Thursday, May 13, 2010

All Present-day Life Arose From A Single Origin - Science News

All Present-day Life Arose From A Single Origin - Science News

Again, His Noodly Appendage intervenes to make the facts look like they support that crazy "evolution" idea.

Seriously, this kind of thing is the coolest. Almost as cool as unit analysis. Almost.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where I am in The Princess Bride

I have to say this is pretty cool:


I think that the Princess and Wesley are about to enter the Fire Swamp here, but I'm open to other comments.

Also, put a lid on the "middle aged" comments. Yes, I am at minute 46 of a 1:36 movie. That means I am a full TWO MINUTES away from the middle. Still on the first reel.

I got my life expectancy from the link at the bottom. Luckily there were no questions about my regular visits to opium dens.






Monday, April 27, 2009

Super Geektastic

The new phonebooks are here!
The new phonebooks are here!

Addictive Tips uses my graph!

So does

Cnet!

It's this kind of spontaneous publicity - your NAME IN PRINT - that makes people! I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.

Thank you to IMDB for the verification on the quote.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Moral Hazard, Foreign Trade Edition

Via US Food Policy blog.

Why and how do insurers write this kind of policy? It's like picking up nickels in front of a steamroller AFTER AGREEING TO HAVE YOURSELF CHAINED DOWN TO THE ROAD!

These shipments were already known to be in violation of trade rules. Why underwrite this risk?

PRESS RELEASE:
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP Files $1 Billion Lawsuit on Behalf of Domestic Producers Against Insurers and U.S. Government for Damages Caused by Dumped Chinese Food Products

04/07/09


Today, domestic producers of fresh garlic, crawfish tail meat, canned mushrooms and honey, represented by the law firm of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, filed a class action lawsuit against major insurance companies to recover close to $1 billion in damages. The Washington, D.C. law firm of Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg, LLP is co-counsel with Kelly Drye for many domestic producers of crawfish tail meat. The complaint states that the insurers\' negligent issuance of customs surety bonds, and subsequent refusal to pay under those bonds, allowed the sale of huge amounts of competing food imports from China at below-cost, or \"dumped\" prices. This caused severe financial damages to the domestic producers. The lawsuit, filed in the federal Court of International Trade, also claims that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Commerce Department failed to enforce the four antidumping orders issued years ago to protect the domestic producers from dumped Chinese imports.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Verifiable.com is cool. And Healthcare spending is scary.

Neat site. Scary data.

I made this chart in 10 minutes after finding the data on the US Census site.

1980-82 is "100"



Here is the question: What happened in 1980 with healthcare? It was tracking with everything else. I think I understand the sudden drop in Apparel as part of the post 1989 opening up of trade and the drop in commodities. Did the health insurance system change?

Comments welcome.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Incentives - Part 1

OK, so this is Part 1 of 2 on different factors to consider on incentives.

A lot of healthcare plans are trying out incentive plans to encourage patients to take action to make themselves more healthy. A laudable goal, plus a healthy insured party is a cheaper insured party, so everyone wins except for the providers of chronic and acute care.

Here's the first wrinkle:

http://econ161.berkeley.edu/Economists/prisoners_dilemma.html

Quick summary: If you run the iterated prisoners dilemma where one party gains more in absolute terms than the other in all payout terms, the party that gets the short end of the stick occasionally defects just to increase the sense of "fairness" even though it reduces his own absolute payout.

So, if you are giving someone an incentive, either:

1. Split the gains from cooperation evenly

or

2. Keep your gains to yourself

Giving someone an "I took my insulin" pin while you take home an extra $1,000 is probably not an option.

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