Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Average Annual Change in US Mean Family Income, 1950-2010

Average Annual Change in Mean Family Income, 1950-2010, by Quintile and for the Top 5 Percent. Source: Pew Research report “Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier: The Lost Decade of the Middle Class” p. 9.

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New Open Access Journals from the Econometric Society

As a member of the Econometric Society I received yesterday the following announce: The Council and the Fellowship of the Econometric Society have both voted in favor of a plan for the Society to publish two open-access journals: Quantitative Economics (QE) and Theoretical Economics (TE). All voting Council members were in favor of the proposal. […]

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Data Storage and Transfer Costs: Some Back of the Envelope Estimates

For large data centres a big industry player estimated costs of £22 / GB / Month = £250k / TB / Year. Majority of this was hardware and energy costs (not costs of human sysadmins). This seems quite a lot. However, Amazon S3 quote for Europe (cheaper for US): Storage $0.18 per GB-Month of storage […]

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Teaching to the Test: Some (Old) Evidence from Kenya

Several years ago I read Michael Kremer’s article entitled “Randomized Evaluations of Educational Programs in Developing Countries: Some Lessons” in the 2003 AER Papers and Proceedings issue ([jstor link]( This brief article reviewed some of the recent results of evaluating the effects of various different programs on educational outcomes in the developing world. What […]

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Some Notes on ‘Complexity’ and Self-Ordered Criticality

I’ve just posted some early stage notes on models related to ‘Complex Systems’ with a particular eye towards those dealing with self-ordered criticality.

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The Open Rights Group Celebrates Two Years

The Open Rights Group, which I helped found, celebrated its second birthday today. Long may it prosper, promoting and protecting digital rights in a digital age.

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The Robustness Principle

2.10. Robustness Principle TCP implementations will follow a general principle of robustness: be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others. Source: rfc793: specification for TCP date: 1981 editor: Jon Postel url:

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Some Essays from my Schooldays

About a week ago I finally got around to converting from .doc to html some of my more substantial essays from my schooldays. They’re up at and you can find more or less substantial pieces on the Vietnam War, the decline of the Liberal Party in Great Britain in the early 20th century, the […]

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Instructions to a Trident Submarine Commander in Case of Nuclear Attack

He is supposed to determine whether Britain is still functioning on the basis of whether or not the Today programme is still broadcasting. If it isn’t he has to retrieve from his safe the PM’s letter instructing him to: 1. Put himself under the command of the USA, if it is still there. 2. Make […]

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On Deciding What To Cook for Supper

Stare into the fridge in a zen-like manner and contemplate what you might possibly tolerate.

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