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October 31, 2005

Fooled by Randomness 2005

One of the best conference programs for quantitative risk
analysis: Fooled by Randomness 2005. text, PDF.

October 30, 2005

Who needs Prop 79 for drugs in California ?

Proposition 79 would use the purchasing power of the State of
California to negotiate the best price for up to ten million
Californians, who now pay more than anybody else in the world
for prescription drugs.

* Prop. 78 is completely voluntary for drug companies: they
are free to choose whether or not to offer discounts.

* Prop. 79 has an enforcement mechanism. If a drug company
refuses to provide discounts, the state can shift business away
from that company and buy more from other drug companies that
offer discounts.

Above is from the so-called Better California campaign site for
Prop 79 *.

Klingian Question of the Day:
What is preventing buyers from comparison shopping
between drug companies, either now or under Prop 78 ?

October 27, 2005

Google News Report USA Score

Fetch headlines from Google News on a schedule, then rank
headlines by factors:

* appearance day and time,
* prominence on the google news page,
* number of appearances,
* others;

weighted to estimate referer traffic these links bring to their

Listed are the top scoring stories in recent time periods, followed
by a ranking of sources. More detailed reports are linked-to at the
bottom of each table.


October 26, 2005

Dave Cross, data munger

Dave Cross, London based perl guy, has long been in my pingoshere.

Picks up on techs trends, not ASAP, but as they start crossing the
chasm. And summarizes them.
Also a fierce advocate for good customer service, with
emphasis on forthcoming non-deceitfulness over pampering.
And lefty local pantser.

Update 2006 Mar 01: Now on OnLamp.

About 'data munger': see Data Munging with Perl.

October 25, 2005

Legislating from the bench

* Any judicial ruling overturning a law is in wrong, that judges
can only decide what a law means not whether or not it is
Constitutional, so that any ruling overturning a previous ruling
that made new law is simply restoring order to the land. That
negating something doesn't bring anything else into existence.

* State legislatures and Congress are the only ones with the
authority to intepret the Constitution and that they also have the
power to change it whenever they choose, without having to resort
to a Constitutional amedment.


Previously on lancemannion: Orson Scott Card.

October 24, 2005

Dahlia: fans and non-fans

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate-based legal commentator, has her fans and
her detractors.

October 23, 2005

Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini's first rate economics blog offers an
essay of macroeconomic commentary about weekly.
Quick off the mark with commentary on new Fed Chairman
nominee on Ben Bernanke.

Previously: Roubini Global Economics.

October 22, 2005

Carnival of the Capitalists at Drakeview

Drakeview hosts Carnival of the Capitalists 104th weekly
business punditry roundup.

October 20, 2005

Daily Howler

Daily Howler chronicles the errors and omissions of beat reporters.
It should run as as series of footnotes below the broad pages of
the main stream media, as law review footnotes run below the
simplified article text, or better, as mash up with a Joel, Tom,
and Crow providing counter-commentary below the official

Example: Chief Justice Robert's proletarian roots vs Vice-President
Gore's agrarian roots.

October 19, 2005

Credit Risk Models II: Structural Models. (Elizalde)

Credit Risk Models II: Structural Models
July 2005

The structural approach for modelling credit risk considers both
the case of a single firm and the case with default dependences
between firms.

In the single firm case, we review the Merton (1974) model and
first passage models, based on Black & Cox (1976), examining
their main characteristics and extensions. The issue of estimating
structural models is also addressed, covering the different ways
proposed in the literature.

The issue of estimating structural models is also addressed,
covering the different ways proposed in the literature.

Secondly, we model default dependences among firms, which account
for two types of default correlations: cyclical default correlation
and contagion effects. We close with a brief mention of factor models.

The paper guides readers throught the literature, providing a
comprehensive list of references and, along the way, suggesting
different possible extensions for its future development.


Abel Elizalde of CEMFI and Universidad Pública de Navarra

October 18, 2005

Northern Voice, Moose Camp

A must for high volume social networkers and consumers and producers
of information, and self-promoters. 2006 Feb 10-11, Vancouver.

Northern Voice programme.

