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May 2009

Historian vs. economist

Niall Ferguson throws down with Paul Krugman:

It is a brave or foolhardy man who picks a fight with Mr Krugman, the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics. Yet a cat may look at a king, and sometimes a historian can challenge an economist.

A month ago Mr Krugman and I sat on a panel convened in New York to discuss the financial crisis. I made the point that “the running of massive fiscal deficits in excess of 12 per cent of gross domestic product this year, and the issuance therefore of vast quantities of freshly-minted bonds” was likely to push long-term interest rates up, at a time when the Federal Reserve aims at keeping them down. I predicted a “painful tug-of-war between our monetary policy and our fiscal policy, as the markets realise just what a vast quantity of bonds are going to have to be absorbed by the financial system this year”.

"Why Tech Support Sucks: A Look Behind the Scenes"

Argues that there are "pretty much" only three types of tech support people. Two of them are:

The mouth-breather who refuses to believe that you've already power cycled the modem and that you are fully aware that a computer needs to be plugged in for it to properly function . . .

A level two tech support assistant, which is kind of like winning the lottery since there's actually a chance that he knows how to fix your computer, though he won't do much besides talk to you like you have mittens pinned to your jacket and need the tines on your fork filed down so you don't stab yourself when you eat.    

A smart kid. And seemingly well-adjusted.

All of 12 years old, Sky Choi is double majoring in physics and math at FIU.

Before Sky took an introductory physics seminar this semester, he e-mailed this to the professors: ``It seems like I've been waiting a long time to finally get to study physics in depth. As you can imagine, it's not easy to get the necessary math courses and high school science courses when your age is in the single digits.''

''That's the one that stopped me,'' said Caroline Simpson, associate professor in the department of physics.