by pjmcbride

Utility function of a risk-averse (risk-avoidi...

Utility function of a risk-averse (risk-avoiding) person: CE – Certainty equivalent; E(U(W)) – Expected value of the utility (expected utility) of the uncertain payment; E(W) – Expected value of the uncertain payment; U(CE) – Utility of the certainty equivalent; U(E(W)) – Utility of the expected value of the uncertain payment; U(W 0 ) – Utility of the minimal payment; U(W 1 ) – Utility of the maximal payment; W 0 – Minimal payment; W 1 – Maximal payment; RP – Risk premium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been remiss in hospitality, which should surprise nobody. But first, a bit of background…

When you start a blog, WordPress (and I assume other blogging platforms) issues you a lot of instructions about how to do it successfully. Besides posting regularly (self-evident) and writing well (which I’d assume would be self-evident, but you know what happens when we assume) (if you don’t, just ask me, I’m an expert), they suggest that you comment on other people’s blogs, to help raise interest in your own. I’ve largely resisted this, because it seems phony and self-aggrandizing to me. When I first started, I got numerous contacts from people who obviously hadn’t really read this thing. I don’t want to get involved in this sort of stroke-fest. This attitude partially explains the sort of blog you see here, without all the gew-gaws on the sides of the page linking you to other stuff. (To be frank, technological incompetence also has something to do with it.)  However, there have been a few people whose comments and blogs I have appreciated. It only seems fair to mention them, especially since one of them provided me with tonight’s subject matter. They include Wandering Voiceless, at , and disp4324 at Confessions of a 911 Dispatcher at . The latter recently commented, “I love your honesty!” My first thought was, So that’s what it’s called? I thought it was called “being a smartass.” But upon further thought, I started feeling uneasy, because saying that I’m exhibiting unusual honesty kind of implies that what I’m doing here is risky. I am risk-averse, and I’m now having visions of angry mobs at my doorstep, equipped with the requisite torches and pitchforks, because they found out that A 911 OPERATOR IS BEING IRREVERENT. (Save me, Nick! Wake up!) (No, I’m not implying that you sleep on the job. Damn, this is risky!) But I figure that this blog is A CLOSELY-GUARDED SECRET, and, as I’ve said before, this is not The Voice of Public Safety Dispatching, but only the voice of a small and somewhat-delusional part of it. Carrying on bravely in the face of great obstacles, mostly of my own making {sniffle}.

More misheard song lyrics, courtesy of the Tragically-Hip One, for

“Beast of Burden”–“I’ll never be your big Suburban…”

And no, I don’t know why Facebook features a picture of Nick (who knows no shame and cannot blush) in his underwear. Perhaps excessive overtime is impairing his judgment. I’d say he’s crying all the way to the bank, but I believe he lacks tear ducts.


There is something wrong with society when we can have two attempted suicide runs going on at the same time, and this is not unusual these past several years. I don’t know if it’s the economy, our mental health system, or the overabundance of psychoactive drugs (notice how the commercials always say “Side-effects may include suicidal thoughts”–even if the drug is supposed to be treating depression?), but something here is not optimal.