Yogi Berra

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Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer, Mark Shatz

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Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, elephant in my pajamas, fear of failure, index card, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method, Yogi Berra

Movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn was quoted in the entertainment columns so often with examples of mistaken grammar that a malaprop became known as a Goldwynism. A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named William. Include me out. Baseball managers Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra were credited with malaprops that helped to cemented their immortality in reference books. You wouldn't have won if we had. —Yogi Berra 70 Comedy Writing Secrets If people don't want to come to the ballpark, nobody can stop them. —Casey Stengel Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical. —Yogi Berra That restaurant is so popular, nobody goes there anymore. —Yogi Berra Humorists bless politicians who make their jobs easy by fracturing the English language, as did former Vice President Dan Quayle. His mala¬ props include: If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.

The first time, he lost his bag, and the second time he got sick to his stomach." Even if the speech is on a serious topic—politics, the economy, business, or education—a humorous twist in the title will increase interest and attendance. For example, there's nothing more important than sales training speeches, but astute sales managers have learned to avoid making them deadly with titles like these. Yogi Berra Was Right—It Ain't Over 'til It's Over As Alexander Bell Said: "What D'ya Mean My Three Minutes Are Up?" Caterpillars and Other Special People What They Never Dared Tell You About... Writing Humor for Speeches 201 SHOWTIME List topics that you are qualified to speak about, and for each topic, write three to five titles with a humorous twist. Remember, the title must identify the content of the speech while being funny.


pages: 111 words: 1

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, availability heuristic, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, commoditize, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, equity premium, fixed income, global village, hindsight bias, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, survivorship bias, too big to fail, Turing test, Yogi Berra

For the uncertain future has yet to come, with all variety of future; and him only to whom the divinity has [guaranteed] continued happiness until the end we may call happy.” The modern equivalent has been no less eloquently voiced by the baseball coach Yogi Berra, who seems to have translated Solon’s outburst from the pure Attic Greek into no less pure Brooklyn English with “it ain’t over until it’s over,” or, in a less dignified manner, with “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” In addition, aside from his use of the vernacular, the Yogi Berra quote presents an advantage of being true, while the meeting between Croesus and Solon was one of those historical facts that benefited from the imagination of the chroniclers, as it was chronologically impossible for the two men to have been in the same location.

George Will indicated to Shiller that had people listened to him in the past they would have lost money, as the market has more than doubled since he started pronouncing it overvalued. To such a journalistic and well-sounding (but senseless) argument, Shiller was unable to respond except to explain that the fact that he was wrong in one single market call should not carry undue significance. Shiller, as a scientist, did not claim to be a prophet or one of the entertainers who comment on the markets on the evening news. Yogi Berra would have had a better time with his confident comment on the fat lady not having sung yet. I could not understand what Shiller, untrained to compress his ideas into vapid sound bites, was doing on such a TV show. Clearly, it is foolish to think that an irrational market cannot become even more irrational; Shiller’s views on the rationality of the market are not invalidated by the argument that he was wrong in the past.

Theories that have not yet been known to be wrong, not falsified yet, but are exposed to be proved wrong. Why is a theory never right? Because we will never know if all the swans are white (Popper borrowed the Kantian idea of the flaws in our mechanisms of perception). The testing mechanism may be faulty. However, the statement that there is a black swan is possible to make. A theory cannot be verified. To paraphrase baseball coach Yogi Berra again, past data has a lot of good in it, but it is the bad side that is bad. It can only be provisionally accepted. A theory that falls outside of these two categories is not a theory. A theory that does not present a set of conditions under which it would be considered wrong would be termed charlatanism—it-would be impossible to reject otherwise. Why? Because the astrologist can always find a reason to fit the past event, by saying that Mars was probably in line but not too much so (likewise to me a trader who does not have a point that would make him change his mind is not a trader).


pages: 162 words: 50,108

The Little Book of Hedge Funds by Anthony Scaramucci

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Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, business process, carried interest, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fear of failure, fixed income, follow your passion, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index fund, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, margin call, mass immigration, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, the new new thing, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Bethany McLean, “Everybody’s Going Hedge Funds,” Fortune, June 8, 1998, http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1998/06/08/243511/. 2. Steve Fishman, “Get Richest Quickest,” New York Magazine, May 21, 2005. 3. Michael Steinhardt, No Bull: My Life In and Out of Markets (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2001). Conclusion The Shape of Things to Come The obvious isn’t obvious until it’s obvious. —Should have come from Yogi Berra but it is really from Anthony Scaramucci THE HEDGE FUND INDUSTRY doesn’t climb a wall of worry; it climbs a wall of resentment and scorn. For two decades now, people have sought to demystify the mysterious nature of hedge funds. They have asserted that the business does not add any value, awards extreme risk takers, charges ostentatiously high fees, and renders the market unsettled and unstable.

This will only happen through preparation and experience. The fact remains: Life is full of uncertainty. Yet, in my humble opinion, the hedge fund industry will continue to grow, albeit in traditional and even unorthodox ways. Legendary managers, like Dave Tepper from Appaloosa, have given back money choosing to run their own and less of other peoples. It is quite possible that this strategy will be a trend for the future. As Yogi Berra did say, “The future isn’t what it used to be.” After all, no one can really predict it with any certainty. Yet, there are a few things that will always be certain . . . many of which I urge you to take away with you: 1. Have Passion: Don’t be in the hedge fund industry just for money; be a part of it because you have a passion for money management. 2. Build Your Network: You can never have enough business acquaintances or friends, many of whom will be the font of your best ideas. 3.


pages: 125 words: 15,690

Getting Organized at Work: 24 Lessons to Set Goals, Establish Priorities, and Managing Your Time by Kenneth Zeigler

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Yogi Berra

Write down a start and completion date: Writing down a specific start and completion date will increase your focus and the likelihood of completing your project on time. If you don’t get one when you are given the project, ask for one. If you are the one assigning the project, make sure you tell your direct report or reports exactly when you expect the project to be completed. This will help them prioritize your request and eliminate confusion. “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” —Yogi Berra 15 ፬ Just be optimistic ፬ ឡThink realistically What’s the number one reason why people don’t complete their projects on time? It’s because they haven’t left any room for anything to go wrong, such as interruptions or unexpected problems. That’s why it’s so important to try to anticipate potential obstacles or changes from the start or at least before they occur. That’s also why it’s important to review your progress constantly and check with team members.


pages: 726 words: 172,988

The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong With Banking and What to Do About It by Anat Admati, Martin Hellwig

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, break the buck, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, George Akerlof, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, Larry Wall, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, regulatory arbitrage, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

In a manner similar to that seen in the physical principle that energy is conserved in a closed system, as long as the risks of the investments are col-lectively borne by the investors who provide the funding, changing how the risks are divided among them will not by itself change the overall funding costs. Think about the total returns of the corporation as a pie and the funding mix as a way of cutting the pie into different pieces. Baseball legend Yogi Berra is said to have once asked a waiter to cut his pizza into four slices, saying, “I am not hungry enough for eight today.”19 This is funny because we know that changing the way in which a pizza is cut does not affect its food content. Similarly, the way in which the funding mix divides the risks and returns among debt and equity investors does not by itself affect the value of the firm or its funding costs.

The food content of the pizza would have changed if somehow the way the pie was cut affected its content. If, for example, some of the pizza stuck to the knife and was lost every time the pie was cut, an eight-slice pie might in fact have had less food content than a four-slice pie. (If instead the knife had had a special device for adding cheese in the process of cutting, the pie would have had more substance when it was cut into eight pieces, so Yogi Berra would indeed have needed to be hungrier to eat an eight-slice pie than to eat a four-slice pie.) Similarly, if the mix of debt and equity funding affects the value and the funding costs of a corporation, the reasons must be related to how the size of the total “pie” available to investors is affected rather than to how the pie is divided among them. In this case, any impact on overall funding costs that the mix of debt and equity has is not due to the fact that a particular security that the corporation issues to investors in exchange for funds is riskier relative to other securities.

Why can banks, despite being so highly indebted, find willing lenders and continue to borrow at terms that are sufficiently attractive for them? As we will see in the next chapter, guarantees and subsidies play a critical role in answering this question. NINE Sweet Subsidies I don’t know how you measure that subsidy.… That’s why they say it’s invaluable. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, part of the credit rating agency Moody’s, April 2009 YOGI BERRA’S SUGGESTION that the content of a pizza might depend on how it is cut is absurd. Yet when banks borrow excessively and economize on equity, the total “pie” available to their investors grows.1 When banks borrow, they benefit from subsidies that they would not enjoy if they relied more on equity. The more banks borrow, the larger are the subsidies, as if the pizza chef added more cheese when the pizza was cut into more slices.


pages: 444 words: 151,136

Endless Money: The Moral Hazards of Socialism by William Baker, Addison Wiggin

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Andy Kessler, asset allocation, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, McMansion, mega-rich, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, naked short selling, negative equity, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, reserve currency, riskless arbitrage, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, time value of money, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra, young professional

The more plebeian of that generation would not miss out either, leasing cars, maxing out credit cards, and eventually grabbing for the brass ring through variable rate interestonly primary mortgages augmented with home equity loans that could extract any accumulation of net worth to be devoted to more pleasurable ends. Character in the Victorian sense is obsolete; so to pick up the pieces from the financial meltdown we are choosing to embark on an orgy of fiscal stimulus, national debt accumulation, and taxation of the entrepreneurial class, which has been the locomotive of our good fortune. The book closes by venturing a look into the future, which as the great wordsmith of our time, Yogi Berra, opined, “ain’t what it used to be.” This last part begins by reminding us how reluctant concern over creeping socialism is, and how incognizant everyone from the least to the most educated are concerning the moral hazards of operating a fiat currency in conjunction with a state that is hell-bent on fiscal Introduction xxi expansion and providing entitlements. Although we have veered far off the course that our founding fathers set for us, the financial crisis begun in 2008 may contain pressures that should be sufficient to trigger a reexamination of our banking sector and the powers granted to government over the last hundred years or so in a way that is much more deeply fundamental than anything currently under consideration.

The Roman Empire ironically succumbed to government ineptitude, the greed of its aristocracy, and infiltration of barbarians, the latter arguably a good thing for its people. Chapter 19 reviews America’s future in this context. America has a better chance to succeed, with its colonial heritage remembered by more than a few and a vibrant conservative ideological core that is honing its communications skills and bringing the sunshine of logic to the American people. Chapter 17 Elephants in the Room “The future ain’t what it used to be” Yogi Berra1 n July 2008 on the eve of substantial financial destruction, a documentary film, “I.O.U.S.A.,” was released that discusses the perils of our federal indebtedness. It is a wake-up call that winds up being an impassioned plea for a bipartisan solution, which of course means that there should be some spending restraint by the government combined with some sort of tax increase. To pass on such debt to the next generation of Americans would be, it claims, immoral, in essence having one group spend and enjoy, while another generation pays for it.

