>< i don't want to go from wild turkey to cold turkey - richard fisher president dallas fed wsj 2.22.13 "when interest rates rise, watch out"
>< you will be wealthy or wiped out with roughly equal probabilities - glenn hubbard dean columbia biz wsj 3.21.13 "biggest drag on economy? washington"
as el-erian left & the crowd laughed
>< eliminating tax exemptions is a tax increase. you can't slice it any other way - senator jeff sessions nyt 3.18.13 "tax credit or spending? labeling draws fight"
>< with generics, we have confidence of sameness. biosimilars are different - rachel sherman dir office med policy fda wsj 2.27.13 "companies face obstacles in copying biotech drugs"
>< this project will elevate the bay bridge at least for a while, above the golden gate bridge - ben davis founder illuminate the arts nyt 3.5.13 "bay bridge will go from drab gray to glowing"
>< the line between information and too much information is going to be much shorter than the line for these porta potties - mark rolston cco frog design wsj 1.13.13 "data, data everywhere at sxsw"
>< who would want to be the sucker who buys the book at full price when a week later everyone else can buy it for a penny? - scott turow president author's guild wsj 3.8.13 "plan to resell e-goods gaining momentum"
>< it's this world where people act like you don't exist even though you're 3 feet away. you get this fragment of a person - daniel j wilson "9y40" nyt 3.18.13 "riffs by cab riders, secretly recorded for the sake of art"
>< everything should come from somewhere and go somewhere. the most important thing is obviousness. the problem is overdesign - loren brichter software developer wsj 3.18.13 "high priest of app design, at home in philly"
hamburger buttons & edge gestures
>< to collect pollen for one day or one month or one week, it's the opposite of what our culture expects from somebody to accomplish in a day or a week or a month - wolfgang laib artist wsj 1.25.13 "pollinating moma"
>< being here 8 years, i think i should be getting more. you can fight for a raise, but i don't think you're not going to get it - pamela waldron cashier kfc, manhattan nyt 1.13.13 "productivity climbs but wages stagnate"
>< we're all children of the enlightenment, not plato and aristotle, but locke and rousseau. that's when modern wine emerged - paul lukacs english loyola u + auth "inventing wine" nyt 2.6.13 "wine, from a chore to a choice"
>< my water bill is 1/4 of what it would be. water is expensive in vegas, but to my surprise, it's much cheaper to have a backyard of grass than a backyard of water - tommy isola real-estate broker wsj 2.22.13 "high water marks: waterfalls, rivers, moats and ponds"
>< nation states want to get economic advantage out of hacking. i call it ip copying as opposed to ip theft. it takes a while for ip copying for the negative results to come to the corporation - art coviello exec chair rsa wsj 2.27.13 "what rsa learned from its breach"
>< it's interesting working with creative people. they see things that other people cannot see. it's one thing to know if a collection will sell or not sell, it's another to be able to design one - domenico del sole ceo gucci nyt 2.16.13 "the house that gucci built"
>< people who know math understand what other mortals understand but other mortals do not understand them. this asymmetry give them a presumption of superior ability - daniel kahneman econ nobel & emeritus psych princeton wsj 1.5.13 "don't let math pull the wool over your eyes"
>< you get the calls where somebody says 'i've got this piece by one of your artists and you've got 48 hours to make a decision or i'll put it at auction. that's no fun. but a lot of the time it's fun - david zwirner principal david zwirner gallery nyt 3.24.13 "the art of the dealer"
>< we live in a service economy. building relationships is the most important part for selling and growing. if you get one extra deal, the price is irrelevant. we bring the science, you bring the art - neal goldman co-founder capitaliq nyt 2.12.13 "a database of names and how they connect"
>< it's clear to me that if you wiped all multicellular life forms off the face of the earth, microbial life might shift a tiny bit. if microbial life were to disappear, that would be it - instant death for the planet - carl woese [1928-2011] nyt 1.1.13 "carl woese discovered life's 'third domain'"
>< the more we reward those things that we can measure, and not reward the things we care about but don't measure, the more we will distort behavior. if what gets measured is what gets managed, then what gets managed is what gets done - burton weisbrod econ northwestern u nyt 1.16.13 "when public outdoes the private in services"
>< it's called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. but sharing isn't immoral - it's a moral imperative. only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy - aaron swartz nyt 1.14.13 "supporters recall a data crusader and a defendant"
>< we don't like the networks of police-run video cameras that are being set up in an increasing number of cities. we don't think the government shouldbe watching over the population en masse. when it comes to the citizenry watching the government we like that - jay stanley sr policy analyst aclu nyt 3.7.13 "wearing a badge and a video camera"
>< even if you had a ban, how would you enforce it? it's just software. my friends who served in vietnam told me that they fired - when they were in a fire-free zone - at anything that moved. i think we can design intelligent, lethal, autonomous systems that can potentially do better than that - ronald arkin dir mobile robot lab georgia tech nyt 3.17.13 "smart drones"
>< i draw our organizational map upside down because it's not the leader and manager who do the work. imagine showing a front-line employee the chart and saying "let's find your box somewhere far down here" - the psychology of that is depressing. those are people who deal with customers in a lot of cases and that's an imporant role - ivar kroghrud co-founder & lead strategist questback nyt 3.31.13 "want to know me? read my user manual"
>< litigation costs are in need of reform, but that is the case across the board in our litigious society. but patent litigation is declining as a percentage of issued patents. the so-called smart-phone wars are a myth propagated by those with an economic interest in tipping the scale toward those who build on inventions versus those who invent - donald j rosenberg exec vp & gen counsel qualcomm wsj 2.22.13 "patent system isn't broken"
>< it's intense to fight red tape. stand by your principles and be comfortable with confrontation. so few people are, so when the people with the red tape come, it becomes a negotiation. my politics are, i'm a trustbuster. very focused. pro-efficiency. i want the most economic activity at the lowest price possible. it's good for everybody, it's not red or blue - travis kalanick cofounder & ceo uber wsj 1.26.13 "the transportation trustbuster"
>< recently the military verbiage has shifted from humans remaining 'in the loop' regarding kill decisions, to 'on the loop'. the next technological steps will put soldiers 'out of the loop' since the human mind cannot function rapidly enough to process the data streams that computers digest instantaneously to provide tactical recommendations and coordinate with related systems - robert h latiff u notre dame + patrick j mccloskey loyola u wsj 3.15.13 "drone warfare approaching the robo-rubicon"
>< which scene is harder to write? a bullet in the eyeball scene or a scene in which nothing appears to be happening, but the audience knows everything is happening because a skilled writer or filmmaker knew how to make the audience's imagination a partner in the entertainment rather than just a passive repository of it? are we doing the best work we can or are we using the increasingly permissive marketplace as a cover? - charles evered prod "a thousand cuts" wsj 1.17.13 "violent hollywood and the death of creativity"
>< why the medical field resists imagination: if you're a doctor what do you promise to do? first, do no harm, that's not a call to imagination. not only that, if i'm a patient, i don't wnat your imagination. i want what works. also, for most of history, doctors killed more people than anybody other than the military. in the modern era, we've learned that because we're wrong so often, we would rather be right slow than be wrong fast. that's not how silicon valley works. that's not how most businesses work - jay s walker founder priceline.com + curator tedmed wjs 2.26.13 "the power of imagination"
>< internet has made people a lot more open to reading story forms that are different from the novel, and you see a generation of writers engaged in experimentation. the generation of writers out of college in the last few years has been raised to engage with words like no generation before. our generation was raised on passive media like television and telephones; this generation has been engaged in writing to each other in text messages on a 24-hour basis. i think it has made them bolder and tighter - cal morgan editorial dir harper perennial originals nyt 2.17.13 "short stories: good fit for today's little screens"
>< quotes are the dangling threads that memory can latch onto when everything else goes blank. gathering such fragments resonates with the timeless desire to seize on to the miminal remnant out of which the world could, in a pinch, be reconstructed. libraries and cultures may go under, but single memorizable bits of rhyme and discourse persist over centuries. it is one thing to look at a vast wall of unopened books - more lifetimes than any of us has - another to have the effect of a whole book contained in one phrase - geoffrey o'brien ed bartlertt's + auth fall of the house of walworth" nyt 3.3.13 "we are what we quote"
>< growth or fairness? this is a false choice. there is no contradiction between economic growth and economic equality. the u.s. experienced its most sustained and rapid growth during the three decades following wwii, a period that also saw a dramatic increase in the overall standard of living and sharp decline in income inequality. many other affluent nations - including germany and the scandinavian countries - have much less inequality that the united states, a higher quality of life and living standard for its typical working family, and faster growth - peter dreier chair urban and environmental policy occidental coll nyt 2.3.13 "the great divergence"
>< the only danger is the fear of making a mistake. seriously bad choices are rare. a few years ago i wrote a column about red wines with oysters, which at the time was a rage in paris. in the conventional wisdom, nobody in his right mind would pair reds with raw oysters, not with so many tried-and-true white choices like muscadet, chablis and sancerre. so i tried a selection of reds. none were horrendous. a few wre pleasurable. would i reach for a chinon over a muscadet? nope. but it wouldn't be a disaster if i did. i know people who swear that nothing goes with steak better than an aged auslese riseling. - eric asimov @nyt nyt 1.23.13 "exploring wine pairings without fear or favor"
>< instead of writing position descriptions and managing employees, the protean corporation writes contracts and scope-of-work documents. instead of relationships being vertical - eg boss-employee - the relationships are peer, corp-to-corp. when a person is an employee, he or she is in partnership with the government - eeoc, osha etc, and is subject to all the government's regulations. but when a protean corporation enters into a relationship with that same person, now a corporation, it is a purely contractual relationship with a fellow enterprise. the government really has nothing to say - paul christensen entrepreneur & founder quorim wsj 1.30.13 "to outsmart obamacare, go protean"
>< every day, the new-news turbine churns fresh nuggets of information or novel insight. some think the very spontaneity of this torrent of fact and fiction is its greatest value. nearly all of it is free too. yet this bonanza, unrefined, unreliable, contradictory, confronts its consumers all day, everyday, with a world that seems increasingly disorderd and threatening. information itself must be suspect - or why would so much of it turn our wrong or wrong-headed? why should anyone believe anything published or broadcast when so much that is out there is so ephemeral and later shown to be plain wrong? - edward kosner auth "it's news to me" wsj 3.29.13 "counting the costs of the new-news chaos"
>< adam smith defined a smuggler as a person who, though no doubt highly blamable for violating the laws of his country, is frequently incapable of violating those of natural justice. a smuggler, smith said, could have been in every respect, an excellent citizen, had not the laws of his country mad that a crime which nature never meant to be so. that last bit is the most important. yes the best weapon against illict trade is simply to make the trade licit. the challenge is to figure out what sort of business "nature never meant" to be criminalized and what sort is, by its very nature or dire effects, properly forbidden - eric felten auth "loyalty: the vexing virtue" wsj 2.16.13 "the custom of the country"
>< because of the long term nature in real estate compared to the short cycle in the stock market, they don't understand cycles exist. for 25 years, las vegas real estate went up and then it went down. they thought it would be a 1 year down market. it's been 5 or 6 years, which is normal. 5 real estate investments in vegas is not diversification. any thought that thy could buy rental houses in phoenix seemed absurd. that location bias was very strong. and they thought the rent was their return, and not the rent plus the continued decline in the house's value. they can't imagine that they made a fortune and lost it - mike pequeen mng dir hightower las vegas nyt 3.15.13 "protecting wealth in volatile fields"
>< dwelling in the present is one thing. to treat the present as disposable - so that, in effect, we gradually shrink our past - is something else. the great contradiction in the digital age is that while material is said to last indefinitely, its intangible quality may actually make it less permanent in our lives. when letters were written by hand, some were saved and treasured. is there much chance that anyone's emails will be preserved for posterity? it is hard to imagine that electronic files of photos and even family videos will be passed down in digital form. with pandora, music is random and temporary. it comes and goes but isn't saved - peter funt @candidcamera wsj 3.6.13 "snapshots of a disposable culture"
>< what i learned about selling was more valuable than my mba. i had seen selling as a process just about logic. then i realized that had nothing to do with it. you have to present your story in their context not yours. they don't really care if you're standing on top of a robot and quoting equations. if they're in the deep part of the forest, you've got to talk the language of the deep forest. salesmanship is more like a language unto itself. there is no right or wrong. it's what you make of it, and what's black can be gray and what's gray can be white. the challenge is to share the same framework so that you're seeing the same page in the same way - kon leong co-founder, president & ceo zl technologies nyt 1.20.13 "the first rule of brainstorming: suspend disbelief"
>< kids ask 1k questions - because they don't believe we're listening. when they conclude that we've understood, they'll stop asking. listen carefully to those questions. when kids come home, instead of asking them what did you learn today? ask them, what questions do you still have to ask today? it could be observing, networkign and experimenting. have dinners, have lunches, do things with people who don't look, think or act like you. one of the biggest gives we can give our children is the opportunity to live in a different country, to see things differntly and create. every innovator we interviewed, almost without exception, had adults in their lives who paid attttention to these skills when they were growing up, andit make all the difference - hal gregersen innovation & leadership insead wsj 3.26.13 "the entrepreneur's dna"
>< ephemeral things such as brands are usually counted as an asset when one is purchased since there has been a market transaction to give it a monetary worth. they cannot easily be recorded on the books when a company develop them internally. this is usually the case with data too. big data poses a challenge to companies, as the internet did a decade ago. in some cases, older firms are better positioned because they already have the data. yet to reap these rewards, this data - the oil of the information economy - needs to be treated as an ecomonic asset. if not, we are condemned to confirm the old quip that a cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing - kenneth cukier data editor economist + viktor mayer-schonberger governance & regulation oxford internet inst + coauths:"big data" wsj 3.8.13 "the financial bonanza of big data"
>< "in 1800, the output of american factories and mines was only 1/6 that of great britain; by 1860 it was 1/3, and by 1880, 2/3. in 1860, g.b. accounted for about 20% of world industrial output and the u.s. only about 7%; by 1913, the american share was 32%, while great britain's had slid to 14%." the country was just too productive, too entrepreneurial, too inventive, too original not to burst into the front rank of world powers, almost regardless of its leadership. in contrast to precursors like britain and emulators like modern china, the u.s. outside of the slave south lacked a backward and unfree agrarian sector that could retard modernization. perhaps america's "greatest advantage," morris writes, "was that it was born as a middle-class country, settled primarily by people looking to better their lives and achieve economic independence delighted to be freed from the encrusted ways of the countries and fellow citizens they had left behind - michael lid co-founder new america foundation + auth "land of promise" > rewv charles r morris "dawn of innovation" nyt 2.3.13 "next stop"
