Splitting rent with your friends shouldn’t be stressful. If your rooms are different sizes or different levels of niceness, my calculator will give you a neutral and objective opinion on how to share the rent. It’s great for close friends or Craigslist strangers, because it gives you the “market” value for how the rent should be fairly split, without having to actually haggle on anything.
Si può scrivere una storia del rebus, ma non si può scrivere la storia del rebus. Non si può assegnare un decorso univoco e un solo destino a un´idea tanto fissa quanto mutevole, ubiqua e dispettosa: l´idea di alternare o sovrapporre la scrittura e la figura in modo che il loro insieme, una volta decifrato, riproduca un dato messaggio linguistico.
Per come lo conosciamo, lo pratichiamo (e lo nominiamo) oggi, il rebus ha certamente antenati riconoscibili: ma non pare possibile ricomporre il suo albero genealogico con soddisfacente completezza. Un´analogia può dare un´idea almeno approssimativa di quale storia sia la non-storia del rebus: bisogna pensare a una stirpe antichissima, che per secoli si sia riprodotta facendo scarso ricorso alla discendenza diretta e usando parecchio gli istituti dell´adozione, dell´affiliazione, dell´affido e del ripudio.
“WordPress (which provides the software that drives this blog) provides me with a button that says “delete all spam”. I keep pushing the button, but I’ve noticed that there’s still spam on the Internet. Do I just have to push harder, or what?”—Steve Landsburg
“Perché ho scelto (già dal 2005) di tenere tutti i miei risparmi presso il campo nomadi di Cremona? Il motivo è semplice: sapevo già che Giuliano Amato ha il vizio di andare a curiosare sui conti correnti degli italiani. Invece se tu affidi i tuoi risparmi a un campo nomadi, Amato non li può aggredire con la patrimoniale. Mi fido tantissimo del responsabile del campo nomadi. Da domani però ho deciso: ritiro tutti i miei risparmi e li spendo. Che è poi quello che voleva Giuliano Amato: farci prender paura con l’annuncio di confiscarci il 30 per cento dei nostri averi, in modo da farceli spendere e dare una botta all’economia (aumentando i consumi). Perché non togliete dalla Costituzione la postilla che “lo stato incentiva il risparmio”? Firmato: Dc ala dura.”—Innamorato Fisso del 29 gennaio 2011
You receive an email with a question asking for advice or a suggestion or an opinion. To give a full answer you would have to take some time to think. You are a little busy and you would rather not give it too much thought but there is a second consideration that leads you to give the quick and dirty answer right away. The longer you wait the longer they will know you thought about it and the more credence they will give your answer. Not to mention that more of your reputation will be at stake if you are assumed to have thought carefully. Still, some issues are important enough to give thought to. But how much? The same tradeoff is there, but now the characteristics of the correspondent matter. Every additional second you spend thinking allows you to make a slightly more thoughtful answer but also increases what he expects of you. If he is very sharp, he will be read your reply and possibly see deeper into the question than you did making you look bad. The gap only gets bigger the longer you wait. If he is less sharp, every second tilts the balance in your favor. All of this is predicated on him knowing just how much time you spent on the question. You want to manipulate this by establishing a reputation for rapid-fire responses. Then if you wait a day but still give a lousy answer, he will put it down to you just having been busy for day before giving your usual top-of-your-head reply. Indeed you want everyone to think you are busier than you are. Then along comes instant messaging, facebook, etc speeding up communications. You are expected to have seen the message sooner so its harder to pretend you were unavoidably delayed. On the plus side though now you can more easily commit to being busy. Just friend everyone. Your feed is so cluttered up with babble that these really important questions credibly get lost in the shuffle. He can directly see how overloaded you are. So the value of your marginal friend is equal to the incremental publicly observed distraction she creates.
“Quando la statizzazione della società si accentuò fino a diventare perfetta (con gli Accadi e gli Egizi) il cittadino fu gravato di una subalternazione politica, il cui peso era senza precedenti. Da allora lo Stato può, su di lui, tanto quanto può il padrone sullo schiavo: e questa subalternazione si è perpetuata, con razionalizzazioni o senza esse, fino ad oggi.”—Rodolfo Sacco - Trattato di diritto comparato [via gboggero]
“For every point of historical comparison, Iran offers at least one anomalous or unprecedented detail. The role of mass electronics was rather weird, causing the McLuhanesque web to thrum with a new note. Ubiquitous transistor radios and cassette tape recorders with messages relayed over telephone lines to some 9,000 mosques all over Iran allowed a 78-year-old holy man camped in a Paris suburb to direct a revolution 2,600 miles away like a company commander assaulting a hill.”—Time Essay: The Dynamics of Revolution
“Vittorio Sgarbi, nel corso della prima puntata di Telenovella - il nuovo programma condotto dal direttore di Novella 2000 Candida Morvillo con Fabio Canino in onda stasera alle 21 su Lei (Sky 125) - ha dichiarato: “Con Berlusconi ho avuto in comune diverse donne. La prima fu Francesca Impiglia, che io ‘impigliai’ ancora minorenne a 17 anni. L’ultima, in ordine cronologico, è stata Sara Tommasi, anche se non sapevo che conoscesse il premier. Una volta, mentre eravamo a Venezia, l’ho cacciata dal letto perché, presa da qualche sua furia, mi ha quasi strappato la lingua”.”—Dago
“Mentre il premier Silvio Berlusconi sta per salire sul palco per il suo intervento agli Stati Generali di Roma Capitale, dalla platea parte un applauso e qualcuno gli strilla: ‘Berlusconi sei er mejo’. Il premier sorride e ringrazia aggiungendo: ‘Un po’ rozzo ma efficace’.”—Ansa [via Dago]
IBM’s computer was not and could not have been designed to understand. Rather, it was designed to simulate understanding, to act as if it understood. It is an evasion to say, as some commentators have put it, that computer understanding is different from human understanding. Literally speaking, there is no such thing as computer understanding. There is only simulation.