FY 2009 Congressional Justification, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, February 2008, 1. 32. 2002 Performance and Accountability Report, Securities & Exchange Commission, p. 25, and 2007 Performance and Accountability Report, Securities & Exchange Commission, p. 37 404 NOTES 33. Roel Campos, “Mutual Fund Governance – Response to the Remand,” speech by the commissioner, June 29, 2005. Chapter 17: Elephants in the Room 1. Yogi Berra, The Yogi Book (New York: Workman Publishing, 1998), 118–119. “I just meant that times are different. Not necessarily better or worse. Just different.” 2. Martin De Vlieghere and Paul Vreymans, “Europe’s Ailing Social Model: Facts & Fairy Tales,” The Brussels Journal, March 23, 2006, www.brusselsjournal. com/node/933. 3. Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Chapter Two. Chapter 18: The Elephant Killer - Gold 1.


pages: 219 words: 15,438

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren E. Buffett, Lawrence A. Cunningham

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compound rate of return, corporate governance, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, fixed income, George Santayana, index fund, intangible asset, invisible hand, large denomination, low cost carrier, oil shock, passive investing, price stability, Ronald Reagan, the market place, transaction costs, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

About three million shares were accepted when we tendered our holdings to KKR, which acquired RJR, and the returned 1997] THE ESSAYS OF WARREN BUFFETT 71 shares were promptly sold in the market. Our pre-tax profit was a better-than-expected $64 million. Earlier, another familiar face turned up in the RJR bidding contest: Jay Pritzker, who was part of a First Boston group that made a tax-oriented offer. To quote Yogi Berra; "It was déjà vu all over again." During most of the time when we normally would have been purchasers of RJR, our activities in the stock were restricted because of Salomon's participation in a bidding group. Customarily, Charlie and I, though we are directors of Salomon, are walled off from information about its merger and acquisition work. We have asked that it be that way: The information would do us no good and could, in fact, occasionally inhibit Berkshire's arbitrage operations.

Unfortunately, many corporate managers have been willing to do just that. The first choice of these managers in making acquisitions may be to use cash or debt. But frequently the CEO's cravings outpace cash and credit resources (certainly mine always have). Frequently, also, these cravings occur when his own stock is selling far below intrinsic business value. This state of affairs produces a moment of truth. At that point, as Yogi Berra has said, "You can observe a lot just by watching." For shareholders then will find which objective the management truly prefers-expansion of domain or maintenance of owners' wealth. The need to choose between these objectives occurs for some simple reasons. Companies often sell in the stock market below their intrinsic business value. But when a company wishes to sell out completely, in a negotiated transaction, it inevitably wants toand usually can-receive full business value in whatever kind of currency the value is to be delivered.

Yucatan: Cancun & Cozumel by Bruce Conord, June Conord

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British Empire, colonial rule, feminist movement, if you build it, they will come, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Yogi Berra

A brand new six-screen cinema with first run movies is in the new Siglo XXI Convention Center north of town. Green buses that run up Calle 60 past the Hyatt stop there (30¢). Hungry night owls will find their way to La Habana Restaurant, at the corner of 59 and 62 (see below), or the Yucatecan Restaurante Caleca, at 62 and 61 off the Plaza Mayor, both open 24 hours. Adventures You can observe a lot by watching. ~ Yogi Berra n Sights The Paseo de Montejo is a wide tree-lined boulevard that begins at Calle 47 and runs north through the fine homes and mansions built in the belle époque-style by wealthy families and hacienda owners who made fortunes on the near-monopoly the Yucatán had in henequen. Some of the mansions are still private homes, but many are now used as office space. Still others have been replaced by more modern and garish office buildings.

All at once it’s a family restaurant, a pub, a hangout and a meeting place for old men reliving their glory days or young lovers whose best is yet to come. Open 24 hours a day, this immensely popular spot serves up regional dishes and typical Mexican food in a large fan-cooled open dining area at prices that barely lighten the wallet. This is one of the few places whose atmosphere is created by people rather than pictures on the wall. $ Northern Campeche When you come to a fork in the road, take it. ~ sage advice from Yogi Berra, baseball player and manager T here are two routes south from the Yucatán into Campeche – the Fast Route and the Slow Route. As you travel either the slow or fast way, you’ll Campeche La Pigua (Malecón Miguel Aleman No. 197A). A pigua is a small crustacean similar to the shrimp, so you know this famous eatery’s specialties are from the sea. The chef, Darío Chi Jesús, developed a Campeche-style “caviar” that is now imitated in many other restaurants.


pages: 566 words: 155,428

After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan S. Blinder

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, break the buck, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial innovation, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, McMansion, money market fund, moral hazard, naked short selling, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, the payments system, time value of money, too big to fail, working-age population, yield curve, Yogi Berra

The stress tests relieved a lot of stress. But, of course, they did nothing to restructure either the financial system or the way the government regulates it. Nor were they supposed to. We turn to that story next. PART IV THE ROAD TO REFORM 10 IT’S BROKE, LET’S FIX IT: THE NEED FOR FINANCIAL REFORM You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there. —YOGI BERRA While they were battling to end frighteningly large interest-rate spreads, wildly high bid-ask spreads, the dramatic evaporation of credit, and other indicators of acute financial distress, officials at the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the FDIC, and elsewhere found themselves running an overworked financial Emergency Medical Services team, dispatching ambulances to one roadside after another to stop gravely wounded crash victims from bleeding to death.

However, as we shall see, some of that tinkering went far deeper than just “around the edges.” The eventual reforms were substantial and thorough. Maybe we shouldn’t call them tinkering at all. Looking back at the harrowing financial collapse and many of the stunning policy responses thereto, and factoring in the public’s negative reactions to both, left reformers with an extremely long and complicated to-do list. As in the Yogi Berra quotation that opens this chapter, they didn’t quite know where to go or how to get there. I will not review the entire potential reform agenda here. That would occupy too many pages and bore you to tears. Besides, not all problems are created equal. Promising to be brief, I offer instead a guide to the highlights, starting with . . . FIXING “TOO BIG TO FAIL” Arguably, the leading item on the list was reforming, or perhaps eliminating, the too big to fail (TBTF) and too interconnected to fail doctrines, whose application during the crisis led the authorities to put hundreds of billions of public dollars on the line to save particular private companies—almost all of which had behaved badly.

Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations by Garr Reynolds

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Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, cloud computing, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Hans Rosling, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

No matter how good things may seem now, there is always room for improvement. Looking to improve every day is what the spirit of personal kaizen is all about. It’s not about how far you have come or how far you have yet to go. It is only about this moment, about being open to seeing the lessons around you and possessing the capacity and willingness to learn and improve. The Lessons Are All Around You The legendary Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by just looking around.” Obvious perhaps, yet profound in its simple truth. If you want to improve, learn to see the vast number of lessons all around you. You can learn a lot by really taking the time to see and examine the visual world around you. Design is everywhere. We can learn tremendous lessons by simply opening our eyes and observing the works of professionals around us.


pages: 207 words: 52,716

Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons by Peter Barnes

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Albert Einstein, car-free, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, jitney, money market fund, new economy, patent troll, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

Art and music can be reproduced by corporations, but they don’t come from corporations; they come from the commons. Folk music, country music, jazz, blues, garage bands—these are the roots of our musical heritage. We must nourish the soil in which these roots grow. This, not copyright extension, is the way to enrich culture. Part 3 MAKING IT HAPPEN Chapter 9 Building the Commons Sector If you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t get there. —Yogi Berra y sons play a computer game called Sim City. It’s a brilliant invention that lets you design, grow, and govern your own virtual metropolis. You plunk down streets, sewers, power systems, and subways. You zone for commerce, industry, and residences. You drop in schools, hospitals, and fire stations. Soon a city comes to life. It’s enough to engross kids for hours. Now imagine an adult game called Sim Commons that lets you design and grow your own virtual economic sector.


pages: 160 words: 53,435

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd

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Atul Gawande, demand response, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, moral hazard, Norman Mailer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Yogi Berra

Why does it seem okay to grow corn and not an economy? Sheer prejudice, and we share it. • Adjectives and adverbs suffering from exhaustion: “sustainable,” “green,” “iconic,” “incredible” and “incredibly.” The last two, like Chernobyl, should be out of service for decades to come. “Ironic” and “ironically” must be used reluctantly and not as labels for things that are merely odd. “Famously” (“As Yogi Berra famously said …”) is just a tired way of excusing a tired reference. • Phrases that once seemed fresh: “low-hanging fruit,” “tipping point,” “herding cats,” “on steroids,” “putting the toothpaste back in the tube,” “at the end of the day,” and “welcome to the world of …” (as a way of announcing the subject of a story after an anecdotal opener). • Misused words: “Enormity” still means something horrible, not just anything big.


pages: 131 words: 45,778

My Misspent Youth: Essays by Meghan Daum

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haute couture, Norman Mailer, rent control, Yogi Berra

All have been flying for at least ten years. To contemplate what it means to be a flight attendant for ten or more years is to consider, after getting past the initially ludicrous notion of serving drinks at 37,000 feet, the effects of the relatively recent, popular tendency to put flying in a category that also includes walking and driving. To say that flight has become pedestrian is something of a Yogi Berra-ism. But to say that air travel has infused itself into the human experience without leaving marks or building up potentially problematic immunities is to view technology in a Pollyanna-like manner that may have gone out of fashion when applied to phenomena like the Internet and surveillance cameras but continues to thrive in the realm of travel. When it comes to technology’s hold on our quality of life, cyber porn may be insidious, but jetliners are by now almost quaint, older than Peter, Paul, and Mary, as common as the telephone.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

Though I try to avoid generalising about gender, it is fair to say that men are less adaptable to disruptions in their work routines than women, and more liable to vent their anger politically. To anyone who doubts that, I have a flying car to sell you. Meanwhile, remind yourselves of the impact manufacturing job losses have had on Western politics. Way more than half of Trump’s voters were male. The same applies to the Brexit electorate. As the baseball legend Yogi Berra allegedly said, it is tough to make predictions – especially about the future. The economist Robert Gordon clearly wasn’t listening. His book The Rise and Fall of American Growth makes a startling forecast that did not go down well in Silicon Valley. The future is not what it used to be, he says. The peak age of high growth and disruptive technology is behind us. Forget the power of the iPhone.


pages: 272 words: 83,378

Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto by Mark Helprin

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, computer age, crowdsourcing, hive mind, invention of writing, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, the scientific method, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

