Random Thoughts

We humans like to have control in our lives.  We like cause and effect.  This desire underlies all manner of superstitious beliefs,  It also underlie the practice of "victim blaming."  Even with chance events, we like to be able to apply a cause that distinguishes the victim from ourselves.  It's the mugging victim walking alone at night, the rape victim in a short skirt, etc.  Yesterday's Pearls Before Swine sums this up nicely. 
Simos beach is one of the best beaches of Greece, and arguably of the whole European continent. It is located at the southern tip of the small island of Elafonissos, a four-mile-wide rock dangling off the eastern of the three fingers shaping the Peloponnese. I chose this place for three weeks of sun, snorkeling, and rest with my family; and to rearrange my thoughts in view of September, when several interesting occupations await me: a conference in Japan, a couple of articles to produce, a course of Subnuclear Physics to hold.
This topic requires many considerations that may be more political than economic, but to try and retain focus, the point is primarily to examine how economic principles (like supply and demand) are dealt with in this arena.

There are two ways in which multi-national businesses may manifest. In one case, a company maintains operations to provide goods and services in another country and is completely self-contained. In other words, the goods/services provided are provided by individuals in that country for individuals in that country. This is simply another closed system(1), albeit with a company that originated elsewhere.
In another post the general discussion regarding free will seemed to teeter on the edge of a definition that recognized the significant role that our genes and indoctrination played, while allowing some "wiggle" room for something like free will to emerge. However this also lead me to wonder about the role of determinism in this, because ultimately the argument against free will is based on the idea that we are defined by our genes and teachings, so whatever we do is inevitable.
Tangential Science: it's not necessarily science, but it's still funny.
Since it was officially decreed the greatest half a year EVER, with all sorts of major legislation on its way.  We've had stimuli packages, cap-and-trade, and are working on health care reform.  For such important legislation, they are all amazingly enough packaged in bills that are so long that there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that anyone, including the bill's supposed authors, will have read the entire bill.  How can we predict the consequences of legislation if at the time of voting none of the voters understand what amounts to an enormously expensive Stephen King novel?  How do we solve this problem*?

I was thinking about this problem today and have a couple of common sense solutions.
Let me tell you why I love Richard Feynman, among the many reasons.  Feynman loved the process of science.  He was not wedded to some search for TRUTH.  He was a practical man.  He simply wanted a slightly more predictive model of the world than he had the day before.  And, he lived it.  The guy went to clubs and scientifically experimented with pick-up lines.
I imagine moths jamming bats' sonar looks like one of the two following scenarios:

Calvin and Hobbes

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Super Sexy

Super Sexy

Jul 16 2009 | 9 comment(s)

The folks at Ecocomics, which is about economics in the comic book world, not environmentally friendly comics, have posted their winner from the following reader contest:
Recently, we asked readers the question of how superhumans (or comic book characters in general) might take advantage of the market to achieve financial gain.
And the winner is . . . Superhuman Escort Services.  Think the blog is written by guys?