Links 6/26/08

Heartbreak over cub confiscation BBC

Children concerned by parents’ web habits The Local

A quarter of adults to face ‘anti-paedophile’ tests Telegraph. Key section:

But the increase in child protection measures is so great it is “poisoning” relationships between the generations, according to respected sociologist Professor Frank Furedi….As a result ordinary parents – many of whom are volunteers at sports and social clubs – now find themselves regarded “potential child abusers”.

The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete Wired. Worth reading, but I remember when Francis Fukuyama declared the end of history. Similarly, as to the infallibility of Google’s ad choices, this site too often features Google-provided links to payday lenders, right wing causes, and oddball trading schemes (I checked over just now and see the top left ad is “Free Cattle Forecasts”). Remember, the classic remark about advertising: “50% of spending is wasted, I just don’t know which 50%.” So Google Adsense is competing in an area where the existing standards are low. Dunno about you, but I’m not ready to entrust Google with science.

How to Save Money on Gas, Without Driving Less Political Calculations (hat tip Econbrowser). A tool to check the impact of driving speed on fuel consumption.

Obama backs union in Tesco fight Guardian

Take That PEG Ratio and Shove It Captain Capitalism

Fed Watch: Cutting It Down the Middle Tim Duy, Economist’s View. Duy parses the FOMC release and concludes that a rate rise is more likely for September-October than August.

Love Markets: Putting Out Efficiency Long or Short Capital

Antidote du jour:

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  1. STS

    That Wired “End of Science” article is classic Wired wankery. There are actually some interesting questions about how the scientific method generalizes to situations where complexity makes simple analytical predictions hard to come by or downright misleading. But those questions are a lot older than Google — or computer technology itself, for that matter.

    The problem is that “sciences” like economics just can’t get as much mileage out of traditional scientific method because you can’t do controlled experiments at will or quickly enough, or at all. So you resort to statistical models. Those models (as George Box pointed out) have *always* been second best (or fifteenth best …) but just collecting more data doesn’t reduce the urgency of modeling at all. It probably creates some opportunities for different, perhaps better, modeling. Data mining and pattern recognition are just modeling of a different kind — looking for more compact representations of a blizzard of data points.

    But trust Wired to draw the wrong conclusion and assert breathlessly that hot company du jour is the source of all worthwhile thinking. Any mag so chock full of dumb, sensationalist, unreadable tripe cover-to-cover should be titled not “Wired”, but “Trashed”.

  2. pd130

    Oh clearly, this is a yawning, bored rabbit, who perhaps has been reading too much Wired magazine lately.

  3. Anonymous

    ” I AM a retired futures…made my living at it for 30 years.

    There are so many misconceptions about how the speculators REALLY do move the market…especially oil.

    First — The most active Oil futures contracts (THE one that controls the actual price for oil TODAY) are NOT bought anticipating the price of oil years in the future — they are bought/sold mostly for the contract that expires in **30 days OR LESS**. Every oil contract is only good for the MONTH it expires.

    The one that expires NEXT — within the next 30 days — is called the “front month” and is used to set the price of the spot market all over the world.

    So Speculators (for the most part), NOT the oil producers and oil users, set TODAY’S price of oil!!!!!

    The fundamental battle between supply and demand – and the value of the US Dollar — today and as expected in the near future, is part of the price In quiet times IS almost all of what determines the price.

    However, there is a premium OFTEN created over and above that fundamental supply and demand, currency value, price — and taken advantage of — by the futures traders based on fear and greed (and HEAVY speculative money) that comes into the market.

    Second — People are mixing up the TYPE of traders and how they were regulated before Clinton took off the collars on ALL classification of traders. Before, those that actually produce and use OIL (actually deliver or take delivery of the oil) and buy/sell contracts to hedge — to eliminate risk — had no limit on the contracts they could buy/sell…most of the time these hedgers came pretty close (within 10%) of balancing out both the long and short sides the market.

    However, when Clinton took off the limits on SPECULATORS, that brought in BIG hedge funds, INVESTMENT BANKS, and *most recently* pension and Commodity Mutual funds — and others — who could move the market — with HUGE CAPITAL — enabling they to apply extreme buying or selling pressure to move the market where they wanted…and usually in the contract that only is good for 30 DAYS — the month that expires within 30 days or the next one out.

    One last thought about why it got to be this way…FOLLOW THE MONEY!!

    Who in Clinton administration benefited from Clinton taking off the collars on amounts of futures contracts SPECULATORS could trade…like hedge funds and INVESTMENT BANKS? (start with Clinton’s Secy. of Treasury) Robert Rubin and Rubin’s employers before and after he was in the Clinton Administration (Goldman Sachs and Citi Group) . Why did this move by Clinton take place JUST a couple weeks before Rubin resigned????
    38 posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 10:17:44 PM by Jackson Brown”


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