Posted: September 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

THE WRECKING OF VENEZUELA    May 13th 2010, 19:01 / Most popular post on The Economist

No leader any longer acts in isolation. Instead, they are merely participants on a world stage they share with a multitude of actors. As a result, they are not solely dependent on their nation’s support or opinion. Global economic forces (such as the price of oil, embargo’s, et. al.) have the force of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand firmly in place. It’s the global market that will determine the LONG TERM viability of his tenure, not the immediate political pendulum sways of fickle partnerships. Keep your eye on the global stage of trade and IF the people begin to starve THEN change occurs axiomatically. IF they prosper THEN all is well. Recommended 657


daily-cartoon-140630 (1)For some bizarre reason, blogging on news websites became a fundamental part of my mental well-being. Don’t get me wrong commenting is much like blurting or even heckling to some degree. In the days when Ivory Towers held persuasive sway over our collective psyches, raising your hand to make a comment was an act of a sociopath. We learned in college that the expert instructor at the podium held the power, was a deity in their chosen field, and could produce miracles with the swipe of a pen. The audience, the students, the listeners on the other hand were doomed to sit as passive ideational consumers, taking notes, babbling back regurgitated verses for an A- grade and hopes of achieving a 3.89 SPA status for grad school.

Blogging opens up a whole new ball game. It’s like the master of ceremonies spots your eyes rise with interest, stops the proceedings, and hands you a microphone. The crowd, the speaker, the world, stops what they are doing to listen to your pontification, waiting for an insight that cracks the code of understanding, and sets new standards of enlightenment for the modern era … well, at least that what I think when I’m blogging.

The ability to blog at will, to insert a comment that reflects your deepest thoughts on the subject, is in my humble opinion, one of the greatest innovations of human communications since the Gutenberg press. The Ivory Tower crumbles like Saddam Hussein’s statue, and the audience, the throng, the up to know un-heard multitude, become part of the dialogue with the global audience. This is nothing short of profound.

I take part in blogging 5 out of 7 days a week. I blog on the Atlantic Wire, The Atlantic, Wired Magazine, SF Gate, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Economist to name a few. I used to post on the Huffington Post, and even hustled friends (a method that I will not disclose). HuffPo got ridiculous and trite. I left it and never looked back.

Each news site brings out in me a certain level of behavior and intelligence. I respect The Atlantic, so I’m careful how I craft my words and thoughts. I respect the New York Times and bring my full game to each post. Wired brings out the techie geeky side of me, so I put on my helicopter beanie hat and take it to the house. SF Gate and the Atlantic Wire have become flowery, but I use them as a source of local and current events. SF Gate has a lot of commenters on it, so it’s fun to mix it up with the Bay Area’s diverse crowd. SF Gate is my place for local professional sports. Local sports are a man-thing, and I’m a man that does the man-thing. My favorite sport by the way is professional football. I stay glued to Red Zone every Sunday. It defines my life.

My favorite new site by far is THE ECONOMIST. The Economist is the elite of the elite. It’s global, it’s intelligent, and it tackles hard global concerns at the causal level. It’s demographic is mature adults, most college educated, with a gaggle of economists. When my son Brandon began his major at the University of Arizona in economics, I honestly did not know one thing about the field … Okay, supply and demand … maybe. I needed to study economics to have conversations with Brandon. I did not want to appear idiotic in front of him. I turned to The Economist as a source of study.

Blogging at first is very intimidating. Of course, like everything else a person does repeatedly, the stage fright floats away. The Economist is different. The commenters know their stuff in a field in which I know absolutely nothing. I trembled at the thought of commenting on The Economist. However, I knew I had to take the leap or I would forever see myself as a sissy failure, a scaredy-cat unable to put his stuff out into the world for a shake and bake session with the big boys.

Finally, one afternoon on March 17th 2010 at 16:02 hours I took the leap forward. May I present my first blurt on The Economist:

Building tensions Mar 17th 2010, 16:02

The problem with the talks is the lack of “teeth” in the persuasion side of the equation. We give Israel a lot of aid:Since 1992, the U.S. has offered Israel an additional $2 billion annually in loan guarantees. Congressional researchers have disclosed that between 1974 and 1989, $16.4 billion in U.S. military loans were converted to grants.In addition, there is the more than $1.5 billion in private U.S. funds that go to Israel annually in the form of $1 billion in private tax-deductible donations and $500 million in Israeli bonds.

The simple solution: hold back daddy’s allowance … result … talks get on track IMMEDIATELY. Recommended 39

The rest is history. I respect blurting on new sites. I treat it with care. Sure, I required a learning curve to do it right, but I eventually grew a pair to the right size. I thought it might be interesting to share my blurts on The Economist. I don’t have any hidden agenda for doing it. I just like the idea of sharing my joy with others. Here it goes … have fun.


Good riddance Sep 11th, 03:46

What this story teaches me is the “law of bubble morality”.

Let me make my point with one simple example: Ten years ago it was immoral for women to expose their breasts. Now, exposed boobies are ubiqutious and as a result don’t pack the punch like the old days (except for the 10 and under male demographic). I could go on but my point is that the bubble of morality changed due to group acclimation.

It’s not that I disdain bubble morality, but we do need to recognize that morality is a function of group threshold economics … when there are enough people who think a brand is good / bad … then it becomes good / bad. There’s no absolutes just temporal group consensus. Recommended 2

Wireless wheels Sep 11th, 03:36

I have a 2000 Jeep Wrangler that is dumb a a rock. I had a 3201 BMW that was smarter than a whip. I had to change tires on the Jeep once, I gave it a higher lift (due to pure ego) and spent my time driving it with joy.

When I took the Beemer into the shop it cost me a fortune to keep its brains working properly. I loved driving it, except for the excessive amount of money I spent making the electronics happy … small things, it’s always small things with a BMW.

I still have my Jeep. In fact now I have a four door Jeep … also very dumb, but it does have power windows and more brains in the engine … it costs a small fortune to tune up … but other than that perfect.

Morale of the story: dumb is good … smart (electronics) is fussy … think about your computer after 2-3 years … ugh! Give me dumb and dumber. Recommended 0

Temples of delight Dec 23rd 2013, 07:12

Now that I think about it, places of social nexus are pretty cool, especially if there is an underlying value. Museums are a great example. People congregate, rub shoulders, play, frolic all in the name of historical understanding … that’s a very good value.

Now, that I think about it, that’s why I like my coffee house. It’s near a learning center, and people sit, relax, intellectualize, consume beverages and treats all in the name of espousing interchanging views.

Could human beings still embody an abundance of good traits that make life worth living?

Now that would be an enjoyable  Recommended 5

Lawyers, beware lawyers Oct 23rd 2013, 02:03

hahahahahahaha … sorry, I usually handle myself with decorum on the Economist. Your post pushed me over the edge of polite discussion. Recommended 1

Dumb-bell or emerging middle? Sep 26th 2013, 02:23

I believe what we are seeing is a global correction of the social consumer chain. Let me explain.

Business needs consumers to keep revenues flowing. Reducing the consumption flow by rich people taking all the money is fun (if you’re rich) … at least for a while.

American middle class consumers carnivorously sunk their teeth into the wild ride of products, filling everyone’s coffers … at least temporarily.