>< the things we feel most passionately about, both positively and negatively, are driving our behavior all the time. they're like the primary colors of intrinsic motivation. the brain categorizes everything into threat or reward. we're driven to stay away from threat and to go toward reward. the domain where leaders can have the biggest impact is relatedness. ---- we make a decision about each person we interact with and the decision we make about everyone is, "are you in my in group or my out group? if you decide i'm in your in group, you process what i'm saying using th esame brain networks as thinking your own thoughts. if you decide i'm in your out group, you use a totally different brain network. the unconscious perception has an impact, based on this decision of "is this person similar to me? are they on my team?" when you find a shared goal, you turn an out group into an in group. unless a leader creates shared goals across an organization, it will be silos. that's the inherent way that we live. we think in small groups. - david rock dir neuroleadership inst nyt 3.24.13 "have everyone join the 'in' group"
>< porter and nohria argue that the skilll to extract from underlings the critical details that are needed to inform top-level decisions is part of what makes the best ceo's better than their peers. it works in reverse too. the information that the ceo needs to convey is just as prone to being misinterpreted as it works it was through a corporation, across shareholders and among customers. so in the vast majority of meetings, ceo's are not just uncovering information but also refining their message. the porter-nohria view is backed up by data in their time-use study of 354 indian ceo's: two dominant management styles emerged: style 1 leaders, in their taxonomy, spend most of their time meeting with employees; they also tend to hold larger meetings and to include people from a wider set of departments within the organization. style 2 ceo's are more apt to spend their time alone, in one-on-one interaction and outside rather than inside the firm. a truly great ceo must remain a great intelligence gatherer, a great communicator, and ultimately a great decider, and meetings are one of her most important tools - ray fishman + tim sullivan coauths "the org" wsj 1.12.13 "when ceo's are worth a fortune"
>< auto-company bailouts, solyndra, subsidies, farm programs, tariffs - the real and ugly reasons for these and many other government activities become clear after absorbing jim buchanan's lessons. jim's nonsense-detection instincts are on full display in his 1958 book "public principles of public debt." by the 1950s most economists were trumpeting the keynsian myth that government debt is no burden on future taxpayers as long as it is held internally - "we owe it to ourselves." wrong, said jim. misled by their own unjustified lumping together of taxpayer and domestic bondholders, keynesians mistakenly conclude that government is exempt from the reality that counsels households and firms to follow prudent rules of finance. not that jim held much hope that his speaking out against unwise policy would do much good. he south to prevent harmful policies by tying politicians' hands rather than by pleading with politicians to be more public-spirited. and to tie their hands, jim championed constitutional reform: only binding, enforceable constitutional rules can prevent leviathan from eventually suffocating private markets and stamping out human freedom - donald j boudreaux econ george mason u + chair free mkt capitalism mercatus ctr wsj 1.10.13 "in appreciation: james m buchanan"
>< you can't travel to the bottom of the south china sea without first passing thorugh "the brooklyn of the malacca strait" or some equivalent nonsense. a preliminary list of places championed for (accused of?) "brooklynizing" includes sections of nashville, philadelphia, san francisco and los angeles, and more alarmingly, paris, london, stockholm and berlin. "brooklynize" came from a 1920 brooklyn chamber of commerce bulletin where it was an orweillian euphemism for fitting young immigrant labor to stultifying factory routine. these days, of course, it indicates precisely the opposite: the conversion of nature into use value on the daintiest scale: raw stuffs are now distilled, brewed, butchered, jerked, creamed, chutneyed, waffled, taffied, chocolatiered, all by hand. "brooklyn" now means small-batch production, urban husbandry, period facial hair, a fixed-gear bicycle. "brooklynizing" is the exportation of these culture-pages cliches to fresh landmasses. surely silver lake featured locally sourced mache and oberlin grads, long before brooklyn began rebranding every semi-employed young person in its own image. there's a brooklyn diner in dubai, a brooklyn restaurant in malaysia and a "williamsburg" kiosk in gorky park. if the old battle cry of youth authenticity was once never sell out, the new one is never scale up. we reach out for reality, and no sooner do we brush it than it turns into a brand - stephen metcalf @nyt nyt 3.24.13 "brooklyn: the brand"
>< fusion is confusion - alain ducasse chef louis xv monaco nyt 11.21.12 "party for a man and his restaurant"
>< black-box problem: do you assume the user knows how computers work or not? - orin kerr gwu law wsj 11.26.12 "police pry in pilfered wi-fi"
>< choices after waking up: to be true or to lie. to take action or be brainwashed? to be free or be jailed? - ai wei wei wsj 12.29.12 "a dissident's tips for survival"
>< you can't tolerate a swedish level of taxes and african level highways - xavier sala-i-martin econ columbia u wsj 10.29.12 "europe's crisis spurs demands for a breakup - of spain"
>< i've learned at h.p. that you do not get what you expect, you get what you inspect - meg whitman ceo hewlett-packard nyt 10.4.12 "h.p. chief says revival is unlikely before 2016"
>< choices after weaking up: to be true or to lie? to take action or to be brainwashed? to be free or be jailed? - ai wei wei wsj 12.29.12 "a dissident's tips for survival"
>< we are perfectly clear about how the u.s. presidential election works but are utterly ignorant about china's - unid weibo user wsj 11.8.12 "u.s. confronts a shifting relationship"
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>< while all vignerons talk about soil we don't talk about about light - jean-charles de moriniere president dom bonneau du martray wsj 10.6.12 "a new player comes to charlemagne's hills"
>< everything is consumption and the galleries are hungry for money. galleries run the game now, not the museums - magda baltoyanni art dealer nyt 12.8.12 "art world gathering, divided by money"
>< dark pools are dark for a reason: buyers and sellers expect confidentiality of their trading information - robert khuzami dir sec enforcement wsj 10.4.12 "dark pool settles with sec over client data"
>< models do not just predict, but they can make things happen. that's not discussed generally in our field - rachel schutt sr statistician google nyt 12.30.12 "sure, big data is great. but so is intuition"
>< you have people who live to create clothes for the gap and some who make clothes for hermes. it's a curse and a blessing - eric ripert chef le bernardin wsj 10.13.12 "skate with chanterelle ragout"
>< there are hundreds of ways to write the same computer program. the borders are fuzzy, so it's really easy to accuse others of trespassing on your ideas - james bessen harvard nyt 10.8.12 "fighers in a patent war"
>< the world no longer cares about what you know; the world only cares about what you can do with what you know - tony wagner harvard + auth "creating innovators" nyt 11.18.12 "if you've got the skills, she's got the job"
>< i can't tell you what's going to happen at 4:23pm on a sunday, but i can tell you what will happen between noon and 6 today - carlos f coimbra mech & aerospace ucsd nyt 10.24.12 "gleaning clues on sunny days from the clouds"
>< i've always thought of the skin as a covering, hiding what goes on inside our body. who would have ever thought of our skin as a peephole? - rosalind pickard dir affective computing group mit nyt 10.16.12 "but how do you really feel? "
>< the whole thing about longs is, if you know you're right, you can just keep buying, and the lower it goes, the better you like it, and you can't do that with shorts - warren buffett nyt 12.4.12 "for buffett, the long run trumps the quick return"
>< technology is always destroying jobs, and always creating jobs, but in recent years the destruction has been happening faster than the creation - erik brynjolfsson dir mit ctr digital business nyt 11.18.12 "in apps boom, few are realizing wealth"
>< it's allowing advertisers to assign value to media rather than publishers, who can't control the price, but they can control the quality of the content and the audience - ben winkler cdo omnicom omd nyt 11.16.12 "the new algorithm of web marketing"
>< most lobbying is pro-business in the sense that it promotes the interest of existing businesses, not pro-market in the sense of fostering truly free and open competition - luigi zingales u chicago booth nyt 10.14.12 "is the elite destroying itself?"
>< one day this february wind power produced almost a third of germany's electricity - but 4 days later it produced none (it was a still day) - phil gramm frmr senator + sr partner us policy metrics wsj 12.26.12 "the multiple distortions of wind subsidies"
>< how much is a rich person worth? to mercedes, a lot. to a used pinto dealer, not a lot. it's a different set of impressions for every marketer. that's where the magic happens - joe zawadzki ceo mediamath nyt 11.18.12 "your attention, bought in an instant"
>< it's got great energy, but it's not really a place for high-end retail. it's for interesting people with artistic desires, not commercial ones - paul c lardi president maps-mobile arts production nyt 12.9.12 "breathing life, and art, into a downtrodden area"
>< the entire energy policy of the u.s. has been about scarcity derived from the 1970s supply shocks. now we have a different reality - the age of energy adequacy - kevin book managing dir clearview energy partners wsj 11.13.12 "u.s. redraws world energy map"
>< and i get the impression that most of the folks who are responsible don't want to hear about complexity. they are interested in quick and dirty solutions - peter g neumann principal scientist sri nyt 10.30.12 "a matter of security: killing the computer to save it"
>< i am british and by default we are very headstrong and jingoistic. so in my professional kitchen i cook british food. but at home, it's all italian food - fergus henderson principal st john, london + auth "nose to tail eating" wsj 12.22.22 "the hendersons at home"
>< what you see each side doing is saying 'talk to me and i'll tell you why the other person is wrong. you know what, work with each other and try to figure out how to get this answered - thomas wilson ceo allstate wsj 12.21.12 "ceo's frustrated by fiscal-cliff standstill"
>< private equity fund managers have a responsibility to their investors to maximize their investors' returns, and part of that responsibility involves minimizing taxes - david miller tax partner cadwalader wickersham & taft nyt 10.2.12 "offshore tactics grew wealth for romneys"
>< companies are masterful at convincing analysts things are going to be terrible and that ends up not being the case. it's the quarterly game that everybody plays and pretends not to be playing - dan greenhaus chief global strategist btig wsj 10.8.12 "earnings alarms fall on deaf ears"
>< will history decide they did too little or too much? we don't know because it is still a work in progress. they are taking risks because it is an experimental strategy - kenneth rogoff econ harvard + coauth "this time it's different" wsj 12.12.12 "inside the risky bets of central banks"
>< i wanted a picture that didn't say itself right way, that didn't give itself up. but that's always risky, because you work with this fear that in trying to get too much maybe you're not getting anything - joel meyerowitz photographer nyt 11.18.12 "a restless lifetime of paying attention"
>< normalized earnings are fine to use if the periods you're lloking at are going to be more normal. but anyone looking at 10-year p/e's today has to realize that the past decade has been anything but normal - james stack president investech research nyt 10.14.12 "dueling prisms for valuing stocks"
>< when i get an application, i basically have 2 days to research and write a 10- to 20-page term paper on why i think it should be approved or rejected. i'm not going to pretend like we get it right every time - robert budens president patent examiner labor union nyt 10.8.12 "fighters in a patent war"
>< we never take the time when payroll data come out to say that 114k jobs were created on a seasonally adjusted basis. we just act as if out there in the world 114k jobs were created, which is just nonsense - maurine haver president haver analytics wsj 10.27.12 "economists' goal: a measure for all seasons"
>< within 3 weeks i had more feedback on my sociaological ideas than i'd had in my whole teaching career. i found that there's no topic so sensitive that can't be discussed, civilly, in an international community - mitchel duneier sociology princeton nyt 11.20.12 "college of the future could be come one, come all"
>< the first impression seen by a high-value person on the opening page of a major newspaper first thing in the morning has a different value than a user from china who is 12 and has been on the web all day long playing games - frank addante founder + ceo rubicon nyt 11.18.12 "your attention, bought in an instant"
>< game ideas were creeping into every nook and cranny of everything. our affluence has allowed us to move to a place where we tend to make things pleasurable, as opposed to efficient - jesse schell entertainment tech carnegie mellon u nyt 12.24.12 "when all the world becomes a game, count on business to be a major player"
>< if there's a primary thread to these old spirits and cocktails, it's that each has become more round. there's a softness. the sharp, bright notes have faded over time and instead you have this integration of all the flavors - jacob briars dir trade advocacy bacardi nyt 11.17.12 "some bars offer a taste of papa's gin"
>< some dismiss inequality and focus instead on overall growth - arguing in effect that a rising tide lifts all boats. when a handful of yatchs become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss - unid imf economists commentary nyt 10.17.12 "income inequality is seen as drag on u.s. growth"
>< think of remastering as the cleaning of a copper statue. you can carefully work on its surface so that the material is returned to its original luster. or you can replate the statue so it gleams garishly in a way that its creator never intended - jay kadis stanford + auth "the science of sound recording" wsj 12.14.12 "behind the remastering boom"
>< most of big data is a fraud, because it is really dumb data. for the most part, we would need something like artificial intelligence to turn the dumb data into smart data, and the reality is that we are still pretty far from developing that sort of artificial intelligence - peter thiel cofounder paypal + palantir wsj 10.20.12 "new gumshoes go deep with data"
>< many people who work in financial markets are highly skilled at cost benefit analysis. they're highly intelligent. they've been to the best schools. they weigh the risk of getting caught against the potential reward, and they decide it's worht the risk - preet bharara u.s. attorney new york southern nyt 12.8.12 "in new era of insider trading, risk vs.reward squared"
>< the teenage model of competition, which is, 'i have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first'? the adult way to run a business is to run it more like a country. they have disputes, yet they've actually been able to have huge trade with each other. they're not sending bombs at each other - eric schmidt ceo google wsj 12.5.12 "google explainer-in-chief can't explain apple"
>< the beatles being so squeaky clean, they were obviously wearing the white hat. the other role to play was putting the black hat on. the more the press played up to it, the more you found yourself thrust into the role of the villain. and then you got used to it. it was easier. you could actually be yourself in the stones - keith richards nyt 11.11.12 "restart me up"
>< the idea is to level the playing field. you want to make sure that not only do sophisticated players not have to spend the time learning the strategies and heuristics that will get them ahead, but also that unsophisticated players are not hurt by the fact that they are not aware of all this information - parag pathak econ mit nyt 10.16.12 "2 american economists awarded nobel"
>< you'd put on a life vest, jump in the water and go from boat to boat. people having all sorts of wild sex. all these lawyers and politicians and executives. that's when i knew white people were crazy. these were the same people who tried to put me in jail yet here they were, out here having a big breakfast - luther campbell [2live crew] nyt 11.6.12 "the defense never rests"
>< top business executives focus single-mindedly on the bottom line meaning profits. among the reasons why so many smart business people fail in politics and government is that there is no bottom line - or perhaps i should say there are so many bottom lines that the search for a single one is futile - alan s blinder econ princeton wsj 10.2.12 "the case against a ceo in the oval office"
>< I think we are all headed toward an agent economy where everyone becomes an agent or a service provider instead of an employee. that's just how the world is evolving. it's like telecommuting but taken to the level of telecompanies. with a work force of contractors, you can dial it up and dial it down - mike farmer founder leap2 wsj 10.6.12 "when job creation engine stops at just one"
>< the impact is implicit not explicit. we human beings always seek happiness. now there are two ways. you make yourself happy by making other people unhappy - i call that the logic of robbery. the other way, you make yourself happy by making other people happy - that's the logic of the market. which way do you prefer? - zhang weiying econ peking u wsj 10.13.12 "china's anti-keynesian insurgent"