But one need not be a Nazi brontosaurus to question the trajectories of one’s time if indeed one’s time produces people who think their grandchildren are their ancestors. I return to this example out of continuing astonishment, but it is accurately representative. At a rest stop in Maryland not long ago, I heard a high school girl ask her father where they were “now” (perhaps she was related to Yogi Berra). When told “Maryland,” she asked, “Is that in New Jersey?” Nor need one be senescent to note that the middle ground has been continually pressed to the extremes, so that on one edge of what is published we have, from Edna Moisture, professor of gender studies at California State University at Uponga: To clarify the fascistic class burst of intra-pseudo-transgenderism, one must accept that the other is the object of the actor, and the actor is an apodeictic imagination of the object.


pages: 293 words: 74,709

Bomb Scare by Joseph Cirincione

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Albert Einstein, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, uranium enrichment, Yogi Berra

“Nuclear weapons proliferation,” he says, “occurred in the past, and can occur in the future, for more than one reason: different historical cases are best explained by different causal models.”102 Theoretical assumptions and conclusions both have enormous implications for nonproliferation policy. Each of the proliferation models leads us to draw different conclusions about how to best fight the spread of nuclear weapons. The result? Great difficulty in developing and sustaining a consistent and effective nonproliferation policy. Or as Yogi Berra said, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” One way to resolve some of the differences in the theoretical models is to get the analysts to all start from the same page. That is, to forge a consensus around an objective assessment of the nuclear threats. This can help put the discussion on a more practical level, filter out preconceived assumptions, and build support for an approach that tries to account for all the proliferation drivers.


pages: 183 words: 17,571

Broken Markets: A User's Guide to the Post-Finance Economy by Kevin Mellyn

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banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, information asymmetry, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, lump of labour, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mobile money, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, seigniorage, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, underbanked, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

This, of course, was a key flaw in the markets leading up to the 2008 market meltdown. The investment bankers thought they had the machinery and models to turn low-credit-score loans into Triple A securities. The crisis proved that the models and structures were deeply flawed in many cases. But the credit score itself suffers from the same basic limitation as all statistical efforts to predict the future based on history. Sometimes, to borrow from Yogi Berra, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” For the entire period when credit scores were being developed into objective predictive tools to measure the risk of default, the United States was enjoying what I’ve been calling the Great Moderation. Between 1982 and 2008 there had been a steady rise in asset prices, especially for homes, and job creation was robust enough to keep unemployment reasonably low.


pages: 295 words: 66,824

A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market by John Allen Paulos

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Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, business climate, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elliott wave, endowment effect, Erdős number, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, four colour theorem, George Gilder, global village, greed is good, index fund, intangible asset, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, mental accounting, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, Ralph Nelson Elliott, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, six sigma, Stephen Hawking, survivorship bias, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Brian Arthur, an economist at the Santa Fe Institute and Stanford University, has long used an essentially identical scenario to describe the predicament of bar patrons deciding whether or not to go to a popular bar, the experience being pleasant only if the bar is not thronged. An equilibrium naturally develops whereby the bar rarely becomes too full. (This almost seems like a belated scientific justification for Yogi Berra’s quip about Toots Shor’s restaurant in New York: “Nobody goes there any more. It’s too crowded.”) Arthur proposed the model to clarify the behavior of market investors who, like my students and the bar patrons, must anticipate others’ anticipations of them (and so on). Whether one buys or sells, crosses the box or doesn’t cross, goes to the bar or doesn’t go, depends upon one’s beliefs about others’ possible actions and beliefs.


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

They will earn good money and a degree of public fame, and their numbers will multiply, even as their daily routines become increasingly estranged from the practices of normal everyday science in their fields. At least for a while, they will be the only people left who will have a clear notion of what is going on. 12 A New Social Contract? What will become of America as a whole in twenty to forty years? What will our politics look like in the new world of work? One is reminded of the old saw attributed to Yogi Berra: “Prediction is difficult, especially about the future.” Still, it can help us make sense of the present to lay down some possible trends about where things are headed. A lot of people will have serious objections to some of these trends. So be it. Let’s first understand where the trends might be coming from. The forces outlined in this book, especially for labor markets, will force a rewriting of the social contract, even if it is not explicitly recognized as such.


pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

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23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, wealth creators, Yogi Berra

And that is in an environment where there truly are no digital barriers to entry. Yet the moguls are still the moguls. Not as strong, but still in control. I don’t see them going away. Why? Because in a Long Tail universe, the cost to crawl up the tail to the rat’s ass is more expensive than the production. Which means only the people with the money can make the investment, which brings you back to the moguls.” It’s the Yogi Berra problem—no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded. You gotta spend as much on promotion as you do on production to attract folks to your pipe, virtual or otherwise. Mark Cuban might be right. Moguls will still roam the earth even after the asteroid hits. But they won’t be like the moguls of today. It will be a different landscape. But the view from here tells me that it won’t be possible to control pipes anymore.

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day by John H. Johnson

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Black Swan, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, obamacare, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, publication bias, QR code, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, statistical model, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thomas Bayes, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons, Yogi Berra

As Neal Berger (the hedge fund guy) said, “We have to operate in a world where we’re never going to have 100 percent surety or comfort. It’s hard for people to reconcile that we’re living in an unpredictable world. A lot of people can’t get their head around that, and want to think life is going to be normal every day. But we can’t mitigate every possible risk. We have to make the best judgments we can.” In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It is tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” 221158 i-xiv 1-210 r4ga.indd  141 2/8/16  5:58:50 PM 221158 i-xiv 1-210 r4ga.indd  142 2/8/16  5:58:50 PM 9 It’s a Jungle Out There Putting It All Together I magine going to the zoo and seeing a lion. In the next cage over, there’s an elephant. Another exhibit holds the giraffes. And so on. Each animal is in its own contained area, with a nice little sign that tells you more about it.

The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk by William J. Bernstein

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asset allocation, backtesting, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, computer age, correlation coefficient, diversification, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, index arbitrage, index fund, intangible asset, Long Term Capital Management, p-value, passive investing, prediction markets, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, South Sea Bubble, survivorship bias, the rule of 72, the scientific method, time value of money, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

Remember Bernard Baruch’s famous dictum: Something that everyone knows isn’t worth knowing. It cannot be repeated often enough. Identify the era’s conventional wisdom and then ignore it. Now look at the individual plots in Figure 4-6. Picking the worst of the stock and bond lines in each era (S&P and bond in the earlier period, EAFE and bond in the later period) would have produced poor returns, and the best stock and bond line excellent returns. The trouble, as Yogi Berra once said, is that it’s very difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future. If you take your uncle’s advice and split the difference, you find that you do reasonably well in both eras. In both cases the return of the 50/50 line is much closer to the best-performing asset line than the worst-performing asset line. And for the entire 30-year period, we already know that the 50/50 mix is in itself the “best” equity asset.


pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law

A week with declining earnings for a taxi driver or a prostitute provides information concerning the environment and intimates the need to find a new part of town where clients hang around; a month or so without earnings drives them to revise their skills. Further, for a self-employed person, a small (nonterminal) mistake is information, valuable information, one that directs him in his adaptive approach; for someone employed like John, a mistake is something that goes into his permanent record, filed in the personnel department. Yogi Berra once said: “We made the wrong mistake”—and for John all mistakes are wrong mistakes. Nature loves small errors (without which genetic variations are impossible), humans don’t—hence when you rely on human judgment you are at the mercy of a mental bias that disfavors antifragility. So, alas, we humans are afraid of the second type of variability and naively fragilize systems—or prevent their antifragility—by protecting them.

It is a way—the only way—to domesticate uncertainty, to work rationally without understanding the future, while reliance on narratives is the exact opposite: one is domesticated by uncertainty, and ironically set back. You cannot look at the future by naive projection of the past. This brings us to the difference between doing and thinking. The point is hard to understand from the vantage point of intellectuals. As Yogi Berra said, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice there is.” So far we have seen arguments that intellect is associated with fragility and instills methods that conflict with tinkering. So far we saw the option as the expression of antifragility. We separated knowledge into two categories, the formal and the Fat Tonyish, heavily grounded in the antifragility of trial and error and risk taking with less downside, barbell-style—a de-intellectualized form of risk taking (or, rather, intellectual in its own way).


pages: 661 words: 187,613

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

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Albert Einstein, cloud computing, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, elephant in my pajamas, finite state, illegal immigration, Loebner Prize, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, out of africa, P = NP, phenotype, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, Yogi Berra

How true that is. —Dan Quayle And who knows what unrepeatable amalgam of genes creates the linguistic genius? If people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them. You can observe a lot just by watching. In baseball, you don’t know nothing. Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded. It ain’t over till it’s over. It gets late early this time of year. —Yogi Berra And NUH is the letter I use to spell Nutches Who live in small caves, known as Nitches, for hutches. These Nutches have troubles, the biggest of which is The fact that there are many more Nutches than Nitches. Each Nutch in a Nitch knows that some other Nutch Would like to move into his Nitch very much. So each Nutch in a Nitch has to watch that small Nitch Or Nutches who haven’t got Nitches will snitch.

Grammar in twins: Mather & Black, 1984; Munsinger & Douglas, 1976; Fahey, Kamitomo, & Cornell, 1978; Bishop, North, & Donlan, 1993; Adopted babies’ language development: Hardy-Brown, Plomin, & DeFries, 1981. Three generations of SLI: Gopnik, 1990a, 1990b, 1993; Gopnik & Crago, 1991. Universal human nature and individual uniqueness: Tooby & Cosmides, 1990a. Separated at birth: Holden, 1987; Lykken et al., 1992. Behavior genetics: Bouchard et al., 1990; Lykken et al., 1992; Plomin, 1990. Bushspeak: The Editors of The New Republic, 1992. Quaylespeak: Goldsman, 1992. Linguistic geniuses: Yogi Berra, from Safire, 1991; Lederer, 1987. Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel), from On Beyond Zebra, 1955. Nabokov, from Lolita, 1958. King, from the march on Washington, 1963. Shakespeare, from Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2. 11. The Big Bang Elephants: Williams, 1989; Carrington, 1958. Darwinian explanations of the language instinct: Pinker & Bloom, 1990; Pinker, in press; Hurford, 1989, 1991; Newmeyer, 1991; Brandon & Hornstein, 1986; Corballis, 1991.


pages: 670 words: 194,502

The Intelligent Investor (Collins Business Essentials) by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig

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3Com Palm IPO, accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, corporate governance, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, George Santayana, hiring and firing, index fund, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, merger arbitrage, money market fund, new economy, passive investing, price stability, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, the market place, the rule of 72, transaction costs, tulip mania, VA Linux, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra

We think the investor must be prepared for difficult times ahead—perhaps in the form of a fairly quick replay of the the 1969–1970 decline, or perhaps in the form of another bull-market fling, to be followed by a more catastrophic collapse.3 What Course to Follow Turn back to what we said in the last edition, reproduced on p. 75. This is our view at the same price level—say 900—for the DJIA in early 1972 as it was in late 1964. Commentary on Chapter 3 You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, ’cause you might not get there. —Yogi Berra Bull-Market Baloney In this chapter, Graham shows how prophetic he can be. He looks two years ahead, foreseeing the “catastrophic” bear market of 1973–1974, in which U.S. stocks lost 37% of their value.1 He also looks more than two decades into the future, eviscerating the logic of market gurus and best-selling books that were not even on the horizon in his lifetime. The heart of Graham’s argument is that the intelligent investor must never forecast the future exclusively by extrapolating the past.

