catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Archive for November 2004

How many romantic cheats are there?

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Based on my leafing through David de Vaus’s new book Diversity and Change in Australian Families: Statistical Profiles the answer to this question is just over 20%.

Two surveys cited by de Vaus support this estimate:

The Australian Divorce Transitions Project (1999) found that 20% gave an affair as the main reason for the marriage break-up.

The Australian Study of Health and Relationships (2001) found that 77.6% agreed with the proposition that ‘having an affair when in a committed relationship is wrong’. As I think anyone who answers ‘don’t know’ to this question is cad material I put this as just over 20% being potential adulterers.

No trend data, unfortunately, but I suspect these are higher numbers than in the past – a combination of relaxed sexual attitudes and greater availability of members of the opposite sex at work.

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November 30, 2004 at 9:52 pm

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Becker-Posner blog

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This seems too good to be true. We’ll find out soon enough …

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November 30, 2004 at 9:23 pm

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Second Lady's magnum opus

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Via an email discussion group I subscribe to, I found a link to the entire contents of Lynne Cheney’s notorious novel, Sisters which a fan of her work has helpfully posted online.

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November 30, 2004 at 8:28 pm

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Can Melbourne be the 'gay capital'?

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The very fact that new City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer waited until the Monday after the council election to announce that he wanted Melbourne to be the new ‘gay capital’ suggests that he has some way to go in this particular quest. Perhaps he and Lord Mayor John So would not have won so easily had it been announced before the poll.

Most of the Melbourne-Sydney rivalry is pretty silly, and this proposal from Clown Hall is no exception. Each city has its own character, and there is nothing in Melbourne quite like Darlinghurst, which has the greatest concentration of gay men and Thai restaurants (is there a link?) in the country. The ‘pink inch’ of Commercial Road does not compare to the ‘gay mile’ of Oxford Street. The census finds more gays in Sydney than Melbourne. And there is certainly nothing in Melbourne resembling the Mardi Gras, which is not just the biggest gay community festival in Australia, but probably the biggest community festival of any kind.

The trouble with direct elections for Lord Mayor is that it goes to the heads of the winners. They can’t do much except change the day the garbage is collected and hope to win a few planning battles with the state government. The raw materials for strengthening gay Melbourne, the existing gay areas, aren’t even within the boundaries of the local government area of Melbourne. We should bring back the old voting system that produced councillors interested in what they could do for their local areas, rather than making grandiose, publicity-seeking pronouncements.

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November 30, 2004 at 6:58 am

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Suiting the times

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There are three kinds of men in this world – those who look like they were born to be in a suit (our ex-PM, PJK, is one of these), those who look ill at ease in a suit and those who try really hard to look good in a suit or think they look good in a suit but really look like wankers.

I think I belong in the second category though I really haven’t worn a proper suit since my first job as a transfer pricing economist many years ago which lasted for the sum total of 9 months. This was before I switched to my current job, where I either work at home some of the week (and usually wear an old and soiled t-shirt and tracksuit pants) or and go into the office the rest of the week (where I usually wear a new t-shirt or a short-sleeved shirt and jeans).

A colleague who shall remain unnamed tells me that everytime he passes the diners at this fancy restaurant on the ground floor of our office building he feels like giving them the finger -having seen some of these diners who work in the same building as us, this is probably because a lot of them belong the third category (just the other day I saw one of these male yuppies with permed hair and a white suit – no doubt Tom Wolfe can pull off wearing a white suit, but really, nobody else can). An extreme reaction, no doubt, but an understandable one. Our fellow building workers are really a mismatch with my NECG colleagues like my aforementioned colleague, who has been known to wear tracksuit pants to work or me with my suite of t-shirts – the Aboriginal art t-shirt, the fractals t-shirt, the Sonny Boy Williamson t-shirt and the LSE t-shirt. And yes, I would have to concede that amongst the ‘anti-suit’ clique in the workforce there is a sort of perverse reverse snobbery at work as in ‘ha, ha, I make as much as you but I don’t have to show it’ (which is itself a form of ‘showing it’).

But I have nothing but the utmost sympathy for the average Joe who really doesn’t want to wear a suit or at least not the full ensemble but nonetheless is compelled to because of the peculiar customs of the business world. Just today I ventured outside in just a t-shirt and jeans and within 10 minutes of walking under the boiling sun, I was drenched with sweat. I do not understand how this peculiar fashion ever caught on. And I cannot imagine ever voluntarily stepping into a suit again, especially not during summer. Nowadays even when I have to meet clients, my only concession to formal wear is to put on a long sleeved shirt. Why not call a halt to this attire arms race? It may make sense in Northern Europe where the summers are not that hot (presumably) but here it serves no cause other than pure masochism.

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November 28, 2004 at 10:39 pm

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Admin

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Here in Catallaxy we believe in responding to market feedback. A number of our readers, from some of the most prominent members of the community to humble amateurs have complained about the font. Hopefully the new typeface should suit everyone – you may need to click on ‘refresh’ to see it. And as for the links to other blogs – yes, I will be reinserting those when I can find the time.

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November 28, 2004 at 8:48 pm

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Saturday music listening query

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Nothing better than putting on Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding on a sunny Saturday morning while having breakfast but does anyone know what the hell The ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest is really about, or is it just a piece of rhyming doggerel?

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November 27, 2004 at 8:26 am

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