How to Reconcile Economics and Politics

A World Bank online article last week took a look at how Economics and Politics work with or against each other. Some of the questions at “Economists in Politics: Politicians or Technocrats?” of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Knowledge and Learning Forum 2007 to be held for two weeks for the technocrat and the politician include how one sphere is relevant to the other and how the dynamics of either sphere influences the other.

Monetary Integration Poses Many Questions

An economics issue I’ve been seeing in the headlines of international business articles is the emergence of an integrated monetary currency for Asian nations much like the Euro. Here is a Financial Express editorial around last week which contrasts a lot of things such as political and economic considerations before the integration out west was achieved.

Out East, Out West

So it all boils down to 4 clubs. Consider them the suits in a deck of cards but in the end there will remain only one team in a playoffs characterized by a list of adjectives without “predictable” in it.

Out West

It’s the San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz remaining with the Spurs enjoying homecourt from this point onwards.

Of all the series in that conference, it’s the 1-4-5-8 bracket of the playoffs format which would have put oddsmakers out of business. Conventional forecasting points out that it should have been the Mavericks and not the Jazz which should have been squaring off with the Spurs. The Golden State Warriors had something to say about that though as they plowed through the first round but didn’t have enough to overcome the Jazz in the second round.

As for the 2-3-6-7 bracket, nothing’s really surprising there: the Spurs are still standing. What’s really bothersome however is that they had to win one game of the series against the Suns with the help of a controversial suspension of Stoudemire and Diaw. Nothing to take away from the Spurs however but their advance would have been more convincing if it were not for that crucial suspension.

It should be a physical clash between the two with San Antonio eking out the win in 6 games.

Out East

It’s the Detroit Pistons against the Cleveland Cavaliers which will determine the Eastern Conference champions. This conference has turned out to be predictable with the top seeded teams meeting as expected. The only thing worth mentioning is that there will be a new Eastern Conference champion, (and consequently NBA champion as well,) with Miami’s uncharacteristic exit. I expect Detroit to eke this one out in seven games because it still remains to be seen if James will get notable help from his teammates.

Finals Peek

It should be NBA Finals 2005 part II, this time however, Detroit should have the advantage. While the Spurs’ core remained pretty much intact, Detroit had one notable change in the 5 spot: from Wallace to Webber, from defense to offense. The physical condition of the Spurs coming off a strong conference remains to be seen however.

Should prove to be something to watch out for because as much as I’ve been rooting for the Spurs ever since, my pragmatic outlook and sensibilities put the match-up at a dead 50.00-50.00.

Proof of Dark Matter

Another NASA article involving astronomy and physics the other day had me writing this entry. This time, the article involves the dark matter of one of the lot of theories in physics.

It is pretty interesting to note that while astromers believe that the stuff comprises majority of the known universe, they know so little about it. The discovery of a hazy ring of what’s supposedly dark matter then is more than welcome in the move to shed light on the subject. Now whether it does actually count for concrete evidence or not is another thing to watch out in subsequent editions of Physics books.

Top 5 CSS Tips

CSS LayoutsThe geek in me has this list of IT-wise goals I need to achieve before the year ends and one of them is a better grasp of CSS. Sure I’ve been using it for quite some time already but I’ve never actually wielded the mastery of the web ingredient enough to actually have me design a pretty decent website without taking a peek at other references and code.

Thanks to this blog entry from which the title was taken, I think I could aim to actually start somewhere. While I’ve just skimmed through the entry, the links there do look something definitely worth a second look.

Three Ball – II

This time a literal one. That three ball made by Horry with less than a minute to go to take the fight away from the Nuggets and more importantly a 3-1 lead for the Spurs as they take the series back at home where they can finish it all there.

I guess this time it’s safe to say the Nuggets are toast. Never mind the clutch baskets the guy’s accustomed to make in his NBA career, not even in the last game where Horry made important three’s and another clutch jumper late in the fourth quarter. But they just let Big Shot Rob throw the three again when they were just down by one! Just when you thought they learned their lesson from the previous game.

The result: the Spurs lead ballooned to 4 and the Nuggets never recovered from there. Anyway, I love the Jeff’s pun on the Horry and Parker pic here.

Horry to Parker: So, what do you say, Tony, you drive, kick it to me in the corner and we get out of here?


Freelancing Anyone?

If you’re a Notes/Domino guy and have been weeding through the IBM’s Notes forums in the course of using the technology, chances are you’ve encountered Benedict Poole, (or benpoole if you’re more familiar with his handle.) The guy’s got a big name in Notes/Domino development for years now that he’s one of those Notes people whose blog I visit once in a while.

