Saturday, March 14, 2020


Here are questions in my mind:

Today I went to a grocery store and saw they were discounting nonessential items in an attempt to monetize the foot traffic.

Thoughts on my mind are for victims.

PS: Here is the NYT article on what Italians can accomplish.

"ROME — It started with the national anthem. Then came the piano chords, trumpet blasts, violin serenades and even the clanging of pots and pans — all of it spilling from people’s homes, out of windows and from balconies, and rippling across rooftops.

Finally, on Saturday afternoon, a nationwide round of applause broke out for the doctors on the medical front lines fighting the spread of Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak."

On Representations of Love

The universal symbol for love should be the brain, not the heart. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

On and Off Travel

On why I don't like to travel to Hawaii in winters: It is basically Seattle West.

On why mice and birds don't like Cats: bad reviews!

I saw the Harlem Nutcracker in Seattle. The story centers around an African American family in Harlem at Christmas, highlighting the centrality and significance of the grandmother in African-American culture, the resilience of Black American families, and Harlem as a center of the African Diaspora." It is nutcracker, not classical music but Jazz, not ballet but liberating, reverbating and pulsating dance.  I didn't have tickets. I walked in. The ticket folks asked me to "hang around" and found a back stairs way for me to fill a seat in the rear. A man in front of me leaned back and gave me a program. No words needed. At the intermission, I paid for the ticket. When the show was over, I stood outside the theater. Well dressed people were leaving the performance, they walked by, smiled, offered a smart quip or two, and it was true NY in Seattle.

I am in travel through the incomparable New Mexico right now, but in the crisp winter mountain air are NY wafts.

Friday, November 29, 2019


Someone asked me for my second favorite musical instrument: Trumpet. Hear it, and I challenge you to not raise your head and look beyond horizons. Put it into a soup of jazz and it makes you do all kinds of things.

Quote of a Reading Thanksgiving Day

While work involves "reading", I didn't really read much this year. During this Thanksgiving break, I got a few free moments to read and a desultory path took me to Clive James's, “If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do."

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Chopsticks and Maleficiency

Chopsticks are useful in ways imaginable, and yet to be imagined. A couple of days ago, I had a mice at the house. I set many different types of traps because I didnt know how many and what kinds of mice found their way in, and spent the sleepless night monitoring them, eventually capturing the  singleton mice in the AM. Then I picked up the mousetrap with chopsticks, put it into a trash bag, and carried it to the trashcan using the chopsticks.

Talking of maleficence, I went to see the film with my kids. All the graphics and animation, color and 3D depth, thrown in to service a trite story line with a prince, princess, evil queen and repetitive soundtrack, the computer scientists behind the movie deserve better. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019


Someone inspired by my hair showed me this stone they brought back from Alaska and carried with them for years. And a colleague did the following.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Long Term Research

I was at the marketplace innovations workshop at Stanford. I enjoyed meeting the few faces I recognized and the multitude of new folks in the field. Thanks to the organizers for an excellent program. It was great to see folks attacking two-sided marketplaces in Uber/Lyft.

I left with a question. We have had a few iterations of spectrum auctions. These are supposed to be for pricing and using a common good to benefit the society. Do we know a definition of a good or successful auction? We know the auction has to satisfy some constraints for access to remote areas or signal a good price for the govt. We can prove some properties assuming the bidders know the longterm value of the spectrum.  I am not convinced this is a good proxy for what benefits the society, and there should be independent metrics to evaluate whether a spectrum auction ultimately yielded longterm benefit, even empirically and retrospectively. 

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Crane has not left Seattle

I don't have time to explore and discover untrodden things these days from my base in Mercer Island. A few weeks ago, discovered Toppenish murals, a remarkable community effort to produce historic murals. Thanks to folks at Crafted for letting me have the whole basement to frolic and dine, walkin. 
More local: The coval house of Mercer Island developed over a 100 years and recently demolished. "As research scientists, both Barbara and Myer possessed a native comfort with uncertainty, change and experimentation, and this proved to be a fertile environment for the artists and designers they engaged." Stunning woodwork.