rePost::The Long View: In defense of Esperanza Cabral : Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose

I’ve bemoaned the lack of goodToGreat political blogs in the Philippines. Most tend to be ideologues and tend to bend over backward to defend their beliefs. Its refreshing to know that there is at least one High Quality blog in the Philippines about politics. Now if only I can find another 4  goodToGreat political blogs , I can finally start looking for goodToGreat Econ/Business blogs from the Philippines!

What struck me immediately about the controversial blog entry was that the problems the public has come to associate with officialdom and relief were notably absent. There was no pilfering, no looting, no diversion of relief to line official pockets. This, in itself, is a colossal achievement: the warehouses are secure, items are tidily kept and they presumably end up where they should. Another thing that struck me was that the secretary has proven true to her pledge to be transparent and accountable about donations: they are publicly available, on line, listing monetary donations, and donations in kind, and the disbursement of relief goods.

via The Long View: In defense of Esperanza Cabral : Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose.

rePost::The Referendum – Happy Days Blog –

A friend once told me “I don’t judge other people; Why should I let them judge me?”. This was in response to me ranting about how I feel people react when espousing some of the things I believe in, or I do not believe in. Since then I’ve tried thinking this way. If I am judged to be something; I just let it be. If I care too much of how other people see me, I will cease to be the person I am, and I like the person I am. I may have a lot of faults, insecurities and sins, but as my friends make fun of me when I say it: “I am the nicest guy I know.” (Mulling this question seriously I am not the nicest guy I know but I am definitely in the top 5). Yes there is a referendum, but we must understand that people mostly are self involved. People are mostly judging themselves; and simply put deep down nobody like looking down on themselves. Life is not a game that can be won or lost. It simply is life.  Read the whole article to understand what The Referendum phenomenon means.

The Referendum is a phenomenon typical of (but not limited to) midlife, whereby people, increasingly aware of the finiteness of their time in the world, the limitations placed on them by their choices so far, and the narrowing options remaining to them, start judging their peers’ differing choices with reactions ranging from envy to contempt. The Referendum can subtly poison formerly close and uncomplicated relationships, creating tensions between the married and the single, the childless and parents, careerists and the stay-at-home. It’s exacerbated by the far greater diversity of options available to us now than a few decades ago, when everyone had to follow the same drill. We’re all anxiously sizing up how everyone else’s decisions have worked out to reassure ourselves that our own are vindicated — that we are, in some sense, winning.

via The Referendum – Happy Days Blog –

rePost::Chaos and Initial Conditions : Good Math, Bad Math

Loved reading this. It reminded me of my first night in Kuala Lumpur. Chuck and Gelo were talking about a phycisist/mathematician  (I can no longer remember which) who had an epiphany whilst in the beach. Marc and I weren’t exactly following so they tried to explain some chaos theory basics.

This post is a nice primer to Initial Conditions with respect to Chaos Theory.

Chaos and Initial Conditions

Category: Chaos

Posted on: October 26, 2009 10:07 PM, by Mark C. Chu-Carroll

One thing that I wanted to do when writing about Chaos is take a bit of time to really home in on each of the basic properties of chaos, and take a more detailed look at what they mean.

To refresh your memory, for a dynamical system to be chaotic, it needs to have three basic properties:

1. Sensitivity to initial conditions,

2. Dense periodic orbits, and

3. topological mixing

The phrase “sensitivity to initial conditions” is actually a fairly poor description of what we really want to say about chaotic systems. Lots of things are sensitive to initial conditions, but are definitely not chaotic.

via Chaos and Initial Conditions : Good Math, Bad Math.

rePost::Demography, growth and the environment: Falling fertility | The Economist

This is a minor rant.

A couple of weeks ago Manny Villar was asked the question

Your thoughts on the RH Bill? Do you think it’s the solution to our population problem?

Which he answered with:

Villar: Let’s look at this in a different perspective. Instead of trying to control population aggressively by trying to legislate bills that will prevent more birth, let’s use the huge population we have now to our advantage. You know what they say about having a huge population, take China for example, they’ve suddenly become an economic giant because the huge number of people alone can greatly influence the economy. Because we have huge population, the upside is we can be great! Manny Villar’s vision for the Philippines: I want to foster and promote a culture of competitiveness and entrepreneurial revolution.