In ten years, a new consumer class must emerge to continue to the devouring trend of consumption. IF NOT, the top falls from its own weight. The top dogs of global economic market cannot munch their way through product consumption to keep the show going. The result … CRASH! Crash of consumptions markets all over the world … medical, agricultural, small manufacturing (cloths, stuff and more stuff), et. al.)

Let them eat cake is actually a good message. The middle class should consume cakes, underpants, sporting goods, cars … blah blah

Tell me I’m wrong. Recommended 17

What is driving urban gentrification? Sep 17th 2013, 04:48

Imagine living in a dead-locked commute for 2 to 3 hours a day. Imagine, a huge home isolated from cultural events, or where walking in the downtown area is seen as absurd. Everyone is an executive, with both spouses working, kids shoved in a day-care, then after-school care, then drug-rehabilitation care laced with ADD.

The pivotal element is TIME POVERTY.

Wealth becomes relative when the mind turns sour and there is no one of worth to share all the goodies. In the city, one walks to work, takes a trolley or transit, reads for 20 minutes, walks with hundreds of others at lunchtime, at happy hour and on weekends in the theater district.

Give me time any day of the week over a 5,000 sq ft house with a double mortgage and sequential marriages with no end in sight.

Now I don’t know if I’m depressed for people NOT living in cities OR happy because I am. Recommended 34

Taking a bite out of Apple Sep 15th 2013, 05:26

I believe people all over the world are missing the “real” point and are misdirected when they believe it’s the PHONE that makes people crazy in love. It’s not the phone … It’s COMMUNICATION MOBILITY. People love walking around engaged. They do NOT, I repeat do NOT love the phone.

Example: People do not love the pan when a great chef cooks. They love the food, but they love the social interaction that comes with eating food by a famous chef.

COMMUNICATION MOBILITY could take place with a cardboard box and people would love the cardboard. Recommended 6

Centuries of dialogue Aug 13th 2013, 08:33

@Sdawg “… And I think we should start by disrespecting it, because nonsense does not deserve our respect.”

In order to complete the circle, we must then start by disrespecting your nonsense because it is even more sophomoric than the ideologies you profane.

I am not a “believer” BUT any theory / philosophy / manifesto that begins with trashing their counterpart is reactionary, blind and violent at its base. One can believe or not believe. One can hold a manifesto higher than another. But at the core of all beliefs should rest understanding, a modicome of tolerance and a civil dialectic … leaving the battering rams for the distant past!!! Recommended 2

Lies, damned lies and scans Aug 9th 2013, 06:35

Great article BTW.

I remember the days when our group of friends would sit around the TV set attempting to spot CG inserts in a movie. We thought we were very clever and the winner would gain high status from the group … I laugh in retrospect.

Yet, here it is again. What I mean the invisible digital ruses that trick our mind. Here Xerox bots re-think the problem you gave it and thereby deriving a different answer, albeit wrong … this time.

However, not all answers from computers are wrong. In fact, they are right more times than not. Image writing a comment without the aid of that pesky red line under misspelled words. I truly have to say that computers keep upping the ante, and the game is getting more fun every day.

PS: Xerox will fix this problem, but there’s always a few out there that reside outside our purview. Recommended 7

Who runs al-Qaeda? Aug 9th 2013, 06:22

Let’s jump a few layers and then re-ask the question “Who runs al-Qaeda?”. Isn’t the underlying question not al-Qaeda but who has the most influence over the Muslim population residing in the Middle East as a whole… bear with me.

We keep looking at the problem as a political / religious war. True there is a lot of violence for everybody. BUT: isn’t the real motivation for power an ECONOMIC one? What I mean is simple: Most people in the Middle East live in sub-standard conditions (according to any modern standard). They are ruled despotically whether benevolently or maliciously. The world around them is transparent, they know what’s going in other parts of the world. Their economic inequality becomes obvious to everyone. SO: the people in the Middle East battle with what they know … and right now that is religious hammer.

Here’s a fast test: Give every Middle Eastern person a small home, remove the fear, let’s say put in a big screen TV or two with soccer blaring in the background and enough food and medical care to make things a little more pleasant. At a certain point, the economic comfort of a people begins to shift, not religiously but economically. They don’t want violence, they want to protect their fair share.

This is a new thought to me … so be gentle. Recommended 16

Can China clean up fast enough? Aug 9th 2013, 01:14

In modern times, we elevate our governments to profound levels of influence over human nature, biological nature, and the law of physics. My point: Regardless of the country, regardless of the politics, regardless of the high court rulings … when calamity hits three things happen:

  1. Human nature throws a hissy-fit and begins nimby-bulldozing the closet culprit when enough people start keeling over dead in the street
    2. Mother nature cleans house with catastrophic events, not bothering to ask for its day in court.
    3. The laws of physics doesn’t care where it applies it forces. Just tell it which way to go and it moves like a torrential downfall on anything in its way.

After a certain point, our vote just doesn’t count. Recommended 7

Let’s go German Aug 6th 2013, 05:53

I admire the German’s work ethic and their propensity to provide labor a safe haven. On the flip side, labor must work hard and remain lean thinkers.

Honestly, I think the German labor influence, along with German business values is a good counter weight to current US trends. Hopefully, the offspring of their marriage will bring about healthy offspring and a new model for stable global growth. Recommended 20

Bezos buys the Post Aug 6th 2013, 05:48

I understand the hubris of billionaires buying the little tidbits of shrunken valued horse and buggy ventures. But, if I remember correctly, AOL in its heyday purchased Times Warner to disastrous effect if not total failure.

The morale of the story: Marry within your own species. If not, the forboden offspring may grow tentacles where least expected. Recommended 18

Omnipotent, or omnishambles? Aug 4th 2013, 02:48

It seems the objective of the greatest minds in business and technology over the past 40 years has bee to motivate a 14 year old middle school student with 100% discretionary income to click on an ad. Great work for great minds!!??!! I think not!!!

Unfortunately, the delusion of 1900’s advertising principles still seem to persist among the best of thinkers. However, as the mind waddles through the blizzard of mundane creativity, there is a spark of ingenuity ahead.

The company that discovers that converting the expertise of their experts into storylines that make sense to consumers, then a new high road to intelligent consumerism will take form. Unleashing digital media is akin to optimizing the “gear” to a Formula One racing car. We’ve only just scratched the surface of intelligent media. Recommended 11

The generals strengthen their hand Jul 31st 2013, 04:05

Honestly, there are two things I love about the Egyptian situation:

ONE: That secular forces are beginning to play a larger part in the Middle East political arena, rather than despotic cleric rule and

TWO: America is not the scapegoat of the crisis. It’s time for the Middle East to begin to unscramble their own problems. Recommended 3

Final appeal Jul 31st 2013, 04:00

Tax evasion is at the core of Europe’s financial instability. From draconian Russian mob rule to the pesky civilians who cherish subsidized living at the public’s expense, the Berlusconi case showcases the ineptitude of problematic political leader’s as they twitch for sympathy in court’s of law who condone bad behavior. Recommended 6

Johnson: Those six little rules Jul 30th 2013, 23:16

…”Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which one can avoid if one is willing to take the necessary trouble…”

even better … “…is full of avoidable bad habits spread by imitation and …”

OR: …”is full of bad habits spread by imitation and avoidable …” Recommended 15

Why is Latin America cooling on Catholicism? Jul 23rd 2013, 06:38

If we look at Europe during the period the Catholic church was dominant up until 1517 with M Luther’s “The Ninety-Five Theses”, the splintering became more intense until we arrive at the modern world … It seems the Hispanic / S. American allegiance to Rome is taking on the same historical developmental pattern, i.e., first with a small fission, then a growing momentum until finally the age of modern thinking comes into full glory.

