Former TUSB blogger and officer Darius Tahir guest-blogged an entry for Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor and culture blogger at The Atlantic, after winning Coates’ “Talk to Me Like I’m Stupid Contest.” Tahir, who wrote consistently for The Unofficial Stanford Blog on sports and books in 2007 and 2008, won by explaining financial derivatives (that thing that nobody understands that is part of why the economy tanked) in layman’s terms. He explains:
A while back me and my buddies were playing poker. I got to the game late so there wasn’t a spot for me (the game was capped at eight people). So one of the players was playing absolutely awful and losing a ton of cash. I turn to another guy who wasn’t playing and said, I bet he’ll be the first out. So we made a bet on it (mostly for sport).
So, if poker were finance, here’s how it would be: the poker players are investing straightforwardly in stocks and bonds and what have you. They’re investing in an asset directly. I’m investing in a derivative: my bet is derived from the standing of someone else.
In his Atlantic piece, Darius talks about movie adaptations of books and makes the claim that perhaps the best books-turned-films are those books that fail to escape mediocrity but have elements that can visually make them memorable films.
In his spare time (he has now entered that weird post-college world), Darius has been blogging on his blog, “Various Provocations” (not Darius Provocations?) that can now also be found on our student (including people who once were students) blogroll.