Site: Warren Meyer

Slant: Sceptic

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Recent Articles

Warren Meyer: Shifting Mix is Often Ignored as the Reason Behind A Shifting Mean

I have written about this mix effect many times, eg here.  Imagine a corporate division that sells tables and chairs.  The CEO is reviewing this division's performance, and sees that their revenues are increasing but their profit margin is falling.  He asks his analyst to look into it - is it the tables or the

Today: 19:33   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Net Neutrality , White Supremacy, and Baking Cakes

I was thinking about these two stories in the context of net neutrality (the theory if not the practice) GoFundMe shuts down campaigns for Charlottesville suspect GoDaddy dumps white supremacist site 'Daily Stormer' The folks who are cheering this on seem to be the same folks who support net neutrality (Venn Diagram, Professor Perry?)  Look,

2017-08-15 18:34   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Well, The World Polarizes Just A Bit More

In my mailbox today is a press release some firm in town called Spectrum Experience.  This press release begins:  The Tempe-based communications firm, Spectrum Experience, released an email statement yesterday informing clients the firm will no longer work with companies, candidates or causes that are unwilling to publicly state: Black lives matter. Spectrum works with

2017-08-15 18:01   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Oh, Good God No

Trump considering pardon of Joe Arpaio

2017-08-14 20:18   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Local Government Subsidies: Worse Than We Thought

I have written several times about the convention hotel the City of Phoenix built downtown.  At the time of that last article, it looked like the city would lose about $150 million total between the operating losses and the loss on the sale.   But incredibly, it is worse: Last week, City Manager Ed Zuercher

2017-08-14 16:54   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Virtue Signalling and Renewable Energy

Alex Epstein: Stories about “100-per-cent renewable” locations like Georgetown, Tex. are not just anecdotal evidence, they are lies. The Texas grid from which Georgetown draws its electricity is comprised of 43.7 per cent natural gas, 28.8 per cent coal, 12 per cent nuclear, and only 15.6 per cent renewable. Using a virtue-signalling gimmick pioneered by Apple, Facebook, and

2017-08-14 16:27   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The More We Talk About the Opioid "Crisis", The More Likely Stupid and Unproductive Legislation Will Be Passed

If you want to convince me of the need for restrictions on any substances, such as narcotics, you have to convince me of three things: That incarcerating users is somehow better for them than their addiction That ethically abusers of the substance are more worthy of our attention and intervention than legitimate users who benefit

2017-08-11 20:04   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: You Have to Respect Hawaiian Shirt Friday...

...even if you work alone in a one-person office

2017-08-11 19:01   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: When Your Dog Is 90% Hair

About once a year we have to go beyond getting the dog trimmed and let her be shaved in order to get rid of a bunch of matted fur  (we are not very good at brushing her but to be fair she does not do it either).  She is a lot cooler in summer this

2017-08-11 18:51   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Personal Umbrella Insurance - Consider It If You Can

Some time ago I was sued by a large corporation over a negative review I posted on this site.  The case was eventually settled, and I am not allowed to talk about the terms or mention the company's name any more.  But I will say the review is still up and unchanged and sits on

2017-08-11 18:14   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Elon Musk as Orren Boyle

First, two disclosures I am short TSLA I love the Model S.  I would love to own one. At some level, the quality of the product is irrelevant.  They key questions are:  Does TSLA really justify a $60 billion valuation and does TSLA really deserve billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. As to the first

2017-08-10 18:39   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Natural Climate Variability and Mann's Hockey Stick

Most folks even slightly acquainted with the climate debate have seen Dr. Mann's hockey stick.  It is a historical temperature reconstruction using proxies such as the width of tree rings. There were a zillion problems with this analysis, which I and many covered years ago and, frankly, I am past my tolerance in reiterating once

2017-08-10 17:37   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Last-Minute Whistle-Blowing Before An Expected Termination to Create A "Retaliation" Claim

A while back I wrote about this frustrating practice lawyers were training California employees to follow: Years ago, in Ventura County California (where I am thankfully no longer doing business), a loyal employee approached our manager and told her of a meeting that had been held the night before for our employees at a local attorney's

2017-08-10 16:53   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Travel Plans -- Heading for the All the Spots the Media is Trying to Panic Me Away From

Next month I go to Hawaii, apparently (if I believe CNN) the imminent target of a North Korean nuclear attack.  While I am certainly not willing to bet my life on Donald Trump's ability to de-escalate an international conflict, I will bet it against North Korea's ability to hit a target the size of Hawaii with

2017-08-09 21:27   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Diversity Paradox

I thought this was an interesting observation by University of New Mexico evolutionary psychology professor Geoffrey Miller, as quoted by Mark Perry: Here, I just want to take a step back from the [Google] memo controversy, to highlight a paradox at the heart of the ‘equality and diversity’ dogma that dominates American corporate life. The

2017-08-09 21:19   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Perhaps Trump's Craziest Action

Trump seems to have adopted the Dow Jones Industrial Average as his primary metric of success.   Talk about buying at the top.  Not sure I would tie my performance appraisal to a market where the Shiller PE is over 30.

