Jan. 12th, 2017

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There's an interesting parallel between Vonnegut's "“Write to please just one person...” and an earlier Wittgenstein's statement in his Preface to Tractatus "Its [the book's] object would be attained if there were one person who read it with understanding and to whom it afforded pleasure."

I wonder whether Vonnegut wanted to allude that his character was familiar with Wittgenstein's work.
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Мой дедушка был пикейным жилетом. Каждое утро он ходил к киоску Союзпечати, покупал кучу советских газет, приносил их домой, читал все статьи и с отвращением комментировал, что каждая из них не только пишет неправду, но еще и плохо написана. Это повторялось годами, изо дня в день. По вечерам он включал телевизор, смотрел советские новости и тоже с отвращением комментировал.

Единственное, что его могло отвлечь от обсуждения плохо написанных лживых советских газет, была просьба пришить пуговицу или ушить брюки. По профессии и призванию дедушка был портным, и только занятие любимым делом хоть чуть-чуть спасало его мозг о переполнения плохо написанными, лживыми советскими новостями.

Глядя на дедушку, я пообещал себе, что когда вырасту, то очень постараюсь найти себе любимое дело и не стать пикейным жилетом.

Eureka!

Jan. 12th, 2017 10:46 pm
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Finally, I've found myself a textbook that looks quite promising: Algebra Chapter 0, by Paolo Aluffi

https://www.amazon.com/Algebra-Chapter-Graduate-Studies-Mathematics/dp/0821847813
timelets: (Default)
It's interesting to see how Trump uses the language of business to fool people when he says, "If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability."

The implication here is that assets are better than liabilities, therefore Putin liking Trump is good. Is it so? Not at all!

After hearing Trump's statement we should ask ourselves, Good for what? In other words, the goodness of an asset depends on the use of the asset. For example, an asset can be used to harm parties directly. An asset can also be used to harm third parties, e.g. by creating a negative externality. Etc.

Moreover, a mutual liking between parties is not an asset by itself. Rather, it's something that potentially reduces transaction costs, e.g. by reducing due diligence expenses and increasing the probability of a deal. Nevertheless, until we know the nature of the transaction itself and its implications, we can't say that a reduction in its costs is good for us.

The implicit assumption behind Trump's statement is that what's good for Trump is good for America and we should trust his judgement on that. This is a typical Principal - Agent problem that has to be addressed by a proper management contract and an enforcement mechanism. A lack of such contract backfired on Trump's investors and customers many times and resulted, e.g. in real estate bankruptcies and Trump University lawsuits.

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