Jim Rogers interview on Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s Night Talk: interview with Jim Rogers, who predicts great trouble for US economy and for the US dollar. From Wikipedia:

James Beeland Rogers, Jr. (born October 191942) is an American investor and financial commentator. He is co-founder, along with George Soros, of the Quantum Fund, and is a college professor, author, world traveler, economic commentator, and creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI).

I found this part of the Wikipedia article most interesting (he talks about it a bit, but very late in the interview, at ~40:00):

In December 2007, Rogers sold his mansion in New York City for about 16 million USD and moved to Singapore. This is due mainly in his belief that this is a ground-breaking time for investment potential in Asian markets. Rogers’ first daughter is now being tutored in Mandarin to prepare her for the future, he says. “Moving to Asia now is like moving to New York City in 1907,” he said. Also, he is quoted to say: “If you were smart in 1807 you moved to London, if you were smart in 1907 you moved to New York City, and if you are smart in 2007 you move to Asia.” In an CNBC interview with Maria Bartiromo broadcast on May 5, 2008, Rogers said that people in Asia are extremely motivated and driven, and he wants to be in that type of environment so his daughters are motivated and driven. He said during that interview that, this is how America and Europe used to be. He chose not to move to Hong Kong or Shanghai due to the high levels of pollution causing potential health problems for his family. His second daughter was born in 2008. [3]

Rogers is also an adventurer, went around the world both in a car and on a motorcycle, and published two books about it (along with investment books he’s known for). Check out his website – I think the car is waaaay too cool. 🙂

Penn & Teller on creationism, and why the Bible is “Bullshit!”

Here’s a funny little excerpts from Penn & Teller‘s episode on creationism from Bullshit! series.

These episodes run 30 minutes each, and counting 69 through 6 seasons. A mixed-and-cut, 10 minute version of the episode on the Bible is available on YouTube:

I can’t say that I really loved the series. I found them a little bit boring – I rented two DVDs from Netflix and by the end of the first one I’d had enough. There’s too much comedy in it for me, and too little facts.

But there’s something about magicians (which is what Penn & Teller started as, at least partially) becoming debunkers. The one that stands out of them all is, of course, the great James Randi, the man who I passionately admire, who used to put up his own money against paranormal claims. Randi deserves a separate post (and not one!), but amongst other famous magician debunkers I can list Harri Houdini and Joe Nickell.

I think the reason is simple. Magicians deceive the public while the public is aware it’s being deceived, and that’s what makes the experience so astounding. Psychics, fortune tellers and other charlatans use pretty much the same tricks and techniques, but mislead the public into believing they’re genuine. That outrages fair magicians as they often do the job much better but yet never claim paranormal abilities.
(to be objective, I must add that not all psychics are charlatans – a good chunk are delusional, true believers in their own “powers”, even after it’s been demonstrated in controlled experiments they don’t possess any)

TED: How creativity is being strangled by the law by Larry Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is a Stanford law professor, and one the leading authorities on the issue of copyright. He is a founding board member of Creative Commons, an organization (and a license name) devoted to making creative works such as images or video available for others to build upon and share. This wonderful TED presentation, in “Lessig Method” style, is about how our culture has been changed (and is changing) by Internet, and why the existing copyright laws are inadequate any more.

Original video on TED.com (might be better quality).

Lessig has been extremely politically active and is widely recognized by the Internet community as having greatly contributed to the freedom of expression. Here’s a “Tribute to Larry Lessig” from Brave New Films, the guys who brought you The Real McCain, FOX Attacks! and Meet the Bloggers:

Peter Schiff was right

Peter Schiff is known to have predicted the current financial crisis and real estate bubble burst way back in 2006. Whether he was lucky or a genius, it’s still so much fun to watch these little clips from CNBC and Fox News where other guests would “boo”, and “ah” and “here we go again” him over and over. Pay attention to the price stickers as they talk about financial stocks. 🙂

What you gotta notice is how confident his opponents are. I guess we can all learn a lesson to never listen to Wall Street financial advisors, and anybody else expressing any opinion on where the market is heading for this matter. Even if Peter is a genius, how a simple man is supposed to pick him out of the crowd of others?

George Carlin on religion

I suppose most of people reading this blog know who George Carlin is, but probably not all. He’s a famous American stand up comedian, winner of four Grammy Awards for his comedy albums. He also was arrested for violating obscenity laws in Milwaukee.

George died this year, on June 22th, at the age of 71. Please watch his take on religion – it’s incredibly funny, but viewers beware – strong language! It was filmed in 1999 at 11th George Carlin concert special.

And this a very entertainingly animated version of the first 2 minutes of this monologue featured in Zeitgeist, the Movie:

“Zeitgeist, the Movie” deserves a separate post, although I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories.