Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keynes vs. Hayek: The Video

J.M. Keynes and F.A. Hayek, as you have never seen them before. At least I don't think you've seen them like this before. Well, probably not...


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cosma Sharizi on The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Cosma Sharizi, who works "on methods for building predictive models from data generated by stochastic processes, and applying those models to questions about neural information processing, self-organization in cellular automata, and so forth...", is not the first person I would have expected to pose the question: "why didn't prints displace paintings the same way that printed books displaced manuscript codices?"  And yet...

Down Memory Lane


JK Rowling Autograph, originally uploaded by baslow.

Now that the kids are both out of the house -- Joel already graduated from college and working, Ruth attending her first year at Grinnell -- I find myself more frequently picking through the memories of family days gone by. This picture is a reminder of a very big day for the family which, curiously, didn't seem like such a big deal at the time.

Social Psychology Studies the "Lake Wobegon" Effect

Lake Wobegon, of course, is the mythical community in upper Minnesota, the creation of Garrison Keillor where, among other things, "all the children are above-average".

Since 1999, David Dunning and Justin Kruger (along with various co-investigators) have been studying the tendency of incompetent people to over-estimate their competence and of more competent people to under-estimate theirs.  The ability to make judgments about one's (and others') thinking is called "metacognition" by social scientists.  In this book of essays, Dunning summarizes findings about the various factors which can impeded metacognition.


I'd love to buy this book...but it is SO DAMNED EXPENSIVE!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Love Song of J. Alfred Baslow

I'VE GOT TEARS IN MY EARS
(FROM LYIN' ON MY BACK IN MY BED WHILE I CRY OVER YOU)

Written by Harold Barlow
Recorded by Homer & Jethro


I've got tears in my ears from lyin' on my back
In my bed while I cry over you
And the tears in my ears, they're off the beaten track
Since you said "It's goodbye, we are through"
So if I should get water on the brain
You will know you're the one who is to blame
I've got tears in my ears from lyin' on my back
In my bed while I cry over you.

I've got tears in my ears from lyin'on my back
In my bed while I cry over you
I've been cryin' these tears and soakin' in my sack
Since the day I found you were untrue
And if I don't get up pretty soon
I'll turn into a sleepy lagoon
I've got tears in my ears from lyin' on my back
In my bed while I cry over you.

I've got tears in my ears from lyin' on my back
In my bed while I cry over you
It's been so many years, my sacroiliac
Feels as though it's been soaked through and through
Oh, you lied when you said we'd take the plunge
Now I know how it feels to be a sponge
I've got tears in my ears from lyin' on my back
In my bed while I cry over you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Was Walking In The Woods One Day...(well, today, actually)

Yes, I am an idiot.

Went for a walk (it's not cold out, it's brisk). After heading down to Dyckman and back I veered into Inwood Hill Park and into the wooded portion (via a winding path). I should have turned back as soon as I saw that the path (completely shaded by the thick surrounding trees) was covered with ice and snow. Instead, I wandered in, figuring there was enough snow for me to find my way without having to walk over bare ice. I fell three times before I could make it out again, to where the path was clear. Each time I fell I was down for a few minutes, trying to find the position and the footing which would allow me to right myself without slipping again. When I did finally emerge (covered in dirty snow, my hip, knee and ankle smarting and sore) I hobbled over to the Indian Road Cafe where I ordered a jalapeno-laced hot chocolate wherein to drown my pain and embarrassment. I thereby undid, of course, any possible caloric good the walk might have done me.

Now, home, it's ibuprofen and a comfy chair for me.

Saturday, January 09, 2010