Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

Man I was so excited to see this headline:

Tourists to Scotland ‘let down by quality of food’

The piece just writes itself:

If you don't like Scottish food, do as us Scots do and just drink all day.

Going to Scotland for the food is like going to France for military training.

Haggis: it's nae sa bad!

But sadly, the actual piece is just quoting a bloviating blowhard Scotsman complaining that not enough people eat in his restaurant at Gleneagles, which is actually about the most Non-Scottish place in all of Scotland. There's no data given that tourists complain about food quality.

The closest thing in the whole story is this:

Recent research found half of people visiting Scotland want to try local food while two-thirds think quality food is an important factor when dec­iding where to go on holiday.

So to Andrew Fairlie I say, "away wi ye now, ya daft wee cuntie". And to all prospective visitors to Scotland I say go for the hiking, scenery, golf and whisky. By all means, eat if you must. But try to avoid the "local delicacies"


People try to bind themelves to the mast, as Russ and I discussed recently.

There are people who try to "sell" will power, or at least a contracting arrangement that helps people commit. A pitch:

We all have goals... Yet, most of us struggle to achieve our goals. 
That’s because there’s a big difference between having a goal and achieving a goal—stickK works by helping people eliminate this gap by using, what we call, a Commitment Contract. A Commitment Contract is a binding agreement you sign with yourself to ensure that you follow through with your intentions—and it does this by utilizing the psychological power of loss aversion and accountability to drive behavior change. 
By asking our users to sign Commitment Contracts, stickK helps users define their goal (whatever it may be), acknowledge what it’ll take to accomplish it, and leverage the power of putting money on the line to turn that goal into a reality.

Aherk calls itself a "self-blackmailing service."  Interesting.

(Nod to Mark S for the find)

Monday, March 09, 2015

Is France Obselete?

An amazing law, even by French standards.  My good friend Petr Barton at IREF gives the details...

A summary paragraph:

The French government is hoping to help consumers – and increase growth – by making it illegal to manufacture products with artificially shortened lifetime. We argue that proving such case will be nearly impossible in modern technology and the ban will act as a tax, with consequences even worse than the status quo. If governments want to artificially boost production, they should in fact subsidise products with shortened lifetime, instead of banning them. 

 Of course, better still to leave things alone.  The key to the above paragraph is the word "artificially," the point being that this law doesn't even succeed on its own cockeyed terms.  Amazing.

I should note that Petr's blog is generally quite insightful.  You might follow him on Twitter at @iref_eu .  Some nice detail on economic problems in Europe.  The piece on Greek debt payments was surprising to me....I guess I bought the propaganda.  But it turns out that Greece is not "crippled" after all.

What Would Angus Do?

Have you ever wondered what Angus might sound like if he were a Brit?

Well, I hadn't.  But Angry Alex answers questions no one is asking.  And for t (ehat, we thank him.  Here you go.... (Especially for Tommy the Intemperate Brit)