Friday, December 24, 2010

Thanks to all the readers who bought through Amazon links or the Amazon widget on my site. It is greatly appreciated.
Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hawaiian Libertarian: Just another statistic:

My long time high school buddy is now just another statistic.

A statistic that is casually dismissed by gyno-centric researchers as the man's fault for not building up strong enough social networks and the male's inability to "communicate."

My friend had no problem communicating at all.

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One positive of the Mancession

From the Christian Science Monitor (via Instapundit):
The idea that the crime rate is, if not a leading indicator, at least a trailing indicator of the economy has gripped criminologists studying the Great Recession. At the same time that consumers purchase fewer true luxury items, a glut of "lightweight durables" means lower resale prices for hot computers and wide-screen TVs. And having more male residents of households hanging on the porch instead of at work makes the risk-benefit analysis of crime less appealing in recessionary times.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Cold showers: No way

Glenn ordered Timothy Ferriss's new book, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. Since I read his other book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, I figured I would give this one a try (the title was also too provocative to pass up, though it does promise a bit much, doesn't it?).

What did I like about the new book? A lot as he gets readers to stop and think and the book is just a fun read. Ferriss tells people to break things down into reachable goals. Need to lose 100 pounds? Shoot for 20. Do you think of yourself as genetically unable to lose weight? He reminds people that fat people generally have fat pets, meaning that overeating might be a trait that is passed on, rather than a genetic reality.

He uses himself as a sort of human guinea pig, often trying out weight-loss methods or exercise on himself to see if it works. He used a number of methods for body-fat measurements and found the results ranged from 7% to 16.51% As someone who often gets varying numbers on body fat readings, this really made me feel better but his assessment of the fluctuations was good--you just need to use a method that is consistent so you can tell if you are making progress.

What didn't I like? Ferriss says to take cold showers for fat loss. No, no and hell, no. I hate being cold. I won't do it. I would rather be fat....Also, the chapters on sleeping. One entitled, "Becoming Uberman: Sleeping less with Polyphasic Sleep" was just not for me. He talks about sleeping just a few hours a night. Are you kidding? Sleeping is like the best thing in my world and there is no way I would ever try to exist on a few hours of sleep. I have had several heated discussions with others about whether or not sleeping is a hobby. I say it is, others think otherwise. Anyway, the lack of sleep thing does not fly with me. He also tells people to get off Splenda. I'm an addict so that will be tough.

Overall, this is a funny book that is well worth your time if you would like to read about weight loss, how to get by on less sleep, etc. but it might be extreme for those of us who are more hedonistic.

For the latter group, I recommend the late Wendy Wasserstein's book Sloth: The Seven Deadly Sins that tells readers how to live a happy and guilt-free slothful life. And though Wasserstein didn't live that long, hopefully she was happy without cold showers, sleep deprivation and a diet of plain food.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

"PhDs in maths and computing, social sciences and languages earn no more than those with master’s degrees. "

The Economist: "The disposable academic: Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time" (via Instapundit):

PhD graduates do at least earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree. A study in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management by Bernard Casey shows that British men with a bachelor’s degree earn 14% more than those who could have gone to university but chose not to. The earnings premium for a PhD is 26%. But the premium for a master’s degree, which can be accomplished in as little as one year, is almost as high, at 23%. In some subjects the premium for a PhD vanishes entirely. PhDs in maths and computing, social sciences and languages earn no more than those with master’s degrees. The premium for a PhD is actually smaller than for a master’s degree in engineering and technology, architecture and education.

As I have written before, a PHD is a sacrifice that may not be worth the effort. If you just like to know information, great. But it certainly not the path to riches and may not even lead to a good job or a better job than those with a master's degree.