Statistics

The more I learn about statistics in social sciences, the more I get persuaded that it is of little value. Statistics is merely a way of telling a story which may not be any better than a qualitative assessment of the same problem.

"Bill Gates Speaks" by Janet Lowe

This is a very interesting book. It tells the story of Bill Gates and Microsoft from a "balanced" point of view. Numerous interviews which appeared in the mass media are used to show what Bill Gates thinks himself and what other people think about him. One of the interesting conclusions that you get from the book is that Bill Gates is not a computer genius. At least, this is not what helped him to get to the top. He is rather one of the greatest businessmen of all times.

(no subject)


“Man's proper stature is not one of mediocrity, failure,
frustration, or defeat, but one of achievement, strength,
and nobility. In short, man can and ought to be a hero.”
---- Mike Mentzer

Nichlas Carr "Does IT Matter?"

On the one hand, I agree with Carr. Many modern technologies have been commoditized. However, his historical argument is not valid. You cannot compare IT to railroads, telegraph, or electricity. IT is much broader than a particular invention. IT serves as the basis for information-based service economy, and not just a particular narrow task (e.g. like moving information from one place to another in the case of telegraph). The IT era can be more accurately compared to the burst in engineering advancements that we have witnessed staring the 19th century. Advancements in engineering still serve as a basis of competitive advantage, even though it can be argued that this era is in the decline stage. Companies still come up with brand new products and improve existing ones. As the physical world around us can be improved with the help of engineering, there will be improvements in the intangible (information) world in the centuries to come.

"The Education of a Bodybuilder"

I suggest reading this book by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Very inspiring. Its main message is that even in sports brains matter. The edition that I have was released prior to Arnold's campaign for the governor's office in California. Even though it may seem like this book is an attempt to promote Arnold, I think he doesn't have to prove anything. Facts from his biography speak for themselves.

I was really surprised to find out that my beliefs are very similar to Arnold's. I used to work out in a gym with a friend of mine who was an aspiring bodybuilder. He would always tell me how similar I was to Arnold. Only now I know what he was talking about.

The Freak Show

All russian-speaking people who live here are crazy. It takes a year or so for them to go completely nutts. Apprently, some need less than that.

A guy from Ukraine just got here. He is 27. He found me online and began complaining how lonely he is here. I perfectly was aware how it feels to be all alone in a new place. So I offered him to go to the beech together. I was not very interested in meeting him (he seems to be a bit country), but I decided to do this as a charity. Anyways, we set a date for the trip (it's only 30 miles away). Then, the day before the trip I started making arrangements as to when and where we should meet. I told him to come over here to my office and park his car here so that we can go together to the beech. The guy said that HE WILL NOT GO WITH ME IN MY CAR! HE IS SCARED THAT I'M GOING TO KILL HIM. HE OFFERED TO DRIVE THERE IN TWO CARS. I was in a bad mood that day and simply told him to go alone. Then he said "OK, OK, let's go in your car". But I told him never to approach me again.

The reason I offered to drive is that the guy got his DL just two month ago. And I'm not comfortable riding with someone who is a bad driver.

THE QUESTION THAT BOTHERS ME: AM I A COMPLETE JERK OR IS HE A COMPLETE FREAK?