But, that’s just the historical development side. A more notable reason is the development of literacy through-out the world. Once it was acceptable to be illiterate in undeveloped countries … now illiteracy is frowned upon everywhere in the world.

Once you have people reading, then you have people thinking, and once thinking they begin to see through the vacancy of religious dogmas and begin their pursuit of “meaning and purpose in the world”. Recommended 45

Where have all the burglars gone? Jul 20th 2013, 06:02

One partial answer may be found in “collective values”. Specific eras in specific cultures create shared values and shunning behaviors among a diverse set of people in a similar social structure. Two examples would be smoking the 1940’s -50’s and Driving drunk in the 70 – 80’s in the United States.

Would you really accept a person sitting next to you in the office to light up a cigarette in today’s corporate setting? No way. Would you allow your best friend to drive home after getting black-out drunk. Again, no. In fact it almost sounds ridiculous. But, during the era of collective acceptance these acts were not only allowed but considered a moral right.

The shunning aspect of the collective values keep people from doing certain things. I think hard-core crime is no longer an acceptable behavior. Now, pirating a song, movie or book … that’s a different story today.

Anyway, there’s a lot to be said for peer pressure and the signs of times. Recommended 12

Bottoms up Jul 18th 2013, 05:02

Tequilla use to be a sleazy drink poured in dark seedy places where after 10 shots you became invisible, see in the dark and walk through walls unimpeded by earthly matter.

Ah! Good old American Branding. Branding is good for many things, but its highest quality is its ability to provide price fungibility to perceived value. As the value goes sky high, the social standing of the drinker follows. Granted it might cost a small fortune to get invisible on tequila nowadays, but at least you doing it with class … or at least that’s what the label is telling me. Recommended 18

Welcome to the beautiful game Jul 18th 2013, 04:50

Okay … you want proof of American-ethnocentricity … I’m it!
I got a little excited when I saw football was on its way. “Hummmm, a little early, but if the Economist has something to say about my beloved game … well let me take a peek!”
“Wait a minute, why are they using all these weird references for players? And football isn’t plagued with this much hooliganism … Wait a doggone minute … are we talking about the NFL???”
AS you can see, I’m still a little dazed. I heard there was the use of the term “football” somewhere in other parts of the world. I still haven’t gotten my arms around it.
Okay … I’ve been attempting to expand my horizons … Just one question … is football in your land where they toss virgins into the volcano fires???
Just asking!!! Recommended 1

Through the roof again? Jul 3rd 2013, 06:37

People just can’t get over the fact their home and it’s appreciation year after year were NOT the secret ingredient for a long and blissful retirement.

Although housing will most likely recover, the hope that an investment perpetually spits out escalating returns year after year is truly a mystical dream

… just ask Bernie Madoff’s investors. Recommended 14

Why do Americans mistrust for-profit universities? Jul 3rd 2013, 06:27

An interesting side-note to the mistrust of private universities, well-earned mistrust I might add, is the fact that most higher educational institutions have become bogus money making machines churning out useless degrees.

When a product becomes a commodity it essentially loses brand and value differentiation. A college degree has become a commodity, hence the loss of credibility, value and long term viability.

A degree is necessary but not sufficient to make it in the world. The lasting and primary success factor … you got it … brains!!! Recommended 30

Shut up! Jun 30th 2013, 07:56

When I first saw this video, I was absolutely floored that there were inhabitants in Texas that stood up to the backward mainstream conservatism.

It’s not so much that I adore all things LEFT & LIBERAL. In fact, I don’t, and in the issue of Right To Life, I’m sorry to say I could give a rat’s a$$ about it at all.

But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love point-counterpoint conventions. For some reason it makes me sleep better at night knowing there is some people in the world who will not roll over for Texas Neanderthal bravado.

A big “Yeah!” for rejecting ignorance for a change. Recommended 18

Above the fray, but part of it Jun 30th 2013, 07:50

The idea of a Supreme Court as a counter-balance to partisan politics was a brilliant notion in history. Knock its current holdings all you want, but the fact that a Supreme Court exists is one of the foundational elements that keeps American Democracy the lead race horse as a model of developing countries

… wait do I hear cries of disdain?

Of course! but no one wants to admit that all emerging countries as well as the new giant China, are finding the thorn of democracy a shill in their shoes … now if they could only understand the notion of a Supreme Court … now that would be a game changer . Recommended 10

Secrets, lies and America’s spies Jun 19th 2013, 05:59

Wow! If this is truly the first time you thought the political systems and its players were hypocritical … well … I have some more bad news for you: there is no Easter Bunny or Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy … oh, and people are self-centered and will stab you in the back if it meant gaining something you wanted.

Look, it’s tough to find out that you can’t trust anyone. But it’s better to know the truth than looking at the world through foggy rose colored glasses.

… but I agree … the whole thing stinks. Recommended 5

Secrets, lies and America’s spies Jun 19th 2013, 05:56

If you are suggesting that the wealth of America is superficial then you’re blatantly wrong. It’s just that less than 500 people own most of it.

Now if you’re say that America touts that “anyone can rise to the top” and be rich / famous / a leader / an economics professor … well a lot of people dream of a personalized stardom. Remember China has adopted the same “Dream” aspect into their messaging platform.

But, if you’re saying that poor countries are better than America … hummm … would you like to bet by moving to one of them … Africa maybe … Mexico. Recommended 14

Boomerang bosses Jun 4th 2013, 20:35

There’s a myth that CEO’s spearhead the dynamic energy of a company. Sometimes this is true, but most of the time they spend more time with huge egos, flaunting their annual salary, stock options and travel expenses driving company dynamics to ground. In addition, a CEO’s success is typically judged by stock value, i.e., short-term volatility is the pulse of success.

However, study after study shows that long term profitability requires a stable vertical organization, long-term / profitable business relationships with trusted clients, a smooth transition to product upgrades and a non-egotistical CEO and where top management is seen as a group-success effort rather than hitting the salary / stock option lottery.

Slow but steady is lost on most high profile companies. “Here today … gone tomorrow” … OR more accurately: “Here Today / Gone Today”. Recommended 13

Concrete, heal thyself! Jun 4th 2013, 20:24

Now if we can only get concrete to breathe CO2 with a surface that maintains a temperate temperature.

I remember my time in San Francisco .. all concrete … hot … soaking the life blood out of the soul. When I saw a small park it seemed like an oasis.

Anyway … concrete is hot. Recommended 3

Destroy and create May 14th 2013, 06:26

Human civilization loves the “bad boy” of every generation. A few make it to the Met, most do not. We go to the museum to understand the artifacts of civilization to allow milestones to take root for the sake of posterity.

Okay, answer the questions as fast as you can: When was your last visit to a museum? Who was the punk rocker of the 18th century? Was the museum fun or did you enjoy the fresh air after you got out of there?

See! The best things in life are happening in the current moment of NOW! Recommended 5

Microsoft blues May 14th 2013, 06:20

I remember finally wanting to make the jump to an Apple desktop when they were still making them. My friends said the enormous price jump was worth it. I finally said great, let’s do it. The same week Apple abandoned the desktop I was about to buy, as another version went on the market. I waited, and sure enough in a very short time frame, yet another new Apple version came out, until today when it still offers a new product.

