The O'Reilly Safari Books Online app broke my heart

I’m a huge O’Reilly Media fan boy. I can’t hide it. I hear Tim O’Reilly speak at conferences and I think to myself, “Screw being president, I want to be Tim O’Reilly.” I’ve been a subscriber to their online book services called Safari Books Online for years. Every month I see the bill for $43 come through and I think to myself, “Self, that’s the best $43 you spent all month.

Struggling with apply() in R

It’s common knowledge that I struggle wrapping my head around the apply functions in R. That is illustrated very clearly in the following discussion on Stack Overflow: Dirk’s comment is actually spot on. I’ve asked the same damn question at least 4-5 times. Only I didn’t really understand it was the same question. That’s one of the problems of not really being good at something; it’s hard to think abstractly about it.

Dr. Hal Varian Saying Stuff

When he’s not sitting around thinking about how sexy statisticians areI am, he apparently gives speaking engagements. Who knew? Here’s a video of him saying stuff about managing “knowledge workers.” I believe that “knowledge workers” is a euphemism for “people who like to play video games.” I could be wrong, but not likely.

'Sully' Sullenberger voice recordings

We’ve all heard all the stories about how ‘Sully’ Sullenberger has to go through a special line at the airport because his large brass balls always set off the metal detectors. Well. It’s true, and here’s proof: Ever since Sept 15th, 2008 I have had a bit of a fetish with studying accident theory (that’s when our financial system started its current free fall). One of the best books I have read on how big studs like Sully make decisions is the book Sources of Power by Gary Klein.

Mandelbrot and Taleb on PBS

Let me start by saying that I like Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Benoît Mandelbrot quite a lot. I don’t agree with them all the time, but that is generally true of people I like. I recall reading Mandelbrot’s book The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulencesome years ago and being struck by how much sense Mandelbrot makes. It helped that his early work related to markets was in cotton prices and I am an agricultural economist.