This was met with derision in places like twitter and Facebook.

I even read a post: “Population is not a problem by villar, like water is not wet”.

The thing is at least on this Villar is more in the right than a lot of people who get their views someplace and never seem to re-evaluate these views. People we have a brain , use it please!

Today’s fall in fertility is both very large and very fast. Poor countries are racing through the same demographic transition as rich ones, starting at an earlier stage of development and moving more quickly. The transition from a rate of five to that of two, which took 130 years to happen in Britain—from 1800 to 1930—took just 20 years—from 1965 to 1985—in South Korea. Mothers in developing countries today can expect to have three children. Their mothers had six. In some countries the speed of decline in the fertility rate has been astonishing. In Iran, it dropped from seven in 1984 to 1.9 in 2006—and to just 1.5 in Tehran. That is about as fast as social change can happen.

via Demography, growth and the environment: Falling fertility | The Economist.

rePost::Where’s the Chiz? « Filipino Voices

This I believe was when I knew that Chiz was not what he was purporting to be. He is plainly said, an empty suit/empty barong but through mimicry and well though-out quirks has presented himself as more intellectual than he really is. I hate how easy it was for him to appear smart. I doubly hate the fact that any form of bashing other people is met with the charge of envy/jealousy/crab mentality (which has been shown to be an inaccurate view of what crabs do, they apparently are trying to help each other ).

Retrogressing Education

Consider this pronouncement from Chiz Whiz:

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, we should and we propose that the curriculum be restudied. Mr. Speaker, I know that this will generate a lot of debate but I hope that our colleagues will listen for awhile. Sa ngayon, umaabot sa nine to eleven ang subjects ng ating mga estudyante sa elementary at high school. Nakukuba na ang ating mga estudyante sa kakabitbit ng napakaraming libro. Subalit ang tanong ko ho: Ito ba ay angkop pa rin sa pangangailangan ng ating bansa sa ngayon? Ang kanila po bang pinag-aralan ay nagagamit nila sa kanilang buhay sa labas ng paaralan at magagamit kapagka sila ay naghanap ng trabaho?

I can only cite myself as an example, Mr. Speaker, but mula po nung natapos ako nung high school hindi ko pa nagamit ang Calculus, hindi ko pa ho nagamit and Trigonometry, hindi ko pa ho nagamit and Algebra, IYUNG GEOMETRY, SA BILYAR KO LANG NAGAMIT. At iyong mga ibang itinuturo ay marapat sigurong ituro sa kolehiyo kung nais maging inhinyero ng isang bata. Iyong mga ibang itinuturo, marapat sigurong ibigay na lamang nating sa kanila sa kolehiyo o bilang elective pagdating ng high school.

via Where’s the Chiz? « Filipino Voices.

rePost::ZOMFG WTF!!!!! 9.5% THIRD QUARTER PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH NUMBER!!!! – J. Bradford DeLong’s Grasping Reality with All Eight Tentacles

Back in the 1930s there was a Polish Marxist economist, Michel Kalecki, who argued that recessions were functional for the ruling class and for capitalism because they created excess supply of labor, forced workers to work harder to keep their jobs, and so produced a rise in the rate of relative surplus-value.

For thirty years, ever since I got into this business, I have been mocking Michel Kalecki. I have been pointing out that recessions see a much sharper fall in profits than in wages. I have been saying that the pace of work slows in recessions–that employers are more concerned with keeping valuable employees in their value chains than using a temporary high level of unemployment to squeeze greater work effort out of their workers.

I don’t think that I can mock Michel Kalecki any more, ever again.

via ZOMFG WTF!!!!! 9.5% THIRD QUARTER PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH NUMBER!!!! – J. Bradford DeLong’s Grasping Reality with All Eight Tentacles.

I’m posting this to highlight what I believe anybody who is serious about living fact based lives should be doing. Confronting evidence that goes against what we believe in. We cannot just shrug these things, or deny stuff (of course we can but that puts us in the class of people we call stupid or happy ).