I am still using the same software on my PC for the past 20 years with updated versions my only cost. Sure I update my computers, but not my whole system, and don’t think I’m behind the curve. I’m working with every advanced software program in my field.

Whatever you say about Microsoft, they’ve been the hated villain since I can remember. Business enterprise systems move slow, and the mobile markets move too fast. The company that can stabilize velocity of change with the cost of the learning curve will be the big winner … hopefully in the next 5-10 years. Recommended 9

On fat men and jellybeans Apr 1st 2013, 06:00

Yes, who is the lad that stuck his finger in the dyke. As the cracks let more water in … bam … denial of breathing because the poor thing was underwater … I hope I got it right. Recommended 8

Just when you thought it was safe…Mar 21st 2013, 22:17

“It” referring to the hard-working German or the thought of “rescuing” Cyprus?

If anything is wearing think, it’s the global criminal element that’s really at point here. Think about it. Isn’t this about protecting their havens? Now that wears thin … not the hard working Germans Recommended 4

We’d rather not Mar 20th 2013, 05:25

Maybe if the Russian mobsters leave, the concept of doing honest work for a living may catch on in Greece.

Look, all I’m saying is that a culture that coddles criminals creates either resentment from the hard working guy or “hey I should be a criminal too” mentality from the slackers. Recommended 9

Cheer up Mar 15th 2013, 23:35

America does one thing that very few other countries do … they channel theoretical clashes into political stand-offs. As in any war, the combatants grow tired, the people grow weary and seek resolution. Americans find resolution in lifestyle and freedom of speech. Lifestyle may be materialistic, but then so is a good economy. Freedom of speech may lead to heated exchanges, but it rarely leads to violence that you see in other parts of the world.

Conflicts create new patterns of resolution, a game at which America excels. Recommended 12

Do women derail their own careers? Mar 15th 2013, 23:30

Having babies! The human derailment in action. It’s a tough one to avoid. Recommended 5

Difference Engine: Hackers’ paradise Mar 11th 2013, 22:00

Crime is by definition a complicated system of deception, organizational finesse and self-imposed enforcement without legal niceties … Just ask Al Capone. On the other hand, mayhem is an organizing force for the good guys. As the crime becomes more byzantine, the counterpoint becomes more robust. I’m not pro-crime, but hackers signal a new age in profuse Internet integrity … I hope! Recommended 6

Difference Engine: Hackers’ paradise Mar 11th 2013, 21:52

Crime is by definition a complicated system of deception, organizational finesse and self-imposed enforcement without legal niceties … Just ask Al Capone. On the other hand, mayhem is an organizing force for the good guys. As the crime becomes more byzantine, the counterpoint becomes more robust. I’m not pro-crime, but hackers signal a new age in profuse Internet integrity … I hope! Recommended 12

The rise of Genghis Khan Mar 11th 2013, 21:43

What this beautifully illustrates is the continued rise of Entrepreneurial Capitalism into the 21st Century as the base economic model of nations – regardless of political persuasion. Raw business undertakes risk, allocates risk, produces products in response to market need, morphs in size in response to revenue and profitability … all in the face of the most diverse, fragmented, divergent social conditions through-out human civilization. Please, hats off to BUSINESS AS USUAL. Recommended 10

Wasting our time Mar 2nd 2013, 21:02

You have just described the base economic formula for the economic collapse of nations through-out history.

Start with the downfall of Rome and then work your way through history and you’ll find their government’s end-time theory with yours. Recommended 0

Wasting our time Mar 2nd 2013, 03:09

When a company runs out of money they lay off their people. It’s an economic disaster. Yet, we somehow feel that public employees are exempt from the normal cycles of budgetary constraint.

There is NO economic crisis. Or, if there is, the private sector has lived many lives with this ominous villain.

It’s time for the public sector to fess up to reality. Recommended 15

The enemy within Feb 23rd 2013, 03:23

Excellent! Recommended 5

Who owns Sherlock Holmes? Feb 21st 2013, 09:00

The best way to avoid copyright issues is to create your own stuff. No muss nor fuss. Unless of course, it’s essential your creativity is imperatively bound to the creation of others … that’s a different problem altogether. Recommended 8

Hack-attack Feb 21st 2013, 08:58

Welcome to the war of the worlds of the future happening now. It’s going to be a doozie Recommended 6

The search for a nuclear legacy Feb 21st 2013, 08:55

I started out as a fan, slowly realized O’s legacy was a hoax and a sell-out and the idea of looking for a legacy strikes me as outright humorous.

Unless of course “outright humorous” is the legacy.

… and no, I’m not a right wing hater. Just an average middle of the road leftie with overblown hopes. Recommended 2

Moving up Nov 12th 2012, 19:39

There’s an assumption that there is something inherently poor in the Hispanic mentality. In fact, their work ethic, strong family ties and the continual upsurge in class advancement prove that to be blatantly untrue.

But what is the causal effects of this surge?

IMHO: The concept of capitalism is relatively new in historical global economic theory. Many different models, mostly top down rule scenarios, were tried in real time, and eventually failed. With capitalism becoming a well-tested apolitical system that works, we find its adoption taking place in the early 21st century at a more rapid pace. In a sense, the trickle down model in capitalism has more to do with the ideals of capitalism not merely the big bucks cascading down the mountain.

My point: As more and more people understand the machinations of capitalism, the higher their economic status. Capitalism is fundamentally simple: Utilize Resources Profitably. Now let’s see if it can stabilize world politic are send it off the deep end of chaos. Recommended 10

Town-hall brawl Oct 18th 2012, 18:59

The media and the public seem to be viewing the debates as the MLB World Series. This is not a best of 7 game were playing here. Who wins the debate or blasts his opponent with a knuckle sandwich has no bearing on the outcome.

In saying that, the content of the candidates has become boring, predictive and a lathering of fixed message points hurling “you are bad” epitaphs at each other with zero substantive content.

However, it’s not only the United States that is playing this distraught game. Governments all over the world plunge into theatrics with hands waving, waiting for the audience applause. It’s the wrong game at the wrong time and it’s very sad. Recommended 7

Out of sight, out of mind Oct 17th 2012, 20:42

It seems that the core point of the article is that managers use “false” perceptual keys to determine value. Old school thinking anyone? We work globally, 99% of our business is online, and we judge performance on the quality of task achievement. We have healthy long term revenues and solid team working relationships. On the other side of the fence, my friends who spend their time flying for that precious “nose-to-nose” experience are in fact wasting precious resources on irrelevant downtime and don’t always have much to show for it. Finally, if competing against office trolls is the way to the promised land … well, it’s not, pure and simple. It’s a new world out there. Those who jump on the train heading to new forms of business communications will leave those riding in horse & buggies organizations in the dust. Recommended 7

The faint smell of dog fart Oct 4th 2012, 04:52

This would be a good thing for North Korea and the whole world actually. Recommended 2

Live-blogging the first debate Oct 4th 2012, 04:48

One of the most fascinating things about American Presidential elections is how the candidates talk in terms of absolute power. They speak in the first person with statements always starting with “I will do when I become president.”

