Archive for February, 2011

WoD – Wrong Change results

This is certainly not statistically significant.  But here goes anyway.  For question #1, you thought 43%  of people would keep the extra change, and 57% of people would alert the bartender of give it back.  But for question #2, all the replies were C’s.

This is about what I had expected.  Honestly, you were more trusting of other humans than I figured.  A natural follow-on question to consider is, are we as a small group of WoD respondents more ethical and moral than the average population?  We certainly think so.

One wrote a great comment, too, that makes up the ‘B Case’ of this little social experiment.  He mused what the results might be if the situation was changed to, say, a blackjack table at a casino; let’s say the dealer miscounts and slides you an extra red chip (a $5 chip) in a winnings pile.  If this were the scenario (i.e. in Sin City at a casino, gambling, and receiving an additional inadvertent $5 chip), would the results to both questions be different?  In fact, he himself bravely admitted that when this happened he happily kept the extra chip (i.e. a “C” answer switches to a “B”).

So, perhaps the real higher-level thought on all this is not just that we may think we are more moral and ethical than the average person (define “we” any way you like, so long as it is inclusive of yourself).  But also, that ethics and morals are often… situational.



OYSGEMATERT (OYSgehmahtehrt)


I’ve worked more shifts than Gordie Howe.  I’m so oysgematert.


WoD – Wrong Change pop quiz

Question #1:

A guy is in a crowded bar and order four beers for his table.  The bartender tells him it will be $26.  He pays her with a twenty dollar bill and a ten dollar bill underneath.  The line is long, she is hustling, people jostle behind him.  She returns and places $14 back on the counter for him (a ten and four singles).

What do you think he does?  Let’s vote:

A.)  He grabs the change and slinks off.

B.)  He tips her a few bucks and pockets the extra.

C.)  He alerts her that she returned too much change to him and gives her back the extra ten dollars.


Answer this top one before reading the second one.


Question #2:

YOU are in a crowded bar and order four beers for your table.  The bartender tells you it will be $26.  You pay her with a twenty dollar bill and a ten dollar bill underneath.  The line is long, she is hustling, people jostle behind you.  She returns and places $14 back on the counter for you (a ten and four singles).

What do you do?  Let’s vote:

A.)  You grab the change and slink off.

B.)  You tip her a few bucks and pocket the extra.

C.)  You alert her that she returned too much change to you and give her back the extra ten dollars.


I’ll tally the results.  I’m half curious to see the percentages for questions 1, and half curious to see the % differences between question 1 and 2…





You want to know the emes?  That dress looks terrible.


WoD – Batting 1000

I saw this bit of news tonight:

“Batting 1000: Bloomberg reports that JPMorgan Chase racked up a “perfect trading record” in the second half of 2010, making money every single day.  For the full year, the investment bank lost money in only eight days, all of them in the second quarter.”

We see this headline, and we don’t even really bat an eye, right?  A big bank makes trades on a daily basis (for its clients but I guess for itself, too), and in doing this they made money each day over the last 6 months.  Yawn, what’s next.  We collectively just shrug our shoulders and move on.  (And by “we” I mean me, you, neighbors, business professors, news reporters, the SEC, etc.)

But hang on.  This is an amazing thing.  Certainly worth thinking about (from a WoD-like perspective).  How could a huge firm like JP Morgan, or ANY firm, beat the market every single day of the year except 8 days?  Statistically speaking, this is unfathomable!  Think about it – 252 of 260 days?!  They are right 96.9% of the time!  How could this possibly be?  Unless…

Unless what?  Well, the only conclusion I can reach – and probably any of us can reach – is that the game is rigged.  There’s no other way.  Something is up here.  They are either front-running everyone else’s trades and taking tiny slivers along the way, or using some method that advantages only them (remember, all markets are a zero sum game).  They have some proprietary way/method/algorithm that clearly has figured out how to play – nay, beat – the system.  And of course, JP Morgan is not alone in this; all the major money center banks are consistently making money each and every day, to the tune of ~252 out of 260 trading days.

But should a bank be able to do this, and have this proprietary advantage?  This is effectively a license to print money, is it not?  There is something really pretty rotten in this.

Beats me what it is though.  Yawn.  Shrug…




Stuff; silly stuff

Get your shmontses together, we’re about to leave!

WoD – Clementines, clementines, everywhere

So, where did these things come from?  Just a few short years ago none of us ever heard of these things.  We had your basic oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits, sure.  Suddenly (and by suddenly I mean over the past ~5 years), those little wooden boxes are everywhere!  It must literally rain Clementines in Peru or Chile or wherever.

This is a mini-continuation on the “big food conglomerates are bad and out to get us all” meme.  And so while we’re at it, why, and more importantly how, are these things seedless?!  How can our little wooden boxes be overflowing with Clementines everywhere if they are all seedless…?

If your answer is anything other than genetic engineering, well, think again.  Cisgenesis, to be more precise…




Definitely NOT a Litvak.  Coming from the Ukraine or Russia itself.

Look at him over there, skulking in the corner.  See the way his eyes are too close together?  He is obviously a Rooshisher.

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