Monday, September 12, 2005

Blog break ...

I am away for the next week, so there may not be any blogging. Here is a bunch of links that you might want to visit:

  • Marcus Ranum has an essay on Six dumbest ideas in computer security [link via slashdot]. All you ever wanted to know about penetration testing and othr such impenetrable stuff (but were afraid to ask) is there in this essay.
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb (NNT) is the author of Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, which was published a while ago. The book is now out in paperback, along with a new postscript (pdf). Chapters 3, 4 and 5 are also available in pdf. Tyler Cowen has glowing things to say about the book:
    ... if you want ... an egocentric, anecdote-based survey of behavioral finance, with references to classical literature scattered throughout, this is the book for you. I read it through to the end, which I don't do for nine out of ten things I pick up.
    We don't need to be fooled by randomness all the time; sometimes we may even be charmed by it. Cowen's post on NNT is an example, because he has opened up the comments thread, and NNT himself has made an appearance. Don't miss it!
  • The Freakonomics authors, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, have a nice NYTimes piece about Seth Roberts, a pretty freaky professor of psychology at Berkeley:
    It began when Roberts was a graduate student. First he had the clever idea of turning his personal problems into research subjects. Then he decided that he would use his own body as a laboratory. Thus did Roberts embark on one of the longest bouts of scientific self-experimentation known to man - not only poking, prodding and measuring himself more than might be wise but also rigorously recording every data point along the way.
    I looked up Roberts' website, where I found links to several of his articles that are available online. Do check them out, if you feel upto it. One of them had this eerie title: "Self-experimentation as a source of new ideas: Ten examples about sleep, mood, health, and weight".
  • If you are still with me, you might be interested in a special "blog seminar" that Crooked Timber organized in which Steven Levitt was the 'speaker', and the audience consisted of such big guns as Tyler Cowen, Tim Harford (who writes the 'Dear Economist' column in the Financial Times), Kieran Healy, Henry Farrell and John Quiggin. The 'seminar' took place in May 2005. Start with this link and go through the rest of it; there is also a pdf version of the entire thing.

See you all in a week! Ciao.