The fact of the matter is that although the POTUS is in fact a very power person, our democratic system of government, from congress, to judicial courts, state’s rights and the inherent inefficiencies of bureaucratic workers … bottom line: they just don’t have that much clout. Sure they set direction, but not in a first person kind of way like the super hero’s they emulate during this phase of the game.

That doesn’t mean that this year’s elections isn’t absolutely electric, and Romney in fact hit it out of the park. So, the game is on. Come January though, it will be back to swishing through the political swamp waters to get anything done. Recommended 19

Sponging boomers Sep 29th 2012, 03:35

Your rants are perfect for the Huffington Post. Their standards provide an excellent platform for discussions like yours and in addition you can earn badges. Keep up the good work Max. You’ve earned it. Recommended  1

Sponging boomers Sep 29th 2012, 03:19

… whew! … I would love to say that in all rants there is a stream of logic. However in your case, I’m a little concerned the component parts are not quite integrating as nicely from the outside as they are from the inside. Logic is a good remedy … that is simply connecting all the pieces into one coherent rational whole.

Good luck. Recommended  3

Sponging boomers Sep 29th 2012, 03:16

Whew! You had me worried J Smiley. Recommended  2

Sponging boomers Sep 29th 2012, 03:05

Twitter or Facebook … but I also do a lot of meditation. You could tap me on my Mind’s Eye and say, “Don’t do it, it wasn’t all what it was cracked up to be!” OR “Pull the plug … it’s great up here!”

… okay Jane … Please do not choose suicide. It’s never a good choice. It’s better to chat on The Economist in real time. Recommended 4

Sponging boomers Sep 29th 2012, 03:02

Actually there is nothing certain that the economic business models of the past will project linearly into the future. In fact, it seems that post-WWII models are re-structuring as we speak. That means that concepts like inheritance, generational growth or even classic business models may have run their course. A more productive pro forma may be to follow labor / natural resource / technological savvy … it seems to me, the smartest use of crumbling models will fare the future winner. Recommended 10

Sponging boomers Sep 29th 2012, 02:57

Reason rears its head … very good aidan Recommended 10

Sponging boomers Sep 29th 2012, 02:56

Hummm … you must have a very good job to be carrying that much responsibility. Most of the young people I know are living in their parents basement without a job. Entitlement works both ways. Recommended 9

Sponging boomersSep 29th 2012, 02:54

As a Boomer … you first … then tell me how it ends up! Recommended 9

Still more deadly booze Sep 26th 2012, 20:09

In addition, the use of a stamp is probably the most easily hacked workaround possible. Color printer anyone!!! Recommended 9

Rage, but also self-criticism Sep 21st 2012, 04:43

“hate speech” is a relative term. One individual’s ceiling is another’s floor. Speech should be protected at the highest level … yes, even if there is name calling involved.

Look at the alternative: VIOLENCE and FAUX-SANCTIONED KILLING. The operative worked is “sanctioned”. Hurting one’s feeling with words is on the opposite side of the spectrum than chopping one’s head off. Recommended 6

Rage, but also self-criticism Sep 20th 2012, 21:31

Knowing Muhammad doesn’t mean I can’t draw a picture of him without fear of death. It’s a freedom of speech issue. Recommended 18

Rage, but also self-criticism Sep 20th 2012, 21:29

The true issue here is the ideology of personal freedoms in the guise of FREEDOM OF SPEECH versus dictatorial dogma spiced with the penalty of death.

Personal liberty is an entrenched set of principles that may be unique to the West, but IMHO also echos the inherent make-up of every human being in the world. There is no sovereign power / ideology / dictum / dogma / proclamation that carries with it the the inability to speak against those dogmas freely and without threat.

The real embarrassment is normal individuals hiding in fear from extremists who feel their 6th century ideology is the controlling form of social governance for the modern world. Let’s wake up and face the fear of retaliation and maintain the basic freedoms of personal liberty. Recommended 13

Murder in Libya Sep 14th 2012, 08:26

Actually from the time of Abraham Recommended 6

Are America’s chief executives overpaid? Sep 10th 2012, 18:07

The problem is not their pay, it’s where they put their focus after they get their pay. I watched in horror a few dot-com busts ago as top management spent all its time on positioning for best stock opt-out strategies for themselves rather than managing their company. Their prism was I WANT MINE not getting the company into smooth running operation. But to be honest, most employees were playing the same “I want my stock options” game too. Not once did I hear “Hey, how do we generate revenue with this business model”. Recommended 9

Private effort, common good Sep 6th 2012, 19:00

One of the only problems I had with Bill’s speech and the whole DNC are the photos of people that look like George Clinton rather than Bill Clinton … maybe it’s a convention, but showing a woman with her medicare card and tubes coming out of her nose was exactly what the Repubs were talking about when it comes to wasting money on people that just want to take. Recommended 6

Is America better off now than it was four years ago? Sep 5th 2012, 16:11

… Or if Gore had rightfully been placed into office Recommended 6

Is America better off now than it was four years ago? Sep 5th 2012, 04:35

I’m actually saying the opposite. White people THINK they are the only ones that value the economy, jobs and national security … that’s what makes it racist. It’s not understanding that it’s a human propensity to live in a well-heeled society, not a value of a particular sect of society.

And the higher point is that the campaign is based in RACE not values. So it’s highly irrelevant to argue values. Sure we can pretend to examine the “deeper” issues of the world. But, that’s not what’s occurring in this election.

Now in saying that, you’re making my point: Your immediate reaction was a racial one albeit reverse-racism. You didn’t see the greater and higher point … and that’s my point. No worries, there are 350 million people that think exactly like you do. Recommended 6

Is America better off now than it was four years ago? Sep 5th 2012, 00:09

After listening to the Republican chant for a while now, I’ve realized it’s not about the economy, jobs or national security. It’s all about RACE. It’s about bringing back WASP values to America and segregating the poor folk versus minorities raising from the ashes of “untouchable” caste neglect. That’s it. Everything else is fabricated.

Non-White versus White!

Now take your poll and get the real pulse on the election. Recommended 17

All fall down Aug 27th 2012, 17:49

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately Pleasure-Dome decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea. Recommended 5

Delivering the goods Aug 25th 2012, 06:00

I love the idea … but isn’t this one of the critical functions the existing and currently failing post offices provide? They have the existing infra-structure, a minimal capital outlay for lockers of some sort and a set of 3-in-1 delivery options that would blow away the competition.

… Wait, that would take innovative thinking … sorry! Recommended 5

Relations on the rocks

Aug 25th 2012, 05:55

Old rivalries die heard. Maybe it’s in our psyche. Maybe it’s the Hatfield and McCoy embedded deep in our human genome. Maybe we lack creativity without the ability to reformulate both new and contentious relationships. Whatever the reason, a small island is not the predict cause … that’s for sure. Recommended 2

The role of manufactures Aug 25th 2012, 05:51

Re-think growth … re-think cycles … re-think globalization!

We keep looking backwards to predict the future. The industrial revolution is hundreds of years old. My goodness, isn’t it time economist embrace a new metaphor. Recommended 11

If China catches a cold Aug 24th 2012, 22:07

It is an old habit, but we seem to always talk in absolute terms when it comes to economic forecasting of great nations. IF: This THEN: Concrete linear functions occur that have absolute impacts.

ONE: The great nations of this world have become complex machines with indeterminate outcomes (think clouds / storms / quantum theory. Complexity does not breed axiomatic outcomes.

