Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to the Future - Cave Man Values

Well a stream of thought that is rippling through the social sciences and the blogosphere is the idea of a return to the Stone Age.  Similar to how Joseph Schumpeter theorized that the highest stage of capitalism would start to look socialism, there is an idea that in our current age, society has unshackled the chains of religion and conservative social structure, thus allowing a return to Stone Age Values.
This is similar to Philip K Dick's Golden Man, where human intelligence hits marginal utility and the value of primitive instinctual qualities are on the rise.  No judgement here on my end though, I'm merely observing what I think is the current scent in the wind, the zeitgeist.  It could be wrong, but it sure does fit observation better than the opposite assertion.  Gents... get your spears and get ready to hunt a mammoth.  Happy New Years. =)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Black Chinese Girl deals with racism in China

The Door Test - Bronx Tale

It's quite amazing how many girls fail this test, I remember seeing scene when I was a kid and it got burned into memory. I've found it is a good indicator of character. Since power doors tend to unlock all the doors even if you just unlock one door with a key, this method is not quite as effective anymore.

This is a variation of what I like to call the 'Reciprocation test'.

Karate Kid Remake w/ Jackie Chan (except without the karate part)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Russell Brand interviews Milla Jovovich - Great Dynamic

Check out the hilarious facial expressions that Milla throws out when Brand says something awesome. A great example of solid shock and awe banter.

Wierd/Cool Art Game for those Cubicle Warriors out there

So I originally saw this on boingboing.nett and thought I'd share. Check this wierd/cool/funny art game out, keep playing until the end... it's kind of ironic, try a bunch of different things.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The other great economist - Joseph Schumpeter

The guy who made the phrase "Creative Destruction" 'more famous', eventually this would be made epicly famous by Theodore Levitt in his paper "Marketing Myopia", has some slices of wisdom from the early 20th Centruy.  His name is Joseph Schumpter.  Check out this wiki article on him, and notice some of the key passages such as the following.

Schumpeter criticized John Maynard Keynes and David Ricardo for the "Ricardian vice." According to Schumpeter, Ricardo and Keynes reasoned in terms of abstract models, where they would freeze all but a few variables. Then they could argue that one caused the other in a simple monotonic fashion. This led to the belief that one could easily deduce policy conclusions directly from a highly abstract theoretical model.

Schumpeter's theory is that the success of capitalism will lead to a form of corporatism and a fostering of values hostile to capitalism, especially among intellectuals. The intellectual and social climate needed to allow entrepreneurship to thrive will not exist in advanced capitalism; it will be replaced by socialism in some form. There will not be a revolution, but merely a trend in parliaments to elect social democratic parties of one stripe or another. He argued that capitalism's collapse from within will come about as democratic majorities vote for the creation of a welfare state and place restrictions upon entrepreneurship that will burden and destroy the capitalist structure. Schumpeter emphasizes throughout this book that he is analyzing trends, not engaging in political advocacy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Michelangelo's Easter Egg?

I saw this interesting graphic boingboing.net and just had to share.

Ben Franklin - History has never been so awesome

In this University of Pennsylvania program, Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, discusses the life of one of Americas most influential figures: Benjamin Franklin. In his recent book, "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life," Isaacson reveals the personal life of Benjamin Franklin and all the intricate details of this revolutionary leaders life that have made him unique among a group of leaders. The presentation was given at the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

I particularly like the part about him putting on a raccoon skin cap when he first hits Paris... lol what a smooth move.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Racist Haagen Dazs Store

I saw this on boingboing.net and couldn't believe it.  If what is stated is actually true... then this reminds me of the no-chinese signs in Manchuria during the chinese occupation from Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury (Chinese Connection).

The inaugural Delhi outlet of Haagen Dazs (A Danish phrase that means, "Made in New Jersey," apparently) opened with a "no Indians allowed" policy. The sign on the door read, "Access restricted only to holders of international passports." After a public hue and cry, the franchise operator (who is Indian) dropped the policy and claimed it had never existed.

I immediately called Ramit. "You are an international traveler, and you have a passport, so you can go in", I said. Ramit's response was instant: I tried to enter but they said you are not allowed for you don't have an international passport.

I wish that some Indian dude would pull out the move that Bruce Lee does here in the Fist of Fury (USA: Chinese Connection)  movie

Here is some history from Wikipedia about the No chinese allowed parks.

The Public Garden was closed to Chinese people between 1890 and 1928, and according to a popular myth, a sign at the park's gate read "No dogs or Chinese allowed". However, there is no evidence that such a sign ever existed. Period photographs show a very different sign, one listing ten regulations, the first of which was "The Gardens are reserved for the Foreign Community", the fourth being "Dogs and bicycles are not admitted".[1] In any case, the banning of Chinese from Huangpu Park and other parks in China has remained in Chinese public mind as one of the many moments of humiliation by the Western powers in the 19th and early 20th century.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Faith Based ETF Funds

So apparently the new hotness in the investing community is FAITH BASED ETF Funds. More specifically Christian Values based funds...  Or in the words of the seeking alpha article....ETFs Find Jesus: FaithShares Launches Three Christian Values ETFs.

 Excerpts from the seekingalpha article:

Over the last several years, ongoing innovation in the ETF industry has led to flurries of new product launches offering exposure to new asset classes and increasingly remote geographic areas. One of the most interesting current areas of new product development focuses on faith-based investing, the concept of considering compliance with religious laws and values when making investment decisions. Earlier this week, FTSE Group and KLD Indexes, a leading provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and benchmarks, announced the creation of five custom indexes to be used for the creation of new exchange traded funds (ETFs). The benchmarks include:
  • FaithShares Christian Values Index
  • FaithShares Catholic Values Index
  • FaithShares Baptist Values Index
  • FaithShares Methodist Values Index
  • FaithShares Lutheran Values Index

I don't know about you guys, but this seems about as valid as the various other approaches out there... it would be interesting to see a Call of Chthulu Hedge Fund.

