Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The Daily Show Effect

We test the effects of a popular televised source of political humor for young Americans: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart . We find that participants exposed to jokes about George W. Bush and John Kerry on The Daily Show tended to rate both candidates more negatively, even when controlling for partisanship and other demographic variables. Moreover, we find that viewers exhibit more cynicism toward the electoral system and the news media at large. Despite these negative reactions, viewers of The Daily Show reported increased confidence in their ability to understand the complicated world of politics. Our findings are significant in the burgeoning field of research on the effects of “soft news” on the American public. Although research indicates that soft news contributes to democratic citizenship in America by reaching out to the inattentive public, our findings indicate that The Daily Show may have more detrimental effects, driving down support for political institutions and leaders among those already inclined toward non-participation.

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Friday, April 25, 2014


Phantogram 'Fall In Love'


Monday, April 21, 2014


Obama Easter Egg Hunt

Friday, April 18, 2014


Foster The People - Coming of Age


Friday, April 11, 2014


Atlas Genius - If So


Wednesday, April 09, 2014


The Hidden Game Behind Professional Poker

Whether it's played face-to-face among steely-eyed pros, or online where each person may be participating in many games at once, professional poker has developed its own economy. That economy is based on players not only betting with their own money but also getting "staked," or financially backed by former and current players. Many players also agree to invest in each other and swap a small part of their earnings.  Such deal-making isn't new to the game, but veteran players and analysts agree that the amount of money—and level of sophistication—involved in the arrangements has risen considerably since the World Series of Poker championship began in 1970. According to players, agents and other experts in poker interviewed by WSJ.Money, at least half of the estimated 6,600 contestants in this summer's Main Event championship in Las Vegas, the game's biggest annual competition, are likely to receive financial support from past and current players, family members and other poker investors. The event last year collected $64 million in entry fees, which means the backing could've been in the vicinity of $30 million.


Monday, April 07, 2014


Best & Worst States to be a Taxpayer

Nevada is #3, Illinois is #47.

 Economic mobility – that is, our ability to climb the proverbial ladder – has a strong correlation to where we live.  Children from Seattle whose families are in the 25th percentile in terms of income, for example, end up at roughly the same economic stature as kids from the median family in Atlanta.
Why?  State and local taxes.  At least that’s what a group of Harvard and Berkeley researchers collaborating on The Equality of Opportunity Project have to say.  They “found a significant correlation between both measures of mobility and local tax rates.”


Saturday, April 05, 2014


Robert Shiller's Nobel Knowledge

Q: One theme that runs through your work is that people tend to make mistakes over and over again. That's quite different than what I learned in college economics—that people are rational. How did you start thinking about people's mistakes?  A: When you went to college, the economics profession had reached an unnatural state. Mathematical models of rational behavior became the rage. It was just an abnormal time. I was reading more widely and wanting to come back to reality.  

Q: Was there something you saw in reality that led you to this?  A: Well, bubbles. The story about bubbles was that the markets appear random, but that's only because markets respond to new information and new information is always unpredictable. It seemed to be almost like a mythology to me. The idea that people are so optimizing, so calculating and so ready to update their information, that's true of maybe a tiny fraction of 1 percent of people. It's not going to explain the whole market.

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Friday, April 04, 2014


TCS - Robot Heart: Heart-Shaped Box - Nirvana (covered by Kawehi)


Tuesday, April 01, 2014


At 90, Freeman Dyson Ponders His Next Challenge

Freeman Dyson — the world-renowned mathematical physicist who helped found quantum electrodynamics with the bongo-playing, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman and others, devised numerous mathematical techniques, led the team that designed a low-power nuclear reactor that produces medical isotopes for research hospitals, dreamed of exploring the solar system in spaceships propelled by nuclear bombs, wrote technical and popular science books, penned dozens of reviews for The New York Review of Books, and turned 90 in December — is pondering a new math problem.


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