TWO: There is no singular event that creates a singular impact. That is 19th century logic applied to 20th century business structures in a 21st century matrix.

POINT: Instead of attempting to PREDICT ABSOLUTES, develop more advanced logic models that identify reactive options to events that create complex economic waves. In other words get a feel for the pulse by embracing the noise. Recommended 30

Reefer madness Aug 13th 2012, 21:12

The problem I have with legalization are not the logical, rationale arguments that sane people are making. It’s the fact that I’ve already smoked all the grass I could handle when I was studying at Berkeley back in the day (as they say)… now I’m straighter than an arrow and the issues fall to the ground, crestfallen with a thud. Ah, the lost era of hippie-dom. Recommended 7

Cars on a diet Aug 13th 2012, 18:07

There’s an oblique view that “CARS” are the culprit of the environment. To a certain extent it’s true. But, when compared to Industrial spewage cars are like tinker toys. Industrial plants often are left unabated under the radar … the rational: Keep work flowing. My point: when we reverse Industrial noxious output, then we’ll be on the right track. Recommended 7

The boredom of boozeless business Aug 13th 2012, 06:41

Booze may be out, but being unfocused at work sure isn’t. Watch the workers around you and you’ll find cell phones constantly going off, texting “waz up” doesn’t stop all day, and updating FaceBook pages is a sure thing. In the old days booze was an excuse to goof off, now it’s devices and social media … some things never change. Recommended 25

Romney makes his choice Aug 13th 2012, 06:32

There are those who still believe in Ayn Rand as the second coming. Ryan is one of them. I honestly suggest that everyone take an hour or so and re-read Atlas Shrugged. It will make you cringe. Follow the dots of Rand’s followers (for example Alan Greenspan) and you will find how the idealism of exploitation has given us an elite 1% and a teetering economic platform on the edge of collapse. Recommended 6

One state, two systems Aug 13th 2012, 06:23

I’m in total agreement with CA-OX. I am UC Berkeley graduate, and am appalled at the slothful habits and corporate culture masking itself as higher education. My association with Professors at Berkeley over the years has provided me a first hand view of the deteriorating mind-set of professors, administrators and support staff. The game is over, and market economics is raising its hand on the matter. Yet, I dearly hope that the market correction will bring back the “good habits of excellence” that was a hallmark of the system Recommended 2

Hiring hotties Jul 25th 2012, 16:18

… and now ladies and gentlemen … it’s time for the wheezing contest where contestants wear only their whitie-tighties, scratch their bellies and burp. Recommended 2

Hiring hotties Jul 25th 2012, 16:15

The headline was the only reason I read this article Recommended 15

Zen and the art of carmaking Jun 19th 2012, 03:38

Excellent point. Recommended 6

True believers Jun 13th 2012, 18:53

We love looking in the rear view mirror to assess the road ahead. Linking social values with economic outcome is highly antiquated. People who make money in America keep their eye on the prize, spend more time with their clients, entertain in an a-political manner and go cha-ching when the cash register rings.

People who believe that politics is a seat of power are still are chapter one in the book called “Reality”. Recommended 10

Angela Merkel, swimming instructor Jun 11th 2012, 17:19

A metaphor: One of the major reason young NBA (basketball) and NFL (Football) stars / millionaires go broke is that everyone one in their family comes banging on the door for money. What would you recommend to the new millionaire star? ….. thought so. Then why be upset with Angela? Recommended 12

Start the engines, Angela Jun 7th 2012, 20:58

In theory is the key operative here. The fact is that the system is broken and I believe it’s the “…what course of action is best for the long interest of others” part.

Don’t get me wrong. I would love the representational system to work. However, the issue is how to fix a hemorrhaging economic system.

Again, I am only speaking in hyperbolic terms. I’m not sure the rich would change a thing, since they benefit in dire situation. Recommended 0

Start the engines, Angela Jun 7th 2012, 20:57

In theory is the key operative here. The fact is that the system is broken and I believe it’s the “…what course of action is best for the long interest of others” part.

Don’t get me wrong. I would love the representational system to work. However, the issue is how to fix a hemorrhaging economic system.

Again, I am only speaking in hyperbolic terms. I’m not sure the rich would change a thing, since they benefit in dire situation. Recommended 1

Start the engines, Angela Jun 7th 2012, 20:40

A simple thought: Why do we place so much power in the hand’s of politicians and government leaders, when in fact, they do not have the economic influence that can shift anything except public opinion … and then only through the media.

Tangible change comes from the world’s 1% rich. They have the money, the influence and the power. IMHO Economic change cannot come from any other source. Recommended 5

Start the engines, Angela Jun 7th 2012, 20:36

Structural reforms are based in more fluid business models. Governments throughout history function as a means of maintaining the past and current status quo. Why is this the case?

One: because government workers (including politicians)are paid based on taxing current events not future models.

Two: Who ever heard of a forward looking government official? They are much too concerned with tonight’s cocktail party than a notion of developing abstract solutions. Recommended 22

Toxic shock May 25th 2012, 06:08

The reaction to the Billboard may be a sign of “shock fatigue” .. finally. Let’s hope that a semblance of explaining a position will fall under the burden of making sense and becoming logical. That does not infer that the most intelligent argument is the right one, but that rational argumentation may bring back the old notion of the marketplace of ideas as the forum of ideational conflict, not boogie man scare tactics targeted to the feeble minded. Recommended 21

The third industrial revolution Apr 20th 2012, 16:01

There was a time when people would marvel at a toaster / color TV / at a word processor attempting to comprehend how a letter / word / sentence could move through thin air. Okay! Fast forward! Yes, technology is great. But really … is it jaw-dropping awesome? Disruptive? Well yes, about 50 years ago. Please let’s move past the “Wow Tech Dazzles” phase and get down to some basic understandings that could truly leverage these advancements on a social / personal value basis. Recommended 3

When screenwriters get lazy Mar 4th 2012, 01:24

Yes tulip … thank you for the clarification b/c De Niro was actually a good actor at one time. Recommended 11

When screenwriters get lazy Mar 2nd 2012, 23:16

Lazy is never moving outside of the three generic plots, interchangeable actors with no range (ala: Robert De Niro), explosions, and CG effects ad naseum. I’m learning to sit back with a bag of popcorn and a dirty martini to enjoy the trailers of a dozen movies at a time, knowing I’m seeing the best parts of all of them without wasting time, money or integrity! Recommended 18

Too many cars, too few buyers Feb 18th 2012, 18:48

There was a wonderful concept in manufacturing at the start of the 1900’s called the assembly line. over time, the great minds of industrialists expanded and refined the concept to precisely spit-out delicately tuned gadgets of mass production specifically designed for targeted demographics anxiously waiting to devour the embossed gizmo-candy with open arms.

One problem: endless spewing assumes an endless consumer base as chronicled in the old adage of “build it – they will come”. However, the poor souls in the middling-rungs of the economic bell-curve were falling into the lower regions of the poverty Netherworld, and those remaining sat with teeth chattering in the corner of their endless pit of never catching up.

