Experimenting with moving my blog to wordpress (and blogging again)

September 20, 2007

Morgan asked why I am starting to blog again. I said because I need a place to output thoughts and this is a good one.

Stuff below here is really old.  There are also intervening posts on SpareInk that have yet to be moved.


Blogging here again.

November 20, 2006

SpareInk seems to have gone inactive, so I guess I will blog here in the interim. Copying my last post from there.


Health Insurance: All you can eat vs pay-as-you-go

April 20, 2005

Zimram Ahmed says:

I agree with Arnold that people are irrational when it comes to thinking about healthcare, and that part of this irrationality expresses itself as a preference for insulation coverage over catastrophic coverage. I’ve certainly felt the urge, to pick the healthcare plan that covers the most stuff when having to make that decision.

I don’t think this is any less rational than preferring all you can eat Internet over paying for bytes transferred. People don’t want decision making transaction costs interfering with import decisions.


China Inefficiency

April 11, 2005

From the 11 April Business Week, pp.50-51. (Via Marginal Revolution)

University of Alberta political economist Wenran Jiang calculates China spends three times the world average on energy — and seven times what Japan spends — to produce $1 of gross domestic product. It also is far more inefficient than nations like Brazil and Indonesia…Chinese steelmakers on average use about twice as much energy as Japanese or Korean rivals per ton of output. Only 5% of the country’s office and residential towers meet China’s own minimal energy-conservation standards.

One interpretation here is that China’s inefficient capital markets are burning capital to produce goods. The other is that labor is so cheap that China can afford these sorts of production inefficiencies. The later explanation begs the question of what happens when China’s GDP per capita and laber costs rise. Will it have enough capital to convert to more efficient production approaches or are the fears about an economically powerful china simply overwrought.


Owning Courage

February 3, 2005

In the comments to my post gloating about Iraqi democracy, Josh copies a comment reiterating that we Americans can’t gloat about Iraqi democracy because they did not vote to enable us to gloat. The key line of that comment was “You do not own their courage.”

I would agree that we who favored liberating Iraq and attempting to create democracy there do not own their courage. But, you should also remember that you who opposed this action do not own the terrorism they and we faced. Whenever anti-war folks argue that we are provoking terrorism or whenever people like Michael Moore argue that the terrorists are freedom fighters, they should remember that they don’t own the terrorism and that making such statements only encourages more.


Google’s Operating System

April 8, 2004

Google’s Big ServerOP in the Sky!
http://blog.topix.net/archives/000016.html

Update: see also
http://the.taoofmac.com/space/blog/2004-04-02


Blaming the Jews

February 26, 2004

Reader YS worries:

Whether or not Jewish leaders were in some way complicit in Jesus’ crucifixion is not the issue. The fact that Europe used that possible compicity to brutally persecute millions of Jews for 2000 years is the issue.That 2000 history would be unequivocally irredeemable even if Christians could prove the alleged complicity beyond any shadow of a doubt, and I think that is what you should be arguing. Arguing it the other way opens the door for validating the persecution if one can validate the history.

She has a point. However, I think we can argue about actionability seperately. My point was that blaming the Jews has been a tool of oppressive authorities to perserve their power for millenia.

The modern version of “The Jews killed Jesus,” in the Arab world, takes the form of, The Jews Killed the Palestinians with exactly the same graphic depiction of suffering and with the same absence of any political context.

Even if Jews did kill Palestinians, it does not justify the hating and killing of Jewish civilians either in the Middle East or elsewhere. Nonetheless Arab media thrives on Palestinian Passion plays that follows the exact same formula Gibson and the Church have already used for centuries.