Archive for December, 2008

Outliers II

Following up on an earlier post, Outliers is an interesting and easy-to-read book. I read it in a week mainly using my MRT commuting time. David Leonhardt has a good summary review, while Tyler’s more
critical review covers most of what ran through my mind while I was reading (and much more). Tyler’s review makes more sense to me after having read the book. I agree with him that contingency is the key and there doesn’t seem to be a theory that explains it well. That probably tells me I ought to read Dean Keith Simonton.

PS: Here’s a related post from Will.


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Job vs. Time

I was meant to post updates on my weekend activities, but unfortunately am still stuck in the office having my super late dinner/mid-night snack. Aren’t we in a global recession (or going into one based on IMF’s rule of thumb definition), where’s all the demand coming from anyway. I probably shouldn’t complain too much, being busy is probably better than being redundant. As Rogoff foresees correctly that the financial sector has to shrink significantly, it seems likely that investment banks are going to cut people further. I wouldn’t be surprised if banks give their employees a big “Christmas present.”

Although the possibility of being fired doesn’t trouble me too much, I think it’s a negative for me no matter I get to keep my job or not. Getting fired means losing my income streams, and in this market it might be tough to find a satisfactory job. But surviving in this turmoil doesn’t look like a good deal either. Staying in my job while others are fired means I could fall into earning a minimum wage per hour. For now I probably get a higher utility from having an extra hour of free time (especially if I’ve to work even longer hours), but things could easily changed if I were to be unemployed for long. Research also shows that being unemployed correlates strongly with unhappiness for an average person.

Since it’s not in my power to decide, I guess I should try to get out of here asap so I could spend some time with “my precious”.

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