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Inspired by some exploration of the world.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Totem of Communication

Inspired by the totem of chat described on the TV show Girls, I'm compiling a totem of communication.

- face to face
- skype
- phone call
- personal youtube video
- postal letter
- gorillagram
- email
- text
- gchat/facebook chat
- words with friends chat
- road rage hand signals
- facebook liking

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Time spent in school since the age of fourteen. Fourteen chosen because that is when my grandfathers quit school to work.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dynamic Yield Curve

The Dynamic Yield Curve animates the yield curve (the return on U.S. government bonds of 3 month to 30 year maturities). It covers 2002 to the present and complements the animation with the S&P over the same time period. Two things to look out for - the curve inverts in 2006 and it hits zero in 2008.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The Atlantic has a story on "what makes a good teacher." Apparently TFA has been compiling a database and is now unleashing it to answer this question. Further, their findings are not only useful for answering this question, but also the more general question, "what makes a good worker."

Here they discuss a trait called "grit" or "perseverance."

"If an applicant starts out with mediocre grades and improves ... that curve appears to be more revealing than getting straight A’s all along."

Saturday, February 6, 2010


The other night I played cards with some classmates and friends. Three Israelis, two Chileans, an Italian, an Aussie and me. We were drinking some Bud, and I was looking at the label. Started telling them to look out for the Bud ads during the Super Bowl. Then I got quiet as the cards went around, and deep inside, I got really proud of America. We think we're awesome, and there's a good reason for that, because we've contributed some awesome things to the world.

But I started getting depressed about the future and even about the present. What does our generation have to be proud of? The biggest growing industries seem to be healthcare, where innovation means higher costs (! FYI: in every other industry, innovation => better AND cheaper) and finance, which has consumed the brightest workers.

Since the majority of America spends the majority of our waking hours at a corporation, maybe it makes sense to take a stock of our country by her companies. This doesn't have the catch-all quality of measuring annual GDP growth, but perhaps you will find it more descriptive. (We could also take stock of America by its leadership, but that would be even more depressing.)

In particular, let's see who is innovating. I can be proud of that. Some companies out near San Francisco are creating cool stuff. Facebook is coating the globe, and there's more promise on the horizon. Google is ubiquitous. Apple is also predicting the future by creating it.
But what else? Microsoft got too big. Banks, well, I don't know what to say. Just because there's nothing tangible to point to, like a website or a phone, doesn't mean they haven't been improving our lives, but the evidence is pretty overwhelming that they have done more harm than good.

To round things out, here's the Fortune 10. Four members of big oil, Wal-Mart, GE, GM, Ford, AT&T, and HP. There's things to be hopeful about. Ford is showing some promise of finally producing the future instead of SUVs. Wal-Mart sells people really cheap stuff, perhaps they'll even teach the healthcare industry how to lower costs.

I don't enjoy going out so much anymore, not when every song suggests "party everyday" in the face of all this evidence that we stand at a crossroads. We can be a generation that worked hard like all of our ancestors. I want to be proud of my country when I'm an old man!

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Student at NYU, pursuing a PhD in economics.