Posts filed under “Philosophy”

Discuss: Barack Obama is a Liberal Republican

I have been having fun mocking friends and family on both sides of the political aisle.  GOP colleagues who keep telling me BHO is a Socialist, while Dems think he is the next JFK.

I enjoy disabusing them of their political biases by explaining to them Barack Obama’s actual politics.

Politically, he is a modern day Richard Nixon. I don’t mean the Watergate, thing, I mean his budgets, policies and relations with the two parties.

Sure, he is Pro-Choice, and is also pro Gay Marriage rights. But look at his actual track record:

• He extended Bush TARP;

• Like W, he refused to prosecute banks;

• He made 98% of the Bush cuts permanent;

• When Unions were under attack by various GOP governors, he mostly stayed silent.

• Oh, and he forced GM into prepackaged bankruptcy;

• His healthcare plan was a national version of RomneyCare, created by a conservative GOP ThinkTank;

• He continues to engage in a long distance war that he promised to end

• He was willing to throw Social Security under the bus at a moment’s notice

• His stimulus plan consisted mostly of temporary tax cuts and unemployment benefit extensions, not true Keynesian stimulus (infrastructure, defense, etc.)

• He keeps trying desperately to cut a deal with GOP members

I am not saying any of these things are good or bad — its merely an observation.

But its hard to avoid recognizing that all of these major policies are much more GOP-like than Democrat-like things

Discuss.

Category: Current Affairs, Philosophy, Politics

Amazon Changes its Review Policy (but not enough)

Amazon has been one of my favorite retailers, ever since my college roommate gave me an Amazon gift certificate for the holidays in 1998. The reviews are a large part of it. I think it is a crucial aspect to their business model — having trusted 3rd parties giving fair reviews of books and other…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Web/Tech

The Pernicious Staying Power of Really Bad Ideas

> My Sunday Washington Post Business column is out. This morning, we look at the pernicious staying power of bad ideas. The print version had the full headline Zombie ideas: Why don’t bad notions ever die? while the  online version is the simpler: Why don’t bad ideas ever die? Here’s an excerpt from the column: “This…Read More

Category: Investing, Philosophy, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

The London Almanack (Revisited)

I bought a stack of rather old books at an estate sale some years ago. Within the lot I purchased was a tattered, leather-bound, compendium containing six years of “The London Almanack” running consecutively from 1853 through 1858. Thumbing through its worn and mildewed pages I chanced upon general interest articles of the day, court…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Think Tank

Defining Risk Versus Uncertainty

Longtime readers will recall that I find the Uncertainty meme to be mostly silly (see this and this). The foolishness continues to come up amongst allegedly serious people. I find many of these folks (mostly) devoid of original thought, choosing instead to repeat things pundits of questionable insight have previously said (PoQI™ is a registered trademark…Read More

Category: Mathematics, Philosophy, Really, really bad calls

QOTD: Trading versus Debating

I love this comment from Dynamic Hedges: “In cable news, debate means two opposing ideologues get equal time to spout bullshit. In trading, opposing views means someone is actually going to be right and someone is actually going to be wrong. Seek out debate and use it to clarify or disprove your thesis. Find people…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Philosophy, Rules

Bloomberg: Best Books of 2012

Bloomberg did an interesting thing with their Best Books of 2012 — they surveyed lots of people, and published all of the suggestions. My book suggestions were wedged between Olli Rehn, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner and Stephen Roach, senior lecturer at Yale University and former chewif economist for Morgan Stanley. I picked: The…Read More

Category: Books, Philosophy

The Dangers of Non-Modeled Narrative Story Tellers

  “He can take a model and turn it into a narrative”   Right after the election, Felix wrote a post “When quants tell stories.” Clever as it was, I had issues with the underlying premise – namely, that the value of Nate Silver’s modeling lay more in the narrative tale as told by Silver…Read More

Category: Investing, Mathematics, Philosophy, Politics, Quantitative, Really, really bad calls

Which One Are You?

via the New Yorker    

Category: Humor, Philosophy, Psychology

Gratitude

Nature’s beauty can be easily missed — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day

Nature. Beauty. Gratitude

Category: Philosophy, Video