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I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
I have a small role (Charley) in the London Community Players' production of Death of a Salesman, so I claim no credit for this. And I make no claim to being unbiased, though I do my best. This production is one of the best you could ever see. I'll stack it up against any professional production of Death of a... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at EclectEcon
The old CBC business model is broken. Television viewers and radio listeners have zillions of options via cable and the internet. Viewership is down and hence so are advertising revenues. The result? The CBC essentially wants to move toward the BBC model: charge everyone a fee (i.e. another tax) to support them, regardless of whether we watch, like, or listen... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at EclectEcon
I have recently looked at the proposed "Justification Report" the county has prepared to justify their putting a 30-story building where the current Middlesex County Health building is at Ridout and King Street in London, Ontario. Not only will the building take up and block a LOT of park space and add seriously to traffic congestion problems, but I have... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at EclectEcon
Here is a photo of me as Charley in Death of a Salesman. The photo is by Ross Davidson taken during Monday's dress rehearsal. The preview is tonight. We have our official opening tomorrow. Friends who saw the rehearsal last night were VERY moved by the performances. Procunier Hall, The Palace Theatre. Related articles Sunk Costs and "The Death of... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at EclectEcon
Via Jason Clemens on Facebook: Some folks have asked for references regarding my comments earlier today about the fact that hiking the minimum wage will not by and large benefit low-income households. This is the first of several FB posts with references. This first post is to an academic article that appeared in the journal Canadian Public Policy. The researchers... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at EclectEcon
For some reason I didn't bother to pronounce the name of this wine to myself until I got it home and put it in the fridge. I'm glad I bought it now, even though I haven't opened it yet and have no idea what it tastes like. I'm sure my Facebook friend, Michael Snell (aka The Wine Commonsewer) will want... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at EclectEcon
From Coyote Blog, a spectacularly accurate and funny Venn diagram: The first lesson of economics is (or ought to be), "People respond to incentives." And I would add, ".... whether we like it or not." Scott Sumner has more along the same line at EconLog: A few weeks ago I did a post pointing out that pundits on both the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at EclectEcon
One of my very favourite lines from Catch-22 is Yossarian's statement (paraphrased), They have the right to do whatever they cannot be prevented from doing. I was reminded of that line by this story from the CBC [via Ms Eclectic] which outlines how law-enforcement officials in the US take cash from people's cars. Across America, law enforcement officers — from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2014 at EclectEcon
The Elder of Ziyon links to a report from MEMRI [the Middle East Media Reports Institute] that as soon as the cease-fire was announced in Gaza, work on deeper tunnels was begun to prepare for renewed attacks on Israel. A recent Al-Jazeera TV report took the viewers down into new tunnels dug by the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at EclectEcon
Everything I have read about the Apple Watch looks nice. But there's a killer drawback: I like to wear my watch all the time, including at night and while swimming. If it isn't waterproof, and if it needs to be taken off at night for recharging, I'll pass. For now I'll stick with my Timex Expedition. Also see this and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at EclectEcon
Stephen Hawking wrote that discovering and messing with the Higgs-Boson particle might lead to the end of the universe as we know it. [via Jack] He wrote: "The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV)." What might this lead to? Hawkins explained: "This could mean that the universe could undergo... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at EclectEcon
These are absolutely amazing drawings, utilizing the extreme convexity of a cyclindrical mirror. Here's a "standard" piece... a picture of a tree: Here's a more complex one, in that without the cylinder it looks like a seascape, but in the cylinder it looks like a portrait: And I love this one. A weird, intriguing sculpture that shows a hand to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at EclectEcon
Fifty years ago I was content with the concept of an infinite universe --- infinite in time and space. Then I started learning about expansion, deflation, the big bang, string theory, parallel universes, 11 dimensions, criticisms of string theory, etc. I was shaken from my contentedness by the turmoil and uncertainty of it all. Ms Eclectic and I began reading... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at EclectEcon
This article is directed toward Bay Street lawyers in Trono, but probably applies in many other situations [ht Raffi]. And even if the advice doesn't work for all jobs, the overall direction of the advice might be useful. [A]ll of our experts agreed on these finer points of dressing like a fully formed lawyer Gentlemen Well-kept facial hair is fine.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2014 at EclectEcon
Here is a short exchange from the play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Charley: When a deposit bottle is broken, you don't get your nickel back. Willy: That's easy enough for you to say. Charley: That ain't easy for me to say. Charley is telling Willy to recognize that he can't change the past, but Willy holds onto... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2014 at EclectEcon
see this - an intriguing example. (apologies that I haven't been able to find a way to embed the video here). A small bobcat-like vehicle that saws and splits wood. Now to find an attachment that stacks and bundles the wood! Technological change, coupled with increased labour costs and reduced costs of capital rotate the isocosts, shifting the expansion path,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at EclectEcon
This is a very lengthy piece but it is well worth reading. Here is a summary from Daily Alert: Israelis who spent this past summer dodging Hamas rockets and sending their sons to fight in Gaza must wonder why it is "critical" to implement Obama's solution to their problems rather than to defeat terrorism and more broadly the ceaseless Arab... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at EclectEcon
This story brought tears to my eyes [ht JAB]: Devon Still, a defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, had his life change forever when on June 2 his four-year-old daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with stage-4 neuroblastoma cancer. As you can imagine, Still wasn’t able to devote 100% to football as he cared for his daughter and the Bengals were forced... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at EclectEcon
From Bret Stephens at WSJournal Online [via MK]: Now think about what, specifically, has enraged the president about Israel's behavior. "Its actions and its treatment of his chief diplomat." Actions? Hamas began firing rockets at Israel in June, thereby breaking the cease-fire it had agreed to at the end of the last war, in November 2012. The latest war began... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at EclectEcon
I do not understand why or how people who claim to love freedom end up supporting groups and gubmnts (like Hamas) that are so opposed to freedom. For all its faults, Israel is by far the greatest promoter of individual freedom in the Middle East; and yet many writers oppose Israel and support Hamas. As David Feith said in a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at EclectEcon
This article in Time lists five myths of feminism [via Gabriel]. They comprise important misstatements about facts and misuses of statistics concerning what are typically referred to as women's issues. The article does not pooh-pooh women's issues. Instead, it urges people to examine the facts and to have a better understanding of statistics. Why do these reckless claims have so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at EclectEcon
Subject line and link courtesy of JR (my favourite drug dealer). Artist designs products that are frustrating. E.g., And about the subject line? JR's version of schadenfreude. The subject line of the email message he sent with the link was, "Pleasingly displeasing". These would make excellent gifts for some people, but I haven't seen any on Amazon. ;-) Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at EclectEcon
There appears to be some evidence that the use of marijuana for pain relief leads to less opioid addiction and fewer deaths resulting from opioid overdoses. According to an abstract published online this past week by JAMA Internal Medicine, the use of medical marijuana in states that have legalized the drug for prescription purposes have led to significantly lower opioid-overdose... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at EclectEcon
Apparently Arctic Sea ice has grown dramatically over the past two years, contrary to the predictions of the more dire forecasts. The most widely used measurements of Arctic ice extent are the daily satellite readings issued by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is co-funded by Nasa. These reveal that – while the long-term trend still shows... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2014 at EclectEcon
I'll be in this production of Death of a Salesman playing Charley, the next door neighbour (who seems to be one of the few honest, sane people in the play). I love this production. The director, Jason Rip, has a terrific perspective which should open some people's eyes. And the cast is amazingly good, especially the two leads: Rob Faust... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2014 at EclectEcon