Unmistakable Marks

Warranted Genuine Snarks

Your Eye-Rubbing Moment for the Day, in Reverse Q/A Format

A: Internet Explorer.

Q: About which Web browser was the following said?

I’ve been working on the team for about a month now. I continue to be impressed at the way everyone is passionate about doing the right thing. During the recent security work people have been very thorough and very proffesional to ensure we are taking the right steps. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable using any other browser.

Comments | July 26, 2004


Fred Clark of Slacktivist fame has a great post about typical household incomes that gives me a chance to plug my absolute favorite Internet resource for economic policy discussions, which is the Statistical Abstract of the U.S.. If you ever find yourself thinking, “Say, I wonder...” about some economic quantity or other, this is the place to look. It is my contention that 90% of bullshit numerical assertions could be made solid with a glance at the tables of sweet, sweet data. (The previous sentence falls in the other 10%.)

It also serves as a nice litmus test for the policy/politics divide. If you can spend hours trawling through the Statistical Abstract, you’re definitely interested in policy.

Comments | July 25, 2004

Bad Advice

Henry Blodgett, a man who knows a thing or two about screwing investors, is starting a series of articles at Slate about the perfectly legal ways in which investment advisors lie to and screw over the people who are paying them for advice.

The bemusing thing is, this isn’t a secret. Blodgett presents his facts sensationally, but the shocking thing is that there’s nothing shocking about what he’s saying — these are things that have been said a zillion times already in a zillion investment guides. That brokers and advisors — even as you pay them to manage your funds and advise your investments — don’t have your best interests at heart is a widely acknowledged fact.

This is such a nonsensical state of affairs that it’s almost impossible to take it seriously, so you get all sorts of elaborate regulation of peripheral details, and even the occasional superficial prosecution, the Blodgett or the Martha Stewart; but the fundamental absurdity, that people deliberately pay money for bad advice and bad performance, outlasts the scandal of the moment.

So, if you can’t trust experts to tell you what you should do with your money, who can you go to for help? Well, you could do a lot worse than to take cartoonist Scott Adams’ advice. At least he’s not charging for it.

Comments | July 25, 2004

Is This Thing On?

Yeah, I suck. Sometimes, it turns out, I’ve just got nothing to say. So, let’s point to potentially interesting things.

Comments | July 1, 2004

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