A New Dad with his Newborn Son!

» Special treat for you today! Photos from a new dad. Peter is one of the many online acquaintances I met thru this site over the years.

Peter & his infant son fast asleepHe is a real (professional) programmer who has helped me write scripts (in Perl) to help manage the site.

Actually, I shouldnt take more credit than I deserve. Fact is, Peter wrote the scripts himself ..

.. and then helped me troubleshoot the minor bugs I encountered running it. =)

[ The power of these little scripts (barely a few kb) to leverage the features of the design-environment of the host program ..

.. and to do very many things nearly instantly .. things that would take a whole day (or more) to do by hand. It's like these scripts vibrate with power.

[ Mr. Perl: "Yes, I will process you. Yes, I will run your set of instructions. So come here, young man. And make it snappy." =) ]

Before I actually run them, I triple-check to make sure everything is perfect. (More power means that mistakes are less forgiveable.)

See my note about the rise of MOOCs at the end of today's entry .. for a practical macro-example of the micro-pattern that I mention here.

The way that MOOCs use this leverage to multiply both ideas & knowledge .. with ultra-granular precision .. truly remarkable.

Most day-to-day computing insulates the power from you .. because the novice might unwittingly do much harm (quickly). But much power is available for the person who is willing to learn. ]

But first, yes, you have to learn the mojo. And the mojo is not the easiest thing to learn. It's almost another world, of sorts. Another way of thinking .. a very efficient way.

I was thinking about Peter recently cuz I hadnt heard from him in a while .. when I received word saying, "I'm a dad!"

Moreover he kindly gave me permission to share a couple of his most precious photos.

I was in a bit of a funk yesterday .. when I received his (personal) note with a link to the photos.

They seemed to miraculously cheer me up. See if they have the same effect on you:

  1. A newborn son in the hand of a new dad
  2. Peter & his newborn son fast asleep

» Questions for a New Dad

I want to ask Peter if having a son and becoming a father changes any of his ideas about the way our nation is racking up an enormous national debt and leaving it for his son's generation to pay .. all for seemingly no good reason.

Crack pipeBut he is still asleep. =)

<begin today's economic sidebar>

When will our leaders learn that using debt to artificially inflate asset prices (read » create bubbles) always ends badly?

[ reference.1, reference.2, reference.3, reference.4, reference.5, reference.6, reference.7, reference.8, reference.9, reference.10, reference.11, reference.12 ]

And when will they realize that taking on more debt to solve a problem that was created by too much debt ..

.. sounds frighteningly similar to what you might expect to hear coming out of the mouth of a crackhead or a junkie?

The leaders of our government can learn important lessons from a crackhead .. such as » when you quit, you feel like shit. But eventually you start to feel better. [ Hey, look! There's Jude! ]

Einstein says you can't fix a problem with the same [debt] thinking that was used to create it. (Cuz then you just have more of the same.)

If the economy is really on the mend, why does the unprecedented size of the Fed's balance sheet continue to grow to record levels? At what point does the size of the Fed's balance sheet become worrisome? (if not worrisome already)


••• today's entry continues here below •••


If the economy is really on the mend, wouldnt you expect the size of the Fed's balance sheet to be shrinking? Why does the size of their purchases keep getting larger? (Actions speak louder.)

The patient is not strong enough to withstand even a little reduction is the drugs he has been receiving? Meanwhile, the stock market keeps hitting one new record high after another as the rich continue to get richer.

I hear that a balance sheet of that size has never been unwound sucessfully. And the bigger it gets, the more difficult it will be to unwind.

Shouldnt a recovering patient receive less drugs? Then why is he continuing to be administered ever more?

If you were in a hospital and your doctors told you that you were getting better, yet they continued to prescribe ever more and increasingly larger dosages of medication .. wouldnt you naturally be concerned?

"How big is 3.2 Trillion dollars?" you ask? Good question. See » here for a visual, graphic idea. (That's what I call 'obscene'.)

Our leaders have already demonstrated both their incompetence and their allegiance. Give us back a true capitalist economy. We can handled it. Look how long we've already put up with your incompetent decisions. (Do you really use a dart board?)

Thelma and Louise at their Crisis PointIt will be ugly for a spell. We get it. Bring it, dawg.

Why would anybody want to perpetuate such grotesque inequality .. unless those with the lion's share have so very much to loose?

Cuz it has become clear that the only people that your current policies are helping are your buddies on Wall Street (.. and others who don't need the help).

