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Showing posts from May, 2007

More photos from St. Kitts

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We wandered a bit about the island on Monday. Here are some of our pictures:



And here are some I already posted before (the views from our balconies):



Greetings to our friends and family in Slovenia, where it's currently 52 F (11 C). :)

St. Kitts real estate and economy

Tomaz asked in a comment:How's the real estate market over there? It seems that resident land is really affordable (for Europeans). It starts with 9$ / sq. ft. How's the housing? GDP? Avg incomes?The real estate market in St. Kitts & Nevis is dual: first, there's houses and apartments that foreigners can buy outright without requiring an alien landholding license; and then there is everything else. If you come as a foreigner and you want to buy land in the local part of the market, getting an alien landholding license is a drag and unlikely to happen unless you're investing in excess of $1 million US. The part of the market that doesn't require an alien landholding license is comparatively small - it is restricted mainly to the Frigate Bay area and other parts south of Basseterre, the capital. The foreigner parts are the nicest and most well-developed parts of the island; this is where you have the Marriott and several other resorts, as well as a well-maintaine…

The crash that would cost $1,400

By virtue of its economic uniqueness, this island seems to have appeal for an interesting type of person: the young, unattached entrepreneur with some successes behind him and a desire to do more from an environment that doesn't hinder him. Immediately upon arrival, I bumped into A, a neighbor who's also waiting for his unit to be built and has an interesting story behind him. At 24, and originally from Tampa, Florida, he is a professional poker player who apparently earned significant sums playing poker on the net. Forget Chris Moneymaker: A makes his lunch out of players like him. I saw A talk to me fluidly while playing 4 poker games simultaneously, on tables where pots climb to US$1,000 and beyond. He says he has downsized his gaming - he used to play tables with still bigger bets, even 15 at a time; he would be $50,000 up or down at the end of a day. He's been at it for some 5 years; it took him the first 2 years to start earning serious money.

Three months ago, he mov…

First greetings from St. Kitts

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Last Sunday, May 13th, me and my wife arrived with our two cats to St. Kitts. All things permitting, we wish to make this our permanent home.

St. Kitts is an island in the Eastern Caribbean that forms part of a two-island federation called St. Kitts and Nevis (pronounced Nee-vis). The two islands form an English-speaking country with a population numbering a few tens of thousand. Unlike Turks & Caicos, where some three quarters of the population are immigrants, most of the people on St. Kitts & Nevis are local; they are predominantly descendants of blacks imported from Africa a few centuries ago. There are also a number of whites that were born here and still call these islands their home. There used to be a few thousand indigenous American people that used to live here; but unfortunately, they were eliminated in a 'preemptive' genocide by the English and French a few centuries ago.

Today, two main drivers of economic activity here are tourism and offshoring. The islands…

Evan Sayet on non-discrimination

The Libertarian linked to this video of Evan Sayet delivering a speech titled How Modern Liberals "Think".

I took an hour off to watch the whole performance. I find it sad. On the one hand, Sayet is correct that the "democrats" espouse a number of dysfunctional ideas that are fanciful and lead to failure. And it is a very good observation that, deeply, this seems to be a consequence of the desire not to discriminate.

However, it is sad that this is coming from a person who is harboring a number of dysfunctional ideas himself.

If I understood correctly, the speaker is against abortion. But abortion is functional; aiming to prevent abortion is dysfunctional and goes against reality. Not all kids are good, desired and necessary.

If I understood correctly, the speaker is defending Israel. Israel is dysfunctional. If you want to have a functional state, you don't build it in the middle of a hive of primitives who have been preventing Israel to live in peace since when i…

Literarni agent avtorju

Literarni agent avtorju:Z neskončnim zadovoljstvom smo prebrali vaš rokopis. Če bi ga objavili, po njem ne bi nikoli več mogli objaviti česarkoli nižje kvalitete. Ker v naslednjih tisoč letih zagotovo ne bomo dobili rokopisa na istem nivoju, moramo, na žalost, zavrniti vaš božanski prispevek in vas tisočkrat prosimo za odpuščanje.(Po Mazziniju)

Cultural relativism: Iranian fatwa for journalists in Azerbaijan

According to BBC, two journalists in Azerbaijan published in 'a small-circulation newspaper' an article comparing 'European Christian values to those of Islam'. Result? The journalists 'were sentenced to four and three years in prison respectively, for inciting religious hatred'. Meanwhile, 'a leading Iranian cleric issued a fatwa calling for the journalists to be killed.' Likewise, 'during the trial, radical Muslims also protested in the courtroom, demanding the death sentence'.

Please excuse my confusion - who, again, is inciting the religious hatred here?

It is heartening to read, at least, that 'authorities say there are no problems with free speech in Azerbaijan as long as journalists obey the law'. Phew. That sure puts a load off my chest.

Doctors can't think

Understanding this is very important. People who don't understand this cause significant and unnecessary damage - be they physicians, politicians, or voters:
Here's a story problem about a situation that doctors often encounter:1% of women at age forty who participate in routine screening have breast cancer. 80% of women with breast cancer will get positive mammographies. 9.6% of women without breast cancer will also get positive mammographies. A woman in this age group had a positive mammography in a routine screening. What is the probability that she actually has breast cancer?What do you think the answer is?

Next, suppose I told you that most doctors get the same wrong answer on this problem - usually, only around 15% of doctors get it right. ("Really? 15%? Is that a real number, or an urban legend based on an Internet poll?" It's a real number. See Casscells, Schoenberger, and Grayboys 1978; Eddy 1982; Gigerenzer and Hoffrage 1995; and many other studies. It…