If the firm has consistently outperformed the competition in good markets and bad, the managers are clearly putting the cash to optimal use. If, however, business is faltering or the stock is underperforming its rivals, then the managers and directors are misusing the cash by refusing to pay a dividend. Companies that repeatedly split their shares—and hype those splits in breathless press releases—treat their investors like dolts. Like Yogi Berra, who wanted his pizza cut into four slices because “I don’t think I can eat eight,” the shareholders who love stock splits miss the point. Two shares of a stock at $50 are not worth more than one share at $100. Managers who use splits to promote their stock are aiding and abetting the worst instincts of the investing public, and the intelligent investor will think twice before turning any money over to such condescending manipulators.10 Companies should buy back their shares when they are cheap—not when they are at or near record highs.


pages: 286 words: 90,530

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think by Alan Grafen; Mark Ridley

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Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, bioinformatics, cognitive bias, computer age, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, loose coupling, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, phenotype, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

CONTROVERSY The skeptic's chaplain: Richard Dawkins as a fountainhead of skepticism Michael Shermer OVER the weekend of 12 to 14 August 2001, I participated in an event entitled ‘Humanity 3000’, whose mission it was to bring together ‘prominent thinkers from around the world in a multidisciplinary framework to ponder issues that are most likely to have a significant impact on the long-term future of humanity’. Sponsored by the Foundation for the Future—a non-profit think tank in Seattle founded by aerospace engineer and benefactor Walter P. Kistler—long-term is defined as a millennium. We were tasked with the job of prognosticating what the world will be like in the year 3000. Yeah, sure. As Yogi Berra said, ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future’. If such a workshop were held in 1950 would anyone have anticipated the World Wide Web? If we cannot prognosticate fifty years in the future, what chance do we have of saying anything significant about a date twenty times more distant? And please note the date of this conference—needless to say, not one of us realized that we were a month away from the event that would redefine the modern world with a date that will live in infamy.


pages: 304 words: 87,702

The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout

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Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, global village, Golden Gate Park, if you build it, they will come, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, supervolcano, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

A one-week ticket is $305 and includes admission to everything (lectures, symphony, popular entertainments, and so forth except theater, opera, and special studies courses). Accommodations range from $49 a night for a room to $5,000 per week for a house. HOW TO GET IN TOUCH Chautauqua Institution, P.O. Box 28, Chautauqua, NY 14722, 800-836-2787 or 716-357-6250 (box office), www.ciweb.org. HORIZON & CO. take a radical sabbatical IN THE UNITED STATES & WORLDWIDE When you come to a fork in the road, take it. —Yogi Berra 59 | Rather than supplying information—the purpose of most intellectual sojourns—a “radical sabbatical” is designed to seek information. From you. You’ll be asked the kinds of questions that tend to get pushed to the back burner in our busy lives: “What do you stand for?” “Why are you here?” “What makes you want to get on the table and dance?” Radical sabbaticals are offered by Horizon & Co., a high-end boutique travel company.


pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

At a conference of economists one should begin by telling the one about a few billion here and a few billion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money, or the one about how if you laid a thousand economists end to end they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion, or the one about how economists look for keys under the street lamp because that is where the light is. At least one speaker per panel should refer to Yogi Berra, and everybody in the audience must chuckle to prove how unpretentious they are. Then the speaker will have to judge how dull she can afford to be. Very eminent panelists are expected to be dull, since their words carry great weight. High government officials, university presidents, and corporate leaders are expected to speak in the Upper Institutional mode—a vocabulary so dense and vague of content as to cause people’s mouths to hang open and their eyes to water.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

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back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

ISBN 978-0-470-18239-0 (cloth); ISBN 978-1-118-22011-5 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-23386-3 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-25848-4 (ebk) 1. United States–Economic policy–2009 2. United States–Economic conditions–2009 3. Middle class–United States–Economic conditions. I. Title. HC106.84.F38 2012 330.973–dc23 2012013719 To my wife, Marge, helpmate and soul mate Part I The Pursuit of Folly The future ain't what it used to be. —Yogi Berra 1 The Politics of Hope Historians who look back to our time will surely conclude that our problem was not that we didn’t know where we were headed, it was that we didn’t act on what we knew. Even before the financial crash of 2008–2009 and the Great Recession that followed, there was ample warning. Whether you were a journalist who produced the news, a politician who made the news, or a citizen who read or watched the news, it was hard not be aware that for the past thirty years, the following had been happening: Most Americans had experienced stagnant real incomes, shrinking financial security, and fraying social safety nets.


pages: 320 words: 97,509

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, delayed gratification, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, medical malpractice, moral hazard, obamacare, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, source of truth, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Yogi Berra

He went to see the patient and immediately noticed that the whites of her eyes had black discoloration, a sign of a potentially serious metabolic derangement. No doctor had commented on it during the presentation. “I did a … hello!” the cardiologist recalled. “How could they have missed it? All through the chart was written ‘pupils equally round and reactive to light.’ It was obvious no one had examined her. I subscribe to the Yogi Berra School of physical diagnosis. You can learn a lot by looking.” Tom smiled, slowly chewing his scrambled eggs. “I majored in music in college,” he said. “Knowing how to separate sounds and time them correctly has helped me immensely in listening to the heart. It’d be a shame if we lost those diagnostic skills. When you think of all the useless things we learn in medical school, physical diagnosis probably isn’t one of them.”


pages: 301 words: 86,278

Women and Autoimmune Disease by Robert G. Lahita

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medical residency, stem cell, the new new thing, Yogi Berra

New drugs for these purposes are being studied every day, and those deemed beneficial are released periodically. Today, many of these drugs are so good that they allow people with autoimmune disease to live quite normal lives. In fact, a great many reach remission, although even in remission, drugs must often be continued to ensure that the disease remains in check. Medicine, as I have mentioned, is half art, half science, and, with a nod to Yogi Berra, half luck. This certainly holds true when it comes to treating autoimmune diseases, although treatment always requires an expert with experience to calculate the dosage of a drug or drugs, the duration of therapy, and simply to know what to use when, for what, on whom. This is one of those areas where it is critical to have a well-trained and proficient physician specialist. Doing so can mean the difference between a good and a bad outcome. 215 Wo m e n a n d A u t o i m m u n e D i s e a s e Experienced physicians can be found through a little research.


pages: 336 words: 92,056

The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger

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Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra

Even more intriguing is the concept the engineers at Nokia are currently working on, which is a way to harvest ambient electromagnetic radiation emitted from things like Wi-Fi transmitters and cell phone towers that surround us every day, filling the air with energy to recharge batteries or run small devices. EPILOGUE Bring on the Future “Prediction is very hard, especially when it’s about the future.” —Yogi Berra Predictions far into the future are always dangerous. This is painfully evidenced by the legions of baby boomers who have grown to middle age and beyond still waiting for the arrival of flying cars and personal jet packs promised in the magazines of their youth. In the more distant future are ultracapacitors or double-layer capacitors or electric double-layer capacitors. A major technological leap forward from standard batteries, ultracapacitors work not by generating a charge through a chemical reaction but by holding an electrical charge in much the same way as a Leyden jar.


pages: 319 words: 95,854

You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity by Robert Lane Greene

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anti-communist, British Empire, centre right, discovery of DNA, European colonialism, facts on the ground, haute couture, illegal immigration, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Parag Khanna, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Steven Pinker, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Funny how I didn’t think any of this was peculiar at the time, when it was behaviour with “Proto Stickler” written all over it. What’s going on here? “Tautology” isn’t a grammar error; it’s a logical one, with either unnecessary reinforcement in a phrase (“free gift,” also called a pleonasm) or a statement written so that it can’t be falsified, for example by definition or circular logic. Think of Yogi Berra’s “You can observe a lot by watching.” This isn’t nitpicking (although one could be forgiven for picking the nits off of the self-appointed world-beating nitpicker). It shows a major problem in many people’s thinking about language errors: category error. “Grammar,” to the language specialist, is how words and sentences are built from meaningful components. It describes how nouns are made plural or verbs put into the past tense; how individual words can be bolted together into phrases, clauses, and sentences that obey the rules of syntax.


pages: 305 words: 89,103

Scarcity: The True Cost of Not Having Enough by Sendhil Mullainathan

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrei Shleifer, Cass Sunstein, clean water, computer vision, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, fault tolerance, happiness index / gross national happiness, impulse control, indoor plumbing, inventory management, knowledge worker, late fees, linear programming, mental accounting, microcredit, p-value, payday loans, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

She started by talking to the staff to get a better feel for the challenges, and one problem was clear: long lines. In a way, this had to be good—the restaurant was popular. But it can also be a bad thing. Long lines can make you proud, but they bring in no money. You need people inside and eating, not outside and waiting. Customers can get disgruntled and not come back. You don’t want it said of you, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded,” as Yogi Berra put it. To understand what might be done—raise prices? expand?—Kimes conducted a thorough statistical analysis, which gave her a snapshot more precise than the staff’s impressions: What was the income per table? Which tables were most occupied? What was the turnover? And so on. What she found surprised her. The visuals showed long waits; the data showed low usage. Only during five hours each week were more than half the seats occupied.


pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

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Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra

Evan also created a bulletin board for his readers, a place online where they could communicate with one another about the attempts to recover Ivanna’s phone. Or rather, he tried to create a bulletin board, but the first such service he selected simply couldn’t cope with the crush of excited users all trying to log in at the same time. Seeing this, he selected a second bulletin board service, but that too crashed under the sudden shock of demand, as did the third. (These kinds of failures, sometimes called “success crises,” bring to mind Yogi Berra’s famous observation about a New York restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”) He finally found a service that could accommodate the thousands of people following the Sidekick saga, and those readers settled in, discussing every aspect of the events, from general speculation about Sasha’s moral compass to a forum inviting members of the military to talk about Luis, the MP, and his involvement in the events.


pages: 355 words: 63

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William R. Easterly

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Andrei Shleifer, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, endogenous growth, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Urbanism, open economy, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

A s Isaac Newton said, “If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.”14 Today’s innovators don’t take into account that their innovation will permanently increase the productivity of the economy; they get the returns to their innovation only until the next ”new, new thing” comes along. This means once again that the private return to innovation is less than the social return. The extreme case is that no innovation happens because people are afraid subsequent innovation will happen. As Yogi Berra once said about a restaurant, “Nobody goes there; it’s too crowded.” For the reason of nonappropriability and obsolescence, the rate of technological innovation will tend to be too slow in a market economy. These disincentives to innovation can beso strong that thereis no innovation and thus no growth in a free market economy. The way out would be tocreate strong incentives for innovation by sub- Creative 179 sidizing private research and development, subsidizing adoption of best-practices foreign technology, encouraging foreign direct investment from high-tech places, having the government itself do some research and development, and having strong intellectual property rights that allow inventors to keep theprofits from their invention.


