Coming down to the wire…

Ok, my math paper is done and my macro paper will be done tomorrow (dammit!). I just realized that my first final is next monday! GAHHH! I’m really going to put most of my efforts into the math course, it’s the only one I’m in jepordy of failing. I should put some time into the macro one too, I’m still pretty fuzzy on the Austrian and real business cycle theorists…
OK, as if I needed another thing on top of grad school, work, photography, and music to take up my time, I’m getting interested in aikido again. Talking to my cousin Beth has got me chomping at the bit to give it another try. I last went 4 or 5 years ago and I hadn’t gotten very far but I’ve always loved the techniques. I figure i could probably go twice a week if I organized my time better. like not staying up till 2AM and getting up at noon… I’ll have to think about it. I’ll also have to think about which dojo to go to. There are two within driving distance. The lovey dovey, softer style of ki-aikido over in fairfax, or the more traditional AAA (Akido association of America) sanctioned style over in Arlington. i went to the Ki-aikido dojo for a couple of months, but maybe I could go to both and at least try both styles…


Paper time…

OK, Geoffrey sent back his thoughts on my math paper. I was afraid that it wouldn’t make any sense mathematically, it turns out that it almost makes sense, but not quite. I’ll take that… With any luck I’ll be finished with that today and can devote the majority of my time trying to learn to mysteries of game theory to get ready for the final.
I had a sudden, interesting thought about my macro paper, but I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to put it in there. I’m looking at the macro economy as a scale free network. In a nut shell, a scale free network is one in which the nodes of the network are not randomly connected, but some are more connected than others. Nodes with more connectivity can assume greater importance than the ones with less. Well, in the US, the Treasury department (and more specifically the IRS) has, by far, the highest number of connections in the economy. Every citizen and every (leagal) business is connected to it, so it’s potential for impacting the economy is enormous. Usually the most attention is given to the Federal Reserve, there’s an entire school of macro economic theory predicated on how the central bank controls the economy, it’s called moneterism. To suggest that the IRS is potentially more powerful than the Fed to another economist is roughly akin to arguing that George Wallce was a good governor, or perhaps that Saddam Hussain was an effective leader of Iraq. There may be some truth to the statement, but there will be a predictable, and understandable reaction to it. I’m not sure I want to be that provocative in my very first semester….

Wanna buy some photo gear?

OK I put some of my photo junk up on ebay. I’ve got a half frame camera (with a spring wound motor drive!), a grip for a Leica M6, an old Japanese rangefinder, and an old funky brass barreled lens up for auction. NO? I didn’t think so… I’m taking in my new/old 5×7 camera and a handful of lenses in tomorrow for Yamaguchi-san to do his magic. With any luck, I’ll be able to shoot with this camera by winter break… I hope to get some decent pictures of my cousin (and you will sit for me Beth!) and it would be nice to have these lenses available. I won’t actually be using this particular 5×7 camera, have a different one in mind for that, Oi! I hope to use some lenses from around 1913-1920 to bring some of that old fashioned charm into the pictures, we’ll see how it goes.


Math econ is going to kill me…

I just looked at the review sheet for the upcoming math econ final. I could very well be fucked. I failed the midterm (missed a “C” by 3 points) and this next one looks even more difficult. I’ve never been so worried about failing a class before. Of course I’ve never had so much riding on classes before. Well, don’t plan on seeing or hearing much from me in the next several weeks. Hmm, if I can crank out the macro paper this weekend and I don’t have many revisions to do on the math paper (HA!) I’ll have several weeks to study. Maybe a “C” isn’t out of reach….


iTunes party shuffle

OK, just try to tell me that this isn’t the best thing ever. If you’re not using iTunes for listening to music, you need to switch! It’s far better than any radio station, better variety, and I supposedly like everything in the list! I say supposedly since there’s a lot of stuff in my library that I haven’t listened to yet. I get a nasty surprise every now and then. The other day I was listening while on the exercise bike. A Godawful shrieking came over my headphones and I had no idea what the hell it was. Turns out it was a Yoko Ono piece from Double Fantasy… So what’re the next 10 songs on your party list? Here’s mine:
Miserable Lie by the Smiths
Kerosene hat (Outtake) by Cracker
At the End of the World by Frank Black
Your Fear by Prong
University by Throwing Muses
You can See Them From Here by the Coal Porters
Lolly Lolly Lolly Get your Adverbs Here from Schoolhouse Rock!
I am the True Vine by the Rev. Gary Davis
Moonlight Mile by the Rolling Stones
One Too Many Mornings by Bob Dylan

I’d like to see your list!


I figured it out

OK, I finally figured out my math paper. Turns out I was doing things properly but I didn’t understand the results. Basically it’s like this… People can give gifts any time they’d like to, and they’d feel good about it. But because they have a limited budget, they have to choose when to give. It turns out that people will enjoy giving more when they know that person will be giving them a gift too. Kinda weird, but it makes sense if you think about it… I’ll post it to my website when its done just in case any of you want to look under the hood… I better get back to work.


The Coase theorem…

   Well, what should have been a rather interesting class
about the coase thereom instead became a libertarian forum on the role
of govrnment in determining property rights. SIGH. I was hoping to
learn more about it, but it seems as though every topic the professor
talks about is actually just an oprutunity to espouse his political
viewpoint. I’m a little frustrated…


Well I came home and found Rick’s target from his hand gun class taped onto the fridge. Damn. I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying to break in, he’s quite a shot… He invited me to go skeet shoting with him sometime. I haven’t had to deal with this in quite a while, I’ve always felt pretty weird about guns. The last time this came up it was at one of Margret’s friends’ house. He brought out his Sig Saur to show it off. He passed it around and gave it to some idiot there. The firing pin was removed, so I knew it couldn’t go off, but it was still pretty unerving to have the thing pointed at me. I was always taught that you should NEVER point a gun at someone unless you were going to shoot them… The last time I actually shot anything was at boy scout camp around 1983 or so. We were using 22 caliber bolt action rifles. They took great lengths to teach saftey, but little on marksmanship. I didn’t hit a damn thing from 50 or 60 feet. I had plenty of friends that did target shooting or hunted, but I never could get into that whole culture. Maybe it would be a good idea to get over whatever it is I have by learning how to shoot. I don’t think that skeet shooting would be the best reintroduction, it would only amount to me firing a shotgun in the air randomly…:-) Anyway, the invatation was unexpected, I’ll have to think about it.



I saw super milk chan on adult swim and I’m happy to report that I
don’t feel compelled to watch it again. I did make the mistake of
watching the “Ghost in the Shell Stand alone complex” last night. It
reminds me of the old max headroom tv show, anyone else remember that?
It was only on for a short time before being canceled, people said they
couldn’t follow it… I was a teenager and I could follow it just fine,
I;m still a little bitter about it but I’m glad that there’s a cartoon
now with the same level of complexity:-)


I’ve got a plan…

OK, I’ve got a general idea for my macro paper. I’m going to
concentrate on trying to explain the macro economy as a scale-free
network and show what the consequences of that approach are. I know, a
little lame, but it’ll fill the requirements and I find it mildly
interesting. My math paper got more complicated and simpler at the same
time. I’ve ditched a rather complicated optimization problem, but I’ve
decided to add some game theory. Here’s the gist, I had been trying to
see what would happen to gift giving if personal consumption
(everything except gift giving) went up. The obvious answer was that
gift giving would go down, but I was having trouble with both coming up
with the derivatives and explaining them. So I’ve decided to add a
duopoly modeled form of first action gift giving… How does one
respond when you know the number of gifts that the other person will
give you. Once again, the answer should be obvious, now I just have to
show it matematically…