren't about pleasure, they're a "fear-sex-shame-and-anger stimulant". Reisman's paper on the subject The Psychopharmacology of Pictorial Pornography Restructuring Brain, Mind & Memory & Subverting Freedom of Speech has helped make her the darling of the anti-pornography crusade, and in November last year she presented her erototoxin theory to the US senate.
Pornography does physically affect the brain. In fact, everything we experience physically changes the brain in some way.
What Reisman is trying to do, is portray this physical effect as 'damage'. Furthermore, she argues the damage could be so severe, that an affected person would not be rational enough to engage in 'free speech' (notice the leap?).
Unfortunately, her self-published paper The Psychopharmacology of Pictorial Pornography Restructuring Brain, Mind & Memory & Subverting Freedom of Speech is highly selective when reviewing the published neuroscience research.
Many of her arguments are based on one-reference claims, and some only on what she calls "extensive documentation". One unmentioned implication is the fact that, if sexual arousal from pornography causes 'brain damage', then so will real-life sex!
launch applications 15 percent faster than Windows XP does boot PCs 50 percent faster than they boot currently and will allow PCs to resume from standby in two seconds allow users to patch systems with 50 percent fewer reboots required reduce the number of system images required by 50 percent enable companies to migrate users 75 percent faster than they can with existing versions of Windows.
Understanding Successful Poker Play
How much more succesful can a player be if he knows the odds? What are the best betting strategies for getting the most money out of a winning hand? Are there simple betting strategies that can be used to win money even with losing hands? To what extent does position from the button and position relative to other players matter? Does having a big stack of chips allow a player to bully others and win more of their money? Do people lose big after winning a big hand, or does success follow success? These are some of the many questions we would like to answer.
Our goal is to understand the factors that make players succesful at poker. Many people have written books on poker theory, but there has yet to be a systematic analysis using actual data on what works and what doesn't. University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt hopes to change this and perform the first large scale analysis of poker.
How are we going to do this?
Every day, over 187 million dollars are wagered at online poker tables by over 2 million players worldwide. Recently, companies such as Poker Tracker have made keeping records of one's own play extremely easy. Individuals can now store tens of thousands, even millions of their own hands on their computers almost effortlessly. We at pokernomics.com are requesting that people send us their hand histories for analysis. We are particularly interested in analyzing the game of Texas Hold'em due to its immense popularity in the world of online poker. With the right dataset, we are confident that we can answer the questions above and many more.
What's in it for you?
Everyone who sends in at least 10,000 of their own hands will receive a free analysis of his or her poker play. We will identify the strategies you use that earn you the most money and will pinpoint your frequent mistakes that cause you to lose or prevent you from making as much money as you could have. We will tell you which starting hands you play best/worst. We can even tell you if you earn more or less at different times of the day, at tables with different stakes, or against certain kinds of opponents.
In addition, players who send in over 30,000 hands will get an autographed copy of Steven Levitt's book Freakonomics delivered to them. Players who send more than 50,000 hands will receive both an autographed copy of Freakonomics and a free freakonomics t-shirt.
We collected data on over 1000 taxicab rides in New Haven, CT in 2001. After controlling for a host of other variables, we find two potential racial disparities in tipping: (1) African-American cab drivers were tipped approximately one-third less than white cab drivers; and (2) African-American passengers tipped approximately one-half the amount of white passengers (African-American passengers are 3.7 times more likely than white passengers to leave no tip).
Many studies have documented seller discrimination against consumers, but this study tests and finds that consumers discriminate based on the seller's race. African-American passengers also participated in the racial discrimination. While African-American passengers generally tipped less, they also tipped black drivers approximately one-third less than they tipped white drivers.
The finding that African-American passengers tend to tip less may not be robust to including better controls for passenger social class. But it is still possible to test for the racialized inference that cab drivers (who also could not directly observe passenger income) might make. Regressions suggest that a "rational" statistical discriminator would expect African Americans to tip 56.5% less than white passengers.
These findings suggest that government-mandated tipping (via a "tip included" decal) might reduce two different types of disparate treatment. First, mandated tipping would directly reduce the passenger discrimination against black drivers documented in this study. Second, mandated tipping might indirectly reduce the widely-documented tendency of drivers to refuse to pick up black passengers.