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

If you want to drink deep from the transhumanist Kool-Aid, see “Why I Want to Be Transhuman When I Grow Up” by N. Bostrom 2008, in Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity, ed. by B. Gordijn and R. Chadwick. New York: Springer, pp. 107–37. 12: Journey to the Stars 1. This particular quote has engendered a lot of speculation and misattribution. For example, it cannot be reliably attributed to baseball manager and purveyor of malapropisms Yogi Berra. It seems to originate in nineteenth-century Denmark and was used but not coined by physicist Niels Bohr. A detailed discussion is online at http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/10/20/no-predict/. 2. See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pogue-all-time-worst-tech-predictions/; and http://www.informationweek.com/it-leadership/12-worst-tech-predictions-of-all-time/d/d-id/1096169. 3. See http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-world-will-be-wonderful-in-the-year-2000-110060404/?


pages: 326 words: 106,053

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

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AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, experimental economics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Howard Rheingold, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market design, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, offshore financial centre, Picturephone, prediction markets, profit maximization, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

In other words, the bar is fun when it’s not crowded, but miserable when it is. As a result, if everyone thinks the bar will be crowded on Friday night, then few people will go. The bar, therefore, will be empty, and anyone who goes will have a good time. On the other hand, if everyone thinks the bar won’t be crowded, everyone will go. Then the bar will be packed, and no one will have a good time. (This problem was captured perfectly, of course, by Yogi Berra, when he said of Toots Shor’s nightclub: “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”) The trick, of course, is striking the right balance, so that every week enough—but not too many—people go. There is, of course, an easy solution to this problem: just invent an all-powerful central planner—a kind of über-doorman—who tells people when they can go to the bar. Every week the central planner would issue his dictate, banning some, allowing others in, thereby ensuring that the bar was full but never crowded.


pages: 366 words: 87,916

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner

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card file, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, index card, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Skype, spaced repetition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Yogi Berra

Finally, we’ll talk about strategies for speaking and where to find native speakers. Wander this landscape in any way you choose. You may enjoy reading French magazines or watching Russian TV shows. You may fall in love with Chinese vocabulary, or you may fall in love with a new Italian friend. This is your language. Take it wherever you want to go. SETTING GOALS: YOUR CUSTOM VOCABULARY If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else. —Yogi Berra How many words should you learn? Which words should you learn? The answer depends upon you: what do you want to do with your language? Back in Chapter 4, we discussed using frequency lists to help streamline your vocabulary acquisition. I gave you a list of 625 basic words to learn and showed you how to learn them quickly. When you combine those words with a healthy dose of grammar from your textbook, you’ll have everything you need to master the rest of your vocabulary.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zipcar

But that’s not likely. When all the forces are arrayed against an asset or an idea and are invested in its falling, that’s usually a pretty good sign it’s about to rise. Many of the loudest proclamations of decline come from those who thought the period from 2001 to 2008 was a rip-roaring good time, the Bush Boom. The consensus is frequently wrong, especially the consensus of those who predict the near future. As Yogi Berra put it, “It’s tough to make predictions. Especially about the future.” Looking at their models in 2007, forecasters told us housing prices couldn’t fall, the economy wouldn’t lapse into recession, and all those subprime borrowers were good credit risks. The fraternity of seers who, in March 2009, saw the stock market rising back to 12,000 within two years was about as small as the exclusive club that saw it plummeting from 14,700 to 6,600 in the space of six months.


pages: 371 words: 101,792

Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am by Robert Gandt

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Airbus A320, airline deregulation, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Maui Hawaii, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, yield management, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

For an entire second he beamed his fearsome gaze—the Look—down the length of his imperious nose at the little old lady. But only a second. Archer was a real Skygod, which is to say, one in full possession of his dignity. He doffed his cap. “Why, certainly, madam,” he said, and took the lady’s bags inside. He cheerfully accepted the tip. “We cannot absorb revenue loss without taking severe steps to lower our costs commensurate with the reduced revenue.” It was a classic Plaskettism, worthy of Yogi Berra. What the chairman meant was that he was pink-slipping another four thousand employees. Back in August when Iraq ventured into Kuwait and traffic slumped, Pan Am had eliminated two thousand jobs. Now, with this latest announcement, a full 20 percent of Pan Am’s work force had become casualties of the Gulf War. On January 17, 1991, international air traffic aboard American flag carriers virtually stopped.


pages: 310 words: 89,838

Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample

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Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Donald Trump, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, uranium enrichment, Yogi Berra

by Tomasso Dorigo at “A Quantum Diaries Survivor” blog, November 19, 2009. 2 See “Endgame for the Tevatron,” by John Conway, Cosmic Variance blog, September 21, 2009. 3 See CERN symposium, “From the Proton Synchroton to the Large Hadron Collider—50 Years of Nobel Memories in High-Energy Physics,” December 3-4, 2009. Veltman gave his lecture, “The LHC and the Higgs Boson,” on the second day. Video and slides available from the CERN website. 4 See “The Unhiggs,” by David Stancato and John Terning, Journal of High Energy Physics, no. 11 (2009): 101. 5 The phrase and variations on it are commonly attributed to both Niels Bohr and Yogi Berra. Bohr’s version appears in, among other works, Between Inner Space and Outer Space: Essays on Science, Art, and Philosophy, by John Barrow, Oxford University Press, 2000. 6 For more on the idea of manipulating the Higgs field, see an online seminar by physicist Kim Griest at the University of California, Davis. The seminar, part of a series called “Atoms to X-Rays: The Mystery of Empty Space: Higgs Bosons, Vacuum Energy and Extra Dimensions,” can be found on the UCSD (University of California at San Diego) TV website at www.ucsd.tv. 7 In A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC, by Gian Francesco Giudice, Oxford University Press, 2010, the author states: “It could be done only by heating the universe to temperatures above 1015 degrees, a value one hundred million times larger than the temperature in the centre of the sun.


pages: 502 words: 107,657

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, backtesting, Black Swan, book scanning, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, call centre, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data is the new oil, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Google Glasses, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, lifelogging, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mass immigration, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, personalized medicine, placebo effect, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Levy, text mining, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Just as with medicine, marketing’s success—or lack thereof—is revealed by comparing to a control set, a group of individuals suppressed from the treatment (or administered a placebo, in the case of medicine). Therefore, we need to collect two sets of data: If the treated customers buy more than the control customers, we know the campaign successfully persuades. This proves some individuals were influenced, but, as usual, we don’t know which. Predicting the Wrong Thing If you come to a fork in the road, take it. —Yogi Berra To target the marketing campaigns, Michael and his team at U.S. Bank were employing the industry standard: response models, which predict who will buy if contacted. That’s not the same thing as predicting who will buy because they were contacted; it does not predict influence. Compared to a control set, Michael showed the campaigns were successful, turning a profit. But he knew the targeting would be more effective if only there were a way to predict which customers would be persuaded by the marketing collateral.


pages: 378 words: 102,966

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey

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big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Corrections Corporation of America, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, God and Mammon, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Mark Shuttleworth, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Ralph Nader, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, The Great Good Place, trade route, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra, young professional

I act not out of obligation or idealism, but because I live in a straw house and I smell smoke.”10 CHAPTER 26 Back To Work Markets flatter our solitary egos but leave our yearnings for community unsatisfied. They advance individualistic, not social, goals, and they encourage us to speak the language of “I want” not the language of “we need.” —BENJAMIN BARBER, A Place for Us If you don’t go to somebody’s funeral, they won’t come to yours. —YOGI BERRA Is there any better feeling than being back in the world after an extended illness? Good-bye, daytime TV, and Hello, energy! The challenge is to channel the energy productively. Gandhi said, “there’s more to life than increasing its speed.” We might add that there’s more to life than increasing its greed. And despite the million-dollar ads to the contrary, there’s more to life than “me.” Buy the luxury car, the ads suggest (over and over!)


pages: 286 words: 82,065

Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra

That development, not surprisingly, creates a new problem. “The problem is who gets heard,” Blau says. “The real issue that remains is access to an audience. Because that’s hard. Access to technology has become trivially easy for most people in the industrialized world, and increasingly easy for people in the emerging economies around the world.” In trying to humanize the problem of too much democratization of speech, Blau channels the wordplay of Yogi Berra: “There’d be some wonderful thing that he would say—‘The problem when you can talk to anybody is that you can’t talk to anybody.’” There’s no doubt Blau is right. Speech is easy; being heard is hard and getting harder, because computers can’t distinguish between data and ideas. Or between human intellect and aggregated text and links. This lack of esthetic intelligence in a tsunami of data changes the game.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

h One system currently in development in Masdar City, just outside Abu Dhabi, will run underground. i More or less. The car steered itself, but humans controlled throttle and brake, out of a perfectly reasonable concern for safety. j As of this writing, another technological behemoth, Apple, is rumored to be developing an automobile that may be self-driving. k It’s been attributed to everyone from the Nobel Prize–winning physicist Niels Bohr to Yogi Berra, and is almost certainly the only time those two giants of the twentieth century have been confused with one another. EPILOGUE Flatbush and Atlantic IN JANUARY OF 2006 I GOT A CALL FROM THE OFFICE OF ONE OF NEW York City’s most prominent and ambitious developers, Forest City Ratner, itself a subsidiary of an even larger Cleveland-based real-estate behemoth. Bruce Ratner, who was the CEO of the development company, had been the city’s consumer affairs commissioner around the same time I headed the Traffic Department.


pages: 237 words: 82,266

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch

Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Donald Trump, Donner party, Exxon Valdez, Mahatma Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Yogi Berra

