Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Entropy

The problems have to be solved over and over again are entirely the results of an inability of the mix-skilled to plan and organize,  to go about solving problems with rigor and making sure that the methods are repeatable,  the results are sustainable and the decision making process is  accountable. Solutions would often end up compromised due to the same disparity in skill and mindset. And that by solving the many variations of these problems, where does it lead one to?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015

Can't recall exactly the last time that I was so sick that I couldn't get out of bed. It must have been back in China when I was a kid. I got so ill in the middle of the night that my grand parents had to carry me to the hospital. I woke up the next day with an IV drip. Few days later my teacher and the whole class visited. Memories, miss them. Sickness, not so much. Unfortunately getting sick as a kid is how I often found myself.

After coming to the U.S., I hardly get sick at all. I still remember the shock the first time I got a mild cold in the U.S. It was a few years after I settled in. I thought to myself at the time that with the built up immune system from my childhood, minor sickness should be impossible in this cleaner environment. Still, the count slowly went up over the years. I manage to keep track with my hands of all those times that I got sick since I came here, but I may soon have to start using my toes.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Techno-feudalism

Some overdue posts.

Techno-feudalism

"Technology itself does not dictate the outcomes. Economic and political institutions do."

"The major part of [the] book... was devoted to descriptions of the economic and social institutions that enable some countries to operate near the technological frontier. The failure to establish such institutions, or to operate them effectively, condemns most of the world to levels of productivity and living standards far below what is possible with existing knowledge and techniques."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Those formidable bank robbers


"The Calabrian family gangs (again the meaningless journalistic term ’Ndrangheta blurs their diversity) who delivered the cocaine northwards were and are incapable of coping with the reverse flow of used euros, zlotys and rubles. Their first need was to pay the Colombian suppliers, who refused to accept cash because it was no good for investing in Miami real estate or local hotels and restaurants. The Calabrians needed real money: not bundles of paper but deposits in bank accounts that could be wired to the Colombians. Their second need was to have their own laundered money, to invest in property: Umbria became a particular favourite, as did the high streets of major cities. Ignorant of foreign languages, unfamiliar with international banking practices, the semi-literate Calabrians could supply cocaine to distributors but turned to the Sicilians to launder their profits. With a century of experience in the export trade and the fluent English of educated men, the Sicilians organised the system – still operating today – that sends banknotes from Calabria to Beirut, Dubai, Kaliningrad and other places where money-changers will accept vast sums in many currencies, paying for them with personal cheques that can be deposited in local banks. Funds can then be wired to commercial accounts in Western Europe, perhaps by way of an additional passage (Cyprus was a favoured way until the Sicilians were scared away by those formidable bank robbers the European Commission and the ECB)."

The Honoured Society