Present Bias

 Head Trips  Comments Off on Present Bias
Aug 302012

From Planet Money
Given a choice between $50 now and $100 in a month, many people would take the money
now. But offered $50 in a year, or $100 in 13 months, they’d wait the extra month to double
their money.

Another example from This Wikipedia page
In the experiment, subjects of the study were offered free rentals of movies which were classified into two categories – “lowbrow” (e.g. The Breakfast Club) and “highbrow” (e.g. Schindler’s List) – and researchers analyzed patterns of choices made. In the absence of dynamic inconsistency, the choice would be expected to be the same regardless of the delay between the decision date and the consumption date. In practice, however, the outcome was different. When subjects had to choose a movie to watch immediately, the choice was consistently lowbrow for the majority of the subjects. But when they were asked to pick a movie to be watched at later date, highbrow movies were chosen far more often. Among movies picked four or more days in advance, over 70% were highbrow.[3]

 Posted by at 5:47 pm

First Samuel Chapter 8

 Religion  Comments Off on First Samuel Chapter 8
Aug 122012

10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

 Posted by at 8:47 pm

Gerald Emil Kosh

 Essay  Comments Off on Gerald Emil Kosh
Jul 142012

This is a true footnote character from history. I’m reading google news and there is a story about a potential war between China and other countries over ownership of the ecologically sensitive, oil-rich South China Sea and it mentions a battle between South Vietnam and China in 1974, just after the US had cut and run from Vietnam but before the North won the war. Thats interesting, so I look it up on Wikipedia, and there is Gerald Emil Kosh.  That is an unusual name so I was able to track down a lot of weird stuff. Kissinger talked to the Chinese, the government later denied he was an employee, his military record is listed ambiguously. He went on to live a quiet life, and this incident was not mentioned in his obit. His name got tossed out to Obama by a South Vietnamese dead-ender waving the bloody shirt. To this day he is on E-bay and possibly Facebook.

The Battle of the Paracel Islands was a military engagement fought between the naval forces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) in the Paracel Islands on January 19, 1974.
A potential diplomatic crisis was averted when China quietly released an American prisoner taken during the battle. Gerald Emil Kosh, 27, was a former US Army captain captured with the Vietnamese on Pattle Island. He was described as a “regional liaison officer” for the US Embassy, Saigon, on assignment with the South Vietnamese Navy. China released him from custody on January 31 without comment. Kosh is sometimes described as having been a civilian employee of the Pentagon at this time.[10] He died around 2002 at the age of

[expand title=”Read On” id=”readon”]

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976 Volume XVIII, China, 1973–1976, Document 66. Memorandum of Conversation1
Washington, January 23, 1974, 6:15–6:45 p.m.
[Secretary Kissinger]  there are only two points I wanted to make with respect to the Paracel Islands issue.2 The South Vietnamese government is making a number of representations to international organizations, to SEATO as well as to the United Nations. We wanted to let you know we do not associate ourselves with those representations. We are concerned, however, about the prisoners, and we noted that your government has indicated that the prisoners will be released at an appropriate time. We wanted to urge that this appropriate time be very soon, especially as there is an American included in that group. And that would certainly defuse the situation as far as the United States is concerned. That’s really all I wanted to say about that issue.
(To Mr. Hummel) Or is there more, Art?
Mr. Hummel: For domestic political reasons we would like to say that we have been in touch about this American.

Ambassador Han [of the PRC]: …
As for when the prisoners will be released, our statement said that at an appropriate time they will be released. It was the Foreign Ministry statement.
But as a personal observation, I would just like to express surprise that there should be an American citizen at that particular area at that particular time.
Ambassador Han: With regard to Mr. Hummel’s suggestion whether to publicize this to the media would this be quickly, right away?
The Secretary [Kissinger]: We can wait. What do you want? You report to Peking. Not having said anything up to now, we can survive another 24 hours. We can take the heat. We will give it until Friday morning,3 but the more quickly you can let us know, the better. Eventually, we will have to say that we have talked to you.
Ambassador Han: After we have reported to the government, we will see what the reply is.
Mr. Hummel: All we have in mind is to say that we have talked, not to make the other points that the Secretary raised.
The Secretary: We will wait until Friday. We can give you until Friday a.m. to see whether you get an answer. We have been accused of so many things, we can be accused of neglecting an American interest for a day.

