Archive for February 2010

False Positives

February 28, 2010

The Tsunami warning in Hawaii reminds me of the argument about false positives. How does one decide whether it is worth it to have a Tsunami warning system? Is the inconvenience of a bunch of false alarms worth the lives saved by a real alarm? It isn’t really politically viable to do such cost benefit analysis in the open. Remember the uproar about moving the recommended age to get yearly mammograms from 50 to 40.

The Last Temptation of Townes van Zandt

February 23, 2010

I’m not sure Townes is joking or serious in this clip. It’s a sad and pretty song all the moreso because he looks so terrible.

NFL NBA Owner Pity Party

February 23, 2010

Is a pro sports team like a business or like a sports car? Do you buy it to make money or for status, sex and glory? It seems obvious to me it is the latter. This is why owners of pro sports teams will never be able to keep player salaries down unless they can get an antitrust exemption and a labor antitrust exemption. It seems quite obvious from the freer market of European pro soccer leagues that the price of a top team is not based on revenue. The question is, can a league be viable where the only people who can run a successful team are dabbling billionaires? Arsenal was doing fine for a while and Manchester United, Barcelona, and Real Madrid seem to have enough revenue to be going concerns and win if they so choose (notwithstanding the present economic downturn). Likewise the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox in the American equivalent of a free for all league.