Weekly Roundup 73: A Curated Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web

I spend 8 hours every Sunday putting this together. If you like this roundup or plan on linking to it kindly include a reference to SimoleonSense Thanks!

Weekly Cartoon


Weekly Joke (Via Econosseur)

One day, a woman went for a walk in her neighborhood and came across a boy with some puppies.  “Would you like a puppy?” asked the boy.  “They aren’t ready for new homes quite yet, but they will be in a few weeks!”

“Oh, they’re adorable,” the lady said.  “What kind of dogs are they?”  “These are economists,” replied the boy.

“O.K.  I’ll tell my husband.”  So she went home and told her husband.  He was very interested in seeing the puppies.

About a week later, he came across the lad.  The puppies were very active.  “Hey, Mister.  Want a puppy?” said the boy.  “I think my wife spoke with you last week,” stated the man.  “What kind of dogs are these?”

“Oh.  These are decision analysts,” stated the boy proudly.  “I thought you said last week that they were economists,” stated the man.

“Well yes,” replied the boy.  “But now their eyes are open.”

Most Important Links of The Week

Presentation: Millions, Billions, Zillions — (In)numeracy Still Matters!!! via Brian W Kernighan @ Princeton – So what’s my point? We are all number numb. And, very few people, even really smart folks rarely do the math.

Does Living a Remarkable Life Require Courage or Effort? – via Study Hacks – These same ideas, of course, show up again and again in the growing number of popular blogs and books that tackle the topic of building a remarkable life. At their core, they all express the following belief: the key to living a remarkable life is mustering the courage to step off the “safe path.” In this post, by contrast, I argue that having the courage to ignore the status quo is of minimal importance for achieving this goal. The most important factor, instead, is becoming so good at something that society rewards you with a remarkable life.

“Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization” via LongNow – Civilizations always think they’re immortal, Eagleman noted, but they nearly always perish, leaving “nothing but ruins and scattered genetics.” It takes luck and new technology to survive. We may be particularly lucky to have Internet technology to help manage the six requirements of a durable civilization:

Sotomayor – The Subtle Difference Between Finding Your Life’s Work and Loving Your Life – via Study Hacks – Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Bronx, not far from Edenwald Houses, the borough’s largest public housing project, sits the Cardinal Spellman Highschool — a private, yet still affordable catholic high school (the annual tuition is under $7000), that has been for the past fifty years, as Lauren Collins put it in a recent New Yorker article, home to “strivers of assorted ethnicities” attempting to better their situation.

How Creativity Is Stunted
via Falken Blog -Teachers say they want creativity, but that is not the behavior that is rewarded. In this study (as well as in many others), they found that there is a discrepancy between what teachers, and schools in general, say they value and desire, and what behaviors they actually reward and encourage. Teachers don’t want the student who is always raising their hand and questioning the assignment; they want the student who unquestioningly follows the outline given to them and turns the assignment in on time.

Hospitals: The Rich Are Getting Richer – via If a hospital group owns most of the hospitals in an area, it’s got the whip hand and can demand higher payment rates. Insurers can’t afford to be shut out of entire market, so they have to pay up. Conversely, if a single insurer is dominant in an area with lots of providers, it can squeeze the local hospitals, who can’t afford to be dropped.

Why Some Minds Stay Sharp Despite Aging – via Mind Power News – The brains of some elderly people with super-sharp memory seem to escape the formation of destructive “tangles” that increase with normal aging and peak in people with Alzheimer’s. A study of the brains of people who stayed mentally sharp into their 80s and beyond challenges the notion that brain changes linked to mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease are a normal, inevitable part of aging.

Miguel’s Favorites

Recency: Hot-Hands and the Gambler’s Fallacy– via PsyFi Blog – Recency is a great trouble to us, being a particularly tricky sort of behavioural bias that’s rather difficult to overcome. It works thus: you overfocus on the most recent events you’ve experienced and neglect to worry about older information. We don’t so much integrate new information with the old as use it to overwrite our memories. For investors recency may have a couple of different effects. Positive recency makes you a momentum trader, a sort of living incarnation of a goldfish, forever surprised by the same piece of seaweed. Negative recency makes you a contrarian investor, solidly heading away from anything exciting, looking for where the action isn’t. Either way you’d better be damn sure you know what you’re doing because both approaches more or less guarantee under-diversification.