Fan fiction is odd. I wonder who writes it.
At that moment, they had suddenly realized that even though they each were on different sides of the whole G.I. Joe/Cobra thing, they were still able to experience something wonderful between them.
That something is known as raw and untamed erotica ... and they were enjoying every minute of it.
A few minutes later, after he had placed his stiff...
Commenting on the free-trade deal signed with Singapore, Brunei and Chile today, Rod Donald said:
"Exactly why we would want a free trade deal with Chile, a country that produces lots of meat, fish and fruit, is beyond me."
"It is an energy-wasting exercise in futility to ship identical goods back and forth across the Pacific."
That is such a bullshit argument. Just because New Zealand and Chile produce similar goods doesn't mean that NZ doesn't nevertheless have a comparative advantage over Chile in certain specific areas. If importing beef (for example) from Chile while exporting lamb was really an 'exercise in futility' then it simply wouldn't fucking happen. New Zealand Importers are not going to buy Chilean produce simply because they can, but only if it is more efficient to do so. Protectionism is rationally indefensible. Read this.
To be fair, I'm not totally opposed to the Greens. I support stronger carbon taxes (or actually, I would propose a different scheme, but that's another post entirely), which would make international trade (via increased transport costs) relatively less attractive. The Greens could oppose free-trade on the grounds that importers and exporters don't pay for all the use of the environment and is therefore socially inefficient (although that would apply to domestic trade aswell), but opposing it on the grounds of protecting our jobs or some other such nonsense is just short-sighted and ignorant.
New Zealand researchers excavating a 3000-year-old cemetery in Vanuatu say it may offer clues to why mysterious voyagers who sailed through Melanesia - creating the Polynesian race - travelled so fast.
One possibility was that they were trying to outrun the worst form of malaria - not realising they were carrying the parasite in their bloodstreams, says New Zealand paleo-pathologist Hallie Buckley.
Early analysis of the first skeletons found late last year has shown the people had a heavy burden of disease-causing organisms, in particular parasites that cause malaria.
National Radio's Touchstone has a feature on the religious dieting movement at 5pm tonight.
From the website:
This spiritual awakening has been promoted by books like What Would Jesus Eat?, and The Makers Diet and by faith-based diet programmes like Weigh Down. The Maker’s Diet was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 16 out of the first 17 weeks following its release last year. Weigh Down offers 30,000 workshops across the USA, and thousands more internationally.
The authors of these contemporary books and programmes say that coupled with the teachings of the Bible, they offer a solution to both the spiritual and health maladies plaguing modern society.
They stress the importance of returning to a diet consisting of natural, unprocessed foods — foods that Jesus Himself could have eaten and foods that the Bible recommends.
Dieting For Him examines the phenomenon of religious dieting from academic, medical and participant points-of-view, and highlights the danger of modern man’s obsession with controlling and manipulating the world’s resources.
Sounds pretty interesting. It never ceases to amaze me how much utter bullshit people will buy into.
New Zealand children are among the world's greatest "cyber athletes" and this country is one of a dozen that lead the way in using computers in education.
Professor Heppell, described as an "online learning guru" in Britain, said other countries in the leading group included Thailand, Hong Kong and Norway - countries which shared New Zealand's ability to be "agile" due to their relatively small size.
But it was New Zealand's investment in information and communication technology that kept it at the forefront of a new learning age. "In terms of outcomes and investment New Zealand scores incredibly high in the OECD. Whichever party is in power, they have to keep doing that."
Professor Heppell also said creativity and ingenuity among New Zealand children was almost unrivalled when it came to technology and "that's probably the most precious thing in the world".
Parents were generally a passive generation, receiving media, but their children were cyber athletes.
The new electronic paper features vivid color images that are unaffected even when the screen is bent, and features an image memory function that enables continuous display of the same image without the need for electricity. The thin and flexible electronic paper uses very low power to change screen images, thereby making it ideal for displaying information or advertisements in public areas as a type of new electronic media that can be handled as easily as paper.