Anyway I encountered his entry on freelancing last week and I must say that after reading a few articles, it was a nice find. He’s right: It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

The entry basically points to a site dealing with stuff on freeleancing called Freelance Switch. Seems ’twas aptly named as the first entry one gets to see today would be the top 10 reasons you should quit your job today and become a freelancer. Also here are some stuff I already got to check out there which are definitely noteworthy, (I have taken the actual titles of articles as is.)

101 Essential Freelancing Resources

An update indicates that the actual number of resources is currently 126. Just the same however, get links to important and useful online resources for Timing, Invoicing, Project Management and Organization, Stock Libraries, Business Tools, Legal, Job Boards, Web Tools, Advertising and Marketing and other Miscellaneous stuff. (Told you this site’s worth a closer look.)

The Monster List of Freelancing Job Sites

Another extensive list this time of freelancing job sites. Heard of online opportunities but don’t know where to find yours? This one’s got Traditional Job Listings, Job Aggregators, Job Bidding Sites, International, Non-English Sites and Sites with Occasional Freelance Positions.

A Lot of Jobs in One Place

Going through lots of jobs in different sites eats up a lot of time that’s why this article of job boards which aggregate posts in different job sites will definitely be handy for the interested freelancer.

Pitching and the Decision-Making Styles of Clients

Going on to client-related tips, here are ways on how to win that project from your client, be they Charismatics, Thinkers, Skeptics, Followers or Controllers by peeking at their decision-making.

12 Breeds of Clients and How to Work with Them

After the pitch, comes working with the client. The article goes on to show how to work with the Low-Tech, Uninterested, Hands-On, Paranoid, Appreciative, Get-A-Good-Deal, I’ll-Know-It-When-I-See-It, Always-Urgent, Decision-By-Committee, Doormat, Budget and/or You-Should-Be-So-Lucky client.

Getting an Edge on the Competition and Should You Work for Free

The former reads like your typical career article on career improvement while the latter jots down rules of thumbs in dealing with clients asking for freebies. Again for the latter, everything can be summarized in a word: No. For the curious reader though, the article and No Spec link in it are nice reads though.

Three Ball

Yesterday might as well go as one of the most exciting days in the playoffs ever. Sure I’ve seen exciting playoff days as well but the developments yesterday were definitely of greater significance than any other exciting playoff day I’m aware of. And these don’t involve drastic ejections or suspensions yet.

Nash goes 1 assist short of NBA Record

Steve Nash came up with another great performance after dishing out 23 assists, 1 short of Magic Johnson’s and John Stockton’s playoff record, as the Suns go on to take Game 4 of their series against the Lakers. Kobe’s in real trouble as dropping 50’s won’t be enough if they’re counterparts run their offense the way they did in that game.

And much as it was splendid for Nash, there are still two other games more significant than Nash’s near record.

The Heat are on Vacation

Yup, it happened alright. The Miami Heat have just made a record by being the first NBA defending champion to be swept in the first round of the following year’s playoffs, much to the dismay of the Heat fans.

Kudos to the Chicago Bulls for winning the series in a very convincing manner. I’ve read countless comments pointing out to the Heat’s woes, (e.g. Wade’s shoulder, Shaq’s age, Bulls’ speed and athleticism.) Regardless of these the fact that we’re going to have a new champion this year makes the following rounds of the playoffs more unpredictable and very exciting.

So the only thing definite right now would be a Pistons-Bulls series in the East coast. I would have actually written this off as the most important news bit yesterday but out west, something even more swashbuckling happened.

Dallas is a Loss Away From Joining Heat

The mighty Dallas Mavericks of 67 regular season wins is about to join the Heat on vacation if they don’t get their acts together. It was absolutely absurd to place your money on the Golden State Warriors prior to the start of the series considering the way the Mavericks dominated the regular season and the fact that the Warriors almost never made it to the playoffs.

And now it is even more astonishing that Golden State enjoys a 3-1 lead over Dallas but it happened anyway. Baron Davis powered his teammates to the frantic win that pushed their counterparts to the edge by scoring 33 points including all important assists.

Not that I make it a habit to go for underdogs but it seems like this would be the first time in a long while that the previous figures in the NBA finals end up on vacation in the following years playoffs via losses in the first round.  Coupled that with the fact that Golden State is up against a deadlier squad, (not to mention healthier and more athletic,) in contrast to the Bulls’ matchup makes it the top playoffs dime for yesterday.