The Silicon Valley startup as Ponzi scheme

Scientific American’s June issue included an article talking about Ponzi schemes, and how our economy is rife with them. One example they gave was the Silicon Valley startup: A simplified example illustrates how this process works—and how it can take on the attributes of a Ponzi. A start-up offers workers a low wage, less, in fact, than the dollar value of what a worker produces. Hence, with each worker, the firm generates some profit.

Smarter people get less sex

From a neat blog posting summarizing some research on sex and intelligence: By the age of 19, 80% of US males and 75% of women have lost their virginity, and 87% of college students have had sex. But this number appears to be much lower at elite (i.e. more intelligent) colleges. According to the article, only 56% of Princeton undergraduates have had intercourse. At Harvard 59% of the undergraduates are non-virgins, and at MIT, only a slight majority, 51%, have had intercourse.

Free iPod!

Apparently there are some people still falling for that “freeipod.com” pyramid scheme. I posted a pretty skeptical analysis last month, but TrollJournal ate it. I thought the whole pyramid would have collapsed by now, but it seems not. So, let’s repeat the analysis… Let’s try to give freeipod.com the benefit of the doubt, and be optimistic in our analysis. First off, note that every time someone goes to the site and registers directly, rather than being referred there, nobody gets credit for that new member, so existing members are less likely to get their free iPods.