>< old school or new school the most important school is understanding the power of a brand. as technology and as media has become more fragmented, the importance of building a powerful brand has become more important. you only have a few places where you need to speak about what your brand is and you need to control that. - ron berger frmr exec euro rscg nyt 10.31.12 "lessons in branding return to industry's roots"
>< as long as empowering innovations create more jobs than efficiency innovations eliminate and as long as the capital that efficiency innovations liverate is invested back into empowering innovations, we keep recessions at bay. the dials are sensitive, but when they are set correctly, the economy is a magnificent machine - clayton christensen harvard biz + coauth "how will you measure your life?" nyt 11.4.12 "a capitalist's dilemma"
>< in general, the creation of wealth is edifying. when only voluntary transactions are permitted, the creation of wealth requires cooperation, and this brings out the best in us. piles of wealth, however, tend to be corrupting. the fixed nature of a pile is all about apportionment, not cooperation, and this zero-sum game tends to bring out the worst in us - david c ross econ u missouri-st louis wsj 12.27.12 "why you don't need piles of money"
>< international tax rules made little competitive difference 50 years ago when american companies dominated world commerce - the u.s. had 17 of the top 20 global companies ranked by sales. compare that with 2012, when just 5 american companies are in the top 20. today, outdated u.s. tax rules make it harder for u.s. companies to succeed against inbternational competitors. - john engler president business roundtable wsj 10.12.12 "corporate taxes, the myths and facts"
>< for a start, public policies should recognize that some small businesses are built for rapid growth while others are likely to stay small forever. firms that are young, say 5 years or less, and exhibit potential for rapid growth and innovation should be classified differently than older firms that are less likely to grow and add jobs. let's call that former group "startups" instead of "small businesses" - aaron chatterji duke fuqua biz wsj 11.12.12 "why washington has it wrong on small business"
>< traditional methods of irrigation focused on flooding the land so as to saturate the soil, but this meant crops were alternately subjected to an excess of water anthen to gradual desiccasion. we realized by applying water to the rooting zone drop by drop, the soil is never saturated nor ever allowed to desiccate. consequentely the system becomes more sustainable, water is used more efficiently and farmers could get much more crop per drop - daniel hillel inventor drip-irrigation wsj 10.15.12 "drip drip drip"
>< the pricing system that emerges from the market - that is, from the push and pull of supply and demand - provides the indispensable knowledge needed to guide the economy. as friedman argued, state experts implementing abstract ideals about satisfying human needs are merely blundering in the dark. price changes are an indispensable discovery procedure - kenneth minogue emeritus london school of econ + auth "the servile mind: how democracy erodes the moral life" wsj 10.27.12 "a league of extraordinary economists"
>< america faces many serious threats, but each side sees some and denies others. morality binds and blinds. john stuart mill described this problem in 1840, noting that in almost all major ideological controversies, "both sides were in the right in what they affirmed, though wrong in what they denied, and that if either could have been made to take the other's views in addition to its own, little more would have been neede dto make its doctrine correct - jonathan haidt biz ethics nyu stern + auth "the righteous mind" nyt 11.7.12 "we need a little fear"
>< we truly are in a battle between two epic forces: those of integration based on civil society and human rights, and those of exclusion based on race, blood and radicalized faith. it is the mistake of western elites to grant primacy to the first force, for it is the second that causes the crises with which policy makers must deal - often by interacting with technology in a toxic fashion, as when a video transported virtually at the speed of light ignites a spate of anti-americalism - robert d kaplan chief geopolitical analyst stratfor + auth "the revenge of geography" wsj 12.24.12 "the return of toxic nationalism"
>< the people who believe that colleges and universities are places where we want less freedom of speech have won. if anything there should be greater freedom of speech on college campuses. but now things have been turned around to give campus communities the expectation that if someone's feelings are hurt by something that is said, the university will protect that person. as soon as you allow something as vague as big brother protecting your feelings, anything and everything can be punished - greg lukianoff president found for individual rights in edu + auth "unlearning liberty" wsj 11.17.12 "how free speech died on campus"
>< you can see the look on people's faces. the wine list is a date killer, for sure. with a quick few questions, you can home in on what they like and whether they are adventurous. it starts off with a real basic conversation. my no. 1 goal is to give them the bottle that will make them happy. if they say they're looking for a white wine, i might ask, are you a california wine drinker or do you prefer french? i may take an extra 30 seconds and pour a taste of 2 wines and ask which of these flavors they prefer. they've made the decision themselves - patrick cappiello wine dir gilt nyc nyt 11.7.12 "the wine list comes with a friend, not a foe"
>< the united states has now acquired an electorally powerful liberal bourgoisie who are convinced, as their european counterparts have been for several generations, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that public spending is inherently virtuous, that poverty can be cured by penalizing wealth creation, and that government intervention can engineer social "fairness". but just when some of europe's political class has begun to appreciate the dangers of this philosophy - that taken to its logical conclusion, it leads to economic stagnation and social division - america seems to have decided that it is the quintessence of enlightened sophistication - janet daley @london telegraph wsj 11.15.12 "notable & quotable"
>< because our cuurrent system is so complex, it lacks elementary clarity: no regulator will know more about the hidden risk of an enterprise than the engineer who can hide exposure to rare events and be unharmed by their consequences... we all know that the stressors of excercise are necessary for good health, but people don't translate this insight into other domains of physical and mental well-being. we also benefit, it turns out, from occasional and intermittent hunger, short-term protein deprivation, physical discomfort and exposure to extreme cold or heat. newspapers discuss post-traumatic stress disorder but nobody seems to account for post-traumatic stress growth - nassim taleb risk engr nyu polytech inst + auth "antifragile" wsj 11.17.12 "learning to love volatility"
>< all modern social science deals with perception. but that is a misnomer because it neglects to distinguish between perceptions and misperceptions. consider voting. you can count voters and votes, and political science does that a lot, and that's very useful because votes are countable. one counts for one. but if we get serious about what it means to vote, we immediately go to the notion of an informed voter. and if you get serious about that, you go all the way to voting as a wise choice. that would be a true voter. the others are all lesser voters, or even not voting at all. they're just indicating a belief, or a whim, but not making a wise choice. that's probably because they are not wise... within a democracy there is good and bad, free and slave - harvey mansfield poli sci harvard wsj 12.1.12 "the crisis of american self-government"
>< a manager may do the right things and get bad outcomes or do the wrong things and get good outcomes. so investment results can be deceptive. if you look at streaks, not just in investing but in any endeavor, almost by definition they combine skill and luck. you have to have above-average skill and above-average luck to have a streak. our minds are good at linking cause to effect. so if i show you an effect that is success, your mind is naturally going to say i need a cause for that. and often you are going to attribute it to the individual or skll rather than to luck. also, humans love narratives, they love stories. an essential element of a story is the notion of causality: this cause that, this person did that. so wehn you put those two together, we are poor at discriminating between the relative contributions of skill and luck in outcomes - michael mauboussin cis legg mason wsj 11.5.12 "is your manager skillful... or just lucky?"
pure luck --> pure skill : casino games < financial markets < sports < chess
>< just one more example of the background absurdities of modern life. boilerplate contracts - aren't really contracts at all. because the terms aren't bargained over, it follows that they aren't consented to in any traditional sense; there is no meeting of the minds between the parties and means they are inconsistent with the moral basis of contract law. the degradation of the moral basis of contract law, in turn, undermines the classical liberal justification for the state, which rests on the need for a public entity that enhances freedom by enforcing private agreements. boilerplate contracts also threaten rights that people would otherwise be entitled to by requiring that one party give up various legal remedies, including the right to a jury trial or money damages for harm caused by the other party. thus "small print" does big damage to the political and governmental processes that create our rights in the first place. the party that constructs the boilerplate makes a kind of private legal system that displaces the public one - robert f nagel constitutional law u colorado revw margaret j radin "boilerplate" wsj 12.21.12 "devil's in the small print"
>< investors have always been in the business of anticipating, if not predicting, the future, and there is nothing wrong with this. however, in doing so, they would normally look at "real" economic indicators such as gdp growth, corporate revenues, earnings outlooks and price-to-earnings ratios. they also knew that trying to figure out what was coming next did not give them a license to totally ignore current realities. the 2008 global finanical crisis and continuing debt crisis in europe have changed that: the main thing that now seems to move markets - on the upside and on the downside is monetaary and political intervention or lack of intervention for that matter. with traders constantly expencting the next summit, election result, central-bank decision or court ruling, the traditional price-to-earnings ratio has given way to a new indicator, which one could call the price-to-expectations ratio. no need to worry about sluggish or negative growth, high unemployment, deteriorating corporate prospects and ever-rising public debts - as long as the price-to-expectations ratio remains under control, markets have room for appreciation. the beauty of this new p-e number is that it never gets too high, because as asset prices rise, markets can always raise their expectations accordingly. any sensible observer would have a hard time doing the same - romain hatchuel mng partner square advisors wsj 10.11.12 "so long price-earnings, hello price-expectations"
>< in 1315, when the venetian city-state was at the height of its economic powers, the upper class acted to lock in its privileges, putting a formal stop to social mobility with the publication of the libro d'oro, or book of gold, an official register of the nobility. if you weren't on it, you couldn't join the ruling oligarchy - a change so striking that the venetians gave it a name: la serrata, or the closure. it wasn't long before the political serrata became an economic one too. the reigning elites were acting in their immediate self-interest, but in the longer term, la serrata was the beginning of the end for them. by 1500, venice's population was smaller than it had been in 1330. in the 17th and 18th centuries, as the rest of europe grew, the city continued to shrink. the story of venice's rise and fall is told in "why nations fail," as an illustration of the thesis that what separates successful states from failed ones is whether their governing institutions are inclusive or extractive. extractive states are controlled by ruling elites whose objective is to extract as much wealth as they can from the rest of society. inclusive states give everyone access to economic opportunity. the history of the united states can be read as one virtuous circle. but as venice shows, circles can be broken - chrystia freedland ed thomson reuters digital + auth "plutocrats: the *rise* of the new global super-rich and the *fall* of everyone else" nyt 10.14.12 "the self-destruction of the 1%"
>< in 1494 luca pacioli published a 600pp encyclopedia "summa de arithmetica" in the italian vernacular, for it was pacioli's intention that his writings should be accessible to "each and every man." toward the end of the 1st volume is a section called "particulars of reckonings and writings," the 1st treatise on double-entry bookkeeping, alla-veneziana. the venetian merchant, he says, commences by taking inventory of his stock. accounts are then tallied in the ledger, which has one overarching rule: every entry must be included as both a debit and a credit. the ledgers must always balance. double-entry bookkeping was greeted by the kind of ecstatic commentary normally reserved for scientific discoveries. goethe referrred to it as "among the finest inventions of mankind" for double entry represents a feat of quantification. every asset or liability and each exchange is given a monetary value and recorded in the same currency. werner sombart, author of "modern capitalism" went so far as to claim that, by encouraging regular record keeping, reduction to events to numerical abstractions, double entry contained the germ of the later scientific revolution. double-entry has survived centuries of evolution to modern multinationals. from a top-down perspective, the market economy often appears unstructured. at the micro-level double entry provides the necessary order - edward chancellor auth "devil take the hindmost" > revw: jane gleeson-white "double entry" wsj 11.8.12 "the bookkeeper of venice"
>< our trash is their gold - mike vague, music dealer wsj 9.22.12 "japanese collectors face a record shortage of obscure music"
>< these products were sold not bought - ronald j garutti jr newroads financial nyt 9.15.12 "a guaranteed return on an annuity has limits after all"
>< sometimes it's not a matter of being soft or tough but a matter of trust and credibility - wu xinbo fudan u wsj 9.5.12 "skepticism greets clinton in china"
>< the first runner has to face the wind - sometimes, it's easier to run from behind - tadashi saito cso sony wsj 8.15.12 "how the japanese lost the electronics crown"
cso = chief strategy officer
>< physics is physics. you're either blocking north korea and china or you're not blocking either of them - unid sr us official wsj 8.23.12 "u.s. to expand asia missile shield"
>< it is difficult to explain to the consumer what an artichoke brings to the spirit. orange is easy - jack shute rep palm bay int nyt 8.8.12 "sipping on a sunset, italy in mind"
>< vc's bury their dead very quietly. they emphasize the successes but they don't talk about the failures at all - shikhar ghosh harvard biz wsj 9.20.12 "venture capital's secret: 3 out of 4 start-ups fail"
>< i was creating reviews that pointed out the positive things, not the negative things. these were marketing reviews, not editorial reviews - todd j rutheford nyt 8.26.12 "the best reviews money can buy"
>< people really have to run with their money because it is not about return on capital, it is about return of capital - humayun shahryah auvest cap mgmt wsj 7.24.12 "europe woes dim moody's outlook for germany"
>< if you tell somebody they can't access youtube or download from netflix, they'll tell you it's a god-given right - bruce taylor vp uptime inst nyt 9.23.12 "wasted power, pollution and the mythology of the internet"
>< people were systemaically too confident. they put too much weight on information they liked and too little on data that contradicted their assumptions - david leonhardt @nyt nyt 7.8.12 "when the crowd isn't wise"
>< it's hard to come forward with anything that's not quote unquote paid for - richard kogan fiscal expert tr budget & policy priority nyt 7.5.12 "in washington's new mood of austerity, legislating turns into a zero-sum game"
>< the controversy among judges is not conservative vs liberal. the main controversy is how to approach the application of legal text - justice antonin scalia wsj 7.23.12 "scalia offers up 57 varieties for interpreting legal texts"
>< they will flicker to see who is not flickering. the guy who is not flickering is the idiot - the real investor. that's how the game is played now - sal arnuk themis trading nyt 9.9.12 "in search of a stock market speed limit"
>< patents are a volatile, spot market. this is a market, but a market that is more like art than stocks or oil - ronald s laurie mging dir inflexion point strategy nyt 9.25.12 "with smartphone deals, patents become new asset class"
>< it's better to start with order and move toward chaos than to start in chaos and move toward order because as a business model, chaos doesn’t work - mario batali chef nyt 8.26.12 "in his kitchen you'll refrain from shouting"
>< entrepreneurship is one of those things where everyone says we could do things better, but nobody gets on and does it - robert madelin dir comm networks european commission nyt 9.20.12 "europe aims to encourage young to be entrepreneurs"
>< 17 years after the company was founded, you still have to wonder whether the frothy trademark yahoo! should be replaced with yahoo? to convey the uncertainty of purpose - david carr @nyt nyt 7.23.12 "question for a ceo: what is yahoo?"
