This blog is meant to capture the intersection of business, economics, politics, science, humanities, global culture, facts, figures, ideas, human nature, inventions, technology, health, food, sex...It is really an ode to life and the many things to think about and consider along the way.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

US Engaged in Five Hot Conflicts


US Interference in Other Countries' Democratic Elections

From 1946-2000 the US and Russia intervened in 117 elections around the world.

Can You Name the Six Official Languages of the UN?


Want to be a 'foreign agent'? Serve in Congress First.


The Power of Dentsu


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cool Job of the Week: Data Hunter

Data hunting at industry conferences:

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Top Secret America

The Washigton Post series on the secret government buildings around the DMV:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy


Friday, August 5, 2016

Art Forgeries

50% of the art market is forged?

Or is it 70%!?


Fifty years of empirical research in personality psychology have resulted in a scientific consensus regarding the most basic dimensions of human variability.  There are countless ways to differentiate one person from the next, but psychological scientists have settled on a relatively simple taxonomy, known widely as the Big Five:
  • Extroversion: gregariousness, social dominance, enthusiasm, reward-seeking behavior
  • Neuroticism: anxiety, emotional instability, depressive tendencies, negative emotions
  • Conscientiousness: industriousness, discipline, rule abiding, organization
  • Agreeableness: warmth, care for others, altruism, compassion, modesty
  • Openness: curiosity, unconventionality, imagination, receptivity to new ideas

What Do You Call a Professor? How about an Adjunct?


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quote of the Day

"The world would be a better place is verbosity and banality were fatal conditions."

-David Rothkopf

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Geopolitical Predictions Not That Good

"A study of about 28,000 expert geopolitical predictions over 20 years found that most were only slightly better than chance, especially when predicting events more than a year off would or wouldn't happen, according to Philip Tetlock."


Guns: America vs. Japan

In 2015:

US: 33,599 gun deaths
Japan: 6

Number of guns in Japan per 100 civilians: 0.6
Number of guns in US per 100 civilians: 101




Should We Give Lighter Penalites to Those with "Violent" Genes


Map: The World of Coups Since 1950

The world has had 475 coups since the 1950s and 236 (i.e., half) were successful.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Scary Fact of the Day

Percent of millennials who can correctly identify Pokémon character Pikachu: 98%
Percent who can identify Vice President Joe Biden: 61%

Charts of Mass Incarceration in the US


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Is Land and Real Estate a Good Investment?


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Presidential Party Platforms

Despite the slog, what Payne found might stun some cynics: In 25 years, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Congress voted in accordance with their platforms 82 percent of the time.


Quote of the Day: Brevity

Brevity is the soul of wit.


I would have written a shorter letter but I did not have time.

If Countries Trade Territories

Would there be more peace and stability?

Tax Haven at the End of the World

On Tiera del Fuego:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Invest During Marco Events & Turmoil

From Barry Ritholtz:

I keep a short list handy to remind myself of all the things investors must remember when these sorts of macro events cause turmoil:

●Markets surge and sell off. This is the ordinary course of events.

●The future is inherently unknown and unknowable. Those who claim otherwise are trying to sell you something.

●What sounds sexy and looks good in a brochure is not what usually makes you money over the long run.

●The gurus and talking heads have failed you. Once again, their forecasts were wrong. They were selling you a product, not providing any insight.

●Emotional reactions are bad for your portfolios.

●“Nobody knows anything.” The William Goldman quote, written about Hollywood, applies to just about everything in life. Get used to it.

●You need a plan. EOM.

●Your brain has evolved to adapt to keep you alive in changing conditions, not to make risk/reward decisions.

●The world is filled with random outcomes. Even more so when people are involved.

●Boring, steady portfolios can withstand about anything you throw at them.

●“Uncertainty” is a misnomer. The future is always unknown and always uncertain. When you hear people using the word “uncertainty,” it is because they are scared enough to briefly acknowledge their own ignorance.

●Adrenaline, it turns out, is not the basis of sound portfolio management.

●That plan mentioned above? You must have discipline to stay with it.

●Bull and bear markets have their own timelines. They do not care about your retirement, your saving for your kid’s college or the new house you want to buy.

●Investing is hard.

●Sometimes, Brexit happens.


The Battle of the Billionaire Lists


Why is the US Dollar So Strong?

"Because foreign governments and foreign private investors prefer to use the greenback to pay off debt, invest in financial markets or purchase commodities, economists say, the demand for the dollar intrinsically keeps it 10% to 15% above the value of other currencies."


Thucydides Trap

Which ones exist now?

1,000,000,000 Club

The apps/platforms with over 1 billion users:


The eight systems with more than one billion users:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

95% Rule

From Cato's Steve Hanke:

"95% of what you read in the financial press is either wrong or irrelevant."


Thursday, June 9, 2016

How Dependent Are US Consumers on Imports from China?