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  • February 2012
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From the Notebook

Ian McDiarmid as Senator Palpatine in The Phan...

Image via Wikipedia

Even when the winters aren’t long, the winters are long.

– Anyone else sick of the GOP nomination race?

– If anyone cares, I did caucus this year, supported Ron Paul in the preference poll, was elected a delegate, and I’m hoping to be elected a delegate to the 7th congressional district convention. Our BPOU convention is March 3rd. I have no intention to liveblog it.

– My Representative, Mary Franson, was grouped in with another GOP incumbent. The other guy, based on a quick look at the new maps, has an open district not too far from his current address, while Franson is surrounded by incumbents. I don’t know exactly if that’s how things are going, but based on her speech at caucuses and local media coverage, Franson is staying put. My new district is 8b. Redistricting is really boring.

– I am closing in on completing all of the Khan Academy math exercises. I’ve completed 285 of them, out of a total of 306. Sal keeps adding exercises, which is getting frustrating, there were only 129 exercises when I started my quest. Still, it has been a great experience.

– Watched through the Khan Academy Current Economics Playlist. This list included some basic econometrics, specifically capacity utilization, inflation and unemployment. There was a distinct bias towards Keynes, but that’s always the case when discussing macroeconomics. The microeconomics videos bias toward the classical view. This is a really good playlist for those seeking greater insight into the machinations of The Fed.

– Also watched the Khan Academy Art History; Ancient Cultures (to 400 AD) video list. These videos are not done by Sal, but by a small group of academics in the Art field. Like usual, it’s all excellent. This list covers everything from Greek statues to Roman victory arches. It amazed me to see the incredible works of art still in existence in the world, and the quality of these works is beyond description.

– Finished half an assignment in the Great Books of the Western World ten-year reading program: read Euripides’ Medea, and Hippolytus. Euripides needs no approval from me, but I have to say the vivid and sometimes brutal imagery in these stories really keeps these stories ageless.

– Read ‘Darth Plagueis‘ by James Luceno, a Star Wars expanded universe book. I was looking for something fast-moving and fun. My mistake. Expanded universe stories are getting too complex; there are too many new aliens species, there are too many characters, and too many references to events happening in other expanded universe materials (and we’re not talking books. Some references were to comic books, others to short stories in magazines that are out of print, all stuff I have no intention of ever reading). I spent more time reading articles on Wookiepedia than I did reading the actual book. Darth Plagueis, the mentor of Darth Sidious (Palpatine), turns out to be a banker, spinning financial intrigue a little too similar to the plot of “Too Big to Fail”, it is not something I wanted from a book about a Dark Lord of the Sith. All around disappointment.


The D’oh of Keynesianism

The great success of government intervention in the economy, so far this century, has been convincing people to leave the labor market.

Update: Mitch Berg does some simple math to show us how the shrinking workforce affects the total number of people working. Basically, while the U3 and even U6 numbers show improvement, the total percent of people working compared to the total population is in fact dropping.

And it looks like things might be getting worse.

99 Cents

Just FYI, the Kindle version of my novel ‘The Educator’ is now as low as Amazon.com allows it to be, 99 cents. So if you were waiting for a sale, it’s here. (The dead-tree version also had its price lowered, down to 12 dollars)

Buy this Book

Friend and fellow traveler Aaron Clarey has published another book that I have, up until now, forgotten to plug here, it is “Worthless: The Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major

“Worthless” is the single most important book young men and women can read before they attend college. While teachers, guidance counselors and even parents are afraid to tell you the truth in an effort to spare your feelings, “Worthless” delivers a blunt and real-world assessment about the economic realities and consequences of choosing various degrees with a necessary and tough fatherly love. Don’t lie to yourself. And certainly don’t waste four years of your youth and thousands of dollars in tuition on a worthless degree. Buy this book and understand why it is important you choose the right major. The book itself could be the wisest investment you ever make.

Aaron’s book is, like most of his writing, well-researched and backed by impeccable empirical reasoning.

Give it a look.

2011 Blog Stats

Not surprisingly, when you stop blogging regularly, your traffic disappears:


Also, this is the 4806th blog post I’ve published (plus or minus a lot via lost data), in 222 categories and 522 tags.

Eight Years

Limping in, but it’s still eight years of blogging. There are no promises I can make moving forward. The passion to ‘blog’ and identify myself as a ‘blogger’ are gone for good. I’m still hoping to use this site as a platform for my other stuff, including the novel I’m about halfway done with, and a writing guide I have outlined. After eight years, the passion for expressing an opinion on everything I wish to seems, well, entirely pointless. And there’s Twitter for the pointless stuff.  Believe it or not, I still write-out blog posts I want to publish in a notebook. It’s just the path from notebook to blog that has some obstacles. My standards have also been raised, I expect a certain amount of quality when it comes to my writing, and blogging  tends to erode those standards (and there’s Twitter for that sort of thing). Who knows what the future will bring. (Well, it won’t be bringing a bunch of blog posts from me anytime soon, but otherwise…)