A blog about Cycling, Politics, Life and Economics. Endorsements for PruDogBlog: "My advice. Don't read this blog. Oh, and instead of writing or reading a blog...go train!" - RS Seattle
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
No one predicted
I wonder if anyone predicted housing prices would drop around 20% based on strict anlysis of historical rent:house price ratios. Oh wait, Paul Krugman did. Suck on that haters.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Denying reality even when your own guy says your wrong
Apparently the Portland Trailblazers are shopping their product in the Seattle market in a bid to become our new "home team" and scheduled an exhibition game here.
This, predictibly, has re-opened the wound left by the departure of Seattle's own basketball team last year.
As basketball fans begin to relive the arguments of last year and attempt (again) to assign blame or send a message to the NBA I think it's important to keep a few things in mind.
1. The NBA is not basketball.
2. The NBA can have a shitty business model and there can still be a viable market for basketball.
3. Although a city's name is on the jersey, the NBA's stated position is that the team belongs to the owner and that the team has no civic responsibility
4. The NBA's stated position is that because of falling revenues city's need to be willing to subsidize teams on a season to season basis.
5. The NBA's business model is to attract customers, not fans.
I think a lot of the opinions / attitudes / feelings of local basketball fans are driven by a one-way delussion that the NBA actually cares if a team stays in a city. They don't. And the NBA readily admits this.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Eddie Bauer died years ago
The upshot is that Teh Great Recession has put Eddie Bauer into Bankruptcy.
Eddie Bauer, like Toys R Us, Chrysler and Citibank, are *bad* businesses that have been kept alive for the last 8+ years because of the "free money" era loans/IPO/IPCap and accounting trickery. Teh Great Recession has just meant that the free money era is over and companies can't survive on borrowing. Except maybe Citibank, cause TARP is forever baby!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
CNBC's Stupid Hurts My Brain
I don't watch CNBC on anything like a regular basis. So my sample size of programs there is pretty low. But it seems to be on in Bldg 36 24 x 7 and every once in awhile I find myself eating there and.. well I end up amazed by Teh Stupid.
Has anyone on that channel ever taken even a high school math class? I mean it's not just that they don't know what the frack they are talking about at a technical level. But they can barely put together a coherent thought or point from sentence to sentence.
In some ways I actually find it worse than Fox cause at least Fox is a party propoganda machine and does have a coherent world view.
Beyond that, the other thing I noticed is that every tease was marketed with apocolyptic rhetoric:
Iran's election were teased as "Is an Apocolyptic confrontation brewing in the most heavily armed region of the world"? "Will Obama destroy healthcare".
I agree with Yglesias: cable news along with talk radio is a real blight on our discource.
My life sentence is really a court order to let me go...
Both Cyclingnews and Velonews are reporting the results of Vino's appeal of his 2 year suspension by the UCI to CAS.
As I understand it, the case goes something like this:
1. Vinokourov tests positive at Le Tour
2. The Kazakh Federation, were Vino is licensed, issues a 1 year suspension
3. The UCI files an appeal with CAS claiming that the rules require a 2 year suspension
4. CAS rules in favor of the UCI and imposes a 2 year suspension.
5. CAS suspends the 1 year suspension issued by the Kazakh Federation pending review.
So how is this headlined at cyclingnews.com as "Vonokourov cleared to compete by CAS".
Uhh.. no he wasn't. The 2 year suspension was imposed. He can compete when it expires in July. The only way the headline kind of makes sense is if they are trying to say that CAS cut a year off his suspension by adding the UCI's 2 years to the Kazakh Fed's 1 year then subtracting the Kazakh Feds 1 year. But I don't think the argument before CAS was that both should be applied. The issue before them was simply whether the UCI had jurisdiction here. The suspension of the 1 year Kazakh Fed suspension is just housekeeping so that the Kazakh Fed can retract it.
Update I: Looks like cyclingnews reads my blog cause the old post has been disapeared from Teh Intertubes and replaced with a much better version entitle "Vinokourov ban confirmed by CAS"
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thou doth protest too much
FYI to Mavic: the tone fo your response to Velonews' article on wheel failure leads me to believe Mavic is confusing the validity of deductive and inductive research.
In otherwards, Mavic isn't looking for evidence to determine why the wheel broke (inductive). Rather, it has a model of how it could have been caused by an outside force and is looking for "facts" that confirm this bias (deductive).
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Get your Gin on..
And help send my kid to college:
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Can I Haz Draftpick?
The Seattle Mariners, thanks to a sweep of the Oakland A's last year, just missed out on getting the #1 pick in today's Major League draft.
This is a big deal because Stephen Strausberg, who I understand to be Teh Greatest Player in Baseball History, is available this year. And he is guaranteed to singlehandedly winning 100 games next year for the Washington Nationals, who pick first.
Let me make this prediction: Stephen Strausberg will win less than 100 games in his career. All else being equal, he is the best player in the draft. But his agent, Scott Boras, wants to count college ball as professional experience and get a contract similar to a good number 2 major league starter. That's insane given the historical odds of a pitcher actually becoming productive. And none of the arguments for his greatness address this reality.
If the Nats pick Strausberg I will assume that they have Bill Bavasi on speed dial somehow.
Anyway, I am glad we don't have the #1 so we can't screw this up and draft him.
Monday, June 08, 2009
If I am bloggin Project Management it must mean I have to take a test
Project Management is on my mind, as it normally is when I am approaching some type of test. I don't like PM certification tests because they come into basic conflict with my econo-side. It's not uncommon for people to bash academics for theories that don't work in practice. And this is sometimes true (see Chicago, Economics School of). There has definitely been a rise in deductive analysis to prove models rather than inductive analysis to develop models that explain reality. Yet for all the whinging, this approach seems to be driven by the "real world", MBA's and CEOs who are determined to find a model that proves their methods.
And the various certification tests seem to be in line with that: the model can't fail you. You can only fail the model.
I just find that wrong. And I also end up investing a lot of time studying for the test and trying to forget what I actually am doing. I mean, when I took my tests in economics I had to learn theory and models but I could use my real life experience and track it to the model. I didn't have to check it at the door so as not to confuse the pretty little supply & demand graph.