Do good moods make people less trusting? – via Bakadesuyo – “A person’s mood may determine how much they rely on subtle – or not so subtle — cues when evaluating whether to trust someone,” said Robert Lount, author of the study and assistant professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. In five separate experiments, Lount found that people in a positive mood were more likely than those in a neutral mood to follow cues or stereotypes when determining whether they should trust someone.

Overconfidence is a Social Signaling Bias via IZA – Evidence from psychology and economics indicates that many individuals overestimate their ability, both absolutely and relatively. We test three different theories about observed relative overconfidence. The first theory notes that simple statistical comparisons (for example, whether the fraction of individuals rating own skill above the median value is larger than half) are compatible (Benoît and Dubra, 2007) with a Bayesian model of updating from a common prior and truthful statements. We show that such model imposes testable restrictions on relative ability judgments, and we test the restrictions. Data on 1,016 individuals’ relative ability judgments about two cognitive tests rejects the Bayesian model. The second theory suggests that self-image concerns asymmetrically affect the choice to get new information about one’s abilities, and this asymmetry produces overconfidence (Kőszegi, 2006; Weinberg, 2006). We test an important specific prediction of these models: individuals with a higher belief will be less likely to search for further information about their skill, because this information might make this belief worse. Our data also reject this prediction. The third theory is that overconfidence is induced by the desire to send positive signals to others about one’s own skill; this suggests either a bias in judgment, strategic lying, or both. We provide evidence that personality traits strongly affect relative ability judgments in a pattern that is consistent with this third theory. Our results together suggest that overconfidence in statements is most likely to be induced by social concerns than by either of the other two factors.


The art of copying: Scientists tell us that even copying mistakes can be good-Via Phys Org – New research suggests that accidentally copying the mistakes of others can lead to some of man’s greatest innovations. The international project, led by the University of St Andrews, found that mimicking the mistakes of others can ultimately aid the human ability to adapt.

Does not being able to have something make you want it more? – via Bakadesuyo – We show how being “jilted”—that is, being thwarted from obtaining a desired outcome—can concurrently increase desire to obtain the outcome, but reduce its actual attractiveness. Thus, people can come to both want something more and like it less. Two experiments illustrate such disjunctions following jilting experiences. In Experiment 1, participants who failed to win a prize were willing to pay more for it than those who won it, but were also more likely to trade it away when they ultimately obtained it. In Experiment 2, failure to obtain an expected reward led to increased choice, but also negatively biased evaluation, of an item that was merely similar to that reward. Such disjunctions were exhibited particularly by individuals low in intensity of felt affect, a finding supporting an emotional basis for relative harmonization of wanting and liking. These results demonstrate how dissociable psychological subsystems for wanting and liking can be driven in opposing directions.

Biological Link Between Stress, Anxiety and Depression Identified via ScienceDaily — Scientists at The University of Western Ontario have discovered the biological link between stress, anxiety and depression. By identifying the connecting mechanism in the brain, this high impact research led by Stephen Ferguson of Robarts Research Institute shows exactly how stress and anxiety could lead to depression. The study also reveals a small molecule inhibitor developed by Ferguson, which may provide a new and better way to treat anxiety, depression and other related disorders.


Exclusive Reads & Finance Topics

Gray Swan? Chinese Bill Auctions Fail – via ZeroHedge – With everyone focused on the US bond market, it was of course inevitable that the failed bond auction would occur not here, but in that other great liquidity pump and Keynesian playground: China. Market News reports that the Chinese Ministry of Finance was unable to sell all of its planned issuance of 91- and 273- day bills. The bond failures were attributed to increasing concerns of monetary tightening which, of course, would impact short-term rates and make investors skittish about locking up capital. Although being unable to fill a 3 Month order book is stunning – Chinese bond vigilantes are now officially on the prowl, and their (in)action guarantees either a hike, or much more serious liquidity withdrawal over the next 91 days, which would spell doom for stocks which trade now only on the combined efforts of the PBoC and the Fed to drown the world in colored pieces of paper. Throw in the unpredictable events of CNY revaluation, and the training wheels of the biggest reliquification experiment are about to come off. We caution readers not to be surprised if in light of these failed auctions, any overtures toward a CNY hike are indefinitely postponed.

