March 16th, 2005


March 2004 Communications of the A.C.M.

I have seen companies that enthusiastically embark on high-risk projects exhibit astonishment or even anger when such projects fail—casting about for some hapless scapegoat to take the blame for the decision and its failure. It is as if the concepts of risk and failure are somehow disconnected.
Handicapping Horses There is no trick to figuring out which horse is most likely to win a race at the racetrack: it is the favorite. It is always the favorite. Not that the favorite always wins, but it does so more often than other horses— which is, of course, why it is the favorite. But good handicappers do not just pick favorites. The essence of handicapping is not predicting the winner— it is maximizing return on investment. Good handicappers calculate and optimize the difference between the paid odds and what they perceive to be the actual odds of success. When the likely payout exceeds the perceived risk by a certain value, it is a good bet.
Philip G. Armour, writing in Project Porfolios: Organizational Management of Risk

Nice history of the INDUCE Act and why in it's forms last year would have been bad in Legislative Challenges to the Sony Safe Harbor Rule. I followed this vaguely through Lawrence Lessig's blog but never really had a good picture understanding of the problems with the act. The bill did not pass last year.



I read the book on which this movie is based. It's a true crime novel. When I rented the DVD though, I didn't realize it was Larry Clark who directed. Larry Clark who directed Kids. The man likes to show kids at their most depraved. His movies are Lords of the Flies on screen. It's an excellent movie, but not a pleasant movie. Oh, the plot: Lisa plots to kill her boyfriend Marty's best friend Bobby because he's a bully. The worst kind. She enlists the help of a bunch of 17 to 20 something ne'er-do-wells. Clark makes Bobby pretty unappetizing, but having read the book I think he's sitll a lot prettier than he was in real life. I mean in terms of personality.