zen quaker

A self quanitified zen quaker statistical programmer stumbles through a blog

Tag: books

Dream SOOO

I was back in grad school at UVa, studying statistics with one of the guys I used to play poker with. We were working together on a homework assignment. The poker guy had to leave, and I worked on the assignment a little more before taking it to the two teachers for the course we were in. They pointed out that we had done the first problem wrong, and that we had missed two problems at the bottom of the page. However, they pointed out that I had also turned it in early, so I had time to go back and fix it before it was due.

When I went back to where I was studying, I told the poker guy about what the teachers said. He became very angry, and started yelling at me for taking the work we’d done to the teachers. He stormed out in a rage, and I decide to go to the cafeteria and get some food.

I got a tray of food, but the cafeteria was packed full of people. I somehow managed to find a seat pretty easily, but everyone was talking really loud and the noise was bothering me. So I took my food and left, wandering around the building. The building was also full of people but it wasn’t that loud. Finally I found a spot near the top of a short flight of stairs. I sat down against one of those waist high metal poles they hook velvet rope to at movie theaters. It had some sort of sign on it, but I didn’t bother reading it.

After a while I got up, leaving my food and the book I was reading by the pole. I wandered down the stairs and around to the left, down some more stairs. Eventually I wandered back up and around to where the pole was, but my food and book were gone. I was very angry at whoever took them for a moment, but then I saw my book on top of a trash can to my right. I figured some found my food on the floor, threw it out, and left the book there for me to find. I calmed down and started walking over to get my book, but that’s the last thing I remember.

Book Review V

The Conundrum

by David Owen

The greenest city in the United States is New York City. Local farming is inefficient and bad for the environment. But at the same time increases in efficiency are bad for the environment. Saving money and energy by driving a Prius will probably make you feel justified in driving more, using up the energy you saved. Even if you don’t drive more, the money you save you will use to consume more stuff that will again use up the energy (and other resources) you saved. That’s old news. It’s called the Jevons paradox, and it dates from the 19th century. That is one conundrum in this book, but the real one is that to really save the environment we are going to have to consume less, and that’s the solution we don’t want, can’t sell, can’t pass into legislation, and can’t turn into an international treaty.

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Book Review IV

The Mockingjay

By Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen has survived two Hunger Games, and has been rescued by the leaders of the new rebellion against the Capitol which mandates them. She finds herself the image of the new rebellion, but chafes at the restrictions placed on her. Slowly she begins to realize that the rebellion is just another Hunger Game, and she is still a pawn being played by others. What happens when she tries to play herself?

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Book Review III

The Darwin Economy

by Robert H. Frank

Adam Smith is not the founder of economics, Charles Darwin is. Both studied competition but Darwin saw that something that was a competitive advantage for an individual is sometimes a competitive disadvantage for the species.

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Book Review II

Catching Fire

In the second book of the Hunger Games, we find our hero Katniss trying to deal with the aftermath of her victory in the arena. Things are easier for her family due to the rewards of winning, but they are more difficult among her friends because of what she had to do to win. Before she can figure it all out, she finds herself plunged back into the arena again for a special 75th anniversary Hunger Games.

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Book Review I

The Hunger Games

Trapped in a small coal mining town in a repressive nation, Katniss Everdeen barely keeps her mother and younger sister Prim alive through illegal poaching. Then Prim is selected to fight in the Hunger Games, a sadistic televised death match between children designed to remind the 12 Districts that the rebellion failed and the Capitol rules completely. Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place, knowing that one of the people she will have to kill is the baker’s son who once saved her life.

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