>< i'm more inclined to do something extra for someone who is respectful versus people who are entitled and think who they are will get them extra service - chloe n genovart mngr solo farm + table [vt] nyt 9.5.12 "what restaurants know (about you)"
>< we show a way of reducing crime 90% to 95% by getting the policemen to give positive tickets, catching people doing good things, rather than just negative tickets. - stephen covey [1932-2012] wsj 7.17.12 "author's 7-habits fueled business-book boom"
>< draghi is perceived to be pragmatic, and that is what the market expects. the market does not respect dogma. If you are dogmatic in the markets, you will die - jens nordvig bond strategist nomura nyt 8.29.12 "test for plan to bolster euro and weak nations"
>< this is a real aircraft with a real human component and whatever decisions you make good or bad there's going to be actual consequences. I've seen some disturbing things - joshua [unid] sensor op creech nyt 7.30.12 "a day job close to home, waiting for a kill shot a world away"
>< i was a climate negotiator and no one had this in mind. it turns out you get nearly 100x more from credits than it costs to do it. it turned the economics of the business on its head - david doniger nat resources defense council nyt 8.9.12 "carbon credit effort gone awry"
>< knowing the bottom is more important than knowing the top. if we can find 25% who have zero chance of enrolling, we can say: don't waste your money on them. in this business, it's intangible. it's data through wires - gordy meyer co-fndr ebureau nyt 8.19.12 "shoppers, meet your scorecard"
>< the network effect allowed these companies to grow so fast but the decline can be just as ferocious. if any of them misstep with users, they can leave, and the network effect goes into reverse - ken sena analyst evercore nyt 8.18.12 "social media, once soaring on wall street, is coming down to earth"
>< if youlook at the history of successful human societies, two things are clear. one, you must have trust. without it, society cannot succeed. at the same time, you must also be trustworthy - tamar frankel boston u law + auth "the ponzi scheme puzzle" nyt 8.21.12 "examining the ponzi scheme through the mind of the con artist"
>< we are not a broadcaster so we do not have any inherent interest for any broadcaster to suceed or fail, whereas there are other companies who are both broadcaster and platform provider, so there is an inherent conflict of interest there - john donham ceo tunein nyt 8.6.12 "big aggregators help radio reach online audiences"
>< the key to resolving the contradiction at the heart of ownership - the battling lures of accumulation and elimination - is to cultivate a true simplicity, in which we're both surrounded by useful, beloved things, and free from the oppressive weight of meaningless posessions - gretchen rubin author nyt 8.19.12 "good stuff"
>< one time i fixed a function by changing "less than" to "less than or equal to." that "fix" propagated through the system. and down the system came. there is always one more bug. fix it. another bug. the fix itself may introduce a new bug. and so on - ellen ullman frm software engr + auth "by blood" nyt 8.9.12 "errant code? It's not just a bug"
>< art is not the art market. art history is not the history of the art market. there's a huge difference between a bookstore and a library; both love books and writers, but you wouldn't ask a librarian why he isn't a bookseller. i'm not for art as entertaining distraction, as pure consumption - klaus biesenbach curator moma nyt 9.29.12 "blue period"
>< nobody here can think of an exfample where you pay a tax if you do not buy something. but there are plenty of examples of where you get a tax break for doing something or buying something. in effect, your failure to buy something means you will have to pay more taxes - howard cleckman fellow tax policy ctr nyt 7.29.12 "justices allow the term 'tax' to embrace 'penalty'"
>< i'd rather teach somebody about business than try to educate them about art or music. you can't really do that because it's all personal taste and style. if somebody is smart, they can learn business. if they can apply creativity to it, that;s where we're successful - jarrod moses founder + ceo united entertainment group nyt 9.16.12 "take the bus, and watch new ideas flow"
>< whether increasing co2 is bad or good is a question of science. and in science, truth and facts are not the playthings of causes, nor a touchstone of political correctness, nor true religion, nor "what I tell you three times is true" - roger w cohen fellow am phy soc + william happer princeton + richard s lindzen mit wsj 8.14.12 "climate consensus' data need a more careful look"
nullitus in verba
>< prof. blinder claims that president obama's deficit-reduction plan is similar (but not identical) to that of the simpson-bowles commission. since obama wants to significantly raise marginal tax rates on top earners while s-b wants to significantly lower them, similar must mean opposite at princeton - kevin clark [franklin, tenn] wsj 9.10.12 "which candidate is at the far edge of the spectrum"
>< "almost" is all about gradations and nuance and about suggestion and shades. it witholds the obvious and dangles it just long enough. it is about uncertainty soon to be dismissed but not quite dispellled. "almost" is an elusive loophole. it is not a yes or a no; it is almost always a maybe - andre aciman dir writers institute cuny + auth "alibis" nyt 9.16.12 "an adverb that defies certainty"
>< people were ok with different prices by time of day and day of week, but what made that even more pronounced was the way you framed it. if you said i'ts 20% cheaper to come during the week than on the weekend, people thought that was more acceptable than if you said it's 20% more expensive on the weekend - sheryl e kimes op mgmt cornell u nyt 9.5.12 "when it comes to reservations, time is money"
>< 2 letters were sent, and they differed by just 3 words: one said the needy family "has been selected" from an enclosed list. the other said the family "will be selected". people who received the first letter about identifiable victims gave 25% more than those getting the other letter about statistical victims. - robert j shiller econ & finance yale nyt 9.2.12 "framing prevents needed stimulus"
>< the whole modern world has divided itself into conservatives and progressives. the business of progressives is to go on making mistakes. that of conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. thus we have 2 great types - an advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins - gk chesterton [ill london news 1924] wsj 8.11.12 "notable and quotable"
>< everything is probabilistic, nothing is deterministic, so you never have that satisfaction of knowing that you're in control of an outcome. so you spend all of your time managing your reputation, managing your relationships and you spend almost no time thinking creatively or doing the things that an entrepreneur is good at doing - sean parker co-fndr napster nyt 7.24.12 "taking a risk, hoping lightning strikes twice"
former entrepreneurs crossed over to be vc's and that hasn't worked out well. you don't want to be michael jordan playing baseball - m andreessen
>< there's always that moment when you go from knowing everyone to not knowing everyone. as a ceo that's a big one- when people start getting hired and i didn't write the offer letter. or people start gettting hired when you literally have never met them and they walk through the office and i'll say to someone "who is that guy?" people are joining us every week - ben leler co-founder + ceo thrillist media group nyt 9.9.12 "first rule of business: don't hope"
>< according to the bureau of labor statistics, current employment statistics survey, which counts jobs, ~25k jobs were added in california in jully 2012, putting california in first place in the nation. but acording to the bls current population survey, which counts employed persons, california lost ~40k jobs in july 2012, in which case california is actually dead last - ann defranco [superior colo] wsj 8.24.12 "there's still some tarnish on that great golden state"
>< for many politicians, "outsourcing" is a 4-letter word because it involves jobs leaving here and going there. but for many ceo's, outsourcing is over. in today's seamlessly connected world, there is no out and no in anymore. there is only the "good," "better" and "best" places to get work done, and if they don't tap into th ebest, most cost-efficient venue, wherever that is, their competition will - thomas l friedman @nyt nyt 8.7.12 "average is over, part ii"
>< "things should be made as simple as possible but no simpler." lawmakers and regulators seem to embrace the 2nd part of einstein's admonition but do exactly the opposite of the 1st… dodd-frank which is on track to generate 30k pages of regulations compared with glass-steagall's 37 pages, is only a recent example. and it, like most of its recent predecessors, is destined to do more harm than good - douglas hajek [sioux falls, sd] wsj 9.15.12 "complex rules are often less effective than simpler ones"
>< there are two strategies for your life and career. one is paint-by-numbers and the other is connect-the-dots. So with the paint-by-numbers set, you know ahead of time what it's going to look like. by contrast, with a connect-the-dots puzzle, you can only guess at what it might look like by the time you finish. parents and faculty members often want you to paint by the numbers. it doesn't make it wrong, but there's a bias in the system - mark b templeton ceo citrix nyt 9.23.12 "the career choice"
>< indulgence is often trailed by its chubby sidekick, overindulgence. while the concept is probably all too familiar to anyone who's ever attended a thanksgiving dinner, the word underindulgence doesn't exist. but reserach shows that underindulgence - indulging a little less than you usually do - holdes one key to getting more happiness for your money - elizabeth dunn psych u british columbia + michael norton harvard biz, coauth "happy money: the science of spending" nyt 7.8.12 "don't indulge. be happy"
>< some would call it supply-side economics. president obama calls it "trickle-down snake oil" even "fairy dust". i like the term i-side economics - for investment, innovation and individual incentive - rather than g-side economics, as in "what has the government given me lately?" obama's got backward. as in henry ford's say, it is worker's productivity that drives long-term wagte gains, not workers' wages that drive growth - andy kessler ex hedge fund mngr + auth "eat people" wsj 9.19.12 "the u.s. needs more i-side economics"
>< every good entrepreneur i know ends up in the wasteland of being a venture capitalist. it's really frustrating. how can you as an entrepreneur that's had success, has a reputation, ever build the courage to go and do something again? most don't remain entrepreneurs. it's just too psychologically draining to have to constantly start over again. the only person i can think of off the cuff is jobs who had apple, next, pixar, and then apple again, which is really a different company - sean parker co-founder facebook nyt 7.24.12 "taking a risk, and hoping that lightning strikes twice"
>< true, the staff provides forecasts about the future, but these are made before policy action is decided. former fed chairmen paul volker and alan greenspan told the staff several times that its inflation forecasts based on the phillips curve - which theoreizes a trade-off between inflation and employment levels - were not as useful. but the phillips curve is still central to the inflation forecasts that messrs volker and greenspan found useless - allan h melzer polit econ cmu tepper + auth "a history of the federal reserve" wsj 7.10.12 "what's wrong with the federal reserve?"
>< the art business now attracts people who are parking money, who are speculating and who want social status. the flaw in their thinking is that from a historical perspective, the great private collections were put together by people who bought art because they could afford it and liked it. when these people spent money on art, they considerd it spent and they had something to enjoy for the rest of their lives. it was for personal use. the art spent no time at a freeport - michael findlay dir acquavella galleries + auth "the value of art" nyt 7.22.12 "the boom behind closed doors"
>< differentials between a hospital's real costs (nothing to do with charges) and what is paid by the government or private insurers are mined and become revenue drivers. upcoding creep toward or over the red compliance line ensues, while patients without insurance are shown the door and underinsured patients declare chapter 11. 2% margins magically become 12% margins. the orweillian "medical loss ratio" the money actually spent on health care, drops. the winners: the chief executives and investors. the losers: the rest of us - eric manheimer ex med dir bellevue + auth "twelve patients" nyt 8.26.12 "the trouble with for-profit hospitals"
>< i was told by ken brown, the winemaker, that if i stayed with him 3 years, i could learn how to make wine. it turns out, if you apply yourself, you can learn in 6 weeks. the first vintage we got massacred on was '96, which was a very good vintage. in 1989 parker named my sanford and benedict vineyard chardonnay the best in california. in 1996, the numbers on that wine were exactly the same as in '89 - same winemaking, same acid, and ph, same alcohol - and he said it was pinched and lean. the wine was the same but the context had changed - jim celndenen principal au bon climat wsj 9.8.12 "a brash icon's subtle wines have their day"
>< instead of having to go through big publishing-company gatekeepers, authors now can use digital publishing and print-on-demand platforms to go directly to readers. this was another amazon innovation: treating authors as customers, too. authors are no longer supplicants at the doors of the "big six" publishers. they can take their books - short, long, quirky, genre-crossing, small-miche, quiet, blockbuster, etc - directly to readers. contrary to what author's guild president scott turow suggests, this represents, bright, not "grim" news for literary culture - libby sternberg, lancaster pa wsj 7.24.12 "parsing a sea change in publishing"
>< the way i see it, hunger drives the entrepreneur: hunger for the next great idea, validation, challenge, competition, success. but many entrepreneurs try to make the leap from idea to business without a reality check, setting themselves up for failure. even for those who've done their research - who are confident that their business idea fills a niche or that their methods are superior to extisting options - failure is still likely. you have to be prepared to abandon an idea if there is no customer interest, or if you can't modify your product to meet customer needs - matt maloney ceo grubhub wsj 8.23.12 "what grubhub ceo took from the strategy"
>< we've undergone great changes w/ urbanization, agriculture, very big changes in lifestyles. we've seen, if anything an acceleration of genetic changes in humans due to these lifestyle changes. so i think human evolution has been going on quite rapidly recently and its going to carry on. not everyone agrees. my colleague in london steve jones, has argued that evolution has stopped in humans because we are in control of it. we have medical care. nearly everyone reaches reproductive age. everyone has enough food and water. so natural selection has been nullified in humans - chris stringer anthropology nat history museum london nyt 7.17.12 "a bone here, a bead there"
>< americans are not ideologues. they think ideology is something squished down on their heads from on high, something imposed on them by big thinkers who create systems we're all supposed to conform to. americans are more interested in philosophy, which bubbles up from human beings, from tradition and learned experience, and isn't imposed. edmund burke in "reflections on the revolution in france" wrote "circumstances (which with some pass for nothing) give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect. the circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind - peggy noonan @wsj wsj 8.18.12 "it's the circumstances, stupid"
>< the placebo effect is the result of the patient's expectation that the treatment will help. but expectations can also do harm. when a patient anticipates a pill's possible side effect, he can suffer them even if the pill is fake. this nocebo effect presents doctors and nurses with an ethical dilemma: on the one hand they are required to tell patients about potential complications of a treatment; on the other hand, they want to minimize the likelyhood of side effects. but if merely telling patients about side effects increases their likelyhood, what is to be done? as the cardiologist bernanrd lown said "words are the most powerful tool a doctor possesses, but words, like a 2-edged sword, can main as well as heal" - paul enck psych u tuebingen nyt 8.12.12 "beware the nocebo effect"
>< are you thinking of introducing change to your business or work life? try following the seasons. there are few things that are as regular and predictable yet so fresh and different. change is important. we take inspiration from the seasons and build change into our work schedule. from may through october we switch to a 4-day workweek. and not 40 hours crammed into 4 days but 32 hours. we don't work the same amount of time, we work less. nearly all of us enjoy 3-day weekends. the benefits of a 6-month schedule with 3-day weekends are ovvious but there's one surprising effect: better work gets done in 4 days than 5. when there's less time to work, you waste less time. when you have a compressed workweek, you tend to focus on what's importnat. constraining time encourages quality time - > nyt 8.19.12 "be more productive. take time off"
parkinson's law: work expands to fill available time for its completion
>< when like minded-people get together, they tend to end up thinking a more extreme version of what they thought before they started to talk. you might expect that people's views would soften and that divisions between groups would get smaller. that is not what usually happens. on the contrary, people's original beliefs tend to harden and the original divisions typically get bigger. balanced presentations can fuel unbalanced views. what explains this? "biased assimilation", which means that people assimilate new information in a selective fashion. this natural human tendency explains why it's so hard to dislodge false rumors and factual errors. corrections can even be self-defeating, leading people to stronger committment to their erroneous beliefs - cass sunstein harvard law + auth "going to extremes" nyt 9.18.12 "breaking up the echo"
dismiss the source > biased, confused, self-interested, simply mistaken
>< the race was a thankless one, depending on singular prodigies and visionaries. great companies rose and fell in this race, markets were born and died yet the torch of memory was somehow passed forward. One of those memory mavericks, an ex-ibm'er, alan shugart, founded his own company in 1973 and set out to compete, with a new "mini" computer, against his old employer. shugart was soon out of money and on the brink of being fired, in a last desperate move to land a sale, two shugart sales execs met with a major client in a bar and asked what kind of memory device he dreamed of. one of those new ibm "floppy" mylar removable disks, he replied, but much smaller. the salesmen asked: how small? the client shrugged and pointed at a cocktail napkin - michael s malone auth "the guardian of all things" wsj 9.14.12 "rememberance of computer disks past"
>< it's hard to find anything to say about life without immersing yourself in the world, but it's also just about impossible to figure out what it might be, or how best to say it without getting the hell out of it again. busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a kind of hedge against emptyness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. i once knew a woman who interned at a manazine where she wasn't allowed to take lunch hours out, lest she be urgently needed for some reason. this was an entertainment magazine whose raison d'etre was obviated when "menu" buttons appeared on remotes, so it's hard to see this pretense of indispensability as anything other than a form of institutional self-delusion - tim kreider auth "we learn nothing" nyt 7.1.12 "life beyond the 'busy' trap"
