Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015


Film: Nameless Gangster

Quite a good, nearly great Korean gangster movie. The Korean movies I've seen tend to have great acting and do a spectacular job of creating flawed characters.

TV: Fargo

I am enjoying the new season, but significantly less than the first season. The story is way too sprawling and without a center. Still, some of the details are quite fun, and I'll like to see how it comes together, but I'm highly skeptical it will in a satisfying way. Better storytelling expands from a small seed. Season 1 did it well. Also, the lead actors are no where near the level of Martin Freeman and Billy Bob. The side characters are still really good, though.

Book: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by GRRM

The first novella of the book - The Hedge Knight was terrific. I looked it up and Martin wrote it in 1998. Man, the guy was on a roll back then when he published this story along with the first three Game of Thrones books. Martin is an incredible storyteller and continually surprises the reader. I'm really quite in awe of the guy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Driverless Cars

Three counterintuitive scenarios. I am not particularly optimistic on driverless cars. Primarily, I can't see myself using one. Secondarily, I can't picture the broad application of their use and how it would inherently make a city operate better. Thirdly, I don't get excited about technologies that enfeeble human beings. I consider driving a learnable skill and I don't see how de-skilling people is inherently a good thing. Are we to suppose freeing people up from driving will make all of us much more productive? I think it'll make us watch more TV.

Lastly, what is the problem driverless cars are supposed to solve? Traffic? Now, I think traffic is one of the largest solvable urban problems and the person who can fix it should win a Nobel Prize. But I think a better solution than driverless cars is a more flexible workplace utilizing the internet. And this seems to be happening to some extent already although I haven't noticed a noticeable downtick in traffic in LA. If anything, I've noticed an uptick in traffic in the Bay Area, a region known for being open to working from home.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It Will "Deliver"

My prediction on the new Star Wars is that it'll "deliver." Not inspire, not wow, not be memorable, but simply "deliver." Do I know what this means? Only sort of. It'll get people in their seats. It won't bomb. People will have to admit, "it's good." But I highly doubt it will be special in any way and it'll be kinda like being introduced to the Rolling Stones through the Hot Rocks double album. Which, by the way, I was, as a teenager.

Daniel Jeremiah's pre draft write up was spot on.

"He could develop into an athletic #2 QB, but I don't see him as an NFL starter."

Indeed. I wish the Niners had kept Smith as a starter and if things weren't going well on offense, they could slip in Kap as a change of pace option. Would've been an incredible set up. I think teams overthink the idea of the of the "starting QB" and needing that clear cut leader. It works great if you have a Brady, a Manning, a Brees, but in the absence of having one of those guys, you can't try and fit guys who don't meet the profile into the role. Make the role suit the player. Alex Smith isn't like one of those elite guys, but give the guy a run game and a defense, and he can win you games, including playoff games. And it'd be nice to have Kap off the bench, thrown in a couple of sequences with his legs and his big arm to throw off the defense. I mean, look at the value of the bench in bball and soccer and baseball? Why doesn't a football borrow from those sports if your personnel could make it work?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sounds Very Good

"Winter Is Coming," written by Gary Kasparov.

I'm coming to think opening up trade, etc with Russia and China, moreso than making them more like us, could end up making us more like them.

My friend sent me a short doc called Million Dollar Shack about the housing prices in the Bay Area and all the Chinese money gobbling up Silicon Valley real estate because basically, people can't own land in China (70 year leases). Indeed the world is flat, but that might not turn out to be a good thing.

Then again, people could also just move.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You Can't Say That!

Gender pay gap amongst lawyers.
We find clear evidence of a gender gap in annual performance with respect to both measures. Male lawyers bill ten percent more hours and bring in more than twice the new client revenue than do female lawyers. We demonstrate that the differential impact across genders in the presence of young children and differences in aspirations to become a law firm partner account for a large share of the difference in performance. they're saying having kids make fathers want to earn more money and women want to stay home and care for kids? I was under the impression thinking this made you sexist.

Monday, October 19, 2015


In 2001, I visited Venezuela. It was a terrific country and people, although parts were plagued by massive poverty. In 2002, Chavez came to power and there  people who were optimistic about his efforts to make a more equal society, despite the fact that communism has immiserated every single country where it's been tried.

Read this for what Venezuela is like today. A tragedy and the result of making dumb choices.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Median salary LA - $55,000

Median home price - $546,000 (mortgage + taxes) roughly equal $2700 per month or $32,400

Something isn't even close to adding up.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015

How Women Think

There are literally not enough single men out there.

In reading this, what it more accurately means to say, is there aren't enough single men of sufficient status for single women out there. Which of course, will always be the case. I'd suggest tapping the 20 million men from China who have 0 percent chance of finding a mate since the demographics are skewed due to the 1-child policy. But no self-respecting college educated American women would actually consider these men...and that's not racist, but instead a matter of "attraction."

And then this:
And my argument is that the old discrimination [against women] obscured a fundamental biological truth: Girls' brains mature at a faster rate than boys' brains, girls mature [faster] socially and intellectually. They're about a year ahead of boys. When it comes to actual schoolwork, girls do their homework better, girls are more organized, they're less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, they don't get put in jail [at the same rates]. So I think girls have a developmental advantage when it comes to college preparation.
Notice when women do better at school, the reasons are biological, but women are underrepresented in math, science, entertainment, etc, there are misogynistic structures discriminating against them.

Let's just say I'm listening to the world's smallest violin.