Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Logic and Clarity

I am a really big fan of well thought out, logical arguments. Two writers whose work I really admire are Andrew Tobias and Bob Lewis. They write on different subjects in general, but I am a big fan of them both.

I first learned about Andrew Tobias through his book "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need." That was back in the mid-80s. After a decade of stagflation, shady commodities deals, and my first experience in the job market, Tobias shed a lot of light on my view of the economic and financial world. Much or most of what he wrote in the book was simple common sense, but there's a lot of it, and if nothing else, it will validate your financial astuteness. His insights to markets are still valid 25 years later.

The other writer, Bob Lewis, writes for InfoWorld magazine and has his own IT consulting service. His main topics are directly related to IT workers and executives, but the lessons apply equal well to almost any other field. is columns have given me powerful insights to career and project issues. He can be found at http://www.issurvivor.com.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Voting and IQ

I saw something on the internet recently that showed a really direct correlation between the average IQ of a state and their voting preference in the 2004 election. I followed up to try to understand where the data came from. I couldn't find any reliable source data in 20 minutes or so of searching, so I thought I would do my own thing.

I went to the US Government Census website, pulled off median family income by state from the 2000 Census and compared that to the percent voting for Kerry. It came up with a correlation of 0.53. You can see on the chart that there is quite a bit of scatter in the data. However, when you put that on a table sorted and color coded it is more impressive. Higher income correlates pretty well with Kerry voters.

What does that mean though? I'm tempted to say that there is a correlation between education and income, therefore smarter people tend to vote Kerry, but there are probably a lot of holes in that argument. In any case, follow the link and make your own judgments. At least it is real data.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Irony

A strange scene is unfolding in Richmond, CA on San Francisco Bay tonight. A tribe of Indians (Native Americans), those nature loving stewards of our planet, are trying to open a casino on some vacant wetlands. ChevronTexaco, an integrated oil company, those rapers and pillagers of our planet, are opposing them because they want to build a nature preserve. Go figure.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election 2004

It was an eventful, and in some ways surprising election. Although I am completely against the actions taken by Bush in Iraq, I do see a silver lining with some other aspects.

Economy - The economy seems to be on the road to improving. It is partly because of the world record deficits, which Kerry would not have been able to stem either. I did not consider economy a key issue in this election, although I am pro-trade.

Social Issues and Environment - Bush is a throwback to a nasty era of cronyism. Where the rich get richer and help other rich get even richer by extracting benefits from the common weal, while the poor get poorer and work together to make ends meet. Although inherently unfair, it is actually probably good for us from a competitive standpoint. It will reduce costs of production. Longer term, the retirement of the baby boomers and the health care issues are going to be huge.

Foreign Relations - I see no silver lining here, except maybe that the whole world now has extremely low expectations.

Morality - Only in some strange warped world where morality has more to do with forcing religion on others than doing what is right is George Bush the choice on a morality. We consider it worse to let grown adults do what they want in the privacy of their bedroom than go into a foreign country and kill more than 100,000 of their civilian citizens. The issue of gay marriages or civil unions is such a non-issue in my mind compared to the rest of what is happening. I just feel terribly disturbed by the trend. I have seen in print that 70% of Bush voters believe that Iraq played a large part in 9/11. Where is the morality in allowing that belief to continue? Unreal.