Lawrence Journal-World – Jan 29, 1974
B Company 3/12 4th Infantry
Gerald Emil Kosh, 56, died Sunday.
He was born Oct. 25, 1946, in Philadelphia. An Army veteran of the Vietnam War, he was a journeyman wireman, a 17-year resident of Las Vegas and a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter, Jennifer; and son, Jonathan, all of Las Vegas; brother, Gabe of Blue Bell, Pa.; and sister, Arlene McElree of Lafayette Hill, Pa.
Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. today at Palm Mortuary-Eastern, with services at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Graveside services will follow at noon at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

January 14, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
 We are writing to ask you to halt or postpone the welcoming ceremony and the state dinner for the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) president Hu Jintao on January 19, 2011 during his visit to the United States.
January 19 is the anniversary of the Chinese invasion of the Paracel Islands which had belonged to the Republic of Vietnam, an ally of the United States then.  After the fall of Saigon, China established control over the Paracel Islands.
Please do not forget the fact that on January 19, 1974, Chinese forces had also captured an American, Captain Gerald Emil Kosh, during the battle for the Paracel Islands.

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 Posted by at 9:11 am

The End

 Movies  Comments Off on The End
Jun 132012

So there we go, 54 movies. Probably my favorite SIFF ever. The Uptown is a terrific venue, and we saw about 90% of our movies there. There is a long list of movies I wish I’d seen. The last movie was 3 days ago, and I am still recovering.

 Posted by at 5:26 pm


 Movies  Comments Off on Shorts
Jun 132012

We saw three collections of shorts, which I am counting as 3 movies. Most of them were great, vey much worth seeing. Alas, I was the least impressed with the Best of the Shorts collection SIFF put together.

I always wonder, what are shorts for? Other than at Acadamy Award time we never think about them. They do not get shown in commercial theaters. And why not? I know not. Its too bad.

 Posted by at 5:23 pm

The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had With My Pants On

 Movies  Comments Off on The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had With My Pants On
Jun 132012

USA. Meh
The writer/director/star of the movie is beautiful, and a main theme of the movie is: I am such a babe. The other theme is: even a babe like me has problems. The stupid title of the movie is pretty much a non sequitur, and I strongly suspect it was the product of a youthful vow to make a movie with that name.

 Posted by at 5:18 pm

Wuthering Heights

 Movies  Comments Off on Wuthering Heights
Jun 132012

I do not think this story can be spoiled at this point. England was a complete bummer in this movie. It is one of those movies that uses viscous film stock, shots with a lot of closeups and sparse story telling to create atmospheric and poetic, aka vague and unpleasant, stroytelling. We left early.

 Posted by at 5:11 pm

The Mirror Never Lies

 Movies  Comments Off on The Mirror Never Lies
Jun 132012

The Mirror Never Lies
Indonesia. Highly recommended..
Set among subsistence fishers who live in houses built on poles in the water on shallow reefs. Indonesia is made out of 17,000 plus islands. Some amazing and beautiful underwater photography.  Mostly non-professional actors who actually live in this place. These people live in the water. Little tiny kids running about on 2×8 planks with no rails no sun screen and no helmet, and jumping into boats with no life preservers, and I doubt that they are properly hydrated. So, pretty depraved, but for all of that it looks very cool.

 Posted by at 4:54 pm

Easton’s Article

 Movies  Comments Off on Easton’s Article
Jun 132012

USA. Meh.
Time warp type sci-fi movie. The movie does a decent job of telling the story of a guy having to deal with his shit whether he likes it or not in order to solve the central problem of the movie. So in order to deal with the future, he has to deal with the past. Clever premise, that is never really articulated and in that light it has a perfect ending. But its just an OK movie overall, and also suffers from including a particular cheat that time warp movies sometimes use (Terminator, just for one) that was not at all necessary.

 Posted by at 4:54 pm