From some comments on Buzzmachine:
“For the past two days I?ve been chillin and blogging from my generator-run survivalist treehouse perched near the zoo. I?ve got my binoculars on a group of people putting little outboard motors on floating coffins and other impromptu rafts who are goin round lootin and shit Road Warrior style. And, of course, the animals in the zoo have escaped their cages and made my neighborhood an all you can eat cajun buffet. Man, this blog writes itself.
The horror. The horror. “
The billions spent keeping the town barely afloat probably cost lives because people are literally living beneath the sea level. And of course the poor lived in the lowest lying areas. This is another case of people thinking they’re smart enough to out engineer mother nature. We’re arrogant little creatures.
Rents are finally heading north for the winter according to the NY Times (I had a dream about buying a real, paper, NYTimes in New York and was confused by the various editions of the paper and said “sorry, I read it on NYTimes.com” then instantly realised I’d made a potentially offensive comment to the fledgling fish wrap salesman).
“The turnaround appears to be another sign that the boom in house prices and sales is finally slowing, as homes have become so expensive in many metropolitan areas that some people have decided to rent instead.”
People are wising up to the ridiculous housing prices and deciding to rent. So it’s no longer just a generation of paper wealth with flowery side effects like increased spending due to the wealth effect. Appreciation peaks, wealth effect dies, rents slowly increase, maybe oil too, spending drops in every sector but housing, pop.
I guess this bugs me because I have a gut feeling that DEflation is inevitable because of rapid productivity gains so rapid appreciation, for me, is counter-intuitive which explains my perception of a bubble.
First of all, I got evolution 236 of Motorsport compiled for Windows and you can download it here. Make sure you read the mini-guide or you won’t get it out of neutral.
Second, I’m working on Dry Wit again but I’m attaching it to the same 3D Engine we’re using in Motorsport. It’s like a short term memory (something I’m short on) extension. The goal is to make it easier to “manage complexity; to navigate and assess information; to master modeling and abstraction; and to think analytically in terms of algorithms, or step-by-step procedures.” So it’s going to take the ideas from my old version and have a system that accepts extensions. So you could have it crawl Wikipedia to build a map of connections among philosophers or create 3d versions of software diagrams similar to Doxygen + UML diagrams.
The problem with something like this is trying to over apply it. My main goal is to build a 3D conceptual map of an economy so I can play with assumptions. I just got the book “On Intelligence” which I hope will help me make this thing more user friendly. I’m not sure if this will be open source yet, long way to go.
This got me thinking about how economic theories can be tested similar to the way we use radioactive dyes to view bloodflow. Take trickle down economics. If we could track the percentage of money that went to create blue collar jobs that was freed by tax cuts for the wealthy it’d be easier to make sane policy decisions. Each dollar would need a unique identifier like real dollars but they would have to stick as they moved through electronic banking/wire services. Of course there would be huge privacy concerns but the Fed (or whoever did the research) could apply something like Google’s “Non Personal Usage Data” policy.
“Non-personal usage data” refers to information automatically sent to Google to help us figure out how well Google Desktop is working. This includes information such as whether or not the program installed successfully, the program’s reliability, how quickly your results are displayed, and the frequency with which you use the program, as well as a Google cookie. It does not include information that personally identifies you, such as your name or email address.”
The government would LOVE to have access to that data so it could only be open source which would prevent an IRS field day.
In other news, I’m still recovering from a weekend in Mexico. Thursday I fly to Manhattan where I plan on reading a book and avoiding sin. Here’s a photo from a restaurant we ate at somewhere south of Rosarito (thanks JR).
Here’s a list of job titles generated by BullS&!^Job.com.
- Customer Paradigm Specialist – Something high paying in marketing
- Return Usability Director – Shrinkwrap engineer?
- Customer Brand Orchestrator
- Direct Directives Director – This is definitely a government job, maybe at the Pentagon.
