24 Feb 2015

Quote of the day

Society is, always has been and always will be a structure for the exploitation and oppression of the majority through systems of political force dictated by an élite, enforced by thugs, uniformed or not, and upheld by a wilful ignorance and stupidity on the part of the very majority whom the system oppresses.

Richard K. Morgan

5 Sep 2014

Quote of the day

Sometimes you have to understand that you push ahead, there's going to be a lot of flak, there's going to be a lot of dogs barking, but the wagon train moves ahead.
Juan Williams

26 Mar 2014

The Human Race

Here is another Horror / Sci-fi gem.

13 Sins

A nice little movie I saw recently

8 Feb 2014

Quote of the day

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
Swami Vivekananda


6 Dec 2013

3 Nov 2013

Surely you're joking

A natural rate of unemployment for Spain of 23%? No way. We may be PIIGS but we are not stupid.

14 Sep 2013

13 Sep 2013

Quote of the day

I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that's not far from the truth.

Morpheus, The Matrix 

23 Jul 2013

7 Jul 2013

27 Apr 2013

Krugman on George W. Bush's legacy

"... But it does need to be said: he was a terrible president, arguably the worst ever, and not just for the reasons many others are pointing out.
From what I’ve read, most of the pushback against revisionism focuses on just how bad Bush’s policies were, from the disaster in Iraq to the way he destroyed FEMA, from the way he squandered a budget surplus to the way he drove up Medicare’s costs. And all of that is fair.
But I think there was something even bigger, in some ways, than his policy failures: Bush brought an unprecedented level of systematic dishonesty to American political life, and we may never recover.
Think about his two main “achievements”, if you want to call them that: the tax cuts and the Iraq war, both of which continue to cast long shadows over our nation’s destiny. The key thing to remember is that both were sold with lies.
I suppose one could make an argument for the kind of tax cuts Bush rammed through — tax cuts that strongly favored the wealthy and significantly increased inequality. But we shouldn’t forget that Bush never admitted that his tax cuts did, in fact, favor the wealthy. Instead, his administration canceled the practice of making assessments of the distributional effects of tax changes, and in their selling of the cuts offered what amounted to an expert class in how to lie with statistics. Basically, every time the Bushies came out with a report, you knew that it was going to involve some kind of fraud, and the only question was which kind and where.
(...)  Even more important, Bush lied us into war.
(...) And right there you have something that should block Bush from redemption of any kind, ever: he misled us into a war that probably killed hundreds of thousands of people, and he did it in part for political reasons."
my emphasis
Similar levels of dishonesty were also reached by politicians in this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

26 Apr 2013

Today I heard something that is the best thing I've heard in years...

"I give up. You know what's best for you."


25 Apr 2013

Quote of the day

And then she does something magical, something that almost makes me kiss her. And I would too, if I didn't have flashing memories of her tearing a young girl's arm off and beating three people to death with it.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi 

19 Apr 2013

Artificial Intelligence in fiction

This wikipedia page has a list of fictional computers in literature, movies and other media. One in particular caught my attention:

A "supercalculator" formed by the networking of all the computing machines on 96 billion planets, which answers the question "Is there a God?" with "Yes, now there is a God" in Fredric Brown's single-page story Answer (1954).

7 Apr 2013

6 Apr 2013

Quote of the day

There's more to life than books, you know
But not much more

The Smiths

30 Mar 2013

Why I drink coffee

Well, I drink because I like it, but it's nice to know it has good side effects 

The 11 Most Beautiful Math Equations

23 Mar 2013

Portugal's 4th quarter 2012 national accounts data

As usual, I present a few figures based on the national accounts data published by the national statistics office. To better interpret the data, take into consideration that the current goverment won the elections on the 5th June 2011 and that date roughly coincides with the beggining of implementation of the Troika memorandum, although some austerity measures were already implemented by the previous government.

GDP decreased 3.78% in the last quarter of 2012. (Anual decrease of 3.2%)

The external contribution to growth has been decreasing

Exports are slowing down reflecting a slower economic activity in trading partners

Heavy decreases are observed in consumption of durable goods (also in construction investment). 

This shows the weights of GDP components. In the second quarter of 2011 they were: private consumption 65%, public consumption 22%, investment 20%, exports 32% and imports 42%. 

 The external position continues to adapt favourably, which comes as no surprise given the contraction observed in domestic demand