Uwe Reinhardt Is a Real Health Economist

You would not think that accounting could be an entertaining and illuminating subject to study, but then most of you did not have the opportunity to learn it from Uwe Reinhardt. I did have that opportunity and pleasure twenty-nine years ago. One of the lasting memories from my college days.

Today, whenever I run across something by Reinhardt, I take time out to read it, knowing that I will learn something useful and important.

Uwe Reinhardt Is a Real Health Economist.

I’m not a real health economist–although I have occasionally played the part of one in venues like the White House’s Roosevelt Room or Capitol Hill. Uwe Reinhardt is a real health economist. And he has written a very good Primer for Journalists [pdf] (and others who want to understand what the issues are) willing to think at a level higher than Bush-speak.

[Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal: A Weblog]

Celestia: Real-Time Space Simulation

The wonderful thing about the net is all the neat stuff you can find to play with instead of doing something productive.

Celestia: Real-Time Space Simulation.

A coworker tipped me off to this cool space simulation that allows for three-dimensional travel of the universe. From the website:

Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn’t confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All travel in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across.

I’ll admit that I can’t even grasp everything that one can do with this. In my short travels, I got lost somewhere outside of the Milky Way, did a demo, checked out constellations, and tried unsuccessfully to find a comet to follow.


Celestia runs on Windows, Linux/Unix, and Mac OSX. Additionally, ambitious sorts can create their own scripts for customized tours.

(Word of warning: If you don’t have a great graphics card (less than 16 megs), you’ll want to download the low res version.)

Visit Site [Forever Geek]

Slacker Manager blog

Another new blogger worth paying attention to. Appropriate in the spirit of my previous post.

Welcome the Slacker Manager to the GTD Zone.

I’d like to welcome Brendon Connelly – the newest blogger listed here at the GTD Zone at OfficeZealot.com. I came across Brendon’s blog this morning in a trackback to a post by mind mapping guru Nick Duffill, checked out his blog and recognized someone I thought could add to the conversation and exchange of ideas here.

Drop by Brendon’s blog and check out his latest thoughts. You can also read his Slacker manifesto at Change This. Before you jump to conclusions, you should understand that, according to Brendon, there are actually three kinds of slackers in the world:

Here’s the deal. When it comes to slackers, there are three types of people:

  • People who never slack. These people stress out for years, have bulging neck veins and die of early heart attacks.
  • People who slack all the time. These people live in their parent’s basement.
  • People who slack some of the time. That’s the rest of us. Embrace it.

[Marc’s Outlook on Productivity]

On the source of progress

One of my favorite notions from RAH. Of course, most organizations are terrified by the presence of the insightful lazy.

On the Source of Progress. On the Source of Progress

“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”
— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love — US science fiction author (1907 – 1988)

From The Quotations Page [Frank Patrick’s Focused Performance Blog]

Today's nonsensical proposal – Blog Ethics Committee

Too precious by half. Don’t count on my signing up anytime soon for this nonsense. I understand the ethics of bloggers the same way I understand the ethics of those I interact with routinely; by observing their consistent patterns of behavior over time.

I think it much more likely that the behavior patterns of blogging will displace those of regulated economic activity than the reverse. Judith, please smack Jason with a cluestick.

Blog Ethics Committee?. The head lemur bites back. Take a read – it’s hilarious. [raving lunacy]… [Marc’s Voice]

Eric Meyer’s CSS Presentation Tool – S5

Something else I need to get around to sooner rather than later. One more opportunity to piggyback on the work of people smarter than I am.

S5 1.1a4. Hooray, we’re up to 1.1a4! The only real change here is that I’ve added a “what do you want to hide, the controls or just the popup menu?” feature. This is handled with the following meta element: <meta name=”controls” content=”hide” /> That will hide all the controls. The default …(323 words | Tools S5 | comments and pings allowed) [Thoughts From Eric]

Winer on right and wrong ways to use RSS

I happen to like Radio’s news aggregator, although that may simply be an example of early imprinting as it was the first aggregator I used. At the same time, I’m not sure it’s terribly helpful to apply words like “right” or “wrong” to the ways that people use the tools they discover.

To me, one of the most important characteristics of powerful tools is their capacity to be abused in interesting ways. With all the deserved pride of authorship that “Dave” warrants around RSS, that doesn’t qualify him to pronounce on how the world will use his creation. Alexander Graham Bell thought he was inventing a tool for the deaf, not telemarketers, to cite one example.

This is a place where it is worth remembering Arthur C. Clarke’s First Law:

“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”

Not as famous as his third law perhaps, but relevant in this context.

One of my concerns with the design of Radio’s aggregator is that it doesn’t scale particularly well. I not especially keen on email models for RSS consumption either, although I have used NewsGator as well. Right now I’m working to understand how FeedDemon might meet my needs.

