Interesting ideas interspersed with nonsense - RSS - by nikhil bhatla, -
Home Archives January 2007
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New Year's Eve in LA
Jan 1, 2007, 9:25p - 53 photos

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Patents and Prozac
Jan 30, 2007, 1:56p - Business
The core of current economic theory proposes that humans always act in their self-interest, maximizing their "utility function". They will do what brings them the most benefit, be it material, emotional, spiritual, or social in nature. Most capitalists focus almost exclusively on the material benefits, because they're much easier to quantify while the other 3 are more loosy-goosy. But just ... more »

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Water Crystals
Jan 27, 2007, 1:17a - Science
Science is the most arrogant and the most humble of suitors. Endowed with the audacity to seek Truth yet the humility to prove only falsity, it seeks knowledge as its ultimate goal. Its right has been handcuffed by its left, and together the pair lurch through the world, disposing of the old and selecting of the new. The trail behind ... more »

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No Post Today
Jan 25, 2007, 7:01p - Temporary
Apologies for not posting today, as promised.

I'm in the midst of research for the article I wanted to post today, but have realized that it's going to take me more than a day to sort through all of it and cohere my thoughts. The next post will be a (longish) essay on certain phenomenon found outside the mainstream of ... more »

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Hierarchy and Equality
Jan 23, 2007, 2:54p - Organization
It begins as a child. From the moment of birth, we're told what to do and what not to do. As we age, what our parents and teachers tell us to do diminishes in weight, and we question why we should do as they request. The funny thing is, they usually don't have a very good reason why, and the ... more »

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Stop Bugging Me
Jan 20, 2007, 11:20a - Democracy
Taking a brief break from the philosophical and moving on to the practical, here's a list of websites you can use to get people to stop bugging you:
  1. Reduce physical junk mail with the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service. Takes effect within 3 months and last 5 years.
  2. Reduce credit card offers with the credit agencies' opt-out tool. Takes ...
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Walls of Wealth
Jan 16, 2007, 10:58a - Culture
Why do we build walls?

As early as the 3rd century BC with the Great Wall of China, wealthy civilizations have made it their business to erect physical barriers for what they saw to be encroachments on their territory. Land is second only to human capital as the greatest source of wealth and power. We see the instinct to ... more »

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Top 11 Books
Jan 10, 2007, 11:52p - Book Notes
A few people have asked me for book recommendations, so here goes (in no particular order):

The Greening of America - my notes

Your Money or Your Life - taught me how to know when I had enough money

A People's History of the United States - must read to get a truer understanding of United States ... more »

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Book Notes: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Jan 8, 2007, 11:42a - Book Notes
Here's a collection of quotes from Notes from the Underground, a short 91-page novella. The book is broken into two halves, and I found the first half (a philosophical pondering) much more interesting than the second (a plot involving school-time enemies and a prostitute).

Overall, I highly recommend this book (and you can read it for free online). It ... more »

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Book Review: The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Jan 5, 2007, 12:34a - Book Notes
The Death and Life of Great American Cities - Jane Jacobs

This book had been on my list of books to read since I started keeping one a few years ago. I'd heard about it in countless places, and after seeing 2 references to it in Adbusters, I figured it was about time I bought it. I got it ... more »

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Our Culture of Caution
Jan 2, 2007, 3:24a - Culture
Last Saturday, Becca, my mom and I took Zoe on a walk in my parent's neighborhood in Santa Monica. I've always hated walking Zoe on a leash - imagine what it would feel like if your parents walked you on a leash when you were little. It seems like a violation of a primal freedom. Of course, most of the ... more »

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