We seem to be living in perilous times. Parts of the United States government are shut down because the House and Senate can’t agree to either fund or defund Obamacare, whose rollout this month has been an unmitigated disaster. This impasse now threatens the looming deadline to raise the debt limit before the Treasury supposedly runs out of […]Read more "Why default is inevitable"
My wife and I teach our three children at home. This is a rather generous assertion on my part, as she does most of the teaching. My primary job is to keep the whole endeavor funded. Beyond that I also teach the sciences, higher math, wood shop, physical education, and occasionally music. Society calls what we do […]Read more "Confessions of an unlikely homeschooler"
One percent of Americans now earn a greater share of income than at any time since the 1920s, according to this article posted today. The top 1% of income earners, those who earned more than $394,000 last year, accounted for more than 19% of all income reported to the IRS, while the top 10%, or those who earned […]Read more "The 1%: They’re at it again…"
Regarding my last post about carving up Microsoft, here’s a Twitter conversation with a good friend that merits some elaboration: @zmortensen Oh, and spin out Xbox separate from consumer? Crazy talk. — Jason Sherron (@cheapredwine) September 10, 2013 I believe that Xbox is not immune from the please-your-best-customer plague that afflicts the rest of Microsoft and kills […]Read more "What to do with Xbox?"
A lot has happened since my last post about Microsoft. There has been rampant speculation about who should be the next CEO. The company acquired the mobility business of Nokia, perhaps signaling that Stephen Elop is the man to beat for the top job. But an article in today’s New York Times offers a perspective […]Read more "It’s Time for Microsoft to Break Up"
Today Microsoft announced that Steve Ballmer will retire from the company within the next 12 months, a move that the market applauded. It is hard to imagine Microsoft without him. Steve has more energy and passion for the business than anyone else on the planet. He’s a consummate salesman who loves his products so much that […]Read more "Steve Ballmer: In memoriam"
We are bombarded with marketing messages every day, at every turn. These messages are carefully crafted, meticulously tested, and precisely delivered in order to maximize their influence on our perception and behavior. Most of the time consumers don’t stand a chance against marketers. There is great asymmetry in the information available to these two classes. […]Read more "If Werner Heisenberg Could See Us Now…"
This is the third installment in a series on the gun control issue. In our first episode we examined data that demonstrate a correlation between fewer guns and an increased variance in the homicide rate. In the second we explored game theory as a hypothesis to explain this phenomenon. This time around we’ll look into […]Read more "Gun Control, Part 3: Back to the Present"
In my last post we undertook a cursory analysis of data related to firearm ownership and homicide rates across various jurisdictions. We concluded that strict gun-control laws and reduced firearm ownership are correlated with increased variance in the total homicide rate: In other words, the worst-case scenarios are worse under strict gun-control laws and lower rates […]Read more "Gun Control, Part 2: Shall we play a game?"
Articles like this one began to appear soon after last month’s tragic massacre in Connecticut. The logic embodied in them is straightforward: Guns are designed to kill people, and more guns mean more dead people, therefore fewer guns mean fewer dead people. The reasoning is so patently obvious, in fact, that anyone who argues against common-sense gun […]Read more "Gun Control: Four Must-See Graphs"