Greasing The Wheels

A friend turned the Cowboy on to Atahualpa Yupanqui some 15 or more years ago.  He is considered a native treasure in Argentina.  This is one of my favorites.

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Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 20:19  Comments Off on Greasing The Wheels  

So Much For Decoupling

Prior to the global economic crisis, there was much talk about the fact that many countries, especially China, had “decoupled” from the United States.  The old saw that “when the U.S. sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold” was no longer true.  Oh well.  Brad Setser has a nice write-up on the state of things on his blog over at the CFR.

It wasn’t long ago that we said duodenal ulcers were basically uncurable.  The Cowboy had a couple of them.  Stress reduction, antacids and milk were your only solutions.  It was only in the 1990’s that we realized they were caused by bacteria and very treatable.  So much for conventional wisdom.  And so much for decoupling.  We’re all in this boat together.

(Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan)

Published in: on March 30, 2009 at 18:44  Comments Off on So Much For Decoupling  

A Tale Of Two Outfits

Part 2

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  Well, not really.  It was just fascinating times.  Just like now.

The Cowboy has been fortunate enough to work with a number of interesting outfits over the years.  Some liked complexity while others eschewed it.  Once upon a time, the Cowboy was working on a ranch in London – Bishopsgate in the City, for those who care.

As an aside, there used to be a sandwich shop in Leadenhall Market, just down the street.  It was run by an Italian.


Published in: on March 29, 2009 at 17:25  Comments Off on A Tale Of Two Outfits  

So Much For A Swedish Model

Part 1

The Cowboy has been ruminatin’ on the U.S. bailout of the financial institutions that was leaked last weekend, and formally announced on Monday.  The markets were clearly pleased.

What to say?


Published in: on March 28, 2009 at 10:32  Comments (1)  


The Cowboy has been a bit distracted by an unruly horse.  On such occasions, it doesn’t hurt to go back to basics.

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 19:13  Comments (1)  

Ideas of Beauty

Today’s Nobel laureate is brought to you by the letters G and M, as in Murray Gell-Mann, last seen in this post.  Here is a terrific lecture he gave as part of the TED conference a couple of years ago.

If you are not familiar with the TED Talks, you should be.  The TED Conference, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is an annual conference of thinkers and leaders across a range of disciplines.  Attendees give short talks to the group, some of which are accessible to regular cowpokes on the net as TED Talks.  They are a fascinating series of lectures that can provide hours of entertainment and inspiration.  Since each one is only about 20 minutes, though, you can easily watch one while your horse is getting a drink from a stream.

In this lecture, Gell-Mann discusses the fact that in physics, there is an inherent beauty to the best of ideas.  As one who is astounded daily by the beauty of the universe around us, this not only makes sense to the Cowboy, it also adds to his sense of wonder.  Perhaps it will for you too.

Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 17:06  Comments Off on Ideas of Beauty  

Flying in Neutral


Switzerland has a long history of zealously-guarded neutrality, but the country historically combined its banking industry, mountainous terrain, and not-inconsequential self-defense forces to prevent invasion.  Famously, every Swiss adult male is in the military reserves and has a rifle in his closet.


Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 19:45  Comments Off on Flying in Neutral  

Ceci N’est Pas Une Quark

The Cowboy is fascinated by the cross-disciplinary collaborations that have dotted history – those all-too-short periods of time when talented men and women have inspired and been inspired by each other, generating bursts of creative output.

As a sort of follow-up on a couple of recent posts, I would like to point out one of these cross-disciplinary collaborations of which you may not be aware.


Published in: on March 22, 2009 at 09:51  Comments Off on Ceci N’est Pas Une Quark  

Intuitive Plausibility

Numbers are dangerous.

Numbers are our friends.



Published in: on March 21, 2009 at 14:27  Comments Off on Intuitive Plausibility  


Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 22:58  Comments Off on Pensive