Sunday, November 19, 2006

FREAKONOMICS : Find time to read it!!!

"If something happens by coincidence
too many times, it isn't coincidental."
- Lucky Tan after reading Freakonomics
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant"
- Freakonomics on the topic of transparency
Freakonomics is a book by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner published in 2005. It summarises interesting research done by Steven Levitt when he applied economic theory to diverse topics that ranged from collusion in Sumo Wrestling to impact of abortion on crime.
One thing I learned from the book is you can mine data and make reasonable conclusions. But in the Singapore context, one has to be doubly careful because Singapore is struck by strange coincidences that can make on jump into the wrong conclusions. Take news in Singapore as an example we had that torrent of wonderful heavenly news sometime in Feb-March '06, then all of a sudden, coincidentally after the elections, we had a string of sad sobbering price increases which culminated in the GST 7% announcement by PM Lee. Mr. Brown had made the wrong conclusion that the price increases were deliberately avoided during the period leading to the elections so that Singaporeans's brains would not be 'taxed' by it. He was promptly corrected by Ms Bhavini. Coincidentally, the govt had alot of money to give out to everyone as Progress Package and hundreds of millions in promises for upgrading a few months back now has so little money to help the poor, they have not choice but to increase GST.


vesance said...

The Chicago Boys can do what they did in Latin America for Singapore.

freemason said...

"First, what Thailand has experienced over the last five years may have had the form of democracy but certainly not the content," said Surayud.

"It was the camouflage of electoral politics subverting the true democratic principles of the rule of law, justice for all, honesty and transparency in government and respect for human rights. This subversion of democratic principles was not the mandate given to the government by the people; rather it was a mandate unilaterally shaped by a political party that pulled together unprecedented political and financial power, power so great that all the checks and balances so carefully built into the 1997 Constitution were neutralised," he said. -
Thai PM Surayud Chulanont, to press after the Thaksin ouster.

Sound familiar ? just substitute the country, & 40 years.

Anonymous said...

Freaks in economics are telling us that if they declare the year of jubilee for economic slaves, these slaves will lose the incentive to produce useful work( a better way of putting it than to say you're a money churning machines for the rich) and become "bums". Well,then, will you be a "bum" if you do gain financial freedom? Or will you not,in your freedom, pursue meaningful work and find time to contribute to society especially for those whose dignity has been restored?

Somehow, a new society and a new way of life will emerge in the year of jubilee. But the freaks in economics who amass great financial power will fight to ensure the beholden remain loyal to its tales of "a way that seemeth right but its end...." when such tales have been foretold in printed pages of ancient times or so I've heard.

Anonymous said...

Bajin, a renown writer who shot to fame during May 4th movement in China. He passed away about a year ago more than 100 year old. He was the Chairman of China Writers' Association for a long time.

He spent most of his time before his death telling all to "jiang zhenhua" (SPEAK the TRUTH!)

Anonymous said...

how to "jiang zhenhua" in a culture of fear, intimidation, public humiliation, lawsuits, police arrests?

Anonymous said...

The PAP has no integrity. Before election they have so much money to give out as Progress Package, Upgrade this place that place and that place if we vote for them.

Suddenly, after election NO MORE MONEY....MUST INCREASE PRICE OF EVERYTHING. Even stamp price also increased! Now GST increase. WTF....what kind of gahmen is this!

Anonymous said...

WTF....what kind of SINGAPOREAN voted for this gahmen?!

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the MIW. It's the 666 who are either stupid or belong to the uncaring elite.

If they are the uncaring elite, they did make a good and right chocie to vote for the MIW. Because as it seem now, their income tax is going to go down further in the near future and increase of GST 2% is not going to hurt them as much as having an increase of 1% income tax. So they can sleep soundly now knowing that the MIW is very caring and would not push the burden of caring for the poor to their shoulder. The middle and lower income would be the one carrying the weight.

If they are just the originally middle and lower earning peasants, then it's their own fault for being stupid to fall for the progress package and upgrading everytime. This is not the first time the MIW used such underhand tactic to 'buy' (The 'buy' word not I say one hor. But a you know who said it himself in one of his own public speech) votes, and yet the 666 keep falling for it every time.

So next time is some oversea writer come and tell us that our people are stupid, don't get angry and hurt, because at least the 666 already proven that they definitely are.

freemason said...

i dont understand how the result was 666. it is too precise, too exact. 333, 666, 999. its EXACTLY two-thirds majority. I think its despite the tweaking, the real ruler could not be disguised anymore and was exposed "... and their number was 66.6 ... " 13:18. Those in the know silently grow some wings for their childrens' sake...

Anonymous said...

for those who maybe wondering what that "auspicious" number means, you may be interested to know that there was an inference made by a feng shui master of a sort found in the older book.

could be an impressive golden image that demands worship you think?

Anonymous said...

every country deserves they government they deserve...

freemason said...

anony 6:30 above:
do ANY peoples deserve Paralysed Anti-Politicians who are Punitive Arbitrary Punishers only good for Programming All-Mighty Propoganda ?