2017-08-08 18:44   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: I Liked This Guy's Movie Analyses

My daughter sent me links to this YouTube channel discussing the mechanics of movie screenplays.  Below is an analysis of how Tarantino makes a couple of long, incredibly suspenseful scenes in Inglorious Basterds (the first scene in the farmhouse and the later scene in the basement bar).  

2017-08-08 17:08   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Hmm. You Might Not Want To Fly In An Airplane Built By A Current Purdue Graduate

I used to think some of the stuff in Atlas Shrugged was absurd satire.  This from Q&O: The recently appointed dean of Purdue’s school, Dr. Donna Riley, has an ambitious agenda. In her words (bold mine): “I seek to revise engineering curricula to be relevant to a fuller range of student experiences and career destinations, integrating concerns related to public policy,

2017-08-07 18:14   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Overhyped Things That Don't Disappoint: Hamilton

We went to visit family in Chicago and in the process saw Hamilton there.  While expensive, it was a lot cheaper than New York and having listened to the Broadway cast album many times, I think the cast in Chicago was very competitive with Broadway.  And it was fabulous.  Really.  I know there is a

2017-08-04 20:10   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Movie Game: Spot the Rifle

My kids and I drive my wife crazy when we are watching a movie at home.  We have all kinds of conversations going, conversations we would never even consider in a theater (another reason, beyond screen size and sound systems, why I consider the home movie watching experience distinct and not entirely competitive with the

2017-08-04 19:25   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: My Views on BLM

I was at a function the other day when I was challenged to take a position on the stupid 'black lives matter vs. all lives matter' false dichotomy.    I was fortunate to be in a group that actually let me answer with more nuance.  Here is essentially what I said: There is a real problem

2017-08-04 18:28   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Social Justice Warriors in One Photo: Virtue Signalling > Actual Change

2017-08-04 18:04   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: A Government Healthcare Alternative

A few years ago I began to find the hard-core libertarian anarcho-capitalist advocacy to be getting sterile.  I would sit in some local discussion groups and the things we would argue about were so far outside of reality or what was realistically politically possible that they seemed pointless to talk about.  Taking a simplified example,

2017-08-02 20:02   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Employing People in California Really is Harder

California is a uniquely difficult place for companies trying to actually employ people rather than robots.   Owning a business in that state, you could be forgiven that the legislation actually embarked on a program to explicitly punish companies for hiring people.  The state has spent the last ten or twenty years defining a myriad

2017-08-02 19:12   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: More NCAA Discrimination Against Athletes With Stupid Amateurism Rules

When I was a senior at Princeton, Brooke Shields was a freshman.  At the time of her matriculation, she was already a highly paid professional model and actress (Blue Lagoon).  No one ever suggested that she not be allowed to participate in the amateur Princeton Triangle Club shows because she was already a professional. When I

2017-08-01 18:08   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: My Open Question to Progressives Is Still Open

A while back I asked progressives: Taking the government's current size and tax base as a given, is there a segment of the progressive community that gets uncomfortable with the proportion of these resources that are channeled into government employee hands rather than into actual services for the public? No response to date.  This is

2017-07-31 20:11   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Progressive Left Becomes State Rights Advocates. Who'd Have Thought?

Many libertarians like state's rights because it creates 50 different tax and regulator regimes, and libertarians assume that people and businesses will flow to the most free states.  However, California progressives have discovered they like state's rights as well, though they are in more of the antebellum South Carolina category of desiring state's rights in order

2017-07-31 19:35   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Weirdly Desperate Publicity Plea from Elon Musk?

I found this email to be simply bizarre.   If this is anything more than odd PR, I am not sure I understand it (the links are what they claim to be, rather than some sort of Phishing).  It clearly is a bot because no human would have actually read the article and thought that

2017-07-31 18:22   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Government Stimulus, Illustrated

Via Mark Perry's awesome blog:

2017-07-28 19:01   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: I am Going To Make A Fortune in the New Legalized Marijuana Market.... Uh, Maybe Not

Here are Coyote's first three rules of business strategy: If people are entering the business for personal, passionate, non-monetary reasons then the business is likely going to suck.  When I say "suck", I mean there may be revenues and customers and even some profits, but that the returns on investment are going to be bad**.  Typically,

2017-07-27 17:42   Click to comment


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