The Awful Truth

This song is kind of a bummer.  But don’t get me wrong – it’s still worth listening to.  😛

It’s just, the subject matter is a bit darker than my other songs.  This one’s about looking back at a relationship and realizing that we were just “two foolish fools”.  It’s not regretful, per say, but realistic and accepting of that reality.

Lyrics after the jump.

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Here’s to Next Year

I wrote this song during the summer of 2009.  It had been a rough year so far, and I decided to take the summer and get as far away from my world as possible.

I ended up traveling through China teaching English, which was a wild experience.  The trip began in Beijing, where I haggled an acoustic guitar which accompanied me for most of the trip.  Due to some strange scheduling, I spent 11 quiet days alone in Shenyang, and the time alone ended up forcing me to face a lot of my internal issues, in a good way.  I wrote this song on my last day in Shenyang, and it’s sort of a measured, but optimistic tune.

Lyrics after the jump.

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How to Wrap Text in a jQuery Mobile List

I’ve been doing some development in jQuery Mobile, and though it’s still in Alpha, it’s a great library. That said, there are still some serious bugs in it and some other less than ideal things happening. In any case, working with jQuery Mobile has certainly helped my debugging skills along.  🙂  One of the toughest issues that almost had me pulling out my hair was figuring out how to wrap text in a jQuery Mobile list.  Read on for the fix.

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Catch-up and Convergence: Leaders and Followers

This paper was written for Economics 1339: Generating Wealth of Nations, a Harvard undergraduate course taught by visiting professor Jeffrey Borland.

Introduction

The convergence hypothesis at its most fundamental level posits that countries with lower productivity will tend to grow at faster rates than their more productive neighbors. This theory follows directly from the law of diminishing returns, which explains that the marginal output of a production factor progressively decreases as the factor is increased. Following this logic, a less productive country can exploit the same techniques utilized in more productive countries to achieve a greater output for any given level of input. While theoretically sound, the convergence hypothesis relies upon one key assumption that is not brought to bear in the real world – either no other determinants of productivity growth exist, or countries with varying productivities are equal in all other aspects. Empirical evidence runs contrary to both possibilities. For example, in the period from 1870 to 1913, America continued to increase its already well-established lead in productivity, while the average productivity level of laggard countries in Europe fell. Following the Second World War, however, Europe’s rapid growth and convergence with the United States seems to validate the hypothesis. These discrepancies imply the existence of other important determinants of growth. This paper seeks to examine the mechanisms by which convergence occurs to uncover the characteristics that explain why some laggard countries experience accelerated growth rates, why others with high productivity remain leaders, and why still others fail to ever catch up.

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A Comparative Study of the Great Depression and the Great Recession

This paper was written for Economics 1339: Generating Wealth of Nations, a Harvard undergraduate course taught by visiting professor Jeffrey Borland.

Introduction

The recent economic downturn of the late-2000s, labeled the “Great Recession” by some, shares several interesting characteristics with the Great Depression of the 1930s. This is especially surprising given the vast body of economic study dedicated to the ascertainment of the Great Depression’s causes and ways to ensure that such an economic crisis never occurs again. The existence of such parallels, then, underlines the power of economic forces to produce these business cycles despite mankind’s best attempts to stabilize the worldwide economy. This paper aims to investigate commonalities and differences between the Great Depression and the Great Recession and furthermore to motivate the study’s relevance to policy reform attempts at combating the most recent contraction. To do so, it examines two aspects of each crisis – its probable causes and the manner of its subsequent worldwide propagation.

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“Institutions” and Economic Development

This paper was written for Economics 1339: Generating Wealth of Nations, a Harvard undergraduate course taught by visiting professor Jeffrey Borland.

Introduction

Defined by Douglass North as the “humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction,” institutions understandably affect many aspects of society, and as such they are often placed at the center of studies regarding the causes of economic development. Indeed, institutions play a strong, if not causal role in economic growth. Though their influence alone cannot explain all economic development, institutions in its various forms are, at the very least, one of the necessary pre-conditions of economic growth and key accomplices of economic stagnation.

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