>< fewer university presses with higher standards would serve humanity better than the current system. some of the problem stems from the nature of the tenure system, in which every academic is under pressure to publish whether he or she has anything worth saying or not. the university press problem is a symptom rather than a cause of academia's woes. parts of the universityh press system work like vanity presses, where the driving force in the system is the author's need to be published rather than the readers's need to know. what's going on here, however, is less about quality than it is about money and the outmoded foundations of american institutions and practices built in the post-wwii era. the baroque inefficiency of the academic enterprise - and especially the research model university, which has built a system that demands enormous outside resources to tontinue to function - walter russell mead @american interest wsj 7.12.12 "notable & quotable"
>< "the signal is the truth," mr silver writes, "the noise is the distraction." above all, mr silver urges forecasters to become baysians. the problem with his view that it should not be "all that challenging" to identify financial bubbles "before they burst" is that he has ignored all the false positives. earnings multiples were elevated in the early 1990s, suggesting poor stock returns. but the 1990s produced extraordinarily generous equity returns. multiples were even higher in december 1996 suggesting negative long-run rates of return. the stock market rallied sharply until march 2000, a devastatingly inaccurate prediction. the efficient market hypothesis doens't imply that prices are always correct, as mr silver asserts. prices are always wrong. what the hypothesis asserts is that one never knows for sure if they are too high or too low - burton g malkiel auth "a random walk down wall street" > revw nate silver "the signal and the noise" wsj 9.25.12 "telling lies from statistics"
>< before the 13th century, european businessmen recorded figures in roman numerals and computed with their fingers or a counting board. but these creaky accounting systems began to buckle under the growing complexity of regional and international finance. in 1202, leonardo da pisa [fibonacci], published the "liber abbaci" or "book of calculation", a 600pp tome detailing the rules of hindu-arabic arithmetic and algebra. fibonacci's volume was directed not to scholars but to merchants, the first work in the west to demonstrate the commercial utility of eastern mathematics. the book was an instant success. arithmetic schools sprang up throughout italy and would eventually count among their pupils da vinci and machiavelli. german merchants flocked to venice during the 1300s to learn the new accounting practice. the book spearheaded the decline and fall of the roman numeral and transformed scientific, technological and commercial calculation in the west - alan hirshfeld physics u mass + auth "eureka man: the life and legacy of archimedes" wsj 7.5.12 "counting on progress"
>< we have a perfect record in predicting future wars right? - and that record is 0% - gen h.r. mcmaster wjs 5.12.12 "the warrior's-eye view of afghanistan"
>< steel working used to be 80% back and 20% brain, now it's the other way around - mehmet ataman op tech mgr burns harbor wsj 5.21.12 "globalization helps revive steel mill"
>< if you don't need the money, you can get it all day long. thank you, ben bernanke - chris hordan [hermosa beach ca] wsj 6.19.12 "fed wrestles with how to bridge u.s. credit divide"
>< first, i work for the people below me. they don't work for me. teamwork is key - bill flemmings pres skanska usa nyt 6.12.12 "before the meeting adjourns, tell me what you'll do next"
>< you treat people well they will return the favor. and if you treat them poor they will return the favor - mike sheehan ceo hill holliday nyt 6.3.12 "you're smart, but what about your topspin"
>< if facebook built the cities, then we are building the homes. we try to help people connect to less people, not more - dave morin co-fndr path wsj 4.16.12 "mobile-networking app raises $30m"
>< you send money, you call it a 'loan' - you get it back and call it an 'interest rate' - stephane deo global dir asset alloc ubs nyt 5.30.12 "most aid provided to athens flows directly back to europe"
>< the vix will spike when the market falls. but i've always been stunned by how long the vix can stay low - andrew cumming portfolio mgr blackheath fund mgmt wsj 4.20.12 "when trends won't die"
>< we've moved from a traditional advertising model of buying 1k impressions. Now you evaluate and buy a single impression - michael greene sr analyst forrester wsj 6.18.12 "online tracking ramps up"
>< it would be interesting if credentials could be earned based on what you know and not on where you acquired that knowledge - salman khan founder khan academy wsj 6.4.12 "changing the economics of education"
>< it may be the first medium where the buyers have more information about the price, the value and the amount of inventory than the sellers - gordon mcloud president krux wsj 6.18.12 "online tracking jumps"
>< some people might think that i'm abusing the system, but i really see myself as a victim of a completely faulty economic model - belen graphic designer [seville] nyt 5.12.12 "in spain, jobless find a refuge off the books"
>< another thing that steve taught us all was to not focus on the past. it you've done something great or something terrible, forget it and go on and create the next thing - tim cook ceo apple wsj 6.4.12 "apple after jobs"
>< most companies say they're innovative in the hope they can somehow con investors into thinking there is growth when there isn't - clayton christensen harvard biz + auth "innovator's dilemma" wsj 5.23.12 "you call that innovation?"
>< what's going on here? anchovies were the thing we joked about as kids. in spain it was completely the opposite: they were revered as this delicacy - seamus mullen chef tertulia nyc nyt 4.18.12 "the lowly anchovy: customers take the bait"
>< you can't have a bowl of nuts on the table anymore - it has to be world class food. people want what is new and different. and it is competitive and intense - lydia eenet sr vp christie's nyt 6.27.12 "at auction houses, power catering"
>< if you do not have economic growth, no amount of austerity will balance the budget, because you will always have revenues go down more than you can possibly cut spending - bill clinton nyt 6.6.12 "dire cbo report urges fiscal fixes"
>< we decline to stretch or update statutory words of plain and ordinary meaning in order to better accomodate the digital age - judge dennis jacobs court appeals 2nd circ nyt 4.12.12 "appeals court limits federal law used in goldman programmer case"
>< larry page always encouraged me to aim high. the dialogue always focuses on what's going to happen to the institutions. i'm totally siding with the students - sebastian thrun dir ai lab stanford wsj 6.16.12 "what's next for silicon valley?"
>< any building built before 1910 was framed with antique lumber, from american virgin forests. if you turned new york city inside out, it would look like the adirondacks - al solomon salvager nyt 5.18.12 "this furniture has history ingrained in it"
>< what can i benefit from this cooperation, what payoff does the p.l.a. get? we think the u.s. is hypocritical when they say we want this cooperation for your benefit - yan xuetong tsinghua u nyt 5.2.12 "u.s.-china military talks to open amid unease"
>< energy efficiency is a negative. it's easier to say how many kilowatts we produced, calculating the kilowatts avoided is much harder - ben finkelor exec dir energy efficiency ctr uc davis nyt 4.10.12 "meccas of shopping try hand at being energy misers"
>< we're trying to understand not only physically where they're going within the store, but also where they're going virtually within that shopping experience - bryan wargo ceo nearbuy wsj 6.18.12 "network developers offer retailers ways to keep tabs on customers"
>< a fact without a theory is like a ship without a sail, a boat without a rudder, a kite without a tail. but if there's one thing worse in this universe, it's a theory without a fact - george shultz frmf secretary of state wsj 6.13.12 "memo to romney: expand the pie"
>< this was the equation we figured out. i could no longer live with my colleagues who couldn't wait to spend their bonuses on new watches and other expensive things they didn't need. i wanted to break from all that - rehda moali principal al-ma-mun center nyt 6.30.12 "on a mission in marrakech"
>< the idea of risk management is an oxymoron. you can try to measure the amount of potential risk in your portfolio, but the only way to really 'manage' risk is by either taking more of it or taking less of it - paul his dir us credit res morgan stanley nyt 5.16.12 "at jpmorgan, too much icing on the cake"
>< all business structures are a mix; there are no pure strategies. shouting out open or closed as a prescription for categorical success is at best a mirage and at worst a predicate for anticonsumer public policy - thomas w hazlett dir information econ proj george mason u wsj 6.29.12 "the iphone turns five"
>< i was kind of obsessed with facebook, making friends, meeting people i otherwise would never meet, telling them what i had for breakfast - which is extremely interesting. i would find out what they had for breakfast, which was not as interesting - larry ellison ceo oracle wsj 6.4.12 "silicon valley: the long view"
>< when i sit down with colleagues over a beer at a meeting, we don't go over facts. we don't talk about what's known. we talk about what we'd like to figure out, about what needs to be done - stuart firestein neurosci columbia + auth "ignorance: how it drives science" nyt 6.19.12 "to advance, search for a black cat in a dark room"
>< by the time bill gates got rich, microsoft was not liely to have trouble financing investments. hence, increasing tax rates on the already rich might not hurt growth as much as increasing tax rates on the soon-to-be rich - peter diamond emeritus econ mit + emmanuel saez econ berkeley wsj 4.24.12 "high tax rates won't slow growth"
>< your tax dollars keep going up but you don't see what you're getting back. taxpayers may say they want fiscal prudence but it still is hard for some to accept that their tax money is being redirected to a bank account instead of spent on services - william fox econ u tennessee wsj 6.25.12 "state, local fiscal burdens drag on recovery"
>< other countries with big economies and high standards of living have rejected the disposable products that make up so much of america's garbage - in part because european countries hold manufacturers not taxpayers responsible for the costs of packaging waste - edward humes auth "garbology" wsj 4.14.12 "grappling with a garbage glut"
trash/(day*person) = 100 tons in lifetime / american communities spend more on waste management than on fire, parks and recreation, libraries or schoolbooks
>< how many cfo's like r&d? how many silicon valley companies have a real research department? the point is that most cfo's see the r&d dept as a black hole. it's the roach motel for dollars. the dollars check in but they don't check out - nathan myhrvold founder + ceo intellectual ventures wsj 6.4.12 "the problem with copyrights"
>< can i do something else? i asked. he suggested, why don't you study the opposite? so i ran to the library. there were hundreds of papers on protein formation and almost none on protein degradation. so here was perfect territory. - avram hershko biochem technion iit + 2004 nobel chemistry wsj 6.18.12 "a conversation with avram hershko"
>< it's almost game over at sony. it makes too many models, and for none of them can they say this contains our best, most cutting-edge technology. apple on the other hand makes one amazing phone in just 2 colors and says, this is the best - yoshiaki sakito frmr sony exec & innovation trainer wsj 4.15.12 "how the tech parade passed a company by"
>< there is a solution to the problems facing the spanish banking system: not a bail-out, but a bail-in, whereby investors bear the vast majority of the cost of their own mistakes, without liquidating the banks and without pushing the Spanish economy into bankruptcy - juan ramon rallo econ u rey juan carlos wsj 6.15.12 "a bail-in could save spain's banks"
>< going long on malthus is to effectively go short on human ingenuity and technological innovation. belief in peak oil sows the seeds of its own refutation as it forces up prices and makes what was previously too expensive to contemplate - such as fracturing shale - worth trying - liam denning @wsj wsj 6.27.12 "investment boom means fears of peak oil have peaked"
>< a recession begins when the economy peaks and begins to turn down. a recovery begins when the economy reaches a trough and begins to turn up. our economy is in recovery not because it is doing well - it clearly is not - but because it hit bottom and started moving in a positive direction - edward p lazear stanford biz wsj 6.14.12 "whose fault is today's bad economy?"
>< as the author of a leading dictionary of tax definitions, I was astonished to see the word tax used to describe what is clearly a civil penalty. taxes are there to raise revenue. as a renowned tax law professor told me, every time the supreme court touches the tax law, they crumb it up. so true. - richard a westin u kentucky law nyt 6.30.12 "the legal debate over the health law"
>< the governance movement has proven harmful to the very institutions that it is seeking to benefit. investors are actually causing corporations to do things that are eroding investor returns. we need to lock investors into their own investments so as to not push them into short-term strategies - lynn a stout cornell law nyt 6.28.12 "challenging the long-held belief in 'shareholder value'"
>< one of the important things is how you hire the right people. we made mistakes and learned from them. one of the things we want is someone who's able to figure things out and become an expert. you don't say oh i can't do that. i don't know it, you say: how do i figure it out, what do i need to do? - sabrina parsons ceo palo alto software nyt 4.12.13 "start-up spirit without 18-hour days"
>< maybe keynes was wrong and friedman was right when he warned that government spending is taxation and that government can't tax an economy into prosperity. friedman made it clear time and again that restraining government spending stimulates the economy by liberating private resources - arthur b laffer pres laffer assoc + stephen moore @wsj wsj 6.12.12 "obama's real spending record"
>< i would like to know of one instance when a regulatory agency has ever effectively led scientific innovation where a free market has been wanting. i can hear echoes of milton friedman's observation that "when a private enterprise fails it is closed down; when a government enterprise fails, it is expanded - shane kochvi claremont nh wsj 4.23.12 "a 21st-century fda is a long way in the future"
>< people try to make this distinction between rental and buying or subscription and download, and i don't think that's the right way to look at it. ownership is about having access to all your music exactly where you want itt, when you want it and being able to port it to a device, burn it to cd and not having these restrictions - sean parker dir spotify wsj 6.4.12 "voices from the conference"
>< the principal guiding motto of all regulatory bureaucracies: "cross us and we will make you pay." the fact that all the regulated entities so well understand this motto and the vindictiveness of the regulatory cureaucrats in carrying it out amke the unelected regulatory state so hard to subject to checks and balances - alex j pollock american enterprise inst wsj 5.23.12 "regulators and too-big-to-fail banks "
>< greece is the polar opposite of germany. none of its fellow eu members surveryed see it in a positive light. the british, french, and germans judge the greeks, italians and spanish to be the laziest people and among the most corrupt. however, italians and spaniards largely share this negative image of themselves and their southern counterparts - pew research ctr report [spiegel 5.29] wsj 6.1.12 "notable and quotable"
>< a bailout doesn't make economic sense and would likely make the situation worse. such schemes violate the liability principle, one of the constituting principles of a market economy, which holds that it is the creditors responsibility to choose their debtors. if debtors cannot repay, creditors should bear the losses - hans-werner sinn pres ifo inst + dir ctr econ studies u munich nyt 6.13.12 "why berlin is balking on a bailout"
>< after loudcloud swiched from cloud computing to software we had a shareholder activist who bought @62c a share. the stock was trading @$7. in one earnings call, she asked me why won't i sell the company? you can't actually answer that question openly. i said "the company is not for sale. look a public company is always for sale." - ben horowitz cofndr andreessen horowitz wsj 6.11.12 "venture capitalist: beware of activist holders"
>< these politices are nuanced, so they are easily caricatured as doing something with one hand and undoing it with the other. their key element is dynamics - using credible plans to lower borrowing costs and address long-run fiscal problems, while not taking immediate austerity measures that would raise unemployment when what countries need most is growth - christina d romer econ berkeley nyt 4.29.12 "not so fast on euro austerity"
>< the disciples of duchamp have done their best to question the very nature of art. but once whismical gestures end up valued in the millions, it matters in a whole new way whether a brillo box is a warhold or just a brillo box. how ironic: the artists who most wanted to subvert notions of authority have ended up empowering squares in robes to judge what is and isn't art - eric felten @wsj wsj 6.1.12 "is it art? that's a judicial decision"
>< there's a wave of interest in attending concerts that have less to do with the specific music and more to do with the experience attached to the music. our thought is that the experience of attending an individual event can be perpetuated and made better by connecting the people, not just when they're consuming the entertainment but when they are away from it - bob sillerman founder sfx/live nation nyt 6.5.12 "live nation mogul is betting on electronic dance music"
>< heavy drinking is much more common - and much more harmful - than heavy marijuana use. alcohol is strongly connected with violence, traffic fatalities and chronic disease. Even a small decrease in heavy drinking could outweigh any social costs from legalizing marijuana. by the same token, even a small increase in heavy drinking could outweigh any benefits of legalization - beau kilmer codir rand drug policy rsch ctr + coauth "marijuana legalization" wjs 4.20.12 "the marijuana exception"
>< "in new york, we don't tend to like things that announce themselves as elitist. we like to be the ones to find something and stamp it with specialness, as opposed to being told 'get on line. you might qualify for entry.' " in hollywood, however, where authenticity is perhaps less of an issue and where velvet ropes and vip sections are par for the course, so ho house's unveiled social darwinism has been a hit - nick jones founder soho house nyt 6.3.12 "soho house is taking the party global"
>< hochschild can make us feel the gulf between employers, who imagine that relations between themselves and their emotional delegates are mutually beneficial, and the employed who grasp that the cash they take is meant to make them invisible. "i'll be in a room bustling about and they won't be aware i'm there," says rose, a household manager. "a lot of those mothers know me but talk to me only to ask about norma" - judith shulevitz auth "the sabbath world" nyt 5.27.12 "the outsourced self"
>< it's not like the current payoff is motivating everybody to take risks. we need twice as many people. when i look around, i see a world of unrealized opportunities for improvements, and abudance of talented people able to take the risks necessary to make improvements but a shortage of people and investors willing to take those risks. that doesn't indicated to me that risk takers, as a whole, are overpaid. quite the opposite - edward conard frm mgr bain capital nyt 5.6.12 "are the rich worth a damn?"