Morale of the story: Consumers are not infinite, mass production is hitting the wall with over production and classes are re-sorting in a new global age of economic redistribution where the middle is being squeezed like a lemon on a hot summer day. Oh, and the product may be outmoded with the advancements of urban congestion, traffic jammed commutes and sky-rocketing fuel costs … just a few details. Recommended 11

We welcome your rise (sort of) Feb 15th 2012, 22:28

Excellent point. It’s an old adage, but it’s always the ants that ruin the picnic. Recommended 3

We welcome your rise (sort of) Feb 15th 2012, 20:48

Your statement is true in this sense: That a “Major Power” will always attempt to overcome a “Smaller Power” based on self-interest. This principle does not hold true for the Super Power to Super Power relationships. Engaging another Super Power is done gingerly and when it occurs they change the tectonic platform of the economic balance through-out the hierarchical channels.

It is my belief that in our current economic climate many countries have achieved a quasi Super Power status. Germany, China and the United States for example. The list is subjective, so add / subtract at will. BUT: at the top of the pecking order among the elite powers today’s world is too complex to merely go to war (let’s say as Napoleon did, or the ancient Chinese Dynasty’s). Today’s power struggle lies in richness and abundance, not political ideology.

This is a fundamental societal change in the way human conflict is conducted. Is this change for the better? Hummm! I’d have to think about that. Someone always loses in any type of self-interest based game of exchange. Recommended 3

We welcome your rise (sort of) Feb 15th 2012, 18:11

The notion of global power always brings with it a sense of dominance. In ancient and feudal times the “winner take all” rules were in order. However, the world is more complex today, in part because of communications, trade, finance and banking. More importantly, the global war over capitalism versus communism is over. Call it what you will, but materialism and riches reign in our modern world won hands down, albeit dressed in assorted colors. With that being said, the complex market forces that flow between global parties will find a natural economic balance (notice I did not say equilibrium). When everyone is playing the same game, no one wants to burn down the field. Recommended 8

Giving the FCC the finger Feb 10th 2012, 06:32

I understand that censorship rules may in fact be outdated. But with that being said, the use of Super Bowl half-time to perform “outrageous acts” is merely a ploy for extended media attention. Unfortunately the media granted MIA her fanfare extension, and I too am sucked into the vortex of squeaky-wheel temper tantrums. Drat! Recommended 1

What does it mean to put on a good show? Jan 27th 2012, 12:33

Unfortunately jingBrit, 99.999% of human beings never grow out of wanting to be cool. Please don’t make the mistake in thinking that teenagers have a monopolistic hold on the concept of “coolness”. It pervades every fabric of our lives until death (I mean it wouldn’t be cool to be buried in a potter’s field would it?). But, I do give you the fact that there remains 0.0001% of the world’s 7 billion population who would side with you. In real numbers that 7 million people. So, you see, Broadway still has a sporting chance. Recommended 10

What does it mean to put on a good show? Jan 26th 2012, 18:54

Horse racing use to be cool. Smoking use to be cool. Tattoos are cool, but losing the footrace. Vaudeville was once cool. Broadway was also once cool. It is NO longer cool. It is expensive, and who wants to spend all their money going to a place that friends think is … well, not cool. Recommended 15

The paradox of prosperity Jan 26th 2012, 18:49

We tend to see China as an exuberant exception to the rules of economic physics. Yes, they have a unique combination of capitalism and communism. But, like all medium term economic booms, the arrow flies to heaven on the wings of angels and then finds it too has feet of clay. China is no exception to the natural forces of economic growth. In fact, when one looks at China’s history, all economic outbursts have been born on the backs of the its people. It will be interesting to see if the “people” will continue to remain hidden in the background as the state and its elite prosper. I think not. It takes an educated and free thinking populace to sustain economic and global domination. I hope I am wrong and China finds a way to include its people into the dream of expansion. Recommended 6

Of emperors and kings Nov 11th 2011, 19:33

There’s an inherent assumption that “free markets” are synonymous with private ownership, and in turn, private ownership is the EXCLUSIVE models to play in the capital market game. Unfortunately, the rules of capitalism aren’t that rigid and fixed. Capitalism is about trade, exchange and profitability. China is merely innovating and re-modeling the basic assumptions of ownership. Look, I’m a Western thinker. China has a new approach to capitalism. All is fair! Truly, it’s up to the opponent to adjust to the evolution of game play. Recommended 13

Is Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy in decline? Oct 9th 2011, 05:48

Republicans were a shoe-in, yet can’t seem to lift themselves out of their own ultra-localized myopic politics. When it comes to position / platform / vision, all they can come up with is slinging the monotonic cadence of “Obama is the bogey man”. That’s not vision, that’s moronic. Obama wins with by Technical Knock-Out. Amazing!!!???!!! Recommended 8

Beyond the PC Oct 9th 2011, 05:38

The current expansion of technologies is merely the logical extension of the concept of digital communication and knowledge transfer. The tentacle-like roots will continue to stretch for richer soil. The tree gets bigger. Nothing dies, nothing takes over. It merely blossoms to full maturity. I still use a pencil, I still have a PC that talks to a mainframe (I’m doing it now when I read the Economist online), and I have mobile devices that allow me to continue my communication as I move about. I also still munch on Frosted Flakes and drink a beer every once in a while. I don’t go to work in a horse and buggy, and I don’t hunt for my food on the open Savanna. Life is complex and inclusive. Not simple and exclusive. Recommended 6

The once and future president Oct 9th 2011, 05:28

Russia’s economic system is based on corruption. This is pure fact. The problem with corruption as the foundation of political stability is that it cements Russia into a “second class tier” (think Africa, Thailand, and other warlord nations). Sure, with Putin Russia gains a stable foothold, but honestly, when a family member is a gangster, its hard to ask him into the inner sanctum of structured power alliances. On the other hand, if Russia thinks it can become a major power without global alliances, well, then it suffers the same megalomanial delusions that is the earmark of corruption … corruption just doesn’t work over the long haul. It doesn’t work in America or China or India or any nation wishing to sit at the global table of dominance. Corruption is the Achilles Heal of power. Recommended 2

The fat man sings Oct 4th 2011, 21:48

What amazes me most about Chris Christie’s short tenure in the spotlight is the brash treatment about his weight … “The FAT Man Sings.” It show complete ignorance, regardless of what you feel about the man. So, Hillary Clinton is ugly with thick thighs, Obama is a chicken eating Negro, Muslims are towel heads, Margaret Thatcher is an old wrinkled snatch, East Indians smell to high heaven and most economic professors are pervs with no hair. That leaves us with beautiful people like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann to lead the way. Yes, I may sound idiotic, but it astounds me how idiotic most people responded to a fresh look at leadership. Fat indeed is how I describe this response. Recommended 48

There was a neutrino named Bright Sep 24th 2011, 00:43

Physics keeps looking for explainable factors influencing the complex universe. The problem with traveling faster than light is that something would occur before it happened. For example, if the telephone wires were made of “faster than speed of light” substances, we would have answered the phone before the person on the other end dialed our number. Yet, isn’t this exactly what PREMONITION is. In other words, could it be that “Ideation” is constructed of forces beyond our comprehension. For example: what if our existence on the light plane was really just a sonic boom of events happening on a plane traveling faster than the speed of light. There would be no actual events on that plane … that would only occur after the sonic boom. Recommended 2

Sharing it all Sep 24th 2011, 00:36

Facebook will be a thing of the past in 2 years. It’s over extending itself and taking its basic idea of “sharing” to an absurd logical extent boundary. The culprit that will puncture a hole in the balloon of “infinite shared-ness” will be some hackers that reek havoc on a million people. Mark my word. Recommended 7

Being Michele Bachmann Aug 20th 2011, 21:28

If all be told, Michelle Bachmann’s success represents the disappointing performance of Obama, not her brilliance. She’s a “rejection candidate” not a substantive one. Hence, the irrelevance of her gaff’s. Let’s face it, Obama is truly blowing it. Therefore, the assumption is that the Republican nominee will axiomatically become the next POTUS.

