Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011 List

Best of 2011

The items below were not necessarily new in 2011 but were what I discovered this year and came to mind first when doing this list.

Best Movie (theatre) – Deathly Hallows Part II. I thought the movie was well-done and was glad the Harry Potter series came to an end. I was tired of it but also enjoyed the sense of completion.

Best Movie (DVD) – Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere series.

Best Book – Keith Richards autobiography. He really laid it all out there without making himself come across like some elite guy better than the rest of us. Interesting story of human failure and success on personal and work levels.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Self-Mutilation is Evil

Bruce Charlton posted this over on his blog. The title is Deliberate self-mutilation is an evil. At first the message seemed self-righteous and I was prepared to dismiss it, but, the more I thought about how I really felt, the more I agreed.

All forms of tatoo, piercing, plastic surgery, etc have always seemed inherently wrong to me. I could not articulate the reason and never really had a reason to think deeply about it until now. Here is part of Charlton's article.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Modern Christmas Story

This video caught me off guard and completely disarmed me. So, I was suspicious and did a little research and from what information is available apparently it is for real and not done by actors.

The guy is Timothy Tiah Ewe Tiam, the co-founder of an ad-blogging site called Nuffnang. His Malaysian girlfriend who is a blogger and now his fiancee is Audrey Ooi Feng Ling. A nice vid to watch around the holiday season which is also a wonderful time to propose - I know because I did many, many years ago on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Everything You Think You Know, Just Ain't So

It seems I cannot get enough of playing devil's advocate with myself. Here is one more article from the Al Fin blog that challenges us to look at our beliefs about reality. While living in a System One (fast, intuitive mind) world probably will save my life in the short-term, spending more time in my System Two (slow, logical mind) world will benefit me and humanity the most when looking at the long-term results.

Our System One mind is too unreliable for making good decisions about complex subjects and is correct about those areas of study only by chance and luck. The information about how people believe they understand what someone else thinks better than that person (asymmetric insight) borders on amazing for me. Only recently had I started to become aware of this characteristic and having terminology to describe this behavior is helpful.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Contrary Brin: Gingrich, Asimov, and the "Flash" Computer-Trading...

Check out the new post by David Brin over on his blog. It starts out being about Newt Gingrich but ends up in very interesting territory. He goes into the pros and cons of a trading transaction tax currently being proposed in the EU. I think his argument in favor of the tax is compelling and think it would help on balancing the budget and making trading fairer for the individual investor.

Contrary Brin: Gingrich, Asimov, and the "Flash" Computer-Trading...: Both Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Nobel prize winning Keynsian economist Paul Krugman have a trait in common.  They grew up fervent science fiction fans, especially transfixed by the future-historical speculations of Isaac Asimov.  Gingrich wrote about this influence that helped to shape his life.

“While Toynbee was impressing me with the history of civilizations, Isaac Asimov was shaping my view of the future in equally profound ways….For a high school student who loved history, Asimov’s most exhilarating invention was the ‘psychohistorian’ Hari Seldon.  The term does not refer to Freudian analysis but to a kind of probabilistic forecasting of the future of whole civilizations.  The premise was that, while you cannot predict individual behavior, you can develop a pretty accurate sense of mass behavior.  Pollsters and advertisers now make a good living off the same theory.”

See the rest of this post here >>>