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Category: blog

Chutzpah …

is a Yiddish word for outrageous nerve. Wikipedia does pretty well on it, as follows. —- Leo Rosten in The Joys of Yiddish defines chutzpah…

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Size Matters?

I’m not a basketball fan and I know next to nothing about it. But I was fascinated by this 1972 photograph of Pete Maravich in…

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Karma

Somewhere I seem to think I once read the line “Karma is the mechanical expiation of sin.” I mentioned it in my book and seemed…

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Silence of the Lambs

There was an article by Richard Dawkins in last Friday’s WSJ , which was itself a condensed version of an L.A. Times article of Jan…

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My Dinner with Andre

Many years ago I saw Louis Malle’s movie ‘My Dinner with Andre.’ The whole movie does indeed take place over dinner, more or less in…

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Imagination

There’s an interesting review of Dawkins’s “The God Delusion” in the latest NY Review of Books, by H. Allen Orr, a professor of biology at…

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Back to the Future II

A couple of posts ago I was pondering what single sentence about quantitative finance would best tell people in the future how to think about…

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History = Destiny

Some time in the early 1970s Nature magazine had an article about people whose names matched their occupations. There was a famous neurology textbook “Diseases…

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Iconic New York

I was idly watching bits of ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ on TV the other night. There was one scene where Tom Hanks flies to NYC to…

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Short Sighted Science

There is this sudden rash of books by famous scientists suggesting we extirpate religion from society, starting with Daniel Dennett ‘s “Breaking the Spell: Religion…

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Decline of the West: 2

Landing at San Francisco Airport recently I saw an Air New Zealand plane. What immediately struck me was the tail logo: so serious, so proud,…

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Lying

People seem to believe that the ability to talk developed in order to improve communication beyond mere gestures and grunts. But perhaps the ability to…

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Decline of the West: 1

I spent the last week at Stanford University, about which more later. As I walked through Newark airport to the “Passengers Only” security check, I…

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Where the money was

I was walking up to Columbia this afternoon when I saw an armored truck outside a Duane Reade, with a couple of beefy guys standing…

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Bundling

At lunch today with some colleagues, my cellphone rang and I recognized the number of a doctor I ceased going to a couple of years…

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Malliavan Calculus

I see Taleb has a blog about his run-in with Malliavin. I once wrote a supposedly humorous piece for Risk magazine in which Malliavin calculus…

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Oh, Really?

According to MarketWatch, –– Amaranth, a multistrategy hedge fund that had assets of $9.2 billion at the end of August, lost $6 billion earlier this…

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Consciousness

This necroeconomics stuff reminded me of theories of consciousness, a more interesting topic. Something paradoxical occurred to me. Consciousness works best in the service of…

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Necroeconomics

There’s an article in the New Yorker this week about neuroeconomics, by John Cassidy, their Annals of Economics writer. It’s a little like the Tuesday…

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Good bad songs

The taxi driver the other day was tuned to a station playing Maggie May from the Seventies. When I came home I downloaded it from…

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The perfect cage

Yesterday morning when I was having lunch I opened the refrigerator door and a moth that had somehow managed to get inside began flying furiously…

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Pragmamorphism ….

is a word I made up. Anthropomorphism means attributing the qualities of human beings to inanimate things or animals. As far as I can tell…

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A Good Model

Everyone always wants to know what makes a good model. One way to think about it is that a good model takes some already valid…

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