Friday will be a little more unorthodox for regular conference goers.
In the spirit of Foo Camp and Bar Camp, Northern Voice includes a
whole self-organized day dedicated to Moose Camp.

Previously: 2005 archives.

October 17, 2005

Smart Economist

Smart Economist short shart briefings.

* Sample paper: What Determines International Migration Flows ?

October 16, 2005

Explain ia: An Exercise in Clarity

What exactly is an “Information Architect” or “Information Architecture” ?

Explain it in 10 words or less. And then, take all the words you
need to explain the difference between an information architect and
a designer (not an artist, but a designer).

-- 37signals

October 15, 2005

Joint regression analysis

Joint regression analysis to study genotype-environmental interaction,
genotype effects and/or interaction effects within individual
environments are related to environmental effects.

The interaction sum of squares is divided into two parts:
* one part represents the heterogeneity of linear regression
coefficients while
* the second represents the pooled deviations from individual
regression lines.

R. J. (Bob) Baker

October 14, 2005

housing map 2

census track vs google map mash up.

via Google Maps Mania. Previously: Craigslist housing map mashup.

October 13, 2005

Toll road to Silicon Valley ?

As part of a long-term plan to improve traffic flow on I-680, the
Alameda County Congestion Management Agency has concluded that it is
feasible to convert of a section of the southbound carpool lane to a
Smart Carpool Lane or High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane.

Carpools would continue to use the lane for free while solo drivers
could use the lane for a fee that would vary depending on the level
of congestion in the Smart Lane. The fee is intended to make excess
capacity available to paying motorists while guaranteeing a
reasonable travel time for all users of the lane.

HOT 680.

October 12, 2005

themessthatgreenspanmade / Tim Iacono

The mess that Greenspan made: example: how China's investment in the USA in 2005
is different from Japan's investment in the USA in 1985.

October 11, 2005

NYT headlines

NYT headline index RSS as it's posted.
Most e-mailed 24 hours | 7 days | 30 days
Most blogged 3 days | 7 days | 30 days
Most searched 24 hours | 7 days | 30 days

obIA: Good use of multiple entry points.

October 10, 2005

infoproc / Stephen (Steve) Hsu

Infoproc (Steve) is a physicist interested in economic inference.

Example: exporting risk, Redmond visit.

October 9, 2005

Voluntary Exchange

Voluntary Exchange is a small econ and public policy blog.

October 8, 2005

New Kind of Music

An Experiment in A New Kind of Music: WolframTones.
Program and diagram your own ringtones, and more, systematically.

October 7, 2005

Decembrist: fear of a coherent vision

Decembrist (Mark Schmitt) offers essay-length laments.

Examples: The confessional, Fear of a coherent Democrat vision;
video game paradigm and no fan of Italian beastiality.

October 6, 2005

Consumer Shorts

The Stalwart rounds up the non-retailing shorts and shares the gloom
for the consumer economy.

October 5, 2005

US Mid-West economy

Bill Testa covers the US Mid-West economy for the
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Where is the Mid-West ?

October 4, 2005

A Fistful of Euros

A Fistful of Euros eurocentric blog: example.

October 3, 2005

Odlyzko on Network economics

The greater ability of modern business leaders to keep at distance
from the actual criminal acts they induce may be a reflection of
what they have learned from the experience of their predecessors
in white-collar crime in the last century and a half. But it also
likely reflects the greater complexity of business, which has led
to separation of functions into sales, legal, accounting, and many
other specialized areas.

-- Andrew Odlyzko

Other papers.

October 2, 2005

Bankstocks / Tom Brown

Bankstocks' daily and occasional news on banking, and investing
in banks (with Matt Stichnoth).

Good fresh content plagued by broken JavaScript.

October 1, 2005

Not wise to smartly argue when you're wrong

The de-emphasis of wisdom is an east vs. west dichotomy: eastern
philosophy heavily emphasizes deeper wisdom, where as the post
enlightenment west, and perhaps particularly America, heavily
emphasizes the intellectual flourishes of intelligence.

Scott Berkun in Why smart people defend bad ideas.