So, on Sunday I was lying on the couch reading when I heard this commotion from Oxford Street. I jumped up and went out onto the balcony – just in time to see the Olympic Flame go past! It was driven past on an open top bus, held upright by this girl in a track-suit.
I live in London, on Oxford Street. You can’t really live in a more urban environment than that. Last weekend Helen and I got out of London to the North Downs to go hiking. For me, this is the ideal lifestyle; live in the city in an exciting, stimulating environment. When you feel like “getting back to nature” – pick the environment you want, and go there for the weekend. The countryside is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there!
Garth Sundem of Geek Logik fame has a blog in which he comes up with formulas for wrapping every-day decisions in a mathematical framework. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while – especially with regards to procrastination. The trick is to quantify all the factors that you think are important in the issue you are considering, and then describe the relationship between the variables mathematically.
I read the following quote at “The price of everything” blog:
“You couldn’t get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.” – Edward Flaherty.
I can’t wait to find someone to insult.
While reading this article in The Economist, the section on rising inequality leapt out at me. The newspaper suggested that technology may be to blame. This is certainly a situation that I’ve been expecting for a while.
In contrast to the Singularity proposed by Vernor Vinge, I believe that as people become more educated, have better tools, and live longer, it will be harder and harder for young, less well educated, and poorer people to compete. This will stratify society.
Here are some more financial blogs that seem good:
- The Aleph Blog – Investment strategies and advice (seems pretty US-centric)
- The Epicurean Deal Maker – Sarchastic, sardonic and humerous insight into Wall Street
- Going Private – The Sardonic Memoirs of a Private Equity Professional – This is an absolutely hilarious blog about the world of Private Equity. Excellent!
- A Fist-full of Euros – An interesting blog focusing on European finance/economics/politics.
There’s a great interview in Reason Magazine with economist Lant Pritchett about how stopping immigration is effectively holding countries’ citizens hostage. He argues that constraining people within artificial borders bounding countries which are economically unviable is one of the biggest sources of global inequity. Very interesting read.
This past week has been facinating in the financial markets. After a long slide downwards, the markets tumbled at the beginning of the week, and now they are bouncing back upwards.
Initially the market dive looked like it was triggered by worries over the problems with the Monoline Insurers.
The Fed responded by cutting interest rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday. This seemed to have little effect with various indices falling even further. It did however seem to have a dramatic effect on the probability that the US will go into recession.
On Thursday we found out that Societe Generale lost $7 Bln from trader fraud (leading the market wags to dub it “Shock Gen”. This seemed to have little negative impact on the markets with the indices all shooting upwards. They are all up today, albeit not as much as yesterday. It looks like the momentum is leaving the bounce.
So could the massive falls be attributed to Soc Gen selling out of their positions and realizing their losses? Can some of the market euphoria be attributed to proposed monoline bail-out?
I guess we’ll see how next week develops!
So I ended up getting iRex Technologies iLiad e-book reader. I have been using it for about a month now, and I absolutely love it! I usually switch it on so I can read it on the way to Canary Wharf (currently doing a contract out there), and leave it on the whole day. It’s like having an iPod – but for books. I’ve installed an 8GB SD card, and I’ve got lots of books and maths and computing papers loaded.