The Big Think

August 20, 2010

Go, Rolf!

Filed under: Friends — jasony @ 5:12 pm

Good friend Rolf Potts makes ABC news. Go Rolf, Go!

August 16, 2010

Those Voices Don’t Speak for the Rest of Us

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 11:33 pm

Is this still true? We’ll see come November.

Interview with a Rock Star

Filed under: Music,Space/Astronomy — jasony @ 5:40 pm

Queen’s Brian May– Rock god, guitarist, and… astrophysics PhD. (h/t Robert)

Best Card Trick Ever

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:27 am

August 14, 2010

Camper

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 9:29 pm

Now this is a great camper design. Wow.

I’m Very Trustworthy!

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 8:40 pm

The Trustworthiness of Beards.

Truer Words

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 8:37 pm

“Our best hope for changing Washington is not to let hope triumph over experience and believe if we just elected the right person everything would change, but to make the structural changes that will deny the politicians the power they always abuse.”

link

Drew

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 8:37 pm

This looks really cool.

August 9, 2010

14,269

Filed under: Disclosure,Hobbies — jasony @ 8:51 pm

Wednesday morning starting at 4am Erin and I will be climbing Mt. Antero (14,269 ft). It will be her second 14’er (after Quandary) and my 26th. We’ll then spend four days backpacking in the wilderness. Weather looks good. Wish us luck!

mt-antero2.jpg

August 5, 2010

Get to Readin’…

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 7:22 pm

There Are 129,864,880 Different Books in the World: “”

(Via .)

August 4, 2010

True Head of Her Class

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 10:24 pm

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn’t you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared.

The Valedictorial speech that we’ve all wanted to hear. Good for her! The whole thing should be required reading for High School freshman. As if that’ll ever happen.

Zoo Day!

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 9:14 pm

Had a great day at the Zoo with Erin today. Tons of fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a real zoo, and this one was one of the best! Got to hand fee giraffes, get up close with a silverback gorilla (from the safe side of the glass), and see tons of other critters. What we thought would be a 2 hour visit ended up being almost 8 hours! We’re like that: we enjoy wringing out museums and other educational type places. We’re the couple that reads everything and takes forever.

Horrors

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:42 am

Ten really weird sharks. This one gives me nightmares.

500Basking_Shark.jpg

Ignorance

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 10:31 am

Is ignorance of the law a legitimate excuse? If you’re a police officer who is arresting someone, it apparently is.

August 3, 2010

Taxation

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 10:05 pm

“The highest tax bracket income earners, when compared with those people in lower tax brackets, are far more capable of changing their taxable income by hiring lawyers, accountants, deferred income specialists and the like. They can change the location, timing, composition and volume of income to avoid taxation.”

In other words, one of the most important differences between The Rich, and the rest of us, is that The Rich have options.

The options for minimizing tax exposure described by Laffer are not available to middle-class taxpayers. Working stiffs can’t “change the location, timing, composition, and volume of income to avoid taxation.” At lower tax rates, The Rich do pretty much the same thing everyone else does: aggressively take advantage of deductions to pay as little tax as possible. As tax rates increase, The Rich pass through a second stage, in which it becomes reasonable to modify their economic behavior to avoid punitive taxation. These modifications are, by definition, harmful to the overall economy, because they involve taking fewer risks, and generating less taxable income. Generating taxable income is what The Rich hire you for.

A third stage exists. The Rich can simply remove themselves from the economy altogether. Unlike most of us, they can move their business operations, and even their personal residence, on fairly short notice. They can retire early, as many doctors have spoken of doing, rather than shackle themselves to the lumbering ObamaCare cart. They can find plenty of safe harbors for their money.

…there is a sweet spot on the Laffer curve: a point at which tax and regulatory burdens are low enough to encourage the most growth-oriented behavior from wealthy individuals and large corporations, but high enough to generate the income necessary to fund government without running huge deficits. The government must, in turn, live within its means. It must be small enough to survive on the funding provided by this optimum rate of taxation. Obviously, our current federal government has swollen far beyond this size, becoming a tumor that murders its host organism with increasingly frantic demands for greater nourishment.

Soak-the-rich policies are dismal failures, because they rely on controlling the behavior of people who have many options to escape. The promises of such systems depend on capturing extremely agile dollars. Those of us with fewer options, and less liquid income, always end up suffering the fallout from these failures. We live in the dusty spaces left behind when billionaires decide not to follow the scripts prepared for them by Washington social engineers.

We’ll suffer again when massive tax increases slam into a recessionary economy, pulverizing everyone except their ostensible targets.

Read the whole thing.

Double Exposure

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 9:48 pm

The Ghosts of WWII.

Photographer Sergey Larenkov does some amazingly poignant double exposures of WWII and present day locations.

sergeylarenkov00.jpg

Get Smarter by Realizing You’re Not That Great

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 7:21 pm

Get Smarter by Realizing You’re Not That Great: “”

(Via .)

Curiosity

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 10:54 am

Curiosity is one of those personality traits that gets short scientific shrift. It strikes me as a really important mental habit – how many successful people are utterly incurious? – but it’s also extremely imprecise. What does it mean to be interested in seemingly irrelevant ideas? And how can we measure that interest? While we’ve analyzed raw intelligence to death – scientists are even beginning to unravel the anatomy of IQ – our curiosity about the world remains mostly a mystery. (According to one review of the literature, the amount of research on curiosity peaked in the late 1940s.) Einstein would not be pleased: “I have no special talents,” he once declared. “I am only passionately curious.”….

…curiosity obeys an inverted U-shaped curve, so that we’re most curious when we know a little about a subject (our curiosity has been piqued) but not too much (we’re still uncertain about the answer). This supports the information gap theory of curiosity, which was first developed by George Loewenstein of Carnegie-Mellon in the early 90s. According to Loewenstein, curiosity is rather simple: It comes when we feel a gap “between what we know and what we want to know”. This gap has emotional consequences: it feels like a mental itch, a mosquito bite on the brain. We seek out new knowledge because we that’s how we scratch the itch.

The Itch of Curiosity.

August 2, 2010

You Have Died of Dysentery

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Movies — jasony @ 8:40 pm

The Oregon Trail: The Movie!

Wireframe

Filed under: Maker,Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:23 am

Sculptor Shi Jindain builds 3d wireframe models IRL.

4853225061_a5d44793fe.jpg

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