Saturday, February 03, 2007

Works Cited

A firm whose behavior was consistent with a myopic pricing strategy [a strategy involving maximizing current profit even if it results in strengthening competitors in the long run] was the Reynolds International Pen Corporation. Reynolds was one of the inventors of the ballpoint pen. Starting in 1945, it sold its ballpoint pen for between $12 and $20, while unit cost was only 80 cents. In response to this high price, a hundred competitors rushed into the market. By 1948, Reynold's market share was zero! However, it made off with considerable profits over that three-year period.

W. Kip Viscusi, et al Economics of Regulation and Antitrust

The Last Question

Jacob linked to this Asimov story. I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


My library of classical music is gargantuan, and much remains unlistened to. I've taken to picking albums using the random selection in iTunes, listening them 10-20 times and moving on to the next one.

I just finished:

Better than I thought, but still strangely reminiscent of things I composed using a midi sequencer during high school.

And tossed on:

Monday, January 29, 2007

Works Cited

The working of the emotional mind is to a large degree state-specific, dictated by the particular feeling ascendant at a given moment. How we think and act when we are feeling romantic is entirely different from how we behave when enraged or dejected; in the mechanics of emotion, each feeling has its own distinct repertoire of thought, reactions, even memories. These state-specific repertoires become most predominant in moments of intense emotion.

One sign that such a repertoire is active is selective memory. Part of the mind's response to an emotional situation is to reshuffle memory and options for action so that those most relevant are at the top of the hierarchy and so more readily enacted. And, as we have seen, each major emotion has its hallmark biological signature, a pattern of sweeping changes that entrain the body as that emotion becomes ascendant, and a unique set of cues the body automatically sends out when in its grip.

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence


Rome is the greatest television series in the history of time. Now a lot of that has to do with Roman history just being so goddamn cool in the first place, and a lot has to do with the crisp British accents of the crew, and I'm sure there's a significant amount that has to do with Polly Walker's bountiful, endowed by Olympians on high, breathtakingly-gorgeous rack, but mostly the reason is, I gather, that HBO spends enough money to feed Africa for a year on every damn episode.

And it's worth it! By Jupiter, I nearly bawled watching Caesar's last breath. The breathtaking, Arachne-level perfection of the weaving between fiction and history, the characters and their politics consisting of advanced game theory level complexity, and acting crisp as a polished jewel.

Deadwood's good, too.


[22:17] Remy Boncouer: I know about nickels and quarters, but can I get a fifty cent piece up my nose? But there's never a fifty cent piece around when you need one.

[22:17] Dagny02: why are you always such a boy?

[22:18] Remy Boncouer: It's the testosterone. You see, the males of our species were selected by evolution to excel at shoving change in orifices. Even in modern day civilization, this instinctual urge lives on.