Monthly Archives: June 2021

On Stupidity

First God Created Stupidity. That was for practice. Then He created school boards. Mark Twain Carlo Cipolla (1922-2000) was and Italian economist and historian. In 1976 he Published The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity. He postulated five such laws. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation. The probability that a…


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Chamber Music Kings

Three composers who though they wrote in many forms are particularly remembered for their chamber music. First up is George Onslow (1784-1853). He was born to an English father and a French mother. His grandfather was the first Earl of Onslow. Born to wealth he never lacked for money and was able to self-subsidize his…


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Franco Bonisolli

Franco Bonisolli (1938-2003)was an Italian tenor who had a voice of exceptional beauty. He also also exhibited very eccentric behavior, especially during the later part of his career. His erratic conduct resulted in the unfortunate sobriquet of Il pazzo (the madman). In addition to difficulty getting along with conductors, he inserted high notes into much…


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Transit – Movie Review

If you are a film goer you’ll likely love Christian Petzhold’s 2018 Transit. If you like movies you’ll find the picture a yawner. Petzhold’s movie (you can see where I’m coming from) is an adaptation of Anna Sehgers’ 1944 novel of the same name. It takes place during the period when the Nazi’s took full…


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Checkpoint Charlie and the Santa Fe Opera

In the early 80s I was a visiting professor the the Freie Universität Berlin. I wanted to visit the Pergamon Museum. As it was in East Berlin I had to go through Checkpoint Charlie. It was an interesting experience. The East German guards took my passport and made me change American money for East German…


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Noise – Book Review

Noise – A Flaw in Human Judgement is a book by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony, and Cass Sunstein. The noise that is their subject is not that of honking geese or backfiring motorcycles; it’s the unwanted variability in judgement or decision making when the facts behind the decision or judgement are the same. Noise and…


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Two Headlines – Two Examples of Noise

Below are two headlines reporting on the same data – the latest jobs report. Take your pick as to which is the more believable. I suppose they could both be wrong, but they seem to be seeing the same data through different lenses. They are examples of both noise and bias. I’ll have more to…


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