As some of my long time readers know… let me rephrase that. As my long time reader knows, I’ve been working on a driving simulator with a few gear heads from around the world for the last few years. We all got busy and development stagnated for a while but there are rumblings in the belly of the beast.
Here’s a clip from what we had working a couple of years ago.
We learned a lot on attempt one and we’re all better coders now so it might just have a fighting chance this time.
Dynamic page width should become adjustable by the user using AJAX. And it probably will as more get wide-screen monitors. Nobody is using AJAX for page layout yet.
Open standards should be used for printable views of websites so they can be aggregated into something that would allow you to print new articles from all of your favorites sites in a seamless, newspaperesque format.
I started building the econ simulator. I’m learning Erlang to do it so it can someday take advantage of future CPUs and because C++ kills me.
I’m noticing fewer websites that make me slap my forehead and say “Why the hell haven’t they fixed this?”. 1 divided by that quote is my measure of web maturity.
“Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.”
“The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull. He therefore approaches his task with full humility, and avoids clever tricks like the plague.”
“Object-oriented programming is an exceptionally bad idea which could only have originated in California.”
Computer Science and Economics are the same damn thing if you step back far enough, hence my use of Erlang(free markets) instead of C++(communism++). How a Libertarian, agnostic, econ-geek programmer could use anything other than Erlang for simulating economics strikes me as bizarre. I’m probably the only person trying so I guess I shouldn’t worry about it.
So I wrote this big fancy website in C# that calculates distances between zip codes and retrieves the nearest results. Microsoft even did a case study on it. Bill Gates was in San Diego and he was supposed to show up at our office. I was terrified he was going to ask to see my code. Well he never made it but now in my old age I realize that my code only worked because I didn’t try to do it by the book. And now Erlang shows up and tells me I’m not crazy.
It just struck me that I could convince a lot of programmers that believe in socialism to convert to the un-dark side by listing brilliant software quotes and them converting them to economic quotes. Most already believe in the logic behind free markets. They haven’t considered it outside of the domain of 1s and 0s yet.
I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night and was subconsciously inspired by the capitalist undertones and hard working laborers from Loompaland to order a pair of Nike shoes. They flatter you by calling their customizable line iD, presumably for intelligent design. Maybe they’ll be deemed mandatory by the Kansas public school board for P.E. classes. Their you-are-god rhetoric worked and I ordered a pair, they’re supposed to simulate running barefoot which begs the question… Speaking of simulations, the Motorsport team is motivated again and work continues on the drive train physics and graphics. Here is some C++ code if you’re into that sort of thing…
Did some more thinking about real estate inspired by the essay “The Great Race”. I’m wondering about the effects of productivity on Real Estate. But first, here are the four possible outcomes when comparing productivity to Medicare. Moore’s law is basically synonymous with productivity here.
Moore‘s Law Fails
Moore‘s Law Succeeds
Medicare is Reformed
Medicare is not Reformed
Affordable Welfare State
So here is my modified version but for Real Estate:
Wealth Divide Grows
Wealth Divide Stable
Interest Rates Stay Low
Mansions OK, Condo Conversions Tank
No Bubble Pops
Interest Rates Rise
All but wealthy take a beating
I’m assuming productivity and therefore GDP will stay strong. The question is whether Joe Mortgage sees any of that new wealth. Median income is flat while GDP is booming. The Jobless Recovery isn’t an oxymoron. The Fed credits outsourcing for saving the economy over the last few years. In other words, we’re only seeing a recovery because we’re NOT getting jobs. So…
The arguments that the economy is strong doesn’t mean housing will be just fine because median worker is competing with a global workforce now. I absolutely think it’ll ultimately be good for America but transitions are painful and this transition is going to hit when we’re smack in the middle of $1 Trillion in ARMs kicking in circa 2007.
The question is how much productive slack remains in the minds of American workers. At some point the uneducated non-specialist workers can comfortably retire and live off of progressive tax revenue + wealth divide while foreigners and software do their old jobs. Wage inflation caused by adjustable rate mortgages could hasten offshore outsourcing. So the race is this. Can we become productive enough to soften the blow for our middle class before they’re faced with a half million dollar mortgage and a job shipped to India where mortgages are four score and seven dollars a month? Sarbanes Oxley promotes acquisition of small ventures by large corporations because everybody is supposedly afraid of being a CFO. Will that un-natural blanket on creativity hamper our ability to compete?
Just a quick update, one of our helpers was experimenting with cones in the simulator. It’ll be online and downloadable in a few weeks. Not much left to do before release but we’re all pretty busy with real life. Check out our image gallery.