The Quantum Pontiff

Musings From the Edge


  • Warren Buffet is often attributed as saying, “only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked” referring to how a bad economy exposes problems in a business. After reading too many comment sections on New York Times articles on the financial crisis, I think it should be “only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s a real communist.” (Note, dear reader beginning to flame me in the comments, that I didn’t say whether I thought this was good or bad or neither good or bad.) Hard economic times really bring out the daggers in economic ideology. I love to watch (is that wrong?)
  • Brad De Long argues for Silicon Valley compensation schemes for Wall Street. New phrase: brain dog (“They’re not dumb–but there is a reason they hire physicists as their brain dogs.”)
  • I was in Pittsburgh for most of the AIG bonus eruption. Joe Nocera has the guts to chastise the flogging.
  • An interesting paper on repeated success in entrepreneurship here. Main conclusion is that success bread success and that there is a certain myth in the Silicon Valley ideal that failure can be increase odds of succeeding. Actually it seems to me that the later conclusion isn’t quite correct even from the data: if you argue for a persistence of success, then you should probably argue for a persistence in failure, and thus the fact that the odds of succeeding after a failure are the same as before is probably evidence for the truth of the myth.
  • Mt. Redoubt in Alaska is erupting. Insert Jingal and Palin joke here.
  • My bracket is a mess and the two teams I most closely associate myself with, UW and Cal, are both out. My west coast bias now has me rooting for Arizona and Gonzaga. At least I don’t have to root for USC 😉
  • Seattle is a sparking city.
  • Two, count them, two of my friends called me in the last week to report something they heard while listening to a Christian radio station in the middle of nowhere. Why am I the first one that people think of when they hear Christian radio?
  • On energy secretary Steve Chu: “‘A Nobel scientist is more likely to figure out Washington than a career politician is to figure out how to deal with carbon sequestration,’ Mr. Leistikow said.”
  • The dog is disappointed in evolution:


  1. #1 Pieter Kok
    March 23, 2009

    So is that a loldog?

  2. #2 Dave Bacon
    March 23, 2009

    More like a boldog.

  3. #3 Ian Durham
    March 23, 2009

    > More like a boldog.

    Very Churchillian.

  4. #4 Jon
    March 24, 2009

    now, when driving across Kansas or some other place with nothing on the radio, I know who to call…

  5. #5 Jonathan Vos Post
    March 24, 2009

    I thought that driving I-80 across Nebraska was a boring 700 miles. Then I drove diagonally on I-90 across Montana, and it was a scenic but long 900 miles. For a while, NPR from Butte or Billings or Bozeman or somewhere, and then much more about Jesus than I wanted.

    “only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked — and who’s been walking on water.”

  6. #6 Jack
    March 24, 2009

    More cold fusion in the news.

  7. #7 Dave Bacon
    March 25, 2009

    Jack: I saw that. Why is all cold fusion reported from Salt Lake City?

  8. #8 Jonathan Vos Post
    March 25, 2009

    Because of all the Big Love in the polywater.

  9. #9 Ian Durham
    March 25, 2009

    > Because of all the Big Love in the polywater.

    Or is that Poly-love in the Big Water? [Yes, yes, I got the HBO reference – just making a lame attempt at a very obscure joke.]

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