>< what's amazing about fresh blooming cannabis is there are citrus notes and mint notes and they kind of smell like a ripe pineapple sometimes. when you talk to old-timers they'll tell you they were smoking sativas from mexico, which is the pot that makes you energetic and loquacious. but a lot of growers switched to indicaswhich are easier to grow. that's the kind that makes you sit on the couch and eat chips. it's the difference between being high and being stoned - mark h smith auth "heart of dankness* nyt 4.19.12 "on the road to the cannabis cup"
>< economics has often ignored the critical distinction between austerity for the government and government-imposed austerity. in the former, governments which are over-budget sell assets, restrain their hiring and limit their mission to essentials. that's growth oriented austerity. in the private-sector version of austerity, governments impose new taxes and mandates on the private sector, while maintaining their own personnel, salaries and pensions. that's the antigrowth version of austerity prevaltent in europe's austerity programs - david malpass pres encima global wsj 5.23.12 "greece's false austerity"
>< far for being grateful for "a break" from grading papers, i am dismayed by the prospect of substituting the teacher-student interactions that are the heart of education with a set of algorithms, no matter how complex. the technology that your article suggests would relieve professors of the tedium of reading essays represents the victory of accreditation over inquiry and efficiency over curiosity. it may work in a world where there is a finite set of "correct" answers, but that is rarely true in the world of humanist learning - alison f johnson history harvard u nyt 4.12.13 "that computer gave my essay a d"
>< what is liberalism? my own view is that left-wing positions largely come about from resentment about the surrounding social order. they have privileges, i don't. or, i have them and i can't live up to them. things should be organized differently. and there's always some sense on the left that power is in the wrong hands. you know, that the world is misgoverned. and in particular, the nearer something is to yourself, the more you feel that on the left. there's this rejection of your own country, of your own government - roger scruton auth "how to think seriously about the planet" wsj 4.14.12 "want to save the planet? turn right"
>< stop billing by the hour. professionals could instead charge a feebased on the service provided: a fixed amount to file a legal brief or complete an audit or repair a leak. clock time isn't the only way to organize behavior. another approach is *event time" in which we continue doing something until we finish or some even occurs, no mattter how many minutes or hours it takes: don't start work at 9am but whenever you finish breakfast. innovation doesn't occur in a year on a quarter - and certainly not in an hour. so why continue to reward most workers using a too-brief measure of time? - frank partnoy auth: "wait" nyt 6.23.12 "unlocking yourself from the clock"
>< but you never say what deflation really is. let me attempt a definition. deflation is a derangment of debt, a symptom of which is falling prices. in a credit crisis, when inventories become unfinancable, merchandise is thrown on the market and prices fall. that's deflation. what deflation is not is a drop in prices caused by a technology-enhanced decline in costs of production. that's called progress. long before joseph shumpeter coined the term "creative destruction", david wells in 1889 was explaninig the consequences of disruptive innovation. "in the last analysis, it will appear that there is no such thing as fixed capital; there is nothing useful that is very old except the precious metals, and life consists of the conversion of forces. the only capital which is of permanent value is immaterial - the experience of generations and the development of science - james grant speech to ny fed nyt 5.7.12 "notable & quotable"
>< unlike stocks, an artwork's price reflects numerous nonfundamental intangibles, like the pleasure of owning a painting or, perhaps more important, its ability to signal the owner's vast wealth and erudition. while stocks can provide an ongoing payment stream (via dividents) and are traded in public markets, art collectors must pay to protect their investments. it's also much hard for collectors to resell expensive art. not only is the market opaque, but few artists have real long-term value - jasper johns and warhol are rarities. sergey skaters-chikov, who publishes an influentical art-investment report, says that no paintint bought for $30m or more has ever been resold at a profit. art itself may be a lousy invesment, but selling it (and advising on it and being an art-world consigliere) can be pretty profitable. because each piece of fine art is unique and can't be owned by anybody else, it does a more powerful and subtle job of signaling wealth than virtually any other luxury good. high prices are, quite literally, central to the signal - you don't spend $120m to show that you're a savvy investor. you're spending $120m in part to show that you can blow $120m on something that can't possibly be worth that much in the marketplace - adam davidson cofounder npr planet money nyt 6.17.12 "i'll take the rothko for $87 million"
>< cronyism has a long history in italy, where the catholic church enjoyed tremendous influence. popes and other members of the hierarchy wielded - and often abused - enormous power, including that of placing their children and friends in positions of influence, regardless of merit. a truly competitive market has no place for favoritism, but when one company or institution dominates a market, such practices become inevitable. in italy today, even emergency-room doctors gain promotions on the basis of political affiliation. instead of being told to study, young people are urged to "carry the bag" for powerful people in the hope of winning favors. mothers push their daughters into the arms of the rich and powerful, seeing it as the only avenue of social promotion. the nation's talent-selection process is broken: one routinely finds highly intelligent people employed in menial jobs while mediocre people often hold distinguished positions. once an incompetent appointee finds himself in a powerful position, he tends to hire only subordinates of equal or lower quality, since more talented people pose a threat. a firm's human capital will become so eroded that it won't be able to compete without some form of protection. the more protection it can gain from government, the greater the scope of the cronyism, which in turn makes protection even more necessary. crony capitalism creates a vicious circle - luigi zingales u chicago booth + auth "a capitalism for the people" wsj 6.5.12 "crony capitalism and the crisis of the west"
>< whatever their political parties, american leaders have generally subscribed to one of two competing economic philosophies. one is a small-government jeffersonian perspective that abhors bigness and holds that prosperity flows from competition among indepdendent businessmen, farmers and other producers. the other is a hamiltonian agenda that believes a large, powerful country needs large, powerful organization. "in the spirit of philosophical bipartisanship, it would be pleasant to conclude that each of these traditions has made its own valuable contribution to the success of the american economy and that the vector created by these opposing forces has been more beneficial than the complete victory of either would have been. but that would not be true. what is good about the american economy is largely the result of the hamiltonian developmental tradition and what is bad about it is largely the result of the jeffersonian producerist school." hamiltonian development built the eire canal, the transcontinental railroad, the land-grant universities, and the interstate highway system. in the process the u.s. became a giant, interconnected market. the government - and the military in particular - also played the most important role in financing innovation at its early stages. the jet engine, radio (and by extension, television), radar, penicillin, synthetic rubber, and semiconductors all stemmed from govt-financed research or procurement. the defense department literally built the internet - david leonhardt @nyt revw benjamin m friedman "the great divergence" nyt 5.27.12 "market values"
>< there was nothing to see - only light - germano celant curator nyt 1.15.12 "journeying into the heart of lightness"
>< all i'll say is, nothing is simple, everything is complex - rudy van gelder wsj 1.7.12 "new jersey jazz revolution"
>< counterparty risk has been the great amplifier. sometimes an avalanche starts with a snowball - walter dolde u connecticut biz nyt 2.22.12 "new worries over cds's"
>< i admit that a private jet beats the tsa rub-a-dub. along with his prius, larry page has a 767 - andy kessler ex hedge-fund manager + auth "eat people" wsj 1.3.12 "the rise of consumption equality"
>< the new ad placement in news feeds means that irrelevant content that was once passively ignorable will now be actively annoying - ben winkler cdo omd wsj 3.3.12 "facebook, twitter: space invaders"
cdo = chief digital officer
>< there are some that are closer to the beaker and some that are closer to the barrel - michael j mcadams dir advanced biofuels acssoc nyt 1.9.12 "companies fined by u.s. for not using biofuel they can't get"
>< there is nothing democratic about innovation. it is always an elite activity, whether by a recognized or unrecognized elite - paul saffo @saffo.com nyt 1.29.12 "the yin and yang of corporate innovation"
>< we've included the calculator to reduce the emphasis on computation and to focus more attention on reasoning skill - christine betaneli edu testing srvc nyt 1.22.12 "delete calculations, enter problem solving"
>< you make a much bigger buck on a transaction than on the long term relationship. you have profiteers as opposed to advisers - charles m elson corp governance u delaware nyt 3.15.12 "public exit at goldman raises doubt on new ethic"
>< in small ag, everyone's generous with their information and their time. among larger farmers, everyone tends to think of their neighbor as their enemy - robert a kluson u florida nyt 3.1.12 "land spreading out, but not so for and wide"
>< chomskians and non-chomskians are weirdly illogical at times. it's like they just don't want to have a cogent argument. they just want to contradict what the other guy is saying - ted gibson language lab mit nyt 3.22.12 "how do you say disagreement in piraha?"
>< move fast and break things. the idea is that if you never break anything you're probably not moving fast enough. we have another saying: the riskier thing is to take no risk - mark zuckerberg ceo facebook nyt 2.2.12 "social mission' vision meets wall street"
>< i have all these friends on facebook who are artists and no one is showing their work. you'd have a blog where you showed your work, and i am sick of blogs. you want to go to the physical world and see the work - sergio faria lisbon nyt 3.16.12 "crash and boom"
>< we know that we're not going to turn the 99% of people interested in learning to code into the 1% who are really good at it. there's a big difference between being code-literate and being a good programmer - zach sims cofounder codeacademy nyt 3.27.12 "craving internet fluency"
>< the demand for equality has two sources: one of them is among the noblest; the other is the basest of human emotions. the noble source is the desire for fair play. but the other source is the hatred of superiority - cs lewis ["democratic education" 1944] wsj 3.29.12 "notable & quotable"
>< and education begins at home. in this country it would take a quantum leap forward if parents would take some simple steps: instead of entertaining your children, set challenging intellectual goalsfor them - david deming geophy u oklahoma + auth "black & white" wsj 2.1.12 "what i learned from a brainiac"
>< energy independence has always been a race between depletion and technologies to produce more and use energy more efficiently. depletion was winning for decades, and now technology is starting to overtake its lead - bill white frmr dep sec doe [clinton] nyt 3.23.12 "inching toward energy independence in america"
>< i do think there is something special here. whereas another culture might look back on their childhood and say 'god i was so cute, i thought clouds were cotton wool', the british will look back and say 'i was so stupid i thought clouds were cotton wool - camila batmanghelidjh founder kids company nyt 3.1.12 "london, you drama queen"
>< the key is boundaries. imagination in some sense doens't have boundaries. but if all you have is imagination, that's akin to insanity. the other side is rigor. you want rigor, but not just rigor - that's rigor mortis. so it's the interweaving of imagination and rigor that gets stuff done - jerry brown california governor wsj 3.26.12 "the view from california"
>< do you remember, kundera wrote this book about the lightness of the being? we just wanted to show you the heaviness of the being. you are doing always the same thing every day, but every day is a little bit different, and the life is just getting weaker and weaker, and, by the end, disappears. this is what this @@@@ movie shows you - bela tarr filmmaker nyt 2.5.12 "an auteur's swan song, an ode to survival"
>< a period of austerity markedly different from anything we have seen before will spark a resource war between the left and the right. the two major political parties are enmeshed in a death struggle to protect the benefits and goods that flow to their respective bases. each attempting to expropriate the resources of the other - thomas b. edsall auth "the age of austerity" wsj 1.10.12 "a war of all against all"
cumulative national debt + unfunded liabilities + entitlement programs
>< not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. it's purely about how we can make the most possible money off them. if you were an alien from mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client's success or progress was not part of the thought process at all - gregory smith fmr vp goldman + auth "why i left goldman sachs" nyt 3.15.12 "public exit from goldman raises doubt over a new ethic"
>< i learned the best lesson about wine when i was working as a winemaker at la jota. bill smith said "do you want to take this home for dinner tonight?" and i said i coudldn't - it was a $300 bottle. he said, "it's just grape juice". if you treat it as a trophy you're not going to get enjoyment. at home, we'll drink the $9 australian shiraz or a vintage krug, and to me it's the same - grant achatz chef wjs 3.2.12 "grant achatz in my kitchen"
>< substantial. that's the word i keep hearing from fans of vinyl. records are admirably physical, the anthitesis of the everywhere-and-nowhere airiness of "the cloud". the embrace of vinyl isn't just some retro fad, but a push-back against the techno-triumphalism that insists there is no future for physical artifacts like books and newspapers. it's a small declaration of independence, a refusal to let the march of progress stomp on one's pleasures - eric felten @wsj wsj 1.27.12 "it's alive! vinyl makes a comeback"
>< as ed hughes, pres & ceo of gateway community and technical college described "in the 1980s u.s. manufacturing was 80% brawn and 20% brains. but now it is 10% brawn and 90% brains". this new trend, widely known as "advanced manufacturing" leans heavily on computation and software, sensing, networking and automation and the use of emerging capabilities from the physical and biological sciences - thomas a. hemphill strategy, innovation & public policy u michigan + mark j perry american enterprise inst wsj 2.27.12 "u.s. manufacturing and the skills crisis"
>< people are watching tv. kinds don't go to theaters. they're streaming it, downloading it. they don't see any difference between television and movies. so if you want to get people to go out to the movies, to pay a premium price for some kind of premium experience, it better be damned premium. the theaters said, we love it but we're not going to put in projectors unless all the studios shoot that way. and the studios said we're not going to make movies like this unless the theaters put the equipment in - douglas trumbull filmmaker nyt 2.5.12 "he's still creating adventures"
>< what we do here is the most subversive activity we could possibly engage in [pouring a chateau cape rosier reserve 2009, the white wine made from the swensen red grapes that climb a trellis outside the window] we are feeding ourselves, number one. nature is supplying my inputs - sunlight, compost, water - for free, because i've taken the time to study how it works. the people selling pesticides don't want to hear me saying you don't need pesticides. no industry is intersted in what we do, because there's nothing to sell - eliot coleman principal four seasons farm [cape rozier, me] nyt 2.23.12 "land that keeps giving"
>< many economists' facile use of the concept of moral hazard needs a companion concept, that of "immoral hazard" that points to situations that should not be allowed to occur or continue. examples abound: depending on levees that could not protect new orleans. underregulating financial markets. forcing people to rely on hospital emergency rooms for medical care. or hiring people for dangerous jobs as in poorly inspected coal mines. immoral hazards are more common than moral hazards, but the intellectual apparatus of economics fails to cope with them - sm miller emer sociology boston u nyt 3.4.12 "the many sides of moral hazard"
>< proposed in the 18th century, the paradox works like this: i will toss a coin until it comes up heads, at which point you get paid and the game ends. you get $1 if the coin comes up heads on the 1st toss, $2 if it comes up heads on the 2nd, $4 if on the 3rd, $8 on the 4th and so on. your prospective payoff doubles with each successive flip until the the coin finally lands on heads and the game is over. how much would you pay to play? the paradox is that the potential payoff is infinite. however, psychologists have found, most people won't pay more than $20 or so for a chance to play. after all, you can get heads as early as the fist toss, leaving you with only a $1 payoff. the infinite value of playing the game feels finite to most people - jason zweig @wsj wsj 2.4.12 "facebook and the st. petersburg paradox"
>< in 1962, the prestigious american law institute issued the model penal code, resulting in the confused state of theft law we're still dealing with today. in a radical departure from prior law, the code defined "property" to refer to "anything of value". henceforth, it would no longer matter whehter the property misappropriated was tangible or intangible, real or personal, a good or a service. all of these things were now to be treated uniformly. the problem is that most people don't buy the claim that illegally downloading a song or video really is like stealing a car. lay observers draw a sharp moral distinction betrween file sharing and genuine theft, even when the value of the property is the same. we would do better to consider legal concepts that fit more appropriately, like unauthorized use, trespass, conversion, and misappropriation - stuart p green rutgers law + auth "13 ways to steal a bicycle" nyt 3.29.12 "when stealing isn't stealing"
>< either confront things clearly or leave quietly - ai weiwei wsj 10.27.11 "the art of resistance"
>< i'm not non-keynesian - christopher sims econ nobel 2011 nyt 10.16.11 "uneasy with labels (or attention)"
>< a wave of money, can destroy as well as create - juan p.p. alfonzo opec nyt 10.14.11 "offshore oil helps brazil lead a boom"
>< to be black and atheist, in a lot of circles, is to not be black - jamila bey journalist nyt 11.27.11 "the unbelievers"
>< our product is not a pill; our product is a health outcome - greg wasson ceo walgreen wsj 10.25.11 "walgreen prescribes a rate change"
>< is active defense really offensive in cyberspace? - gen robert kehler commander us strategic comm nyt 11.19.11 "u.s. weighs cyberspace strategy"
>< the average italian saw himself as berlusconi, only poorer - massimo gramellini @la stampa nyt 11.13.11 "a man whose politics were always personal"
>< “if the thumb is down, you’ve got a chance, if it’s up, you’ve got no chance at all - david carr ny giants nyt 11.24.11 "secrets of a great spiral"
>< our job is to try and balance the art and the commerce - duff stewart, ceo gds&m/omnicom nyt 10.6.11 "how to sell social change? put the message in a movie"
>< before we got the new building, jill used to say we were striving to be marginal - barbara lee trustee ica nyt 10.23.11 "contemporary and boston: opposites no longer"
>< what can i say – i hired the wrong guy. he destroyed everything i had spent 10 years working for - steve jobs wsj 10.6.11 "apple visionary transformed technology, media, retailing"
>< philosophically, plays that are nonplays shouldn’t be in the game. it is not a play - bill belichek coach new england nyt 10.9.11 "extra point is almost always good; is that a good thing?"