- Investor Directives Director
- Legacy Identity Designer – Presumably in some division of the witness protection program
- Senior Mobility Facilitator – Resthome spongebath guy
- Internal Directives Technician – Amateur Psychotherapist
I was watching Jeopardy last night. There was a category on computer terminology. The answer was something like “This internet protocol used for making phone calls ends in IP.” The contestant answered “voice”. Trebek, befuddled, replied “uhhhh. OK!” Anyway, VOIP unlike H.323 isn’t a protocol and technically it’s Voice-Over-IP. I bring this up not to brag about my acronymic superiority but because the perennially smug Trebek was momentarily frozen, like a naked emporer Geraldo in headlights, by his lack of knowledge.
This essay by Michael Barone explains my political stance:
” As Murray has written, all you need to do to avoid poverty in this country is to graduate from high school, get and stay married, and take any job. The intelligence needed to get a place in the cognitive elite may become more concentrated in a fair meritocratic society, but the personal behaviors needed to find a valued place in society are available to everyone. “
The Internet is the ultimate playing field leveller. Tech entrepreneurs aren’t so quick to sell to venture capitalists any more. One guy created del.icio.us in a few months, alone, with no funding and it’s now one of the biggest new internet phenomenons. A student with $300 computer and an internet connection to Google and Wikipedia has more opportunities to learn and create than a kid at a posh private school in 1990.
Taxes will always be progressive but the consequence of high taxes in a meritocracy are much higher than in a society with an upper class composed of bureaucrats.
Refreshing honesty from Post Secret.
Walmart would be bankrupt if democrats practiced what they preach.
I saw this shuttle photo and it reminded me of dogs. If you know of any good therapists…
If offered the chance to go back in time as ruler of the primitive world few would accept. Lets look at the pros and cons.
- Boundless Power
- Hoards of admirers
- No taxes
- No politicians
- Toothbrush hasn’t been invented
- Equine propulsion systems routinely eaten by predators
- Culture consists of buffalo paintings on cave walls
- No sunscreen to protect against the ravages of sunlight on long hunts
- No internet, not even dialup
So wealth is a relative term but status is only part of the picture. If you detach status from time it’s easy to see that an average middle class citizen of 2005 is much better off than even the richest caveman.
There are tons of articles (links!) explaining the shift taking place in the media business. Most point to the internet as the culprit in the massive, accelerating decline summed up nicely by Jeff Jarvis.
The big media dinosaurs are, indeed, consolidating because they must huddle together against the cold wind of the great access-giver, the giant scarcity killer, the amazing distribution devaluer: the internet. Media ? and news and journalism with them ? are a business. Face the reality.
What if more than just the media business is riding on the back of these ill-fated beasts of yore? Interesting that we’re about to see an explosion of culture enabled by cheap technology and distributed with the internet coinciding with a massive economic implosion. That implosion caused by the same things that freed our culture. We’re a world of soon to be unemployed bureaucrats that can either miss the inflated prestige of our former jobs or rejoice because there’s no more bureaucracy.
So, my prediction for earth circa 2015 can be summed up thusly: Bob Dylan on your couch, Top Ramen in your cupboard.
An explanation of Intelligent Design from the New Yorker:
“Living organisms are too complex to be explained by any natural?or, more precisely, by any mindless?process. Instead, the design inherent in organisms can be accounted for only by invoking a designer, and one who is very, very smart.”
Now lets swap out some words to describe the economic assumptions of the left:
Market order is too complex to be explained by any natural?or, more precisely, by any mindless?process. Instead, the design inherent in the economy can be accounted for only by invoking a very, very smart group of politicians.
Flickr is a great place to look around and see what other people are doing with their cameras but there are so many photos it’s tough to separate the good from the bad. They’ve figured out a way and it’s really mindblowing stuff.
Sometimes I like to think that there are millions of creative geniuses out there who previously couldn’t afford the tools needed to compete with the professional elite. The more I see things like this the more I’ve convinced it’s true.