Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Congratulations to Dr Aeron Zentner

Congratulations and best regards to Dr Aeron Zentner, who recently earned his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree from the School of Business and Technology at Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Dr Aeron Zentner

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Willie Minor (1922-2011)

Willie Minor (1922-2011), formerly of Exton, PA, recently passed at age 89. As a young boy growing up in Downingtown, PA back in the 1960's and 1970's, I vividly remember Willie joyfully riding his bicycle around town and through our neighborhoods. Everyone in Downingtown knew Willie from frequent chance encounters and seeing him riding his bicycle along the roads and highways. The photograph below shows Willie with his infamous bicycle and accessories just as I remember.

Willie Minor (1922-2011)

According to Willie's obituary:
From the 1940's through the early 1990's, Willie could have been dubbed Exton's Ambassador. Frequenting locations that are now just memories for Exton long-timers, Willie welcomed and conversed with folks at the Guernsey Cow, Exton Drive-In Theater, Downingtown Farmers' Market and Felix's Farm Market. His smile and laughter lightened the hearts of all who knew and loved him. A most beloved Exton resident, he will be remembered for his bicycle adorned with horns, lights, fenders, racks, flags and baskets heavily laden with old newspapers and many spools of string. Most Saturday's, Willie rode his bike through Marchwood and Whitford Hills where children gathered to greet him, admire his bike, and hoped to hear the toot of his bike horn.
By the way, the Guernsey Cow, Exton Drive-In, Downingtown Farmers' Market, and Felix's Farm Market were all places I frequented as a boy. Willie touched so many lives. Rest in peace...

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US 10-year Moving Average GDP Growth Ex-Government Spending (1958-2013)

The chart below depicts US economic growth as measured by GDP excluding government spending on a 10-year moving average basis since 1958. Note that GDP growth ex-government spending has been trending downwards since 1982, and that economic growth excluding government spending is now hitting historic lows.

[click to enlarge]

Apparently, US economic growth over the past 50 years has not been as high as standard GDP reporting suggests. For example, US GDP growth for 2003-2013 averaged a mere 3.4% after subtracting government spending. The above data suggests that the US should be prioritizing growth goals ahead of inflation and unemployment as a matter of fiscal and monetary policy under the assumption that robust economic growth can mitigate or reverse both inflation and unemployment over time.

The US is in desperate need of greater private sector growth now. The public sector should yield accordingly to private sector priorities in order to accommodate this necessary structural change in the US economy. The government cuts I envision will require a determined reassessment of both US social welfare and defense budget needs sooner rather than later.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Well Said...

"There is geometry in the humming of the strings; there is music in the spacing of the spheres."

~ Pythagoras

Pythagoras of Samos (ca 570-495 BC)

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

To my family, friends, colleagues, and readers around the world, Merry Christmas -- I hope it's a good one for you and yours...

Fractal art by Sara [click to enlarge]

Source: Deviant Art

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Well Said...

"The loser is always at fault."

~ Vasily Panov

Vasily Panov (1906-1973)

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Well Said...

"On the chessboard, lies and hypocrisy do not last long."

~ Emanuel Lasker

Dr Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941)

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Well Said...

"Unfortunately, many regard the critic as an enemy, instead of seeing him as a guide to the truth."

~ Wilhelm Steinitz

Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900)

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Well Said...

"In almost any position, the boundless possibilities of chess enable a new or at least a little-studied continuation to be found."

~ Tigran Petrosian

Tigran Petrosian (1929-1984)

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Well Said...

"In chess, as in life, opportunity strikes but once."

~ David Bronstein

David Ionovich Bronstein (1924-2006)

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Chess Fever (1925)

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Well Said...

"What is the object of playing a gambit opening...? To acquire a reputation of being a dashing player at the cost of losing a game."

~ Siegbert Tarrasch

Dr Siegbert Tarrasch (1862-1934)

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Well Said...

"Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them."

~ Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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Well Said...

"It is a well known fact that almost all the outstanding chess-players have been first-class analysts."

~ Mikhail Botvinnik

Dr Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik (1911-1995)

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Francis Fukuyama: The Decay of American Political Institutions

According to Dr Francis Fukuyama in The American Interest (2013, December 8):
Ordinary people feel that their supposedly democratic government no longer reflects their interests but instead caters to those of a variety of shadowy elites.... The perception that the democratic process has been corrupted or hijacked is not an exclusive concern of either end of the political spectrum... As a result, trust in Congress has fallen to historically low levels, now barely above single digits.
Read More

Dr Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (1952- )

The sad truth is that many Americans today are more afraid of the Federal government than they are of al-Qaeda. How this emerging public perception and attitude resolves politically will undoubtedly affect the economic fate of our nation.

Source: Fukuyama, F (2013, December 8), The Decay of American Political Institutions, The American Interest.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Bitcoin Mania

By all appearances, the Bitcoin phenomenon is now in the "mania" phase of what is otherwise known as an "economic bubble" (when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values).

I advise caution.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Well Said...

"Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

~ Ron Paul

Hon Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul (1935- )

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What is Cybernetics?

The science of control and communication in all of their manifestations within and between machines, animals, and organizations. Specifically, the interaction between automatic control and living organisms, especially humans and animals.

Source: The Free Dictionary

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Well Said...

"There’s class warfare, all right... but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."

~ Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett (1930- )

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Well Said...

"In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot."

~ Czesław Miłosz

Prof Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004)

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The Great Stratification (of Professionals)

According to Prof Jeffrey J Williams (2013) in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
The spread of academic labor follows the trend of other professions. The idea of the professional usually evokes a generic image—the old-fashioned family doctor, for instance, who hung out his shingle—but now we have a much more variegated system of alpha and beta practitioners. And rather than the ideal of being independent and roughly equivalent to their peers, most professionals now work in hierarchical bureaucratic structures.
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No one should doubt that the future landscape for all professionals, including university professors, is shifting with the times. The "good old days" of earning an advanced degree and then joining the ranks of other aspiring professionals in a given cohort are ending. Yet, the global demand for "alpha" professionals with world-class skills has never been greater. As for the "beta" practitioners, the great stratification now underway globally will likely mean less career opportunity, reduced job security, lower salaries, and ultimately, diminished fulfillment. Understanding the essential qualitative differences between "alpha" and "beta" professionals carries currency in the 21st century.

Source: Williams, J J (2013, December 2), The Great Stratification, Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Tabular versus Multidimensional Modeling

According to Microsoft TechNet (2012), the distinction between tabular versus multidimensional modeling is operationally significant for analysts:
Multidimensional modeling, introduced with SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services and continuing through SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, enables BI professionals to create sophisticated multidimensional cubes using traditional online analytical processing (OLAP).

Tabular modeling, introduced with PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010, provides self-service data modelling capabilities to business and data analysts. The tabular modeling experience is more accessible to these users, many who have spent years working with data in desktop productivity tools like Excel and Microsoft Access. In SQL Server 2012, tabular modeling has been extended to enable BI professionals to create tabular models in Analysis Services or to import a tabular model from PowerPivot into Analysis Services. Note that a PowerPivot model cannot be imported into an Analysis Services multidimensional model.
Read More

[click to expand]

Business intelligence (BI) analysts who have not yet done so will want to become conversant about PowerPivot for Excel, PowerPivot for SharePoint Services, Analysis Services Tabular, and Analysis Services Multidimensional. Follow the link below to learn more.

Source: Raja, N (2012, May 3). Choosing a Tabular or Multidimensional Modeling Experience in SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services. Microsoft TechNet.

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Detroit: Evidence of Decay

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