Nine years for what Capill did is too short in any case, but the absence of any non-parole period in the sentence is a massive miscarriage of justice. Surely Phil Goff now must change the law again. Sentencing laws that allow a child rapist to spend just three years in prison cannot be allowed to stand.I'm not normally a proponent of longer prison sentences; someone who makes a bad choice shouldn't be punished for the rest of their life, and longer sentences aren't a very effective deterrent since criminals by their nature tend not to think of consequences; but the Capill sentence (not that I think he will be out in three years), and child sex offences in general, do seem overly short. I believe the recidivism rate for child-molesters is quite high compared with other crimes and the impact on the victims is obviously devastating. In a case like this, however, it is extremely hard to separate the extreme disgust at such a horrific crime and what is best for society.
"I am not going to promise free education, what I am saying to people is that we are going to get student debt down by an incremental step. To pay the loan debt for students who graduate and stay in New Zealand for three years," Mr Anderton said.I like the idea of incentivising the tertiary education system. Another option would be to drop the current subsidies slightly and give similar refunds (scholarships by another name) to those who perform well. Higher education has strong positive spill-over effects for society and should thus be subsidized, but anything we can do to stop lazy bastards from using that subsidy merely as a way to put off work for a couple of years would be a good idea.
Last semester, Masters student Michael Tarry told a meeting of the Christian group Student Life that he had successfully changed his sexual orientation. “I used to be gay”, he told the group, “and now I’m not”. While Tarry’s claims attracted a handful of vocal protesters and a flurry of letters to Critic, they are merely the local irruption of a much wider discourse on the nature and origins of sexual preference. In this country and overseas, religious groups claim to turn gays straight, provoking a backlash from gay rights groups who claim their methods are exploitative and damaging. So what do “ex-gays” prove, and what difference does it make?
[Winston] Peters yesterday said the Government was holding "voters to ransom" by keeping the country guessing [on the election date].
I love stock markets because they are a great laboratory for studying human nature. They show us that people can behave irrationally even when they have incentives not to. In investing, unlike in most areas of life, there's a neat and incontrovertible measure of performance - share returns - against which we can judge rationality or irrationality.
So, here are some lessons of stock markets that might have a wider application:
1. Groups perform worse than individuals; Brad Barber (all of whose work is fascinating) has found that investment clubs under-perform individual investors (pdf).
2. People over-react to long streams of information (pdf).
3. People are overly optimistic about things they believe (wrongly) they know well
4. Expert opinion herds together (pdf) professional investors buy the same stocks as each other, regardless of their real merits.
5. What people choose is strongly influenced by the way the choice is presented, rather than by purely rational considerations. Richard Thaler (whose work is compulsory reading) and Shlomo Benartzi have found that even highly qualified professionals choose a pension fund weighted towards bonds if they are offered lots of bond funds, but an equity-weighted pension if they are offered lots of equity funds (pdf).
The G8 nations are rich enough to easily afford the increased aid committed to Africa. Perhaps for this reason, some of the activists denounced the aid as too small and miserly. But that these countries can certainly "afford" to spend more does not mean that much greater aid will help the millions of poor Africans. Indeed, it is doubtful whether more aid will speed up economic growth, given both Africa's experience with aid during the past half century, and the evidence from other poor nations that internal reforms that produce sizeable and persistent growth are the only really effective way to reduce a nation's poverty.
Despite receiving cumulative aid of more than $500 billion during the past several decades from rich countries and international organizations like the World Bank, Africa has had the slowest growth in per capita income of any continent. Slow growth is not the inevitable result of being poor since the per capita incomes of poor nations grew since 1960 about as fast, and perhaps a little faster, that the per capita incomes of rich countries. Obviously, the abundant aid to Africa in the past did not guarantee rapid growth, This aid may even have made growth harder by encouraging greater corruption, by reducing the need to consider drastic economic reforms toward freer economies, and by making it easier to waste resources on grandiose and unproductive projects, such as the Eldoret International Airport in Kenya that almost nobody uses.
And Richard Posner on the same blog:
I do not favor foreign aid, debt relief (which is simply another form of such aid), or other financial transfers to poor countries, in Africa or anywhere else. Countries that are not corrupt do not require foreign aid, and foreign aid to corrupt countries entrenches corruption by increasing the gains to corruption. Foreign aid to Zimbabwe, for example, will simply prop up dictator Mugabe.Foreign aid makes people in wealthy countries feel generous, but retards reform in those countries as well as in the donee countries. Obviously from a world welfare as well as African welfare standpoint Europe and the United States should not impose tariffs on agricultural imports in order to protect their rich farmers. Eliminating tariffs would do more for Africa than giving them an extra $25 billion a year to squander. (It would also increase the wealth of the countries that eliminated their tariffs.)