An interesting though though, does buying puts or selling short these ETF's imply something sinister about you? Will we see long/short combos like going long Catholics but short on the Somali Pirate ETF

Friday, December 11, 2009

Signaling, Counter-Signaling, and Counter Counter Signaling

Like a peacock's tail advertises it's health and vigor, humans signal status through various means.
But the funny thing is, depending on the situation, sometimes NOT signaling is a HIGH LEVEL move.

So I found this interesting paper on signaling, counter-signaling, and counter-counter-signaling.

An idea that Counter-Signaling = Confidence, and that Signaling can be interpreted as Lack of Confidence depending on the situation.

The paper has a decent example using Job Interviewees and signaling grades with the addition of recommendation letters as the additional quality cue.

The paper posits that signaling theory makes more sense if you also take into account the ACTUAL status of the actor in addition to whether they signal or not.

For instance, imagine if the only signaling difference between a low level actor (A), and mid level actor (B), and high level actor(C) is signaling status through conspicuous consumption (bling and flash). If the bling is a weak indicator, it only really separates out the A actor from the group of B and C.  B has to signal because that's the only way he won't be mistaken for an A.  But C is so bad ass that he can afford to NOT signal, because if there are other cues to status, then C doesn't have to signal at all.  So in terms of signaling C looks a lot like A, except for the difference in actual status and the cues that go with that.

For instance, stating you have good grades when you have them may be unnecessary if every other cue about you is solid.  In fact it may be better to not even mention your grades because you know you will have good reviews in addition to the grades when they look at them.

Example:  Actor A has a 1990 honda civic, Actor B has a Mercedes, Actor C has a honda civic... because he owns a G5 Private Jet, he doesn't spend time driving......  Now actor C is truly ballin.

So sometimes BUT not always, signaling is a mid level move....

If the cost of signaling for type B actors is too high then they will NOT signal, thus C type actors will have to signal now because their lack of signaling does not separate them from B actors anymore.

Also in the paper is Counter-Counter-Signaling where... in competition amongst High level actors, sometimes the best move to trump Counter-Signaling is Counter-Counter-Signaling which is just Signaling all over again....this reminds me of the following clip from the BIG HIT

The great part about this is in a later scene in this movie... the Japanese guy busts out a Trace BUSTER BUSTER BUSTER and BUSTS his TRACE BUSTERx2

The paper has a decent example using Job Interviewees and signaling grades with the addition of recommendation letters as the additional quality cue.

The funny thing is this is 'almost' a game theoretic argument for ironic indie-hipster culture.

Best cover of Jason Mraz I'm yours

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best History Lessons - Drunk History Lessons

 Alexander Hamilton

Benjamin Franklin part 1

Benjamin Franklin part 2 (Ben's Got Game)

Oney Judge

William Henry Harrison

I give you drunk history featuring Jack Black, Michael Cera etc...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Theory on Facial Beauty

Here is a set of two videos discussing Dr. Philip Young's theory of Facial beauty called Circles of Prominence. 

I stumbled upon these videos because I had heard Tony Robbins mention something about facial beauty being directly related to the size of our iris. I did a little digging and found the plastic surgeon who told him this, or at least I think this is the guy.  Anyhow it's an interesting theory.  Basically using eye scanning technology they determined that when we look at a human face, we spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at the eyes and the nose.  Dr. Young theorized in his paper Circles of Prominence that ideal facial beauty occurs when the features on the human face are integer multiples of the iris.  The interesting thing about this is that this standard of beauty scales well with various races. Since the basis is the size of your iris it's an interesting theory.  The particular trait that I first heard of was the idea that if your iris is exactly (literally) the same size as the distance between the bottom of your nose and your upper lip, then this was considered by your brain as more beautiful than if it was 1mm off.  He talks about some of the history of the theory of beauty as well in the video.  I must say I am interested in seeing what pops up in the future relating to this theory. 

I decided to test this out using Megan Fox to see how she would fare.

New Prints


As usual, you can find these on my shutterfly account for sale if you want these as puzzles/prints etc.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chinese Re-enactment of Tiger Woods Beatdown

So my friend Jamie found this hilarious chinese video on tmz.com and sent it to me.

Somali Pirate Stock Exchange = SPSE

So I saw this crazy article on slashdot.org today about how Somali Pirates are starting up a stock exchange of sorts. This makes me think of future headlines like.... Ninjas rock Somali Pirate Stock Exchange.... Pirate Booty Futures taking a Black Swan Dive.

Excerpts from the article:

"The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials ... we've made piracy a community activity."

The gangs have made tens of millions of dollars from ransoms and a deployment by foreign navies in the area has only appeared to drive the attackers to hunt further from shore.
It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations -- and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

St. Louis Lambert HDR Cartoony

St. Louis Lambert Airport Shot in a cartoon style.

As usual if you like the image you can buy inexpensive prints here.


I give you  www.boozeandschmooze.com  from Chicago?????

      Created on: 26-Mar-09
      Expires on: 26-Mar-10
      Last Updated on: 19-Sep-09

I don't know if they have ever come across the St. Louis Booze and Schmooze website... but it just looks a little too much like the www.stlboozeandschmooze.com website.

Kelly V's St. Louis Booze and Schmooze

Here we go again with the next Booze and Schmooze on December 4th!

More info here!