July 2004

The ultimatum game

From Surowiecki’s story on why people got so upset over Dick Grasso’s huge paycheck.

Take two people. Give them a hundred dollars to split. One person (the proposer) decides, on his own, what the split should be (fifty-fifty, seventy-thirty, or whatever) and makes the other person a take-it-or-leave-it offer. If he accepts the deal, both players get their share of the money. If he rejects it, both players walk away empty-handed.

The rational thing for the second person to do is to accept the offer, whatever it is, since even one dollar is better than nothing. But in practice this rarely happens. Instead, lowball offers are almost always rejected. Apparently, people would rather throw away money than let someone else walk away with too much.

Remember, fairness is not equality.

Ilya

If you hate men, be sure to be creative about it

From the SCUM Manifesto:

“Eaten up with guilt, shame, fears and insecurities and obtaining, if he's lucky, a barely perceptible physical feeling, the male is, nonetheless, obsessed with screwing; he'll swim through a river of snot, wade nostril-deep through a mile of vomit, if he thinks there'll be a friendly pussy awaiting him. ...”

Ilya

Money may make you happy, but it won’t bring you sex

Research shows that money may make you happier, but it won’t help your sex life. Sex, however, will make you feel like money in the bank.

Ilya


Stupidity portrayed stupidly, but funny

Smart Genes, an open source novel. From chapter two:

“Do you wish you were smarter?” the guy in the ad asked. “MIT announces clinical trials of gene implants which enhance intelligence.”

Lennie pictured a gadget he’d slip down his jeans to make his organ look larger. But even though Eileen sometimes accused him of thinking with his dick, could something like that make you smarter? No, he decided. It must be the other genes, the ones you get from your parents.

“We are looking for men and women of modest intellect,” the man on TV said. “You will receive a stipend worth 500 dollars. If you’re interested, let us know by clicking the ‘Signup’ button on this ad, or calling the number below.”

“I knew they weren’t going to give 500 dollars cash,” Lennie said. “Eileen, what the fuck’s a stipend?”

“I thought he said ‘stripe end.’”

“So what’s a stripe end?” Lennie asked.

“Silly. It’s a zebra’s butt,” Eileen said, spitting up bits of popcorn as she laughed.

Lennie laughed too. “A zebra’s butt isn’t worth 500 dollars. A whole zebra’s not worth 500 dollars.”

“How would you know?” asked Eileen. “You could make some steaks out of it. The meat might be a little tough, but you could always use some A-1.”

Lennie made a grab at Eileen’s ass. “That’s the only butt worth 500 dollars to me.”

“You say the sweetest things.” Eileen punched Lennie on the shoulder.

Ilya

Still haven’t seen Fahrenheit 9/11

Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911, by Dave Kopel.

And from New Yorker’s profile on Michael Moore:

The trouble was that the workers who had become middle class began thinking middle class. “People started to believe that the factory would always be there, that the health benefits would always be there, the four weeks’ paid vacation,” Moore says. “So when the company started taking them away people were, like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ Well, when was the last union meeting you went to? ‘Never been to a union meeting.’ Do you vote in every election? ‘I try to.’ Everybody got their two cars, their house in the suburbs, their snowmobile, their cabin up north, and decided to check out from job No. 1, which is being a citizen of the United States of America.”

Ilya

This is “livesearch”

Bitflux’s “livesearch” uses javascript with XMLHttpRequest and a little PHP. Wow!

Based on this, Jeff Minard has created a real-time Textile-formatting preview feature.

Both scripts are licensed under the Apache license, which, as Minard explains, means you can “basically do whatever, give credit, retain the same license.”

Ilya


Dan again

Dan Fante, while not being much to look at, is a plenty interesting writer. See Approach December, poem of his. There’s another one in the sidebar of Lummox Journal’s interview. Hollywood Investigator has a two-part interview. 3am has another one. Notice how much mellower Fante seems in the Lummox Journal interview. Maybe the interview was done via email?

Ilya

Why it’s better to be rich

Despite being a favorite of libertarians, I rather like this George Bernard Shaw quote:

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.”

Ilya

Scrubbing spyware

Paul Boutin recommends using both Spybot and Ad-aware. However, Download.com reviewers complain that Ad-aware installs a worm called GLB1A2B and changes the home page of Internet Explorer.

Ilya


Koneisto goes McSweeney’s

While this year’s Koneisto magazine is hardly subtle or restrained (I’m not liking the slumming-with-Courier look at all), it still appears to exhibit signs of what Design Observer calls the McSweeney’s phenomenon.

Ilya

There are

There are insects that spring forth only every 13 and 17 years. Notice that these are prime numbers. Sun-spot activity, however, varies in cycles of 11 and 22 years.

There are parasites that cause crickets to commit suicide by drowning, and parasites that make ants want to climb to the tops of blades of grass so that they are more likely to end up in the stomachs of sheep.

Every summer in Lappland, the strongest reindeer males copulate so vigorously that they burn off all their excess body fat and freeze to death in the winter.

Ilya
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Beared souls

caught together