Love RSS.With all due respect to Jeffrey Veen, who I know from my Wired days, his experience with the email model type of RSS reader is exactly why that’s the model you don’t want to use. It’s not like email. Let the river of items flow through your queue, scroll over them with a scroll bar, and don’t let the software tell you you’re falling behind. Your time is what’s valuable, there’s no value to the items you didn’t read. If it’s important it’ll pop up again. RSS is not email. Don’t sort them out into little boxes that you have to go to, make them flow to you, in a river, unsorted. I wish people would just listen to this simple idea, so many people are using RSS the wrong way. [Scripting News]

A status update on my 50 book challenge.

I’ve been working on the reading side of the 50 book challenge fairly steadily. I’ve been less than diligent about posting mini-reviews as I go along. For my own purposes I wanted to take stock of what I have posted, what I’ve finished reading, and where I stand with the overall objective. Here’s a list of review that I’ve completed and posted.

  1. Heinlein’s For Us the Living – 50 Book Challenge
  2. Christensen’s Innovator’s Solution – 50 Book Challenge
  3. David Allen’s Ready for Anything – 50 Book Challenge

  4. David Gerrold’s The Man Who Folded Himself – 50 Book Challenge
  5. Dan Brown’s Deception Point – 50 Book Challenge
  6. Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress – 50 Book Challenge
  7. Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon – 50 Book Challenge

  8. John Brunner’s Shockware Rider – 50 Book Challenge
  9. Robert Wilson’s Chronoliths – 50 Book Challenge
  10. Bruce Sterling’s Zenith Angle – 50 Book Challenge
  11. John McPhee’s Curve of Binding Energy – 50 Book Challenge
  12. Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture – 50 Book Challenge
  13. John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up – 50 Book Challenge
  14. Greg Iles’s The Footprints of God – 50 Book Challenge
  15. Steven Johnson’s Mind Wide Open – 50 Book Challenge
  16. Charles Stross’s Iron Sunrise – 50 Book Challenge
  17. Brian Arkill’s LDAP Directories Explained – 50 Book Challenge
  18. Eric Meyer’s Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Ed – 50 Book Challenge
  19. Eric Meyer on CSS – 50 Book Challenge
  20. Gregory Dicum’s Window Seat – 50 Book Challenge
  21. Todd Carter’s Microsoft OneNote 2003 for Windows – 50 Book Challenge
  22. Dvorak and Pirillo’s Online! The Book – 50 Book Challenge
  23. Charles Stross’s Singularity Sky – 50 book challenge
  24. Elizabeth Moon’s Trading in Danger – 50 Book Challenge

As far as books that I’ve finished but not posted reviews for yet, here’s that list:

  1. Austin, Robert – Artful Making: What Managers Need to Know About How Artists Work
  2. Cadenhead, Rogers – Radio UserLand Kick Start
  3. Caldwell, Ian – The Rule of Four
  4. Carr, Nicholas G. – Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage
  5. Hammond, Grant T. – The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security
  6. Kelly, Kevin – Cool Tools
  7. Lakoff, George – Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate–The Essential Guide for Progressives
  8. Modesitt, L. E. – Archform: Beauty
  9. MORIARTY, CHRIS – Spin State
  10. Ringo, John – Emerald Sea
  11. Ringo, John – There Will Be Dragons
  12. Ringo, John – Cally’s War
  13. Stross, Charles – The Atrocity Archives
  14. Tharp, Twyla – The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
  15. Wheaton, Wil – Just a Geek
  16. Wurman, Richard Saul – Information Anxiety 2
  17. Yamashita, Keith – Unstuck: A tool for Yourself, Your Team , and Your World
  18. Zackheim, Sarah Parsons – Getting Your Book Published for Dummies

Finally, I have, as is my typical practice, here is the group of books I am in the midst of reading. Unlikely that I will finish them all before year end, but quite likely that I will finish enough of them to hit my goal. Particularly as I have some long plane rides in my near future.

  1. Agans, David J. – Debugging: The Nine Indispensable Rules for Finding Even the Most Elusive Software and Hardware Problems
  2. Bok, Derek Curtis – Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education
  3. Camp, Jim – Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know
  4. Cleaver, Jerry – Immediate Fiction : A Complete Writing Course
  5. Delisle, Marc – Mastering Phpmyadmin for Effective MySQL Management
  6. Downes, Larry – The Strategy Machine: Building Your Business One Idea at a Time
  7. Graham, Paul – Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
  8. KINDER, GEORGE – The Seven Stages of Money Maturity : Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life
  9. Lorsch, Jay W. – Aligning the Stars
  10. McKee, Robert – Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
  11. Mokyr, Joel – Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy
  12. Norman, Donald A. – Emotional Design: Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things
  13. Pinker, Steven – The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
  14. Ray, Michael – The Highest Goal: The Secret That Sustains You in Every Moment
  15. Raymond, Eric S. – The Art of UNIX Programming
  16. Ringo, John – The Hero
  17. Schneier, Bruce – Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World
  18. Stross, Charles – Toast
  19. Weber, David – The Shadow of Saganami (The Saganami Island)
  20. Weill, Peter – IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results
  21. Wilson, Edward Osborne – Consilience : The Unity of Knowledge
  22. Wright, John C. – The Golden Age