Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Update: A day in the life - tired and cranky

I had a rotten night last night. First of all, I tried to go out to the late night local college theatre to see "The Laws of Attraction," to try to relax since I've had a lot of things on my mind and I was just getting into it when - kabluey!!! What can I say? I have a thing for neurotic obsessive compulsive skinny red-heads. I was chatting with a nice looking one in the hallway today for a bit, but alas she has a boyfriend.

Right my point is that the audio cut out right when they were in the beautiful Irish country side, a perfect green to offset Ms Moore's ravishing complexion and eyes, and a vista to melt any woman's heart(all the better to charm their pants off), when the audio cut out and the hapless college theater employees (through no fault of their own) couldn't get it fixed. So just like that, I had to get a rain check and had plunked a chunk of change for a (small) very butter drenched (there's no point in eating popcorn unless you can get your fingers sticky with the butter) popcorn bag and a medium drink for nothing!

So of course, I have to go back tonight and try again. So I can't even get my vicarious romances right at this point, and the "Laws of Attraction," suddenly losing Audio when they got to the good part is a pretty good dang metaphor for my life right about now. Who says the Divine Being doesn't have a sense of humor? As a matter of fact they're a bucket of laughs- mostly at my expense lately it seems.

Well two things have gone my way today. The first is that my office mate brought his incredibly cute newborn thing into the office. I'm incredibly supportive of paternal-child bonding, and am all for keeping the kid in the corner or on-site day care. It's what I plan to do if I ever get around to having kids! This was the serotonin reuptake-inhibiting event for my day. My response was "Ah!!! How cute! A small human being. :-)"

The other thing is that Daniel Drezner who I do have a more than passing admiration for even though I do disagree with him at times, posted a comment on BLS productivity numbers that references one of my posts. That's me right there, the link called "some have argued that the massive increases in U.S. labor productivity are due to sloppy GDP accounting".

That's me. Some. ;-)

My comment is up at his site, the gist of it being that (a) the BLS admits in the memo that offshoring labor misreporting and output inflation can skew GDP / productivity numbers and that (b) the BLS claims that this effect declines by 1/3 in the very period (post 1995) that the absolute and relative levels of offshoring and outsourcing accellerates as a part of our economy.

As I pointed out on Daniel's site, this kind of assertion is at best contradictory on the surface and meriting further investigation but one thing is clear - it's that the BLS memo denying the role of offshoring did anything but that if you think about the ridiculousness of such a claim. Now everything may be above board and all and this may be a mistake or a misunderstanding, but at the very least its a discrepency that merits a closer look into the compilation of BLS numbers.

Remember, that the BLS doesn't deny that such an output inflation in the memo (via Dan's site) can occur, it just argues that it isn't the case or in any event isn't big enough. A claim about a number that declines when intuition suggests it should increase barring a lack of other intervening factors therefore goes straight to the heart of the denial. That it claims that the output inflation effect declines as the practice becomes more widespread is fishy at best.

I'm still working on the massive oil article. I decided to split it into three pieces for three different days, one for oil, the next for gold, and the last for the role of hard currency reserves in Asian FOREX regarding the previous two with more on China and Japan's economic roles.

The first installment should be up (late) tonight. Don't wait up for it. I'm going to eat some rich roast Duckling and have a second shot using my raincheck ticket on that Brosnan film again first before I put it up tonight. This is my self-reward for surviving another end-of-term game of Academic-"Survivor!"

For the record, I am a consistent long term Brosnan fan, and have been a fan of his work outside of the Bond franchise including his lesser known dramatic or comedic roles (including his performance in the comedic "Ms Doubtfire" as the spoiler). As for Julianne Moore, well she's just plain hot. And it's a got a great turn in by the ever winsome Ms Parker Posey who has a great line in the movie "When do we get to the part where we cut off his balls?!?!".

Okay, put that thang on oil markets and reserves up tonight.


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