Massive Fraud in the Metals Market? via Value Investing World – I don’t really know much about the gold, silver, and other metals markets, but if all of this is true, then it could have a big impact on other areas of the markets. It might be something worth watching. Here are a couple of King World News interviews that describe the details:

Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century – via NYT – Masha Gessen’s Perfect Rigor is a fascinating biography of Grigory (Grisha) Perelman, the fearsomely brilliant and notoriously antisocial Russian mathematician. Perelman proved the Poincaré Conjecture, one of mathematics’ most important and intractable problems, in 2002—almost a century after it was first posed, and just two years after the Clay Mathematics Institute offered a one-million-dollar prize for its solution.

Does bank regulation help the rich or the poor more? – via Finance Professor – “We assess the impact of bank deregulation on the distribution of income in the United States. From the 1970s through the 1990s, most states removed restrictions on intrastate branching, which intensified bank competition and improved bank performance. Exploiting the cross-state, cross-time variation in the timing of branch deregulation, we find that deregulation materially tightened the distribution of income by boosting incomes in the lower part of the income distribution while having little impact on incomes above the median. Bank deregulation tightened the distribution of income by increasing the relative wage rates and working hours of unskilled workers.”

Canada: Uneven growth in housing market across the country: report via Opalesque – From Montrealgazette.com: Although it experienced uneven growth across the country, the Canadian housing market was generally buoyed by strong consumer demand in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released Thursday.

Canadian – House prices jump 10.3% in Q1 – via Toronto Sun – Average house prices in Canada jumped 10.3% in the first quarter, with Vancouver leading the way, though the pace of growth is likely to moderate throughout the rest of the year, a survey from Royal LePage found.

Insights on Executive Compensation from The Journal of Investing – via Rational Walk – Most companies on a calendar fiscal year have released proxy statements over the past month. In addition to annual reports, intelligent investors must pay close attention to proxy statements to determine the company’s philosophy on executive compensation. Nearly every compensation committee includes what seems like boilerplate statements regarding aligning the incentives of management and shareholders. However, as we have seen on many occasions, such as the example provided by Kraft’s absurd compensation policies, shareholders must be vigilant when it comes to matching rhetoric with reality.

Iceland’s regulators face damning report into bank meltdown – via Guardian – A damning account of Iceland’s failure to protect ordinary depositors – including hundreds of thousands in the UK – who entrusted their savings to online bank account Icesave will be published tomorrow by a specially convened truth commission, set up in the wake of Iceland’s banking meltdown 18 months ago.

Patrick Clawson and the State of Public Corruption in Michigan – via Corporate Crime Reporter – Last month, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced $9.1 million in tax credits to Renewable and Sustainable Companies (RASCO).RASCO was headed by a gentleman named Richard Short.Short promised to bring hundreds of jobs to Flint. The idea was to make renewable energy products that could be exported to Third World countries. Clawson checked out the company’s website and immediately suspected something was up.

China on ‘Treadmill to Hell’ Amid Bubble, Chanos Says – via Bloomberg – China’s property market is a bubble that may burst by as early as this year, according to hedge fund manager James Chanos. The world’s third-biggest economy may need to keep up the pace of property investment because up to 60 percent of its gross domestic product relies on construction, said Chanos. The bubble may begin to “run its course” in late-2010 or 2011, he said in an interview on “The Charlie Rose Show” that will air on PBS and Bloomberg TV.

Study Tallies Corporations Not Paying Income Tax – via NYTimes – An article on Wednesday about a Government Accountability Office study reporting on the percentage of corporations that paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005 gave an incorrect figure for the estimated tax liability of the 1.3 million companies covered by the study. It is not $875 billion. The correct amount cannot be calculated because it would be based on the companies’ paying the standard rate of 35 percent on their net income, a figure that is not available. (The incorrect figure of $875 billion was based on the companies’ paying the standard rate on their $2.5 trillion in gross sales.)

Justin Fox: Why the Yale Model of Investing Doesn’t Work for Everybody – via Harvard – The Yale model — outlined in Swensen’s 2000 book Pioneering Portfolio Management — involves marrying Harry Markowitz’s big idea that you want spread your money among uncorrelated assets to a very aggressive search for interesting new kinds of assets. In English: You want to own a mix of investments in which some go up when others go down. And in Swensen’s case, you’re willing in the quest for such a mix to put your money into things that endowments and pension funds used to shy away from as too risky or illiquid or weird: hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate, timber.