And it’s also true that if I put as much time and energy into my writing career as I continue to put into Ezra’s baseball, by this point I could have written at least three War and Peace–sized novels, a dozen screenplays, a half dozen plays, two books of short stories, and a collection of poetry, not to mention having a regular magazine column, my own comedy show on the Web, and still have time left over to resculpt my body at a gym and invent my own language. But it’s been totally worth it because nothing is better than seeing your son smash a hit into the outfield, round third, and score or make a great catch. And last year, after he made the last out and his travel team won a big tournament, he leaped into my arms like Yogi Berra did to Don Larsen after he pitched a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. I know, no matter what happens after Ezra’s travel team, the Titans, goes to play in Cooperstown in 2010 for the Field of Dreams Tournament, he’ll always remember that day he jumped in my arms to celebrate the victory. And if he does ever forget, I’ll be sure to remind him. what’s love got to do with it? Researchers from Australian National University tracking 2,500 couples, married or living together, from 2001 to 2007, have identified what it takes to keep a couple together: Couples in which one partner and not the other smokes are more likely to have a relationship that ends in failure.


pages: 288 words: 92,175

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt

Bill Gates: Altair 8800, British Empire, computer age, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, financial independence, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, labor-force participation, Mars Rover, music of the spheres, new economy, operation paperclip, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Steve Jobs, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra

The hours dragged on in the little waiting room, crowded with other fathers, and his mind turned to baseball. When Harry mentioned the World Series game to Barbara’s obstetrician, he confessed that he too was desperate to see it, and they searched until they found a TV. It was Game Four, the Pittsburgh Pirates versus the New York Yankees. Absorbed by the game, the pair kept their eyes on Yankee Stadium, where the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. Mickey Mantle struck out and Yogi Berra ground out before their teammate Bill Skowron hit a home run. The game suddenly had become a nail-biter when the doctor was called back into the delivery room. Harry snapped back to reality. He was about to become a father. As the Pirates narrowly beat the Yankees, 3–2, Barbara cuddled her baby girl, who had weighed in at nine pounds six ounces. Harry wasn’t allowed in the same room as the baby; fathers weren’t given the luxury of holding their little ones so soon.


pages: 504 words: 147,660

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction by Gabor Mate, Peter A. Levine

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Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, corporate governance, epigenetics, ghettoisation, impulse control, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, phenotype, placebo effect, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), source of truth, Yogi Berra

If you are living your life and I am mentally living your life, who is here living mine? We’re both over there. Being mentally in your business keeps me from being present in my own. I am separate from myself, wondering why my life doesn’t work.4 Partners, friends and family, whether despondently or optimistically trying to pressure the addict to change, would do well to remember the immortal words of Yogi Berra: “If the people don’t want to come to the ball game, there’s nothing you can do to stop them.” CHAPTER 34 There Is Nothing Lost: Addiction and the Spiritual Quest All problems are psychological, but all solutions are spiritual. THOMAS HORA, M.D. A barrier for many people when it comes to Twelve-Step work around addiction is Step Two, evoking a higher power: [We] came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin

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affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Perhaps that people already have a sense of humor and perspective about this very topic, and are willing to laugh at such tendencies in themselves? It is the latter possibility that offers hope. No one said a transparent society would come without drawbacks, or challenges to the good judgment of twenty-first-century citizens. The classic Mayan civilization (now long extinct) had a superbly pampered class of brilliant astrological futurists. BRUTE STERLING I never make predictions, especially about the future. YOGI BERRA A Predictions Registry “The secrets of flight will not be mastered within our lifetime ... not within a thousand years.” This prognostication, singularly famous for its irony, was reportedly uttered in 1901 by none other than Wilbur Wright. We can presume he said it during a foul mood, after some temporary setback. Smiling with the benefit of hindsight, we know Wilbur and his brother would prove the forecast wrong in just two years.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Wells made the future look like Edwardian England with machines; Aldous Huxley made it feel like 1920s New Mexico on drugs; George Orwell made it sound like 1940s Russia with television. Even Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, more visionary than most, were steeped in the transport-obsessed 1950s rather than the communication-obsessed 2000s. So in describing the world of 2100, I am bound to sound like somebody stuck in the world of the early twenty-first century, and make laughable errors of extrapolation. ‘It’s tough to make predictions,’ joked somebody, perhaps Yogi Berra: ‘especially about the future.’ Technologies I cannot even conceive will be commonplace and habits I never knew human beings needed will be routine. Machines may have become sufficiently intelligent to design themselves, in which case the rate of economic growth may by then have changed as much as it did at the start of the industrial revolution – so that the world economy will be doubling in months or even weeks, and accelerating towards a technological ‘singularity’ where the rate of change is almost infinite.


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

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AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, intangible asset, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra, your tax dollars at work

But it took less than a year for the whispers to be ruined by success. 246 Nerds on Wall Str eet The chief investment officer of one large mutual fund firm observed, “The psychology around the earnings report has been completely poisoned by this whisper nonsense.” Sue Watts and her colleagues found that when they tried repeating the experiment, the whisper numbers had become useless, with wider variation and no value over the consensus estimates. This is yet another example of the wisdom of a collective depending on choosing the members of the collective carefully so none of them have an incentive to mislead the rest. As noted earnings analyst Yogi Berra might explain, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Monitoring Web Activity: No GUI, No Glory Chapters 9 and 10 describe some of the many examples of how and why investors and traders would want to collect, aggregate, and evaluate many flavors of content from the Web—news, pre-news, SEC filings, and messages are a small sample, and the molecular search filters to decide what is interesting are some of the simpler varieties.


pages: 349 words: 134,041

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, financial innovation, fixed income, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, John Meriwether, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Journalism, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, the new new thing, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

There was the ‘quick/slow’, ‘smart/dumb’ scale (I got the impression that speaker was a quick/smart). Risk ‘savages’ appeared; in keeping with the defence theme, there were ‘body counts’. To lend a more scientific perspective, the speaker threw in some technical jargon – ‘risk regimes’, ‘the colonization of uncertainty’ and ‘risk management as anesthesia’. References to an odd collection of famous names – Mark Twain, Yogi Berra, Monty Python – abounded. The speaker confessed that his daily life was ‘technical’, ‘absurdly mathematical’ and ‘full of partial differential equations’. He confided to his audience that on weekends he was likely to read a book on ‘prime numbers’ or a ‘novel’. Balzac, Jane Austen and Italo Calvino were mentioned. The speaker noted that he frequently misread novels, looking for its risk structure and patterns of chance in the story.


pages: 486 words: 132,784

Inventors at Work: The Minds and Motivation Behind Modern Inventions by Brett Stern

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Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Build a better mousetrap, business process, cloud computing, computer vision, cyber-physical system, distributed generation, game design, Grace Hopper, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart transportation, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the market place, Yogi Berra

The reason that story is so interesting to me is that I had never in my entire life done that before. I had never taken something that already existed and thought, “I’m going to make a better one.” I never did that. Stern: What do you think are the skill sets needed for an inventor to be successful? Michelson: Before we get to a skill set, let’s get to personality or state of mind, or a way of thinking. You can’t be rigid, where you’re afraid of failing. Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” You have to be able to see. All the same things that Darwin observed were there for everybody else to see, but he saw them with a new eye of understanding. You have to give yourself permission to deconstruct things. I would say that’s probably the number-one thing: you have to be able to take things apart. Like Einstein did, you can do it in your mind.


pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier

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Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Tiny holes need to be closed if they’re the target of 10 million attacks a day. THE POINT OF THREAT MODELING When designing a security system, it is vital to do this kind of threat modeling and risk assessment. Too many system designers think of security design as a cookbook thing: mix in particular countermeasures— encryption and firewalls are good examples—and magically you’re secure. This never happens. Yogi Berra said:“You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going ’cause you might not get there.” Often security systems don’t protect against the threats that matter. Encrypting e-mail may protect the contents from eavesdropping, but does nothing to hide the fact that two people are communicating. In some threat models, that traffic-analysis data is more important than the contents of the message.


pages: 386 words: 122,595

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) by Charles Wheelan

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Malacca Straits, market bubble, microcredit, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, open economy, presumed consent, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the rule of 72, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

Harvard development economist Dani Rodrik describes the tone of the report, which seems to incorporate William Easterly’s skepticism without abandoning Jeffrey Sach’s resolve: “There are no confident assertions here of what works and what doesn’t—and no blueprints for policymakers to adopt. The emphasis is on the need for humility, for policy diversity, for selective and modest reforms, and for experimentation.”39 Last, much of the world is poor because the rich countries have not tried very hard to make it otherwise. I realize that pointing out the failure of development aid and then arguing for more of it is like Yogi Berra criticizing a restaurant for having bad food and small portions. Still, things become better when there is an overwhelming political will to make them better. That is bigger than economics. Epilogue Life in 2050: Seven Questions Economics can help us to understand and improve an imperfect world. In the end, though, it is just a set of tools. We must decide how to use them. Economics does not foreordain the future any more than the laws of physics made it inevitable that we would explore the moon.


pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

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assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

Called kin selection by evolutionary psychologists (and nepotism by everyone else), keeping close tabs on members of the community—even taking risks and making personal sacrifices on their behalf—became a normal feature of life in these small towns. Helping people was a way of helping your own genes survive, though no one is explicitly aware of that. Residents simply expect that when they need help they’ll get it, and at some point they’ll return the favor. Yogi Berra summed up the concept nicely: “Always go to other people’s funerals. Otherwise they won’t come to yours.” That’s how reciprocal altruism can be fostered by kin selection in such small, isolated groups of people. Given how tight the Blue Zone Sardinians are, how committed to watching out for one another, this longevity-promoting social cohesion may have been selected for over many centuries of geographic and genetic isolation.7 In the here and now, the act of helping other people releases feel-good neuropeptides and endorphins—that’s the positive side.


pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

Notwithstanding this implied criticism, history will judge the federal government’s health IT initiatives in the 2004–2015 era favorably, as a time when its actions kick-started the digital transformation of the healthcare system, a transformation that—if we can ever reach the state I’ve described here—will have made the healthcare system better, safer, and cheaper. 39 They are listed at the end of the book. 40 Today, a version of this model is known as the Patient-Centered Medical Home, but no one has yet sorted out all the details, particularly the data integration part. 41 Another FYI: I am on the advisory board of a start-up named Amino.com, one of many trying to build such a Webbased tool. Chapter 28 The Nontechnological Side of Making Health IT Work Ninety percent of this game is half mental. —Yogi Berra While the future world I’ve just depicted may seem fantastical, there is nothing in it that is science fiction—all the technologies I discussed are available today or will be available very soon (which goes a long way toward explaining why today’s health IT is so irritating). I’ve already described some of the business and policy changes that will be needed to achieve this vision. But, after reading about the iPatient, the demise of the clinical note, the disruptions of the social fabric of radiology and the wards, and particularly the story of Pablo Garcia’s Septra overdose, you’re undoubtedly thinking about the other changes—those involving humans, their relationships, and their thinking— that are crucial to making health IT work.