All we ask is for a level capitalist playing field. Why do you continue to perpetuate an obviously flawed system?

The economic 'medicine' that Washington and Wall Street have agreed to adopt (.. to fix the problem that they themselves created) ..

.. appears to be creating a rapidly escalating problem for our children's generation ..

.. while, at the SAME TIME making the folks there on Wall Street fabulously wealthy (.. some of your campaign supporters, no?).

My question, sir » is THAT by design? .. or merely a coincidence?

Either way, it's very bad .. because you are stealing from kids and giving their future to people who already have far more than they could ever possibly need.

Tho the nature of Greed is that » it is NEVER satisfied. It always wants more. Always. (So you might wanna start looking around for a millstone .. to save yourself.)

The numbers are speaking to us (the American people) and they are saying things about your value$ .. things that are not very flattering.

You need to do a better job at managing appearances. Much better. Because, as you know, in politics, appearance is reality. At some point, one would expect the American people to grow impatient. One who is wise, anyway. =)

Following the bursting of the dot-com bubble, many of the most wizardly geeks went into the world-of-finance ..

.. where they became quants and among those who created the exotic financal instruments (such as derivatives) .. that have since been turned into financial frankensteins by the unscrupulous and the greedy (.. usually the same person).

U.S. Debt Ceiling 16 Trillion dollars, December 2012If anybody could figure out how to fix the mess-of-a-derivatives-problem we have today, they should have a good idea.

For a contrarian perspective, we have, as usual, Paul Krugman. I dont see everything the way he does, but I do respect the man (..he has a Nobel Prize, 2008) ..

.. seeing that I myself have but a single college class in Economics. (Macro.)

The biggest thing I recall from that class is the statement our professor would declare (loudly) at least once each class » "Alan Greenspan is the most powerful man in America!"

This, of course, was back when Alan was the groovy chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the unspoken subtext that I came away with » "In America, money is power."

I do admire, however, the gusto with which Paul Krugman wades into the debate. Shy he is not. I read most of his posts. Entertaining. Certainly feisty. Maybe even fearless. Not above using ridicule to make his point. Difficult not to like this guy, even when I disagree with him.

Note where he says that, thanks to our government's political capture by the wealthy "we have policy OF the 1 percent, BY the 1 percent, FOR the 1 percent."

Wow. True that. I love the way the obvious becomes illuminated when you use a Nobel-grade spotlight of attention.

My gripe is that, it seems a disproportionate share of increased government spending [in the form of debt assigned to our kid's generation] GOES to people who need it least. "One for you, two for me" (.. because they are in bed with our government).

Paul Krugman | Nobel Prize Winning Princeton EconomistTo me, this is yet another a telltale indication of Political & Regulatory capture

The place where we really need Paul and his visionary Nobelists to polish their crystal balls .. is foreseeing the bad shit coming down the pike ..

.. stuff that ordinary citizens don't have the insight to see coming. Like an early hurrican warning system.

Once the shit starts falling apart, anybody can see that. All too easily.

I don't know Paul's pre-2008 history, but if a weatherman is unable to see the approaching storm, what good is he? Anybody can look outside and see when it's raining.

In other words, we Americans need to plan for the storms we can't see, cuz our weathermen suk. We don't need a weatherman to tell us which way the wind blows.

I would be curious to know Paul's feelings on the subject of inequality. Or what he thinks about Druckenmiller's point. Very curious. William Cohan's responsive comments are posted » here.

Increasing the size of our children's debt as a way of helping our children seems counterintuitive, does it not? Havent we already asked enough of our children's generation?

You are taking our children's future and giving it to your already-way-the-fuck-too-rich friends .. and we'd like you to stop.

If you can't pass a modest gun-control bill following Sandy Hook .. what do you think that we, the American people are supposed to think about our 'elected' government?

You should not be surprised, given that we, the American people, are still feeling the effects of the economic meltdown that incompetent government officials helped foist upon us ..

United States Capitol.. that our confidence in your abilities to manage the government (for citizens who don't own a hedge fund) .. is uh, not very strong.

It seems (from our end) that you place the profit$ of the gun manufacturing industry above the safety of children.

We don't want you to take guns away from people. No. We just want you to keep them out of the hands of known wackos.

Come on .. you guys arent even able to manage appearances .. much less » put on a good show. It looks totally fucking dysfunctional (.. unless you own a hedge fund, of course .. then the government goes to work hup-hup and shit magically seems to happen).