Sometimes The Best Idea Is To Steal One via Brainlady – What do rolling luggage and Method laundry detergent have in common? Bear with me while I tell some stories, and I’ll explain

“Davidson” on Watching Individual’s Actions – via Todd Sullivan – This is rather important lesson. It is not enough to simply follow the actions of one person but to watch a spectrum of successful people. Where and when they are putting their money to work can give insight into their thinking of their particular business and its macro environment, Davidson’s “staff” comment is particularly useful as by watching them, you can essentially gain access to their thought process.

How Multinational Corporations Dodge Taxes – via BigThink – The marginal tax rate for businesses is 35%. But the effective tax rate for large companies is much less in practice. Forbes magazine reports that General Electric, for example, won’t owe any U.S. taxes for 2009, but will instead receive more than $1 billion dollars of tax benefits. That’s in spite of the fact that GE generated more than $10 billion in income last year. GE usually doesn’t pay much—in 2008 it paid just 5.3% of its income in taxes. ExxonMobil paid almost 50% of its $35 billion income in taxes. But according to its own Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing it doesn’t owe any taxes in the United States, even though it’s an American corporation and has its headquarters in Texas. Exxon says in spite of what it reported that when its taxes are finally figured it will owe a “substantial” amount—it won’t say how much. But even if it does owe nothing at all it wouldn’t be that out of line with other similar companies. Chevron, which is based in California, likewise paid almost all of its taxes to foreign governments. And in 2008 a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that between 1998 and 2005 two-thirds of companies operating in the U.S—including a quarter of the largest companies—didn’t pay the U.S. government any net taxes at all.

The only thing worse than high taxes is noticing they’re high – via FT – Not all taxes are created equal. They vary in obvious ways, such as who has to send money to the government. They vary in subtle ways, too – such as who actually pays the tax.For instance, the government may ask the buyers of computers to pay a £50 computer purchase tax; or they may ask the sellers of computers to pay a £50 computer sales tax. It does not take much economics to show that it makes no difference to the taxman who writes the cheque: the after-tax price that buyers and sellers pay will be the same either way.

John Doerr: The Next Big Thing – via Tech Crunch – It’s hard to imagine that once there was no Internet. Just 15 years ago there was no browser, no web point-and-click. It was 1994, and Steve Jobs had left Apple. Steve was making Toy Story, and object-oriented software for Next. Then one day Bill Joy showed me a beta version of Mosaic, the FIRST web browser. It was magic. Bill said “John, I have NO idea where this is going. You just better dive in.” The rest of the 90’s were a ONCE-in-a-lifetime experience. Entrepreneurs created the Web, and great ventures – Netscape, Amazon, Ebay, Google, and others. And they changed our lives. Silicon Valley became the Florence of the New, Networked Economy. The advent of the iPad feels like deja-vu, like it’s happening all over again. Not once, but TWICE-in-a-lifetime.

Richardson & Rouini via Washignton Post – Between the fall of 2008 and the winter of 2009, the world’s economy and financial markets fell off a cliff. Stock markets in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America lost between a third and half of their value; international trade declined by a whopping 12 percent; and the size of the global economy contracted for the first time in decades.

20 Great Businesses, 20 Cheap Stocks
via Morningstar – The steady upward climb of U.S. markets over the past year has brought welcome relief to investors punished by what will arguably go down as the worst U.S. economic downturn since the Great Depression. Although there are many reasons to be optimistic about the long-run health of the U.S. economy and future corporate profits, the extended rally has plucked most of the low hanging fruit, leaving the U.S. equity market, as a whole, slightly overvalued by our estimates. It seems that market participants have put the 2008 crisis firmly in the rearview mirror, even though current market valuations would be hard-pressed to maintain their lofty levels should the economy retreat again during the near term.

Five myths about China’s economy – via Washington Post – China’s stunning economic rise is one of the biggest stories of this generation. In just three decades since beginning to embrace market economics, China has left its desperate poverty behind to become the world’s top exporting nation. The transformation has occurred so quickly that myths and misperceptions abound about the challenges and opportunities that China poses to America and the rest of the world.

Why I am short First Solar
– via Bronte Capital – Investing in technology stocks has lots of traps for neophytes – and by-and-large we are neophytes so we do not do very much of it. We however spend a lot of time thinking about it primarily because we are scared of what technology can do to other businesses. (The demise of many low-tech newspapers provides a good demonstration of why – as investors – we should think about technology.)