The principal author surveyed all Harvard University Press titles published (in first edition) between 2000 and well into 2010, making 10+ years of publication, in the subject areas of Business & Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology, as well as a residual of Law titles. A large number of titles were initially removed from the survey because the book title suggested little connection or platform for political ideology. After making these removals, 494 titles remained, and the ideological outlook of each was assessed. The results show that Harvard University Press leans heavily to the left. In fact, over the 10+ years surveyed only eight of the 494 titles, or 2 percent, had an outlook that was conspicuously either classical liberal or conservative. The results are important for debates about whether academic standards—“Has the candidate published a book with a leading university press?”—are themselves ideologically biased. Linked Excel files provide all the data.
“[Il moltiplicatore keynesiano] l’ho incontrato ieri alla stazione di Bologna. Ho inserito un euro nel distributore delle bibite, e quello mi ha elargito una Coca Cola e due euri di resto.”—Love and Economics
There was a time, nearly a generation ago, when Italian editorialists lamented the lack of sex scandals atop their society, and even expressed bitterness that the British were the winners in the category. But that was before Prime Minister Bettino Craxi, who fled the country in 1994 to avoid judicial condemnation for corruption, and Mr. Berlusconi had overcome the sex scandal gap. Today’s Italian press, which routinely publishes photos of leaders and their paramours in various stages of public and private undress, often laments a lack of suitable morality.
Presenting 100% naked may not be appropriate for every case, but stripping down as much as we can often will make a huge, refreshing difference. The result will be a presentation that is different and somehow more real, “real” like a frank conversation among friends. In my experience, the higher up the management chain you go, the less real the talk. People at the highest level of management do not often present naked, but I wish they would.
The paper retraces the origins of the unbundling of infrastructure, which is a monopoly, from services, which are subject to competition. Using the case of the railroad industry in France, I examine how both natural monopoly theorists and legislation dealt with this subject in the 19th century. I argue that the origins of vertical unbundling date to this period with legislation pertaining to inland waterways and railroads. This was particularly the case for the railroad industry due to pricing and competition rationales. I analyze the writings of Dupuit and Walras and show that they both agreed that infrastructure and services had to be unbundled for the inland waterways. In contrast, they expressed different justifications to defend the monopoly for the railroad industry. Following a chronological progression, the first section explores the origins of unbundling in legislation. The second section analyzes how theorists approached the way railroads had to be managed. Throughout, I highlight the interplay between their work and legislation.
“Domanda a Piero Angela (e per conoscenza a Carlo Rubbia): il clima è cambiato per colpa dei nomadi che non fanno la raccolta differenziata? Risponde Roberto Carlino dell’Immobildream: “Non penso! Anzi, no”.”—Innamorato Fisso del 16 febbraio 2011
WELLESLEY, Mass - To collect funds toward the $100,000 building fund at Wellesley College the students have adopted the plan of holding “silence” parties. At these gatherings a girl, who is seen to smile is fined 1 cent. If she laughs the penalty is 5 cents. If she so far forgets herself as to talk, each sentence she utters costs her 10 cents. A considerable sum of money has already been taken in.
If there is ever a class in how to remain calm while trapped beneath $250,000 in loans, Michael Wallerstein ought to teach it. Here he is, sitting one afternoon at a restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a tall, sandy-haired, 27-year-old radiating a kind of surfer-dude serenity. His secret, if that’s the right word, is to pretty much ignore all the calls and letters that he receives every day from the dozen or so creditors now hounding him for cash. “And I don’t open the e-mail alerts with my credit score,” he adds. “I can’t look at my credit score any more.” Mr. Wallerstein, who can’t afford to pay down interest and thus watches the outstanding loan balance grow, is in roughly the same financial hell as people who bought more home than they could afford during the real estate boom. But creditors can’t foreclose on him because he didn’t spend the money on a house. He spent it on a law degree.
Gym-Pact offers what Zhang calls motivational fees — customers agree to pay more if they miss their scheduled workouts, literally buying into a financial penalty if they don’t stick to their fitness plans. The concept arose from Zhang’s behavioral economics class at Harvard, where professor Sendhil Mullainathan taught that people are more motivated by immediate consequences than by future possibilities.