There are no Muslim contributions to civilization, unless you think murder, rape, no music, no art, no alcohol, no pork, mutilating girls and repressing women are contributions. Muslims have never created anything of value. Everything Muslims have of value was stolen, including so-called contributions to science (which all came from India, mostly from Hindu scholars, before the Muslims slaughtered them), as well as the oil stolen from American companies which got it out of the ground for them
A Web survey involving more than 10,000 employees, the report found that personal Internet surfing ranked as the top method of cooling one's heels at work. It was cited by 44.7 percent of respondents as their primary time-wasting activity, followed by socializing with co-workers (23.4 percent) and conducting personal business (6.8 percent).
The average worker admits to frittering away 2.09 hours per day, not counting lunch, according to the report. That's far more time than the roughly one hour per day employers expect the average employee to waste, the report said. The extra unproductive time adds up to $759 billion annually in salaries for which companies get no apparent benefit, the report said.
Professor [Richard - Author of 'The Selfish Gene' ] Dawkins ... in a session called Meme Power, explored the ways in which humans invent their own realities to make sense of the infinitely complex worlds they are in; worlds made more complex by ideas such as quantum physics which is beyond most human understanding.
"Are there things about the Universe that will be forever beyond our grasp, in principle, ungraspable in any mind, however superior?" he asked.
Because different species live in different models of the world, there was a discomforting variety of real worlds, he suggested.
...[O]ur brains thought about things in order to help us navigate our "middle sized" world - the medium scale environment - a world in which we cannot see individual atoms.
He concluded with the thought that if he could re-engineer his brain in any way he would make himself a genius mathematician.
You've gotta love Richard Dawkins, this is a view I've held since my days as a Philosophy student, but I could never express it as eloquently as that. Why should we expect to be able to understand the niceties of things that never enter into our concrete experience?
The idea of Bounded Rationality is also quite enlightening when considering the frailties of the human mind.
A Christchurch man who put a prostitute's life at risk by deliberately taking off his condom has become the first in New Zealand to be prosecuted under a new unsafe-sex law.
...the prostitute would not have consented to him taking the condom off so he did it without her knowledge.
Christchurch District Court Judge John Bisphan fined Morgan $400 and ordered him to pay $130 costs. Morgan had pleaded guilty to the charge, which became law as part of the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act.
A pair of suspected drug dealers were arrested after being caught with a rocket loaded with about $150,000 of methamphetamine in the trunk of their car. The suspects had rigged together a system that would pop open the car's trunk and launch the drug-bearing rocket when they pushed the cigarette lighter on the dashboard.
While condoms are an effective defense against the transmission of HIV, large numbers of sex workers are not using them. We argue that some sex workers are willing to take the risk because clients are willing to pay more to avoid using condoms. Using data from Mexico, we estimate that sex workers received a 23 percent premium for unprotected sex. The premium represents a value of one life year of between $14,760 and $51,832 or one to five times annual earnings. The premium jumped to 46 percent if the sex worker was considered very attractive, a measure of bargaining power.The implied value-of-life estimates are based on wage differentials - the extra money prostitutes require to take the risk of unprotected sex. They are essentially trading off between money and their life expenctancy. This, to an economist at least, reveals how they value their own life.
Present day Taiwan has a population of 23m, but only 400,000 are descended from the island's original inhabitants ... Those 400,000 speak - or, at least historically spoke - languages belonging to a group known as Austronesian, which is unrelated to Chinese, but includes the Polynesian tongues. Indeed, small though the aboriginal Taiwanese population is, it accounts for nine of the ten linguistic sub-families of Austronesian. Hence the supposition that Hawaiki might be Taiwan. To check this out, [the researchers] decided to look at variations in mitochondrial DNA...[and] found three mutations shared by Taiwanese, Polynesians and Melanesians (who also speak Austronesian) which are not found in other Asians.