>< this is a risk-on, risk-off market. you see waves of risk acceptance, then risk aversion - stephen woood cms russell investments nyt 10.2.11 "markets plunge on weak consumer data"
>< the bill has the virtue of simplicity and clarity and the vice of the absence of essential nuance - greg nojeim ctr democracy & technology wsj 12.16.11 "finally, cybersecurity?"
>< the police have told me there is no use arguing against the state. if you are right, then the state is wrong and this cannot happen - ai weiwei nyt 11.2.11 "china seeks $2.4 million in taxes from dissident"
>< all the logical facts told us to go with plastic, and steve’s instict went the other way. it was steve’s call - tony fadell dir ipod & iphone devel 2001-09 wsj 10.9.11 "the power of taking the big chance"
>< asked about the pictures of him partying at oxford, he quoted chairman mao as saying "you should have a serious side and a lively side - bo guagua [son of bo xilai] nyt 11.26.11 "children of the revolution"
>< the single breakthrough is that there was no single breakthrough. we solved this with a broad and diverse collection of different algorithmic techniques - david ferrucci dir ibm watson wsj 10.17.11 ""
>< i’m never buying anything with the expectation that someone is going to buy something from me at a higher price. i’m looking for strong cash flows - nicholas butta dir bcomm nyt 10.19.11 "chasing opportunity in an age of upheaval"
>< although i agree that the court of appeals applied the wrong standard, i think that the majority does not do enough to explain the right standard - justice samuel alito jr nyt 10.18.11 "when fairness and the law collide, one jurist is troubled"
>< people make character judgements about you based on that fico credit score that may or may not be accurate. it's not the real world. it's just an algorithm - chad gentry comm credit counseling srvc wsj 10.27.11 "the new frontiers of data mining"
>< we are close, in a sense, to people who don't necessarily like us, sympathize with us or have anything in common with us. it's the weak links that make the world small - jon kleinberg comp sci cornell u nyt 11.22.11 "separating you and me? 4.74 friends on facebook"
>< if you want to reduce inequality, all you need to do is put the economy in a recession. you want the economy to do well as all of us do, then you'll get more inequality - steven kaplan econ u chicago biz nyt 12.12.11 "top earners were not so lofty in 2009 recession"
>< prices reflect reality. valuations reflect the projections and estimates from market participants. they are fundamentally different types of products - michael gerdes dir moody comm mortgage sec monitor group wsj 10.13.11 "two indexes, two views on commercial real estate"
>< comic characters, updike writes in an essay about humor, are rubbery, with the ability to bounce back, whereas tragic ones tend to be brittle and stony and fated to "irrevocably shatter" under pressure - michiko kakutani nyt 11.29.11 "last notes from a man of letters"
>< it sounded really good – it was all unicorns and rainbows – but it hasn’t lived up to any of its promises. in today’s world, we should make voting easier, not more difficult - terry reilly ex chair campaign finance review sj ca wsj 10.21.11 "’instant runoff’ faces test’"
>< although steve jobs was no friend of mine, i admired the fact he was in pursuit of beauty. i don't pick up any of that at google. the important engineers are the ones who are dominated by aesthetics, not just engineering - david gelernter comp sci yale nyt 12.4.11 "rethinking the digital future"
>< when i was a mujahedeen on a mountaintop, i’d see the lights of jalalabad and wish i were there. now when i’m in jalalabad, i miss being in a stone hideout in the mountains with the mujahedeen. now i’m a banker. it’s boring - abdul wahab quanat gm afghan central bank wsj 10.1.11 "launching the missile that made history"
>< i was struck by a line on the british burma memorial “for your tomorrow we gave our today.” it seems selfish and unjust that the baby boomers born of that sacrifice should burden the generations that follow with “from your tomorrow we have taken our today” - your tomorrow spent for boomers today wsj 10.21.11 "d.r."
>< emerson wrote "in every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts" - that's the difference between great and bad writing. the geniuses put their finger on what really counts, which is what we all already knew but were too forgetful and conventional to remember - alain de botton auth "the pleasures and sorrows of work" wsj 11.21.11 "facts alone are feeble fare"
>< the chinese are saying to americans, if you grant me face, i can be reasonable. if solving the problem will help me, i'll consider it. but don't expect me to make concessions under pressure. when sovereignty is in play there is no longer a right or wrong side of an issue, just winning or losing - chen min frmr mng dir china reform mag nyt 11.16.11 "why china won't listen"
mianzi = "face"
>< market forces like to think of market pricing as having symmetry. but a system which requires decisions by parties who have vested interests on one side is asymmetric a surprise rule change or an interpretation which was understood by some and misunderstood by others also defeats symmetry. in the case of credit default swaps, both elements apply - david kotok founder cumberland adv nyt 11.20.11 "swaps as scare tactics"
>< i run a global company with a global mission and one set of shared values in pursuit of global objectives. my employees are all over the world – more than ½ outside the u.s. – and more than ½ of my revenues and my plans for growth are out there, too. so you tell me, what is out, and what is in anymore? - do seidman ceo lrn + auth “how: why how we do anything means everything” nyt 10.2.11 "how did the robot end up with my job?"
in, out → good, better, best
>< there’s an interesting asymmetry between good and bad luck. a single stroke of good luck, no matter how big, cannot by itself make a great company. but a single stroke of extremely bad luck, or an extended sequence of bad luck events that creates a catastrophic outcome, can terminate the quest - jim collins + morten t hansen auth "great by choice: uncertainty, chaos and luck" wsj 10.30.11 "what's luck (good or bad) got to do with it? "
>< the ancients were fully aware of this upside-without-downside asymmetry and they built suimple rules in response. 4,000 years ago, hammurabi’s code specified: if a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm, and the house which he has built collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death - nassim taleb nyupi + auth "antifragility" nyt 11.8.11 "end bonuses for bankers"
>< we put that new process in place, we still continued to miss forecasts. this isn't about skills or process. you have a fundamental behavioral issue in the organization. people aren't telling the truth. so at all levels they'll come together, and they'll say here's our forecast for the month. and they won't believe it. they know they're not going to hit it when they're saying it - joseph jimenez ceo novartis nyt 10.9.11 "fix the problem, not just the symptoms"
>< there’s real truth to the idea that the tax code for the 1% is different from the tax code for the 99%. any taxpayer lucky enough to have apprecited property is usually put to a choice: cash out and pay some tax, or hold the property and risk the vagaries of the market. only the truly rich can truly use derivatives to get the best of both worlds – lots of cash and very little risk - victor fleischer law u colorado nyt 11.27.11 "estee lauder heir’s fortune is artfully sheltered"
>< the timing and size of subsequent downgrades depended on which position would dominate in rating committees - those that thought the situation had gotten out of control and that sharp downgrades were necessary, versus those that thought that not helping greece or assisting it in a way that would damage confidence would be suicidal for a financially interconnected area such as the euro zone - pierre cailleteau dir sovereign debt moody's nyt 11.30.11 "rating agencies misread signs of trouble with greece's debt"
>< what may be less obvious is that it's not only predicting the future that's difficult; measuring economic activity that has already happened is a sisyphean task. a seemingly simple benchmark like the quarterly gdp growth rate is published and revised 7 times by the bureau of economic analysis. those revisions are sometimes significant, particularly at turning points in economic growth. "when you're building forecasts on a baseline that's shifting, it can be very, very difficult" - steve landefeld dir bea nyt 12.19.11 "in the forecasting fog"
the free future is hard to imagine. i have trouble enough tracing the shape of the knowable past - ddl
>< as john gribbin points out in the grimly plausible book "alone in the universe" there is a world of difference between habitable planets and inhabited planet. the author's conclusion: earth is the sole abode of intelligent life in the galaxy, the product of a profoundly improbable sequence of cosmic, geologic, and climatic events, some thoroughly documented, some inferable from fragmentary evidence - that allowed our planet to become a unique refuge where life could develop to its full potential - alan hirshfeld sci history u mass + auth "parallax" wsj 12.31.11 "the loneliest planet"
>< music and language are remarkable in their diversity. it's usually impossible to figure out what someone else is saying if you don't speak the language. and even facial and hand gestures - paralinguistic cues - can confuse. in greece, nodding your head up and down means no. the music produced in a culture foreign to one's own can also be surprisingly uninterpretable. most of us in the west can't distinguish happy from sad in music such as chinese opera or indian ragas - daniel j levitin cog neurosci mcgill univ + auth "this is your brain on music" wsj 10.12.11 "a sound check for the ages"
>< some scientists make "period, end of story" claims that human-induced global warming definitely, absolutely either is or isn't happening. not ony is it poor science to claim absolute truth, but it also leads to the kind of destructive and distrustful debate we've had in last decade about global warming. how about a little agnosticism in our scientific assertions. feynman said "if you think that science is certain - well that's just an error on your part" - daniel b botkin president ctr study environment + emeritus ucsb + auth "discordant harmonies" nyt 12.2.11 "absolute certainty is not scientific"
>< jobs are an input, not an output; they’re a cost of doing business, not a goal of doing business. from the perspective of defending capitalism, if you accept the premise of your oponent that business has to give back to society, you’ve already lost. to put sack cloth and ashes on – you’ve delegitimized capitalism, which is the goal of protesters. – businesses give back to society every day by pleasing their customers and employing their employees. there’s nothing business owes other than selling the best product at the best price - william frezza fellow competitive enterprise inst wsj 10.28.11 " is it the responsibility of firms to create jobs? "
>< writing nonfiction is a craft that proceeds in stages: conception, material selection, rough shaping, detailed shaping, sanding and finishing. i've puzzled over the difficulty that students have with editing, and i think i've identified its source: it's their self-talk. we all talk to ourselves, inside our heads. that's what consciousness is. many novice writers, students in particular, think that writing is little more than copying down their self-talk, the palaver of the voices they hear in their heads. of course self-talk is thinking, and writing begins with thinking. but it doesn't end there. we don't talk to ourselves in finished sentences. we use shorthand, code words, private references. this internal monologue makes sense to us but little sense to a reader when it's spilled onto the page - richard rhodes auth "making of the atomic bomb" wsj 12.10.11 "beware of that voice in your head"
>< in "bobos in paradise" david brooks articulated the phenomenon of the bougeois bohemians, a class that merges respectable incomes with countercultural attitudes. the rise of the bobos in the 1990s (when creativity became lucrative and money became cool) put a new kind of pressure on the true bohemians. now they no longer stood in opposition to mainstream culture, as the beatniks did to the company men or the slackers did to the business boys. now they looked exactly like it. mainstream culture had come to them, and it drew them to itself, et voila, the hipster. instead of having to get a haircut and a new wardrobe, not to mention a new set of friends, if you wanted to go over to the man, you just kept doing what you were doing, at gradually higher price points. the hipster ethos contains no element of rebellion, rejection or dissent. and that is the real meaning of the "millennial affect": today's polite, pleasant personality is, above all, a commercial personality. if you want to get ahead, said benjamin franklin, the original business guru, make yourself pleasing to others. that kind of thinking is what lies behind the bland, inoffensive, smile-and-a-shoeshine personality - the stay-positive, other-directed, i'll-be-whatever-you-want-me-to-be personality. we're all in showbiz now, self-produced, self-published, self-managed, walking on eggshells, tending to our customer base - and the product is us - william deresiewicz essayist + auth "a jane austen education" nyt 11.13.11 "generation sell"
>< why does india make fools of themselves messing in space technology? stick2 bollywood my advice - salman taseer wsj 7.16.11 "why my father hated india"
dis respex → ) ))(( ( ← engineered products = ~30% of india exports
>< these guarantees of no risk can only go so far, and sooner or later it can’t work - henry herrmann ceo waddell & reed wsj 8.29.11 "fed faces old foe as hazard returns"
>< smart people make mistakes. what separates them from fools is they don't repeat them - larry swedroe dir res buckingham asset mgmt wsj 9.6.11 "refresher class: lessons of 2008 are timely again"
>< on the dvd side the studios have zero ability to raise prices. on the streaming side, the studios have 100% leverage - michael pachter wedbush securities wsj 9.20.11 "video service stands by its plan to split in two"
>< i made a lot of mistakes at the beginning and lost a fair amount of money before i figured out the order to the chaos - stephen silverman lawyer phoenix wsj 8.17.11 "penny auctions draw bidders with bargains, suspense"
bidcactus, quibids.. . which sites are legitimate
>< ten years ago, we enjoyed a trade surplus in advanced technology manufactured goods; today, that category accounts for an $81b annual trade deficit - susan hockfield pres mit nyt 8.31.11 "manufacturing a recovery"
>< i always say there are people in our company who are dishwashers who have more personal power than someone who's a manager because they have that quality - andy lansing ceo levy restaurants nyt 8.29.11 "corner office"
>< i can't tell you specifically how the fallout from europe will pass through to us, but i certainly can't tell you it won't - carl b weinberg chief econ high frequency econ nyt 9.18.11 "suddenly, over there is over here"
>< the unsettling reality is that much of medicine still exists in a gray zone, where there is no black or white answer about when to treat or how to treat - jerome groopman + pamela hartzband auth "your medical mind" wsj 9.22.11 "an epidemic of information"