Revaluing China – via Bronte Capital -It’s odd that I’ve ended up something of a China dove. My entrée into the fin/econ blogosphere was as a commenter at Brad Setser’s website, where some of my rantings verged on sinophobic. But somewhere along the line, I came to the conclusion that faulting China for America’s problems is a bit pathetic. While the jury is still out on the long-term wisdom of its dash to wealth, there’s a solid case that the China’s economic policies have served it well. The United States was and remains the world’s most powerful nation, not a fainting virgin. If China’s economic choices were indirectly harmful to the United States (they were and are), it was within the United States’ power to craft a response that would neutralize those effects. It is not China’s fault that the US did not look after its own interests. The United States’ self-destructive tolerance of unbalanced trade was relentlessly pushed by domestic groups — Wall Street and Wal-Mart — and was given plenty of cover by the economic establishment prior to the “Great Recession”.

Lehman’s collapse was all its own fault – via LA Times – The bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. in September 2008 is widely seen as the event that kicked the financial meltdown into high gear. So it makes sense that the report released last week by Lehman’s bankruptcy examiner should stand as the one indispensable analysis of how Wall Street almost brought the U.S. economy crashing down.

SEC Charges Ohio-Based Investment Adviser for Defrauding Clients in Several States – via SEC – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an Ohio-based investment adviser with fraud for lying about his investment strategy, fabricating account statements to hide losses, and using investor money to buy property and pay unrelated business expenses.

Media (Videos & More)

Hidden Wealth of Nations – via MTEF –

Buffetts Man: Ron Peltier On King World News via King World News – Ron Peltier is chairman and chief executive officer of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and the nation’s second-largest full-service residential real estate brokerage firm. Ron has helped build Home Services of America into a massive conglemeration of 22 companies and eventually this became Berkishire Hathaway’s vehicle to enter the real estate industry. Ron has a bird’s eye view probably better than any other single human being of the real estate market in the United States. In this interview Ron discusses the real estate collapse, price destruction, the current number of people in the US not paying their mortgages, government interference in the market, where he sees the real estate market today, where he sees real estate headed in the future and more.

Academic Research

Local Dividend Clienteles – via Finance Professor – “Firms headquartered in areas in which seniors constitute a large fraction of the population are more likely to pay dividends, initiate dividends, and have higher dividend yields.”

Memory for intergroup apologies and its relationship with forgiveness via EJSP- This paper examines memory for collective apologies. Our interest was in determining whether people are aware of intergroup apologies and whether this contributes to forgiveness for offending groups. Surveys conducted in three nations affected by Japanese World War II aggression found that participants were more likely to believe (incorrectly) that Japan had not apologized for WWII than to believe (correctly) that they had (Study 1). In contrast, participants were eight times more likely to believe that a corporation had apologized for misconduct than to (correctly) recall that they had not (Study 1). Forgiveness levels were higher among those who believed the group had apologized than among apology deniers, although the effect was weak and inconsistent. However, in a follow-up study that measured identification with the victim group it was found that high identifiers were significantly less likely to remember an apology (Study 2). Results suggest that memories for collective apologies are fluid and may not be causally related to intergroup forgiveness.

How the 52-Week High and Low Affect Beta and Volatility – via CXO -Do stocks exhibit predictable volatility behavior near their 52-week highs and lows? In their March 2010 paper entitled “How the 52-Week High and Low Affect Beta and Volatility”, Joost Driessen, Tse-Chun Lin and Otto Van Hemert analyze whether a stock’s beta, return volatility and implied volatility change as its price approaches a 52-week high or low and after its price breaches this high or low. Using price data for a broad sample of U.S. stocks for July 1963 through December 2008 and option price data for January 1996 through September 30, they find that:

How should we make economic forecasts? – via Voxeu – A vital challenge confronting economists is how to forecast, especially during a recession because livelihoods depend on those forecasts. This column discusses choosing amongst forecasts and outlines the concerns involved in averaging across models or using general-to-specific model searches.

