Monday, June 30, 2014

FLG is currently listening to

FLG has never really paid attention to the video before, but he noticed just now that the bar patio they are sitting on is the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver, which brews his favorite beer -- Rail Yard Ale.

Given this low rating, FLG must assume it doesn't taste as good out of the can as it does out of a tap.  Sawtooth from the Lefthand Brewery does pretty damn well though and FLG's favorite beer he can actually buy in the DC area.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Texting and Grammar

Overall, we found no evidence that the use of grammatical violations in text messages is consistently related to poorer grammatical or spelling skills in school students.

FLG is skeptical. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Too Much Emphasis On The Little Guy

FLG agrees wholeheartedly with this:
This is the sort of thing that drives me nuts. Of course "smaller investors are being penalized." They're being penalized all the time, in everything that they do. They get worse research, worse service, worse allocations, worse customer perks, worse everything. There are volume discounts on bonds, as there are on most things in life. Is this unfair? I really don't care.

Later on...
 The SEC's job is to regulate the financial markets. One way to approach that job would be to put a priority on optimizing market efficiency and stability. Another way to approach it would be to put a priority on protecting retail investors and preventing two-bit frauds. Obviously both are good but one is more important. If you think about bond market structure in terms of protecting the little guy, you will make one set of choices; if you think about it in terms of providing a stable liquid platform for massive flows of capital, you will make a second, probably somewhat different, set of choices. The second set of choices is probably right.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Time Horizons -- Development Edition

For those of you wondering, FLG still holds fast to his time horizons theory*, which was applicable again in this EconTalk interview with William Easterly.

Russ: Well, when you are steering the car, you dowant to know the GPS (Global Positioning System) to be very accurate. You want to get a measurement every second. So, the more often, the better. Guest: Well, the more often, the more often you are going to be very badly wrong. Because the short run data are just too unreliable. What those data are useful for are really to give you much more of a long run verdict. Which system is better: a system based on individual rights or a system based on technocrats and dictators? And there I think the long run evidence is very conclusive. The gigantic reductions in child mortality have come mainly in free societies, and not in autocratic societies. It came much earlier and much bigger in free societies than they came in autocratic societies. That's what I think the data is telling you. And so the data is really weighing in on this big debate that Bill Gates is completely ignoring and avoiding, about: Is the autocrat of Ethiopia actually a big part of the solution to development in Ethiopia? Or is he actually a part of the problem? I think the big long-run picture says he's actually part of the problem, not the solution. Russ: Well, we had an episode with Morten Jerven on the unreliability of data, often--in the long run and in the short run. So, one of my concerns is that in many of these poor countries, data collection--it's not so great in the United States sometimes. So in a wealthy country that has lots of resources-- Guest:Yeah. But it's not just the long run and the short run. You can't equate the two. The great saving value of the long run is that no matter how big the measurement error is--and it is very big--but if it's just unbiased and just sort of fluctuating up and down even by a large amount, over the long run that tends to average out. And so you do tend to get a more accurate measure even with measurement error when you go to longer run data. That's one thing this book really insists on repeatedly, is that to really get the right evidence for what's working in development and what's not. You really need to go very long run and not over-react to kind of short run episodes of improvements in either development or child mortality or whatever. Those are just really not reliable. But the long runis reliable.

* For those of you who are new around these parts, FLG's time horizons theory is an evergreen theme here and the short version is that conservatives place more emphasis on the long run and search for root causes while liberals place more emphasis on the short run and proximate causes.  This then leads to a few corollaries, but FLG is too lazy to list them all right now.

Fashion Circle

Most people think of menswear, if they think of it at all, as a spectrum.  Crappy, cheap stuff on one end and designer, expensive stuff on the other.  FLG, on the other hand, thinks of it more as a circle where the super-high end stuff ends up wrapping around to be more expensive, but worse than the cheap stuff, if only because it costs 100x more than it should.   For example, pretty much everything Givenchy on Mr. Porter looks like it should be in the discount bin for five bucks at Target.

FLG first became aware of this when he saw an interview with Val Kilmer about The Saint.  He was very particular about this sweater, which he wanted to be one where you couldn't tell if the person wearing it was a bum or about to board his private jet.