Can you see why we feel that your values are fucked up? Have you really become so corrupt and bought off that you can't even fake it?

Update #1 - It says here that Krugman had warned the 2008 economic collapse was coming. Let's give credit where credit is due.

Update #2 - In fairness, here is Henry's paean to Paul. Henry is obviously Paul's biggest fan. But Henry, you left out the words "for now" [ t=0:25 ]. =)

Again, it seems to me that dumping even more debt-money into the economy (..and running up our kid's credit card even further) only serves to make the rich even richer. At least at this point .. at a time when inequality is already at record levels.

I dont think it smart (or moral) to steal even more of our children's future and give it those who already have more-than-enough. (Waay more.)

Update #3 - Niall Ferguson (Harvard professor) says that Henry & Paul are wrong. Here is the line that jumped out at me .. and which echoes my own intuitive sentiments beautifully »

» "It's extremely implausible, and I think this is generally recognized, that governments with ALREADY high debts, can improve their situations by making their debt even larger."

Yes, and what happens (to Paul's theories) when interest rates start to rise?

</end today's economic sidebar>

One of the first bits of advice that a new parent hears (usually with bloodshot eyes) is » sleep when the baby sleeps. Seems like Peter has already learned that lesson.

Oh, did I tell you that he named his son the same name as my son? It will certainly make it easy for me to remember. =)

I gave him a bit of my own parenting advice .. which, yes, was kinda weird .. cuz I feel like a new dad myself. My first bit of (organically grown) advice » remember they are small for only a short time .. a very short time. As you will see.

A newborn son in the hand of a new fatherThis time is a gift .. time which, once gone (or squandered) you can never redeem ..

.. no matter how badly you might wish you could get a do-over. So treat it accordingly.

Set your stopwatch for six years .. is what the experts say. It goes fast. Very fast. (Definitely too fast for me.)

Soon as they wake, Peter plans to begin teaching his son how to program with JavaScript. =)

» The Rise of both Silicon Valley & MOOCs (Then-n-Now)

While I am here updating the site .. let me share with you two other links I think you might enjoy. The first is to a PBS documentary about how Silicon Valley became Silicon Valley (posted Feb 5th). Excellent! [ Video posted » here (2 hours) ]

The story begins in June of 1957 .. a full decade before the coining of term Silicon Valley. Here's a sample quote pulled straight from the video, at t=3:00 »

"The unique business culture with which the place was to become associated » openness over hierarchy, risk over stability, innovation over the tried and true .. had still to be tested."

My other link represents a topic far more contemporary, but no less revolutionary » a NY Times article about the rise of MOOCs. See here » The Professor's Big Stage (posted March 5th).

Oh, I just saw » this. Interesting timing .. considering my previous paragraph. I actually mentioned this last week .. in the forums.

Walter Isaacson (1952- )» Rad Quote #5 | Walter Isaacson on Einstein

I also posted quote #5. Something I have wanted to do since Dec. 12 (12-12-12).

I was planning to pick one by Dostoevsky, the 19th century Russian .. but nothing felt right. Until I read that paragraph by Walter .. about Einstein. That's when I knew what quote #5 would be.

My commentary there remains a work-in-progress. Much to say. Yes, Einstein is the man (.. of the twentieth century) .. but Walter is no slouch himself. He SEES Einstein. (Discerns.) Clearly. Remarkably so.

And his portrait is art. A true work of art. A multi-layered work of art. A feat. Walter has the gift. And with it he gives us a gift. My sense is that .. in 100 years, it will shine even brighter.

Not only do you get to meet Einstein's personality, but also his science. You can sense how carefully the words have been assembled .. like a jigsaw puzzle. Perfectly. Most impressive. Big pieces.

He obviously had help. Good help.

I see now why Steve Jobs picked Walter to write his bio. Steve Jobs could have picked anybody.

I think Obama should hook up with Walter, too. Obama is history (.. connected to Lincoln, who freed the slaves. Huge.). Therefore important to get it right. (Even more so than with Jobs.) Walter gets it right. (And we wanna know all the dirt, too.)

I don't yet know what quote #6 will be .. but I know that I'll know it when I see it. =)

But speaking of quote #6 .. what do you think of the quote? .. that I pulled from the PBS documentary on how Silicon Valley became itself »

"The unique business culture with which the place was to become associated » openness over hierarchy, risk over stability, innovation over the tried and true .. had still to be tested."

I like it! ■

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » fatherhood parenting newborn infant son advice

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on March 13, 2013 3:13 AM.

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