Category Archives: Impractical Optimization

United We Blame

Blame Index Funds: Overbooking and Cross Selling (first story) Blame The Law: The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video Blame The Culture of Law Enforcement in Aviation:The Real Reason a Man Was Dragged Off That United Flight and How To Stop … Continue reading

Posted in Impractical Optimization | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Escalator Action

Epistemic Status: Slow ride. Take it easy. You Memba Elevator Action? I memba. A recent study (link is to NY Times) came out saying that we should not walk on escalators, because not walking is faster. From the article: The train … Continue reading

Posted in Impractical Optimization | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The Thing and the Symbolic Representation of The Thing

Let’s assume there is a thing that all would agree is, in context, a Good Thing(tm) that someone in your situation would want. Do you want the thing, or do you want the symbolic representation of the thing?* This sounds … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Impractical Optimization, Personal Experience, Rationality | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

What If It Rains?

Follow Up To: Full Service Gas stations in New Jersey do not have awnings to protect customers from the rain. Let us presume for the moment that due to some combination of inertia, regulations and initial costs, it is not … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Economic Analysis, Impractical Optimization | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

NFL is a perfect example of complexity creep

The NFL has voted to adopt a new rule that extra point attempts are snapped from the fifteen yard line, whereas two point conversions will continue to be run from the two yard line, but with the additional rule that … Continue reading

Posted in Impractical Optimization, Sports | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

In a world… of venture capital

On Twitter, Robin Hanson asked a question yesterday I have given a lot of thought to, which is why the bigger venture capital firms dominate the market and make oversize profits while the other firms taken together make almost no … Continue reading

Posted in Death by Metrics, Impractical Optimization, Personal Experience | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments