links for 2008-11-21

21 Nov
  • With yesterday's savage losses of almost 7%, the S&P 500 had retreated to where it was in 1997…In my way of looking at it, stock markets should capture one's faith in the economic future. And…I believe that the essence of economic progress is technology. If our lives are better today than they were a century ago, it is because of technology…
    Clearly, there's something happening in the stock markets that one needs to understand, unless one genuinely believes that one is no better off than one was in 1997…
    Sitting in India, surrounded by people who need better clothing, better medical care, and more efficient transport, it is impossible to believe that the economy will not throw up ways of satisfying these needs–by companies that can make growing profits from doing so. And so, while ever cognisant of the turmoil ahead in financial markets, my cheque-book is wide open for the companies that will inevitably build a better future for us.
  • R: "I'm quite pessimistic about the current financial system. I've been buying gold."
    A: "Gold? That's not pessimistic enough. I've been buying rice."

    if you're really pessimistic, guns and ammo, right?
  • The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
    I'd like to have money. And I'd like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that's too adorable, I'd rather have money.
    (tags: humour quotes)
  • Although it's still unclear where such mental flexibility comes from, several studies suggest that it's largely an ancillary benefit of "sustained cognitive engagement," or thinking intensely on a regular basis. Not only does an active mind have more cortical matter to lose — scientists refer to this as "cognitive reserve," since the extra tissue serves as a buffer against cell death — but it also seems better able to adjust its activity in response to the insults of age. "The brain operates on a use-it-or-lose-it principle," says Merzenich. "And the ability to cope with change seems to really be something you either use or lose."
  • Sydney is known for many things and it does a fairly good job of incorporating most of them into the expansive and incredible event that is the Sydney Festival each January.
    For three weeks from January 10th to 31st, the city sees a wealth of events and performances with something for virtually every kind of cultural consumer.
    Theatre, music and dance are given a huge presence at the festival, with concerts, theatrical productions and dance shows catering to a wide range of tastes.
  • A truly great computer programmer is lazy, impatient and full of hubris, says Larry Wall. Laziness drives one to work very hard to avoid future work for a future self. Impatience has the same endgame. And hubris is required for the newest Promethean fire — inventing computer languages.
  • True all great poets have a vast personal experience from which to draw the rarest poetic symbol; but they have over and above a culture which gives them possession of other eras; and it is as much owing to the rare ability with which they utilise this [my emphasis] in the working out of their grand designs that their pages possess the luminosity that arrests and ever must arrest with delight, the attention of the intelligent reader
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Posted by on November 21, 2008 in Links


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