Other Great Reads

Emotions & Voting – Fear and Loathing in the Voting Booth – Via Newsweek – With many Democrats nervous that voters’ anger and fear over health-care reform will bring the GOP gains of dozens of congressional seats in November (though see a contrary view here), it may seem as if the Democrats’ challenge is clear: do everything possible to defuse the anger and ease the anxiety. But the emerging science of the role of emotions in voting suggests a very different conclusion. In a paper posted on the Web site of the journal Psychological Science, and scheduled for an upcoming print issue, scientists describe a study suggesting that angry voters rely on vague, general information in a way that makes them ripe for persuasion by vague feel-good ads that gloss over a candidate’s record, while fear may make voters put real effort into ascertaining candidates’ positions on issues and vote for those.

Drink companies seen hurt as consumers cut back – via Reuters – Most U.S. consumers plan to drink about the same amount or less this year, costing beverage companies about $8 billion in sales, according to a study release on Friday

Hollywood Wants to Block Film Futures Trading via Atlantic – Wall Street is attempting to create a new exchange that would allow investors to trade future contracts based on how well upcoming films do at the box office. While this might excite movie buffs who hope to finally monetize their overabundance of film knowledge, Hollywood is not amused. In fact, the Motion Picture Association of America is trying to prevent the creation of the new exchange. It has some legitimate reasons for doing so, but the film industry could benefit significantly from the new futures market.

Book Review – The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build – via Neuromarketing- and luxury brands go together. After all, to a large measure luxury is a psychological construct – is a $600 purse ten times better than one that costs $60. Indeed, without brand labels, could the average person even distinguish them? It’s not surprising that early adopters of neuromarketing include luxury brands like BMW.

Top 10 Psychology Apps for the iPad, iPhone, & iPod – via Psych Files – In this video episode I show you 10 of what I consider to be the best psychology apps in the app store. There are a lot of apps out there and many are not so good, but in this episode I pick out what I consider to be credible therapy apps, excellent mobile mind mapping tools, relaxation apps, games based on Gestalt principles of psychology, and some of the best 3 dimensional ways to look at the brain

Group Think & Passive Actions – Sociology Meets The Bachelor – via Everyday Sociology -A few weeks ago, I was asked to appear on 20/20 to discuss the group dynamics that might emerge while filming a reality show like The Bachelor. I’m always pleased when a sociological perspective is included in popular culture, particularly since we Americans traditionally view things from an individual perspective.

Beauty: Culture-Specific or Universally Defined? – via Psychology Today – Social constructivists, who are strong proponents of the blank slate premise of the human mind, have repeatedly argued that there are no universal metrics of beauty (as was the case in Dr. Albers’ latest post). The strategy for arguing their case is to identify beauty metrics that are radically different across cultural settings, and hence conclude that universal components of beauty do not exist. I am afraid that this is a grossly incomplete and incorrect perspective.

How Not to Run an Empire – via FP – This week’s uprising in Kyrgyzstan didn’t appear out of nowhere. For the last several years, many of this Central Asian country’s people have felt betrayed by a government that came to power promising democracy and reform, but in their eyes delivered repression and nepotism instead. A confrontation had been brewing for months, with arrests of opposition leaders and restrictions on the media prompting public protests, which escalated when the government hiked utility prices. Meanwhile, the government’s heavy-handed police methods have, according to some analysts, helped radicalize a growing part of the Muslim population in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Conrad—The Problem with Revolutionaries: via Harpers – In a real revolution–not a simple dynastic change or a mere reform of institutions–in a real revolution the best characters do not come to the front. A violent revolution falls into the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and of tyrannical hypocrites at first. Afterwards comes the turn of all the pretentious intellectual failures of the time. Such are the chiefs and the leaders. You will notice I have left out the mere rogues. The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane and devoted natures, the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement–but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims–the victims of disgust, disenchantment–often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured—that is the definition of revolutionary success. There have been in every revolution hearts broken by such successes. But enough of that. My meaning is that I don’t want you to be a victim.

10 Simple Google Search Tricks – via NYT – I’m always amazed that more people don’t know the little tricks you can use to get more out of a simple Google search. Here are 10 of my favorites.

How to lose customers and alienate people – via Memeburn – South African websites repeatedly make basic usability mistakes. The results: frustrated customers, negative brand impact, reduced online sales, and poor return on investment for the whole web project. The best advice for making an impact online is to Zig when others Zag. Stand out. Be amazing. Give a shit.


Global Debt Levels Compared!

Comparing Marginal Rates

What Are People Really Buying On The Net

Associated Press Economic Stress Map via Chart Porn –

About Miguel Barbosa

I run this site.

11. April 2004 by Miguel Barbosa
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