pages: 507 words: 145,878

Predator's Ball by Connie Bruck

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corporate raider, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, financial independence, fixed income, Irwin Jacobs, mortgage debt, offshore financial centre, paper trading, profit maximization, The Predators' Ball, yield management, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

And at the Wickes deal’s closing dinner, held in the Garden Room at the plush Hotel Bel Air, one Drexel employee presented to Milken, Joseph and others framed copies of three prospectus covers, mounted side by side—a Wall Street triptych. The first was Salomon’s red herring; the second was the prospectus with Drexel and Salomon listed as co-managers; the third was Drexel’s. The inscription that ran across the bottom of the mounting read, “As Yogi Berra said, ‘It isn’t over ’til it’s over.’ ” 14 Sovereign Privileges IN FEBRUARY 1986, when Milken appeared before the money managers in Boston, speaking about the difference between perception and reality and ticking off his triumphs, he had begun by noting that he had seen pickets as he entered the building. That had reminded him of the time he offered to finance Frank Lorenzo’s bid for TWA.


pages: 493 words: 132,290

Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores by Greg Palast

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anti-communist, back-to-the-land, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, energy security, Exxon Valdez, invisible hand, means of production, Myron Scholes, offshore financial centre, random walk, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, transfer pricing, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra

Fully two months earlier, in August 2010, Dr. Terry Hazen of the University of California’s prestigious Lawrence Livermore Laboratory announced in The Washington Post:We’ve gone out to the sites, and we don’t find any oil. They didn’t? No oil plumes in the water? How do you miss a floating oil turd bigger than a quarter horse? If the tar ponies are riding up the beach, they had to be swimming in the water column. As the biologist Yogi Berra once said, “It’s amazing what you can see when you’re looking.” Two months before we got there, Zach Roberts (our man working under the name “Ronald” Roberts, fish expert) said this gunk was all over the place. So how had these biologists missed this? Badpenny and I discovered the problem: In February 2007, there had been an oil spill in Dr. Hazen’s lab: British Petroleum had squirted half a billion dollars into his laboratory to pay for studies of the biology of oil spills.


pages: 372 words: 115,094

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War by Ken Adelman

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Sinatra Doctrine, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

While regrettable, this is still forgivable. After all, human intelligence is tough to get right. Analysts spend loads of time trying to read the minds of people who haven’t made up their minds. That’s why the intelligence community is more comfortable describing what happened or what is happening than what will happen—which is what policy makers most need to know. All forecasting is dicey, as Yogi Berra put it, especially about the future. While bad, this intelligence failure was not debilitating. Despite Don Regan’s dictates, Shultz bulked up the arms team going to Reykjavik. So he had the expertise on hand to pivot when needed. Of some consolation is how the KGB’s performance was even worse than the CIA’s. Its erroneous assessment of our intermediate missiles in Europe led Gorbachev to consider them “a gun pressed to [the Soviet Union’s] temple” and a “serious threat to [the Soviet Union].”


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, endogenous growth, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income per capita, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Economic Geography, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, V2 rocket, very high income, working poor, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

“The more men know,” Hayek continues, “the smaller the share of all that knowledge becomes that any one mind can absorb.”25 It is said that John Milton was the last man in Europe who had read everything — well, everything in Western European and certain biblical languages. It’s been a long time since Milton. The more social knowledge there is, the more urgent it is for free arrangements to try out an idea in this or that way, since no one mind can predict where it will end. No one in 1990 could have guessed how the internet would turn out. Inventors themselves commonly do not know what use their invention will be. “Prediction is difficult,” said Yogi Berra, “especially about the future.” Thomas Edison believed his recording cylinders would be used mainly for office dictation. When someone asked Orville Wright what he thought the use of his airplane was going to be, he replied, “Sport, mainly.” But economists have a word for closed opportunities that can lie about unused, until stumbled into — “positive externalities.” The more transparent word for the idea is “spillovers.”


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

Don’t continue to pour concrete into a bottomless pit—if it’s not worth the additional investment, walk away. You never have to earn back money in the same way you lost it. If the reward isn’t worth the investment required to obtain it or the risk, don’t invest. SHARE THIS CONCEPT: http://book.personalmba.com/sunk-cost/ 7 THE HUMAN MIND Ninety percent of this game is half mental. —YOGI BERRA, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER AND MALAPROPIST Now that we’ve covered the essentials of how businesses work, we’re going to shift gears into understanding how people work. Businesses are built by people for people. As we discussed in Value Creation and Value Delivery, if people didn’t have needs and wants, businesses wouldn’t exist. Likewise, if no one was able or willing to fulfill those needs and wants, businesses couldn’t operate.


pages: 461 words: 128,421

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile, Yogi Berra

The first says it doesn’t matter how a company raises its money, and the second says it doesn’t matter whether it gives the money to shareholders. “The great thing about M&M,” University of Chicago professor James Lorie would jokingly tell his students in the 1970s, “is that nothing really matters.”19 Miller himself explained the papers’ significance like this: “The pizza delivery man comes to Yogi Berra after the game and says, Yogi, how do you want this pizza cut, into quarters or eighths? Yogi says, cut it into eight pieces. I’m feeling hungry tonight.”20 The M&M propositions were thus either breathtakingly bold or trivially obvious—or both. Their greatest significance was that they made it acceptable to wield deductive logic in the study of finance. For older finance professors who had devoted their careers to empirical examinations of corporate behavior, this development was profoundly disturbing.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Large and global firms, the towering characters of the business sector, have market positions and sunk capital to defend. They have owners that do not cherish the unpredictability of innovation competition, and substantial investment in building such businesses. Western economies, as we will discuss further in Chapter 9, should worry about an innovation famine rather than an innovation feast. 9 THE FUTURE AND HOW TO PREVENT IT The future ain’t what it used to be. Yogi Berra, baseball legend A society does not ever die “from natural causes” but always dies from suicide or murder – and nearly always from the former. Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History1 Westerners should not worry about an innovation blitz. Their concern should rather be that innovation and technological change no longer power their economies as much as they should and could, and that economic stagnation fuels economic inequality and political populism.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Indeed, almost everyone I meet has a linear view of the future. That's why people tend to overestimate what can be achieved in the short term (because we tend to leave out necessary details) but underestimate what can be achieved in the long term (because exponential growth is ignored). The Six Epochs First we build the tools, then they build us. —MARSHALL MCLUHAN The future ain't what it used to be. —YOGI BERRA Evolution is a process of creating patterns of increasing order. I'll discuss the concept of order in the next chapter; the emphasis in this section is on the concept of patterns. I believe that it's the evolution of patterns that constitutes the ultimate story of our world. Evolution works through indirection: each stage or epoch uses the information-processing methods of the previous epoch to create the next.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Parag Khanna, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

As their potential for economic growth has burgeoned in the last two decades, their voices have grown louder in international meetings. The World Trade Organization and Its Critics China and India refused to accept the 2008 round of trade negotiations conducted at Doha, capital city of Qatar, under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization. The breakdown in the Doha round looked a lot like Yogi Berra’s “déjà vu all over again.” The sight of nations jockeying for special privileges to the neglect of shared concerns brought back scenes from the 1920s. The depths of the Great Depression and the horrors of World War II had convinced Western nations to give up protective tariffs and accept restraints imposed by the Bretton Woods agreement. Fast-forward sixty-one years, and the snake of national interests has reappeared in the global Garden of Eden.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The most common reasons, however, had to do with the high value of the products in question, coping with volatile consumer demand, and an outright need for speed in production. The last one is also why LA has begun a slow descent into flyover country as far as cargo is concerned. Asian airlines in particular have learned to skip its tangle of runways and freeways in favor of direct flights to Dallas to drop off their laptops. It’s Yogi Berra logic: nobody lands there anymore; it’s too crowded. Orange County: The Battle of El Toro “Airports come in two sizes,” Rem Koolhaas wrote, “too big and too small.” But John Wayne Airport, nestled snugly in Orange County, was just right. Big enough for locals to enjoy the connections it offered but too small to really annoy anyone, it was a perfect fit for the O.C. Then not one, but three cities sprang up around the airport in the 1980s—Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Irvine—and none possessed the clout to enlarge the airport’s footprint, which is smaller than that of the original Mines Field.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

It was to be the ultimate universal bank or financial supermarket, with hundreds of millions of customers in more than a hundred countries. The Travelers/Citicorp juggernaut would use its huge balance sheet to make large loans to companies and leverage this to sell the clients a variety of other advisory services or financial products. The institution’s unparalleled reach would offer a one-stop-shop for individuals—payments, credit cards, mortgages, savings, and investment products. But as the baseball player Yogi Berra noted: “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice but in practice there is.” Synergies and cross-selling benefits failed to emerge. Competition limited CitiGroup’s gains. Other commercial banks built or bought investment banks to compete. i-Banks, the new buzzword for investment banks, shamelessly derivative of Apple’s ‘i’ products—particularly Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Merrill Lynch (collectively dubbed MGM)—changed their business models to match the universal banks.


pages: 600 words: 174,620

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van Der Kolk M. D.

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anesthesia awareness, British Empire, conceptual framework, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, false memory syndrome, feminist movement, impulse control, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, phenotype, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), theory of mind, Yogi Berra

CHAPTER 3 LOOKING INTO THE BRAIN: THE NEUROSCIENCE REVOLUTION If we could look through the skull into the brain of a consciously thinking person, and if the place of optimal excitability were luminous, then we should see playing over the cerebral surface, a bright spot, with fantastic, waving borders constantly fluctuating in size and form, and surrounded by darkness, more or less deep, covering the rest of the hemisphere. —Ivan Pavlov You observe a lot by watching. —Yogi Berra In the early 1990s novel brain-imaging techniques opened up undreamed-of capacities to gain a sophisticated understanding about the way the brain processes information. Gigantic multimillion-dollar machines based on advanced physics and computer technology rapidly made neuroscience into one of the most popular areas for research. Positron emission tomography (PET) and, later, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) enabled scientists to visualize how different parts of the brain are activated when people are engaged in certain tasks or when they remember events from the past.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Let’s take a quick tour, starting at St. Louis Park City Hall. What Are You Gonna Try Next? It is August 2015, and I am sitting in a conference room with the then St. Louis Park mayor Jeff Jacobs; the city manager, Tom Harmening; and the city’s chief information officer, Clint Pires. Jacobs had been mayor since 1999 and on the city council since 1991. He is an unusual mix of Andy Griffith, Machiavelli, and Yogi Berra. That is, he has learned a ton about politics and human behavior through the window of a small-town city council, and he is capable of condensing his wisdom into memorable one-liners that Yogi and Machiavelli would have admired. The local newspaper, the Sun Sailor, collected a few on December 9, 2015, to commemorate his retirement, including: On the city council, “Our job is to have seven people come together to disagree, then do it again the next week.”

