There is no such thing as a free lunch.


I moved my blog to a new domain, The name is, of course, inspired by the 1980 PBS television series “Free to Choose“, and the book of the same name.

July 8, 2011   No Comments

Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

I thought the first Keynes vs. Hayek rap video was amusing, but the new one is really great:

I also enjoy Russ Roberts’s weekly podcast, EconTalk, which you can find on iTunes or my preferred podcast-listening app, Downcast. The latest episode has Roberts and John Papola discussing how the ideas for this series of rap videos came about.

May 6, 2011   No Comments

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Last night I went to see this duo in concert at the Boston Opera House. They just killed it! Best concert I have ever been to.

August 27, 2010   No Comments

How to Beat the Stock Market

Become a U.S. Senator:

A study suggests that U.S. senators possess stock-picking skills that even the most seasoned money manager would envy. During the boom years of the 1990s, senators’ stock picks beat the market by 12 percentage points a year on average, according to the study. Corporate insiders, meanwhile, beat the market by about six percentage points a year, while U.S. households underperformed the market by 1.4 percentage points a year on average, according to separate studies. The final details of the study will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Full article here.

August 2, 2010   1 Comment

Too Many Gadgets?

Do you like gadgets? But do you have so many gadgets that they are starting to clutter up your life so much you are starting to resent them? Do you long for simpler days, when you didn’t have all these devices and their cables and chargers and cases?

Then maybe you need a new gadget strategy. I have fine tuned mine over a period of the last 5 years or so and would like to share it with you. So before you buy a new gadget, just run through this list and hopefully it will help you decide whether you should get it or not:

Level 1 Gadget (no brainer): New gadget must integrate the functions of two old gadgets. Example: I had an iPod and a BlackBerry. Got an iPhone, sold the iPod and BlackBerry, thereby reducing my gadget count by one. The Level 1 gadget is often a no-brainer because in this case the integration allowed me to acquire the new gadget for less than the money I got from selling the two old gadgets.

Level 2 Gadget: New gadget must replace one old gadget, either for the purpose of saving some money or substantially bettering the experience. Example 1: Chumby – replaced my old crappy alarm clock that would lose 5 min every month; much better experience, awesome device. But it was not a no-brainer and I didn’t want to buy it so I asked for it as a birthday gift. But often these new gadgets can be acquired for little or no additional expense. For example, iPhone 4 – bought for $299 (32 GB), sold 3GS for $250. Another example: I can sell my somewhat unhelpful Apple TV today on eBay for $100 and get a Roku HD player for $100. I may do this very soon.

Level 3 Gadget: If the new gadget does not replace anything, it must greatly improve your quality of life or at least remove a serious annoyance. Example: JBL OnStage 200id – I had been listening to iPhone all over the house using my computer speakers, aux cable, and charger. It was so annoying to carry around the charger and cables and then I couldnt listen to audio on my computer. Got the JBL and now I just plug this thing in and plays music/podcasts and charges at the same time – glad I got it. But often you don’t really need to get the Level 3 gadget and the problem can be solved some other way.

I think with this strategy if you are a gadget lover you can keep things simple and not just have a million useless gadgets cluttering up your life.

July 28, 2010   5 Comments