Friday, May 30, 2008

Americans are babies

Or to be more precise, some Americans have mentality of teenagers. Most flagrant symptom is not being able to deal with things that you need to be dealt with.
Let me give you an example. Mr. W. is responsible for doing thing A. This thing needs to be done so that people XYZ can do thing B, which benefits Mr.W. and that he asked for. They are ready and waiting for Mr. W., yet he says "I'm not willing to deal with it right now". Or even worse "I don't feel like dealing with A right now". So he leaves other people waiting, which costs them time and money.
Other examples are credit card debts ("I don't want to think about it"), mortgage payments and so on. I have seen people to go on shopping spree after they lost their job and thus a significant amount of money and expected revenues.
Of course, you can ignore problems for a while. But they come back and then they are much bigger. In the meantime, the responsible people around you suffer...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Worst ever

I was not inclined to talk about Vista without first hand experience. Now I have it, but I'm not able to talk. Basically, it is the most annoying, worst designed operating system ever. Probably even Windows 3.1 were better.
I'm not sure I'm able to go through many details - the pain is too recent. But let me say this: if you can turn something on, you should be able to turn it off, if you provide "Help" button, it would be great if it actually led to the Help. If you say that by pressing X+Y something happens, then it should. And why the hell do you keep asking the programs MADE by Microsoft, on which I just clicked? If you think I might judged that they should not be run, maybe you need to give me some information useful to make that decision!
I could go like this forever, but I won't. I won't also be buying one any time soon...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Working Papers at CERGE-EI

There is a plenty of rules for submission and evaluation of Working Papers at CERGE-EI. Most of them attempt to smooth the process and limit its length. It is all governed by one person I will not name, because this person changes and for another reason that will be obvious in a minute.
This person receives the paper, selects the referee from CERGE-EI faculty, usually based on suggestions provided by the author, sends them the paper, collects the reviews etc. The referees are supposed to be done in 3 weeks. There are no limits on how fast they need to be chosen. So check this:

This is a submission email:

Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 13:33:33 -0700

And this is an email send by that person to the referees:
Tue, 06 May 2008 12:51:54 +0200

Yes, it took him 2 weeks to send a 3 line email. Given our history, I guess it is personal...

Monday, May 26, 2008


I sent my third paper to my dissertation committee and I'm await comments. Even though I'm probably still far away from finishing the dissertation, I experience a strange feeling of emptiness. I surely have what to do (some magazines and fiction books to read), or I might even work, but I feel strange anyway. I actually did start looking for fourth topic, but I was google old idea solved in a few seconds. But I also don't feel like I need to - I'm not looking for a job at a university, and I don't even plan to continue the research. It's probably time to polish existing texts.
P.S. I'm required to have three papers to finish my dissertation. Thus, I'm quite close, unless my committee rejects the paper.
After two weeks of waiting, first comments came. They are positive. Two more to go...

Ice Cream

I love Ice Cream (who doesn't?) and America is the country of Ice Cream. But coming from country, where finding chocolate ice cream means you have a lucky day, I'm having troubles. On average supermarket shelf in San Diego, there is about 25 different flavors of Ice Cream, usually from four or five different producers (brands). But, finding the simple chocolate ice cream is not easy. It does not exists. Oh, there are flavors that contain chocolate (chocolate mint, double chocolate cookies fudge, or whatever - I mostly have no idea what the name means), but no simple chocolate.
In large stores, you can find "Best of both", which contains both Vanilla and Chocolate. This is a good substitute, if you like vanilla.
The point of the story is that too much of horizontal differentiation is, uhmm, too much :-)