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29 November 2007

Keating’s Recession

I get a bit cross at all the folk to don't like Labor because they're mushy and don't understand economics. When Keating did exactly what every macroeconomics textbooks tells you to fight inflation and allowed the recession from 1993 to happen everyone yelled and him and told him he couldn't be prime minister anymore. And yet he's probably a fair bit responsible for the happy inflation of the last 14 years. At least the textbooks would say he was.

If you want to yell at Keating you should yell about things like being an arrogant pug and always doing what the economics professors wanted him to. You could yell at him about sacrificing the working class for the interests of the economy. And I sure would have a bit of a yell about those things. I just don't understand how you can yell at him for being mushy. He made tough, "economically responsible" decisions and told us he was making them. Which is what we say we want. Except we don't. We want mushiest economics our votes can buy and the right to yell at anyone we randomly decide is mushy about being too mushy.

I love Paul Keating. But not for his economic policies. Keating wasn't near mushy enough for me.

16 November 2007

Forgotten Ticket

I forgot to buy my train ticket today. There were police at Hornsby station you wrote down all the information on my driver's licence. They said they wouldn't give me a ticket if I didn't have a record. I said I didn't and asked if I could go and buy a ticket now. They told me it was a waste of time. I said that I should buy a ticket because I had ridden on a train. They really couldn't see my point.

If police really think the only reason people buy train tickets is because we might get fined it's no wonder they decided to become police.

15 November 2007

Goodbye UNSW

I finished my final exam today. Even if I failed ECON3203 I will pass ECON3206 good. So my major might be Financial Economics instead of Econometrics, but I'm not that fussed.

So no honours or double degree for me. Six years indeed! What was I thinking?

It's not actually a full goodbye. I will be working here two days a week at two different jobs next year. One job is econometrics and one job is packing vegetables snug into boxes.

I am so tempted to delete the University folder from my computer.

Kevin 07

I've listened to Kevin Rudd talk more than normal lately. I've realised that every time I hear him talk I get worried that he's about to cry. Do you know that smooth, deliberate tone that people get in uni tutorial debates just before they run out of the room crying? That is Kevin Rudd and he sounds like that all the time.

14 November 2007

Solar Electricity Costs

These are based on reasonably informed estimates of the wattages of various stuff in our house. The great thing about these prices is that they're pretty much the true cost of supplying the power because they are for pure solar. So you don't need to worry about how much you use. You just need to decide how much of these things you're willing to have at this price.

Electricity Usages.xls

The government has a good website about standby power. If you register, you can download a spreadsheet that has the standby consumption of 5420 electrical appliances. Pretty handy for standby power geeks.

Election ’07 Rap Battle

13 November 2007

Second Last Exam

My second last exam was super-quick. I finished it in one hour even though it was a three hour exam. Although to say I "finished" it may be a little misleading. What I mean by finished is that I stopped writing.

I need to get 4 out of 50. I'm feeling fairly confident, but it will be tight.

12 November 2007

Dance the Devil

The Frames were awesome even before Glen got depressed. I've never properly listened to their early albums. Dance the Devil is just as good as the new albums but exchanges emotive for peppy.

One Year

Laurie asked me to team lead last night because he was too tired. There were a couple of new guys on team. At the end of the night one of them asked me how long I'd been team leading for. I told him it had been a year. He thought I was joking. So I told him I seriously had been doing it for a year. I still don't think he believed me. That is the kind of bewilderment my leadership inspires. Even the people who I'm normally busting have told me I need to be more pro-active.

11 November 2007

Substandard Housing

Substandard Housing

Habitat for Humanity shows the poor the what they're missing out on. Proper housing requires bricks, cement and white people checking to make sure the holes get dug right.

10 November 2007

Significant Digits in R CRAN

I get a bit sick of scientific notation in R. And when I try to turn it off, I get sick of all the decimal places. These options seem to mostly stop scientific notation and give a happy number of decimal places.

options(scipen = 6) # bias against scientific notation
options(digits = 1) # show fewer decimal places

6 November 2007

Indigo Girls

There are so many middle-age women parking in our street tonight.

I am off to join them at the Enmore.

Update: The Indigo Girls were cool. All through the concert a kept feeling rushes of fondness for lesbians and the sorts of boys to stand up and dance at Indigo Girls concerts.

Econometrics Project

Normally I get upset when I get 100% for an assignment, because I feel like they mustn't have really read it and I could have worked heaps less hard. It's like at TAFE when they tell you that you're brilliant for putting a full stop at the end of every single sentence and using capital letters in the right places. You don't feel as chuffed as their enthusiasm should lead you to be. But when it happens in ECON3203 I don't mind nearly so much, because in this subject I have become a Percentage Player.

It's good because it makes my mark so far 80%. Which means I only need to get 8% in my final exam to pass the course. It is sad that this is much less reassuring than you might think. Fingers crossed that the final is like the mid-session exam.

Wouldn't it be funny if I got 8% in my final exam and then went off to work for the government and build econometric models and tell them how to run the economy. Funny enough that I'd like to go and get that job just for the giggles.

Muzak

Did anyone know that Muzak is actually the registered trademark of a company from the 1930s who sold the stuff?

WALL·E

4 November 2007

Concentrating Cockatoos

I have been watching a cockatoo eat jacaranda nuts in the backyard. It got me wondering. Sometimes the cockatoo drops the nut pods before he has eaten all the nuts in it. I assume he drops them accidentally. It doesn't matter for this cockatoo. There are plenty more pods for him to grab and he does. For other cockatoos sometimes there probably aren't so many pods.

I wonder if you could measure a cockatoo's ability to concentrate on what it is doing by seeing if they dropped fewer pods when pods weren't in such abundance. Humans are like that. The scarcity of something makes us treat it more preciously. Do you think cockatoos would be the same?

3 November 2007

Sufjan Stevens

We are going to see Sufjan in January and Sufjan is great. Although both Sufjan and our Tassie trip are in "mid" January, so I may have to give my ticket to someone else. Much like I had to do with White Stripes when I went to Tassie last time. Stupid Tasmanian wilderness.

2 November 2007

Lucky Ducky

Lucky Ducky

I'd never heard term "lucky ducky" before.

The Fytyre of Mynkynd

Sometimes I feel like merry discussions on gender equality tend to deteriorate into discussions about the crapness and general inadequacy of men. Regardless of how much truth there is in these discussions they aren't that much fun. Do you think there is a way we could pep these conversations up a bit and make them a little more entertaining? Sci-fi movies about possible futures where men are slaves or entirely eradicated are the kind of thing I'm thinking of. We all still get to put the boot it, but we can have a lot more fun doing it.

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