Evidence-Based Technical Analysis: Applying the Scientific Method and Statistical Inference to Trading Signals by David Aronson

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, asset allocation, availability heuristic, backtesting, Black Swan, capital asset pricing model, cognitive dissonance, compound rate of return, computerized trading, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, hindsight bias, index fund, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, p-value, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nelson Elliott, random walk, retrograde motion, revision control, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sharpe ratio, short selling, source of truth, statistical model, systematic trading, the scientific method, transfer pricing, unbiased observer, yield curve, Yogi Berra

Even though the samples from box 1 and box 2 were both affected by random variation, the degree of random variation differs. Box 2’s results are less variable than those of box 1. This is evidenced by box 2’s narrower clustering about its central value. Given the lower degree of sampling variation in box 2, it would be fair to say that we know the value of F-G 2 with greater certainty than we know F-G. What the Box Experiments Taught Us about Statistics Yogi Berra, former manager of the New York Yankees, said you can observe a lot just by looking. If he were a statistician, he might have said that you can learn a lot just by sampling. Even though a sample is only a portion of a larger universe (population), it can teach us a lot about that pop- Box 2 R E L A T I V E F R E Q U E N C Y 0.3 Box 1 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 f–g FIGURE 4.11 Relative frequency distributions compared. 0.8 0.9 1 186 METHODOLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, STATISTICAL FOUNDATIONS ulation.


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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

If you have neighbors, they may covet what you have, in which case you have become an obstacle to their desires. Therefore you must be prepared to defend yourself. Defense is an iffy matter even with technologies such as castle walls, the Maginot Line, or antiballistic missile defenses, and it is even iffier without them. The only option for self-protection may be to wipe out potentially hostile neighbors first in a preemptive strike. As Yogi Berra advised, “The best defense is a good offense and vice versa.” Tragically, you might arrive at this conclusion even if you didn’t have an aggressive bone in your body. All it would take is the realization that others might covet what you have and a strong desire not to be massacred. Even more tragically, your neighbors have every reason to be cranking through the same deduction, and if they are, it makes your fears all the more compelling, which makes a preemptive strike all the more tempting, which makes a preemptive strike by them all the more tempting, and so on.


pages: 757 words: 193,541

The Practice of Cloud System Administration: DevOps and SRE Practices for Web Services, Volume 2 by Thomas A. Limoncelli, Strata R. Chalup, Christina J. Hogan

active measures, Amazon Web Services, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business process, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, correlation coefficient, database schema, Debian, defense in depth, delayed gratification, DevOps, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, job satisfaction, load shedding, loose coupling, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, place-making, platform as a service, premature optimization, recommendation engine, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Toyota Production System, web application, Yogi Berra

Describe how the ICS process works in emergency services and public safety. 9. Describe how the ICS process could be applied to IT. 10. List the key concepts that go into an Incident Action Plan. 11. How would you attempt to convince your management of the necessity of conducting fire-drill exercises in your environment? Chapter 16. Monitoring Fundamentals You can observe a lot by just watching. —Yogi Berra Monitoring is the primary way we gain visibility into the systems we run. It is the process of observing information about the state of things for use in both short-term and long-term decision making. The operational goal of monitoring is to detect the precursors of outages so they can be fixed before they become actual outages, to collect information that aids decision making in the future, and to detect actual outages.


pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

A doctrine is the central idea that guides a military, essentially its vision of how to fight wars. A military’s doctrine then shapes everything it does, from how it trains soldiers and what type of weapons it buys to the tactics it uses to fight with them in the field. Doctrines also depend on a bit of prediction about the future. In a sense, doctrine is an “outline of how we fight, based on past experience and an educated guess about likely future circumstance.” Yogi Berra put it best: “If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.” Hence the stakes for choosing the right doctrine are huge. Technologies matter greatly in war, but so do the visions that shape the institutions that use them. A telling historic example comes from that same period between the world wars that Robert Bateman referred to. The British were the first to introduce tanks, or “landships,” as their original sponsor Winston Churchill called them, near the end of World War I.


pages: 698 words: 198,203

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature by Steven Pinker

airport security, Albert Einstein, Bob Geldof, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fudge factor, George Santayana, loss aversion, luminiferous ether, Norman Mailer, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, science of happiness, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Thomas Bayes, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, urban renewal, Yogi Berra

The problem with everyone trying to be moderately distinctive is that they are in danger of being moderately distinctive in the same way. Hence we get a school full of Susans and Steves in the 1960s and of Chloës and Dylans today. But then the next generation of parents will react to the hyperstevism or hyperdylanism by looking for a new new thing, sending the curves careening in yet another direction. The dynamic is reminiscent of Yogi Berra’s restaurant review: “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Baby-name advisors like Pamela Satran try to advise parents on categories of names on the horizon that are neither too common nor too outré—perhaps heroes’ last names, like Monet or Koufax, or color words, like Taupe or Cerulean.48 (Yogi, anyone?) A powerful force in the quest for moderately distinctive names is phonesthesia.


Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business process, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, Chance favours the prepared mind, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, survivorship bias, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

At that point, we might begin to start breaking the vicious cycle with more effective interventions, including technological innovations to reduce stress, support parenting, manage consumer finances, and help individuals make better decisions. The first step toward eliminating poverty is to acknowledge that it doesn’t have to exist. A NEW NARRATIVE The future is always uncertain. The great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” But it was the American economist Frank Knight who taught us how to separate risk from uncertainty. Risk is measurable and quantifiable; uncertainty is the unknown unknowns. One of the great achievements of modern financial economics has been to push back against uncertainty, to convert the unknown unknowns into known and familiar quantities, to tame uncertainty and harness risk for our own purposes.


pages: 1,073 words: 302,361

Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan

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asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, buttonwood tree, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, hive mind, Hyman Minsky, interest rate swap, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South Sea Bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, traveling salesman, value at risk, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The fact that both credit-rating agencies had bestowed AAA ratings on $505.6 million—or 72.4 percent—out of the total $698.4 million of the mortgage-backed securities Goldman was selling in April 2006 no doubt conveyed a level of security to investors that probably never existed, especially since investors did not do their own detailed due diligence on the underlying mortgages but rather instead just relied upon the Goldman imprimatur and that of the ratings agencies to make their investment decisions. (Goldman’s similar behavior vis-à-vis the ratings agencies leading up to the Penn Central bankruptcy springs to mind; it’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say.) By spring 2006, investors were probably not aware of the growing internal doubts of analysts at both S&P and Moody’s about the mortgage-backed securities they were rating. For instance, at a weeklong housing conference, held on Amelia Island, Florida, in April 2005, two S&P credit analysts noted that the housing market seemed to be getting a little frothy and that the financial risks to the industry were ratcheting up as housing prices skyrocketed and lending standards deteriorated.


pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor

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bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, publication bias, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

One year later the company added the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians to its broadcast roster. Liggett also had what it called the “Cigarette League,” a team of Chesterfield-smoking ballplayers assembled purely for advertising purposes, starring pitcher Robin Roberts of the Phillies and other baseball greats. For the Perry Como Show and newspaper dailies, Liggett named a “Chesterfield Star Team” with Yogi Berra as catcher and Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams in the outfield. “They’re all great ball players, and they all agree Chesterfield is a great cigarette.”2 Substantial sums were paid to teams for such purposes. Liggett in 1950, for example, paid the New York Giants $291,368 for the privilege of airing its games on the radio, plus another $214,829 for TV rights. This was a tiny fraction of the company’s Chesterfield contract advertising for that year (roughly 4 percent, since the total was about $14 million),3 but that would grow substantially over time.


pages: 926 words: 312,419

Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel

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call centre, card file, cuban missile crisis, Ford paid five dollars a day, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, job satisfaction, Ralph Nader, strikebreaker, traveling salesman, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Yogi Berra, zero day

Whether guys admit it or not, I think most of them feel good when they’re recognized. They feel they’re something special. Everybody gets a kick out of feeling special. I think that’s one part of this game. I’ve never been a big star. I’ve never done anything outstanding. I feel I’ve been as good as I can be with the equipment I have. I played with Mickey Mantle and now I’m playing with Willie Mays. People always recognize them. Yogi Berra, people always recognize him. Yogi has a face you couldn’t forget. But for someone to recognize me! “I signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1958, with their farm club. Back and forth in the minors.” He was working on a master’s degree. A scout signed him up. “I told them I was twenty-one. I was really twenty-three. He felt I wouldn’t have a good chance if I was twenty-three, so I went along with him.


pages: 1,009 words: 329,520

The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. by William D. Cohan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, bank run, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, fear of failure, fixed income, hiring and firing, interest rate swap, intermodal, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, Yogi Berra

Following the revocation of the 1969 tax ruling, the IRS made tax claims against a number of the former Hartford shareholders. Consequently, these shareholders filed some 950 petitions against the IRS in U.S. Tax Court, seeking to fight these new tax bills. As a result of ITT and the ITT board of directors being named a defendant in Herbst's original lawsuit, and then since Lazard had been added as a named defendant, Felix, Andre, and Tom Mullarkey all testified in the case. As Yogi Berra would say, it was deja vu all over again. Felix testified twice in the Herbst matter. On November 16, 1973--before the IRS's new ruling--he testified about the circumstances related to ITT's "sale" of the 1.7 million shares of the Hartford stock to Mediobanca. And once again, he stuck to his story of having no role whatsoever in the transaction between ITT and Mediobanca and that only Andre and Tom Mullarkey were even the slightest bit involved, and then only tangentially.


pages: 913 words: 265,787

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, double helix, experimental subject, feminist movement, four colour theorem, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Necker cube, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban decay, Yogi Berra

Without an understanding of what the mind was designed to do in the environment in which we evolved, the unnatural activity called formal education is unlikely to succeed. “I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world,” Einstein famously said. Whether or not he was right about quantum mechanics and the cosmos, his statement is certainly not true of the games people play in their daily lives. Life is not chess but backgammon, with a throw of the dice at every turn. As a result, it is hard to make predictions, especially about the future (as Yogi Berra allegedly said). But in a universe with any regularities at all, decisions informed by the past are better than decisions made at random. That has always been true, and we would expect organisms, especially informavores such as humans, to have evolved acute intuitions about probability. The founders of probability theory, like the founders of logic, assumed that they were just formalizing common sense.