FLG was reminded of this today when he saw this picture of Lapo Elkann on the Sartorialist.  Now, FLG thinks Elkann's suit is awesome in this case, but if you do a search for Lapo Elkann on Google Images, you can see that he perfectly embodies the circular nature between extraordinarily expensively elegant and wearing an outfit that costs thousands of dollars, but looks like you just fished it out of a dumpster only moments before.  

Then again, Tom Ford says he considers Elkann to be the best dressed man on the planet, so what the fuck does FLG know?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Central Banks

In the old days, we did not know what the central bank was up to, and it was easy to believe that it had access to information of which we are not aware. Now it publishes all the numbers and we can see it's often wrong. Dorothy has found out that the Wizard of Oz is an old man behind the curtain.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


The FLGs watched part of this last night.  Had some issues with Netflix streaming and decided to finish it up later, but it's pretty damn good so far:

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Not So Quick Round Up

A Conversation

FLG was on the metro.  Two women in their early-to-mid 20s were having a conversation.

Woman #1:  I was going to get him a flask with his birthday engraved in it.  But then I thought his initials.

Woman #2:  Didn't you say were going to get him something else?  I forget what, but not that.

Woman #1:  Yeah, I saw a great leather jacket, but it was too expensive.

Woman #3, a lady in her 70s or 80s leans over.

Woman #3:  Let me give you a piece of advice an old lady, probably younger than I am now, gave me back in nineteen-fifty-five.  If you want to give him a personal and thoughtful gift...

Woman #1 interrupts:  Exactly.

Woman #3 smirks:  I thought so, then give him a blowjob.

Every guy in earshot's head turned.  

Woman #3 continued:  I don't care if you give him one everyday.  You tell him his birthday gift is a blowjob, then he'll be happy.  If he wants a jacket or a flask, he can buy it his damn self, but I haven't met a fella yet who can give himself a blowjob.

Every guy in earshot's head nodded.


Questions from your Maximum Leader:

1) What food do you most resemble - physically?

Dunno.  A slice of pizza?

2) Assume that everyone has an ability that they could call their “superpower” what would yours be?

Does having the Force count?  If not, then telekinesis.

3) What is the earliest memory you have?

Wrote about that already.

4) A good day would be…

Any day FLG spends with his wife, girls, a Tiki drink, and a Cohiba Robusto.

5) A bad day would be…

When a full train breaks down on the Metro during rush hour.

6) Cameras on every single portable electronic device. Blessing or bane?


7) Favorite Pixar character? Why?

Definitely Crush the turtle.  Dude is chill and old.

8 ) Tell me about one deeply held belief of yours that has evolved or changed over time.

That religion is bullshit opium for the masses.  Definitely changed on that.

9) Your favorite word?

Tie between defenestrate and hagiography

10) If I met you at a dinner party, what would you NOT like me to ask you?

To touch your junk.

11) Tell me something I don’t know

FLG has never gotten busy in a Burger King bathroom.

 FLG's intense dislike of fairness makes him want to buy this book:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quick Round-Up

Unfortunately, FLG has been unable to blog, but he send himself some links to remind himself to post things.  Here are the results of that.  Btw, long-time FLG readers jonesing for some object sex posting will be happy.

Ross Douthat on the Left's problem with traditional masculinity:

I see a social revolution that has brought good and bad, intermixed, and whose supporters could profit from the realization that some of the human goods they seek are actually more clearly visible behind us, somewhere back in a cultural past they still insist they’re fighting to overthrow, whose actual details the darkness of forgetting has almost swallowed up

 FLG loved this one by Matt Levine on stretching the definition of index fund:
Oh I see. So Pax World Gender Analytics will subjectively rate companies on their commitment to women, Pax Ellevate Management will then choose a list of the companies that Pax World Gender Analytics rates highly, Pax Ellevate Management will give MSCI that list, MSCI will call that list an index, and Pax Ellevate Management will then invest its index fund in that index.

Last, but certainly not least, presenting the Autoblow 2.  FLG believes you may still be able to fund the project.   Check out the video. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Quote of the day

Michael Gerson interpreting Obama:
we will not, as others urge, enter nuclear bunkers and live as mole people

That part about mole people made FLG laugh out loud. 
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