>< it sounds evangelical but, well, you have to believe before you can do anything. the issue is how to get people with disposable income to spend it on art instead of cars - monica bowman principal butcher's daughter gallery, detroit nyt 9.26.11 "[detroit]"
>< for big corporations, the issue is not data scarcity. they have too much data. what we’re doing now is signal mining, actually trying to find what patterns help you take action and leave the rest alone - arnab gupta ceo opera wsj 9.14.11 "big data firm raises $84m"
>< when i said ‘randomize’ in breast cancer trials, i was looked at with amazement by my medical colleagues: ‘randomize? we know that this treatment is better than that one. i said, not really - paul meier statistician nyt 8.14.11 "statistician who revolutionized drug trials"
kaplan-meier curve paper cited 35k times, thompson reuters web of knowledge
>< as a general matter, companies in the u.s. don’t have to recognize your right to be deleted. they may choose to accommodate you, but they are not required to - marc rotenberg exec dir electronic privacy information ctr nyt 8.21.11 "just give me the right to be forgotten"
>< i think that some people hoard information because they feel that hoarding information and controlling it is some form of power. i feel the exact opposite. i think that sharing information is the best thing you can do - enrique salem ceo symantec nyt 9.4.11 "how to lead? ask tennyson and shakespeare"
>< maybe i missed it, but during the m.p's expense scandal i just can't recall any m.p's damanding eviction, loss of benefits, maximum jail terms, naming and shaming and everyone held on remand. is it just me? - roger clarke @birmingham mail nyt 8.17.11 "convicted rioters will be forced to clean up, britain says"
>< if people just relied on the credit-default swaps to se their risk premiums they would up up and down like a yo yo. some people say that we act too quickly, some people say that we act too slowly. you can't have it both ways - john chambers chair s&p sovereign ratings comm wsj 8.12.11 "raters fail to see defaults coming"
ratings “stability” = slowly changing or static indicators vs fluid indicators eg bank-deposit flows, political sentiment are more relevant
>< when you take away the downside, you take away the virtue. you take away the moral foundation of markets. you always have envy but now the envy is a little better grounded in objective facts. taxpayers get the downside. modern-day wall street gts the upside. wall street today is a statist creation - james grant > grant’s interest rate observer wsj 7.16.11 "the scourge of the faith-based paper dollar"
>< i remember one partner advising a bunch of young auditors examining the financial statements of several of the biggest companies in the world, “if you try hard enough, you can always make the numbers add up.” his point was clear: technical compliance alone was not sufficient. substance mattered - mark w everson commish indiana dept workforce dev nyt 7.19.11 "lawyers and accountants once put integrity first"
>< because credit ratings reflect the subjective opinions of a committee of ratings analysts and often incorporate both quantitative and qualitative factors, we believe it would be difficult, if not impossile, for the commission to establish a principled definition for what might have constituted a "significant error - deven sharma president s&p nyt 8.10.11 "s&p accused of faulty math, fights error disclosure"
>< when amazon began mailing books to internet buyers in 1995, borders reigned as the amazon of the era; it was smart, dominant and feared. but despite borders’ selling many copies of “innovator’s dilemma,” clayton christensen’s classic work on how sucessful companies ignore disruptive technologies at their peril, it seems as if no one at the china may have read it. borders essentially ignored the internet, and the internet mowed it down - david streitfeld @nyt nyt 7.27.11 "amazon profit falls but beats expectations"
>< we assume that the same creativity that goes into making art would go into stealing it. instead, the authors show how artless most art theft is. art crime, you see, is dumb crime. with masterpieces in particular, it's virtually impossible to find a buyer for a stolen work. as the authors write "a rembrandt, real or imagined, is far harder to sell than it is to steal" - benjamin wallace auth "billionaire's vinegar" [revw am amore + t mashberg's "stealing rembrandts"] wsj 7.14.11 "the artlessness of art thieves"
80% insider complicit
>< there have been piles of studies investigating the link between empathy and moral action. different scholars come to different conclusions but in a recent paper, jesse prinz at cuny summarized the research this way: empathy is not a major player when it comes to moral motivation. its contribution is negligible in children, modest in adults, and nonexistent when costs are significant. other scholars have called empathy a "fragile flower," easily crushed by self-concern. empathy is a sideshow. accept that codes conflict - david brooks @nyt nyt 9.29.11 "the limits of empathy"
>< juxtaposition is the act of placing 2 things side by side in order to compare and contrast. icy hot. life & death. almost all religions and mythologies construct the world in dualities: heaven & hell, god & satan, yin & yang. janus, the 2-faced roman god, looks eastward & westward, marking beginnings and endings. concepts of light & dark, good & evil, permeate our consciousness. even the computer on which i am writing uses binary code, 0's & 1's to perform the most elaborate functions - jennifer vanderbes auth wsj 8.27.11 "in fiction, opposites attract"
>< government leadership: our hosts began their presentation w/ a discussion of china’s new 5yr plan. this is the 12th 5yr plan and it was announced in 3.2011. each of these groups reminded us that the new 5yr plan is focused on 3 things: 1] improving innovation; 2] making significant improvements in the environmental footprint; 3] continuing to create jobs to emply jarge numbers of people moving from rural to uran areas. can you imagine the u.s. congress and president emerging w/ a unified 5yr plan that they actually achieve? - robert j herbold mg dir herbold group + auth "what’s holding you back?" wsj 7.8.11 "china vs. america: which is the developing country?"
>< as a former cia officer once told me in warsaw, the most powerful motive for foreign agents is revenge. indeed, wise describes how cia recruiters have traditionally attempted to tap into the murky, retaliatory impulses of russians and others, trying to persuade them to share secrets about their governments. in contrast, chinese intelligence agents steer clear of people who are vindictive, since the agents believe they may become volatile and explosive. instead, wise writes, beijing's agents appeal to the altruistic side of human nature, especially among the chinese immigrants, and attempt to amnipulate a desire to "help china modernize" the soft sell seems to work - tara mckelvey auth "monstering" revw david wise "tiger trap" nyt 8.7.11 "superior spies"
>< there was a point in the late ‘90s where all the graduating mba’s wanted to start companies in silicon valley, and for the most part they were not actually qualified to do it. they brought the whole sideshow of the hype and parties and all that crap. mba graduating classes are actually a reliable contrary indicator: if they all want to go into investment banking, there’s going to be a financial crisis. if they want to go into tech, that means a bubble if forming. this goes deep into the interior mentality of the engineer, which is very truth-oriented. when you’re dealing with machines or anything that you build, it either works or it doesn’t, no matter how good of a salesman you are. so engineers not only don’t about the surface appearance, but they view attempts to kind of be fake on the surface as fundamentally dishonest - marc andreessen nyt 7.10.11 "bubble? what bubble"
>< while the army can purchase gasoline for $1/gal, it costs $400 to deliver that gallon to the front in afghanistan. in 2004, dod paid the rocky mountain institute to write “winning the oil endgame,” a 300pp bok in which they proposed running the entire electrical grid on wind and sunshine, and using the backed-out natural gas and biofuels to power our transport sector. through all this work, however, lovins has never bothered to calculate¬ how much land would be needed to grow these crops. using the figures he proposed with the grape and hops industries, we would need an area 3x the size of continental usa to replace 1/3 of our oil requirements. these figures are confirmed in that we now employ 1/3 of the corn harvest – our biggest crop – to replace only 3% of our oil consumption. btw, lovins predicated his scenario on inventing cars that get 125mpg - robert james ret rear adm + ex bc cia wsj 8.2.11 "of mustard fuel and marines"
>< we as an industry cannot operate in an analog way in a digital world - john wallis dir global mktg & brand strategy hyatt nyt 6.28.11 "the virtual concierge"
>< people are talking about their carbon footprint, but i say, what about your concrete footprint? because that really is one of the essential problems with the urban environment, which is 80% concrete - marni majorelle columbia u nyt 6.30.11 "manhattan's newest river"
>< the ability to make mouths water won’t lead to success on its own. serving 100s of people a’ la carte is totally different than cooking a meal for a few friends. it’s also nowhere near as much fun - nina & tim zagat wsj 4.7.11 "so you're thinking of opening a restaurant"
>< it’s more symptom of the paralysis than cause, but it has enormous impact on the ability to faithfully execute the law. it tends to create a molasses-ike paralysis inside the agencies as they consider rules and regulatory actions b/c they have nobody who really speaks w/ the full authority of the administration - paul light nyu nyt 6.19.11 "hip, hip – if not hurray – for a standstill nation"
>< nothing in the english language prevents one from saying that several different individuals, separately or together, ‘make’ a statement that each has a hand in producing. what is to happen when guilty mgmt writes a prospectus containing materially false statements and fools both board and public into believing they are true? apparently, under the majority’s rule, in such circumstances no one could be found to have ‘made’ a materially false statement - justice stephen g breyer nyt 6.14.11 "in 5-4 vote, supreme court limits securities fraud suits"
>< at museums, we are so used to talking to visitors, not with visitors - nina simon auth “the participatory museum” nyt 3.17.11 "speaking digitally about exhibits"
>< there are multiple purposes to political speech, only one of which is to assert truths - jason stanley auth "language in context" nyt 2.26.11 "silencing with lies"
>< when risk recedes as a driver of returns, then fundamentals can become more of a driver - joseph mezrich quant resrch nomura wsj 1.24.11 "markets relearn fundamentals"
>< just because hedge funds didn’t cause the last crisis doesn’t mean they can’t cause the next one - jesse eisinger @propublica nyt 2.17.11 "credibility shaken, hedge funds are punished by investors"
>< as a solopreneur it’s easy to get caught up in a coffee shop thinking big thoughts instead of actually getting work done - peter sorgenfrei founder sorgenfrei llc nyt 3.3.11 "a small business made to seem bigger"
>< as long as tax reform is offered in the abstract, everyone rallies to the cause. when it becomes specific, people start to fall off - rep richard neal ma [d] ways & means wsj 3.17.11 "tax plan aims for 25% cap"
>< as we improve the language understanding, all the cheap tricks that people do will be recognized as cheap tricks instead of tricks that work - amit singhal researcher google nyt 3.6.11 "google schools its algorithm"
- seo?.. . or black hat
>< that defense wins championships, or that, in any sport, defense is more important than offense, is the sort of nonsensical tenet that doesn’t need disproving any more than, say, “life is a box of chocolates.” - bruce weber auth “as they see fit” revw of moskowitz & wertheim “scorecasting” nyt 1.30.11 "game theory"
>< you have syncopation in cuban music, with everyone doing their own thing rhythmically, so the clave holds it all together and keeps everything on time. It’s very easy to go out of clave if you don’t pay attention, and that’s a problem with a lot of musicians. so that’s how you can tell a really good cuban band – when they all stay on the clave - ed castaneda founder havananewyork.com nyt 3.25.11 "musical dialogue beyond embargoes"
>< we’re trying to change the game a little, not just for jazz but for cultural consumption. that’s the idea on the table. will our building feel radical when you go there? probably not. the big success is it will feel comfortable. and we hope that, in opposition to the urge to huddle around smartphones and computers, it will create a new sort of gathering space around culture - randall kline exec artistic dir sfjazz wsj 3.31.11 "building jazz its own home"
institutional models for traditions in transition
>< there is no road back from bits to meaning. for one thing, the units don’t correspond. the text of “war and peace” takes up less space than a madonna music video. once you start to think of information as something meaningful, you have to untether it from its mathematical definition, which leaves you with nothing to go on but the word itself. it’s one of those words like “objectivity” and “literacy” that enable us to slip from one meaning to the next without letting on, even to ourselves, that we’ve changed the subject - geoffrey nunberg school of information uc berkeley nyt 3.20.11 "data deluge"
meaningless patterns are incompressible → high algorithmic complexity !
>< instead of a lucid narrative explaining what happened when the economy imploded in 2008, why, and who was to blame, the report is a confusing and contradictory mess, part rehash, part mishmash, as impenetrable as the collateralized debt obligations at the core of the crisis. these documents resemble not an investigative trilogy but a left-leaning essay collection, a right-leaning powerpoint presentation and a colorful far-right magazine. commissioners had little to show and nothing to tell. there was certainly no richard feynman ripping an o ring in ice water - frank partnoy u san diego law nyt 1.30.11 "washington's financial disaster"
>< prices reflect reality. valuations reflect the projections and estimates from market participants. they are fundamentally different types of products - michael gerdes dir moody's commercial mortgage monitor group wsj 10.13.10 "two indexes, two views on commercial real estate"
>< one of the challenges of the future is the absence of a general education or humanistic education, so little of which is provided by the schools and so much of which is necessary to create the audiences of the future because the audiences for art museums by definition are going to come from the better educated, more humanistically inclined people in our population - philippe de montebello dir metropolitan museum of art nyt 3.18.10 "a conversation with philippe de montebello"
>< the choice shouldn't be between decentralized markets and command and control states. over these last centuries, much of the history of innovation has lived in a less formal space between those two regimes: in the grand seminoar and the coffeehouse and the hobbyist's homa lab and the digital bulletin board. the wonders of modern life did not emerge exclusively from the proprietary clash between private firms. they also emerged from open networks - steven johnson auth "where good ideas come from" nyt 10.31.10 "innovation: it isn't a matter of left or right"
content & layout alan calvitti