Dec 222011

I’ve seen many others attempt to link our current situation with the 30’s but I think this article does one of the better jobs at making that argument:

The Book of Jobs by Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair

Monetary policy is not going to help us out of this mess. Ben Bernanke has, belatedly, admitted as much. The Fed played an important role in creating the current conditions—by encouraging the bubble that led to unsustainable consumption—but there is now little it can do to mitigate the consequences. I can understand that its members may feel some degree of guilt. But anyone who believes that monetary policy is going to resuscitate the economy will be sorely disappointed. That idea is a distraction, and a dangerous one. What we need to do instead is embark on a massive investment program—as we did, virtually by accident, 80 years ago—that will increase our productivity for years to come, and will also increase employment now.

Dec 212011

I’ve been catching up on a lot of reading with my kindle and the lovely I found this article particularly good. Not only because it outlines how technology will change how we view crimes, but also a framework for how we should implement that understanding in the future. I recommend checking it out:

The Brain on Trial by David Eagleman in the Atlantic.

Today, neuroimaging is a crude technology, unable to explain the details of individual behavior. We can detect only large-scale problems, but within the coming decades, we will be able to detect patterns at unimaginably small levels of the microcircuitry that correlate with behavioral problems. Neuroscience will be better able to say why people are predisposed to act the way they do. As we become more skilled at specifying how behavior results from the microscopic details of the brain, more defense lawyers will point to biological mitigators of guilt, and more juries will place defendants on the not-blameworthy side of the line.

Aug 182011

I can’t put it much better than the article, Marine reserve sets new standard for recovery:

No-fishing reserves can restore marine ecosystems better than previously thought and can turn a heavily degraded site into an international model for conservation, according to a decade-long study led by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. The report showed the amount of fish in an undersea wildlife park near the southern tip of Baja California soared 463 percent between 1999 and 2009.

May 272011

Stone Brewing’s Escondido location is one our favorite places to spend an afternoon.  Located in a business park wasteland, the gardens and open air bistro are unexpected and delightful.  However, the hour drive to Escondido keeps us from going too often.  West Coaster covered what looks to be a large south bound expansion by Stone.  First they are opening a tasting/growler room in South Park, near The Station in about 30 days.  Next they have some ambitious plans for Liberty Station in 2012:

Stone Liberty Station will be a 20,000 sq. ft., 400-seat brewery/restaurant complete with bocce courts and an outdoor movie area. The new brewery/restaurant will have a 10-barrel brewing system, provide 130 new jobs, and is expected to open in late spring 2012. 40 taps, emphasizing local brands, will complement a ~100 ct. bottle list.

May 252011

Given the continued coverage of crimes it is sometimes easy to forget we are very lucky.  As reported this morning, murder and other crime continues to drop in California and around the world.  In fact, if you look at crime from a historical perspective, we are really the luckiest people that have ever lived, and things are only getting better.  Steven Pinker’s TED talk on the myth of violence does a great job showing how we are living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.

Mar 262011

This video is six months old, which is ages World of Warcraft’s RMT (Real Money Transactions) economy, but it still contains a lot of great information on the game market economics. For those of you not familiar with WoW, it is the largest massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the world with over 12 million subscriptions each month. There is a large market system built up around the in-game economy (gold) with brokers, farmers (gold producers), and customers who pay real money for in-game currency.

Professional Chinese Gold Farmer tells all – Exclusive Interview with Jared Psigoda

Feb 272011

I’ve been catching up on a lot of reading with instapaper and our kindle. Here are some of the more interesting economics reads I’ve had in the last few months:

Feb 262011

I intended to do a write-up about my experience becoming a US Citizen last year. However, as is frequently the case, if I don’t start on a post right away it never happens. Fortunately, Dafna Linzer wrote up a article on Slate that captures a lot of the things I was going to write about:

The Problem With Question 36: Why are so many of the answers on the U.S. citizenship test wrong?

In addition to the sometimes puzzling questions and answers posed by the test (we have a free market economy, really?) I thought she did a good job giving an overview of the interview tone and the swearing-in ceremony emotions. It was very touching to see in people’s reactions just how far they had come, and how much joy that moment gave them. If you ever feel a bit depressed, get yourself invited to a swearing in ceremony. It is hard to leave without a lump in your throat and a changed heart.