Who You Know

Malcolm Gladwell has a new book, Outliers, which, good for him, will likely end on the bestseller list and pay his mortgage for a few weeks. In it he seeks to answer the question of why some people succeed, while others don’t. Matthew Yglesias picked up the book to see if it would explain why […]

Pirate Gold

The Somali pirates who have been very active in recent months have been asking for dollars, not gold. Moneychangers offer wads of new US dollar notes, the only currency that matters in a country that has been in chaos for almost two decades. The world’s reserve currency indeed.


Regulation is offered up as a means to prevent a repeat of the present financial situation. From what I have been learning of the instruments of destruction, however, it seems that — aside from the simple fraud of selling things one did not own — the failure was a lack of information. Much like a […]

Lost Friends

I lost touch with my room-mate from Hampden-Sydney. He dropped out after my first semester there, and I ended up with a single for the next year. We did not keep in touch. I’ve often wondered what happened to him, but never put much effort into finding him. The Internet makes catching up with old […]

Social Networking

I found out today from the Hampden-Sydney group on LinkedIn about a new social networking site for alumni: The Network of Hampden-Sydney College. I applied for an account. I’m already a member at the alumni site for St. John’s College. It’s not very active. Both sites are built with tools from YourMembership.com. The thing about […]

The $306 Trillion Bailout Plan

A couple of weeks ago, Zimran Ahmed tossed out the suggestion that the Federal government send $1 million to each person in the U.S. (Though he said “everyone,” I’m assuming that he means “everyone in the U.S.”) Current U.S. Census estimates place the population at 305,630,009. So, that’s only $305,630,009,000,000 of new money. Now, if […]

Lies We Learned in High School

For such a smart fellow, you’d think that Matthew Yglesias would not regurgitate the standard economic history of the Great Depression drummed into all of us by five or six paragraphs in our high school history textbooks. The portrayal of Hoover as an advocate of laissez faire economic policy is wrong, but repeated often enough […]


My daughters got into an interesting discussion on the way back from their religious education classes. The Little Sister was upset that one of her friends does not care about the President. The Big Sister suggested that maybe the friend does not care for the President.

Someone Needs More Crayons

The graphic artists at The New York Times, CNN, and pretty much every other outlet providing maps of the election results need to be provided with more than a pair of red and blue crayons. Maybe they should use pastels instead; they blend better. This map, for example, allows interesting comparisons with past elections — […]

Store’s Open

I’m experimenting with Amazon’s aStore. After all these years of being an Amazon associate, I’ve yet to earn a nickel. I think that has something to do with my just linking to things, instead of promoting them. Anyway, I’m putting stuff in the store, mostly books, that I find interesting. Buy something.