Not so fast. Is it safe to assume that Obama will run in 2012? I think not. If things keep moving the way they are, there could possibly be another Dem running for the White House chair. Hillary anyone? Recommended 5

The winning streak Aug 19th 2011, 23:53

Peter Drucker told the train business it was not in the train business but the transportation business. HBO is not in the Pay-for TV /movie business, it’s in the “feed my eyeballs” business. Right now my eyeballs are saturated with passive input entertainment, that is, one way, traditional forms of entertainment marked by the tools of the trade such as popcorn, soda, beer and couches. I was having trouble being “their eyeballs – justifying their existence”. What happened to me is a flattening of the pyramid across the entertainment board. HBO ended up on the cutting floor, along with many other TV programs / cable newscasters / newspapers & magazines / rental movies / expensive books / … you get the point. I have become more selective with my input, as well as more interactive with the sources I choose. Examples: the local library, more online news outlets across the world (like the Economist – my personal favorite), more online comedy and more time smelling the roses. I just discovered I have squirrels running around my backyard. I’m done salivating over gadgets, technology and stars. I believe the age of “Quality Time” is beginning to peep its head over the horizon. Recommended 15

Seismic shift in Silicon Valley Aug 19th 2011, 22:49

If we go back to the start of the PC revolution, let’s say circa 1978+, HP’s corporate culture was “BRAINS”. It had the smartest people on the planet working for them, bar none. I remember them coming in packs to review accounting software for a company I worked for, and they knew their business. Fast forward to the 90’s and the culture begins to shift. A good example is with their printers. HP “greedily” sells it printers cheap and kills you, I mean absolutely murders you on ink. It’s almost unconscionable. They start chasing the trends instead of setting them. They move from brains to brawn and it’s not working. Granted, a move from the consumer sector to enterprise wide systems sales with an Artificial Intelligent-esque product gets them in the door. BUT! The source of their problem hasn’t changed, that is, their mind-set. They are still chasing trends, not leading the pack with vision. It happens to many Silicon Valley companies, but it’s not a concrete rule that a long term player in the Valley has to become part of the sediment. Recommended 24

American idiocracy Aug 17th 2011, 18:08

First, a very big mistake is made by the global viewing audience about American business vs. American politics. They are very different animals. Business leaders do NOT, I repeat do NOT, sit around their lunch tables and wring their hands over what we see as very trite and contentious politics. Sure, we are taxed, but in all honestly it ends there. There may be a few CEO’s who love the “game of politics”, but in a normal business day I venture to say that politics comes up in a conversation close to ZERO!

The debt rating you speak about is the US Government’s rating, not tied in the least to an individual business rating. American business people spend their hard working days (yes Americans still are the hardest working people in the world), making deals and making money. We may have labor unions, but if you look at the trend, all entitlement type jobs have been going by the wayside for decades. In American business you’d better know your job, know technology, and work your butt off.

How does the government come into play … well, let’s look at it like an NFL football game. American business are the players on the field, the investors are the guys that own the teams and government are the cheerleaders tossing pom poms in the air. Yeah, they’re part of the game, but eye-candy nonetheless. Recommended 4

Saving David Brent Aug 17th 2011, 17:46

In our organization we have very detailed, skilled, highly technical workers who handle very complex issues with clients and platform partners. They do very, very well at their jobs. The problem is that in doing this “in-depth work”, it’s impossible to keep an overview of client objectives / needs / et al, task & priorities and sequencing of projects. That’s where our executive producers come in. They keep the overview squarely focused, and the technical producers keep the projects working.

The point is that organizations think that management = leadership, motivation, “I’m better than you because I’m higher in the org than you”. The problem is actually a focused detail <=> overview perspective relationship. We still want to fit the “omnipotent lord” over all the “feudal serfs”, as a result moving backward in organizational structuring. It’s all about relative perspective of the same problem, and when the parts are properly it works like a dream. Recommended 9

The party after Tim leaves Aug 15th 2011, 20:36

There is one implicit assumption running through-out all GOP / POTUS discussions: Obama is the democratic candidate. As a result, the objective is to kick Obama while he’s down, making it a Republican ONLY race. That means appealing to the brain-dead nimrod’s of the extreme right and all is well.

Not so fast. I’m not sure IF Obama can make it to the nomination without voluntarily saying “NOPE, can’t do it” in the same way Lyndon Johnson did in his March 31, 1968 speech with,”I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

If someone like Hillary Clinton were to join the fracas, woman to woman with Bachman and Palin, there would be a Greek-god cat-fight that could put the Dems in control again.

My point, is that it’s very dangerous to vote “against” a failing president, rather than “for” a candidate with substance. Let’s only hope that America still has some gray matter in that noggin to keep ti from falling into the infinite hole of stupidity. Recommended 6

London burns Aug 10th 2011, 19:57

A thought occurs to me of the juxtaposition of the Murdoch Press scandal, riots and a re-visitation of 1950’s “existential angst”. When the press is lurid, the thoughts of people become lurid, which in turn triggers angst. The governmental issues are almost peripheral, in the sense that they are the symptom not the disease. The disease you ask: the elite oligarchy munching all the riches for themselves. Just a thought mind you. Recommended 4

Where’s Britain’s Bill Gates? Aug 4th 2011, 19:44

The strongest facet of Silicon Valley is its “tech culture”. As you drive through the streets of Silicon Valley the buildings of tech-greats make you stand in awe. Going to parties means networking ideas of “visionary leap-frogging platforms”. The notion of becoming a billionaire, of angels, seed capital, bridge financing, exit strategies are normal. When a youngster pops into the grown-up offices of lawyers, accountants, venture capitalist, the grown-ups sit with rapt attention, not knowing if “this is the one” that will make it big. Sitting in a restaurant and drawing ideas on a napkin is called an exciting lunch. All of this is normal, its cool, its accepted. It’s the culture of Silicon Valley and all technology centers throughout the world.

Once you leave the insulated world of high tech (only a few miles down the road) you immediately get smashed-down for thinking abstractly; you’re labeled a megalomaniac or narcissist for wanting to change the world. Fashion accessories are the standard of beauty not coding expertise. Religious, sexual and political persuasion are more important than software infrastructure. There’s a world of difference between those that “get it” and those that don’t … and believe me, it isn’t money. Recommended 30

Bring the Islamists in Aug 4th 2011, 19:23

Democracy is an idea, not a political persuasion. It substitutes the reigning “Oligarchy” with broad based civil involvement. Once the people get a sense of the “idea of democracy” then, in theory, the clash of values in the open market of ideas ensues. Who wins is a matter of public disposition. Remember all Oligarchies have the public on their side, including Hitler, Genghis Khan, the Sauds, et. al.

Modern Oligarchies maintain their power economically, not through ideologies or politics. It’s what differentiates new-millennium nationalities from historical ones. For a political force to maintain power in today’s highly communicative environment they must provide the basic economic necessities of lifestyle: food, water, clothes and TV / iPhones / FaceBook. If this does not happen, as In America right now where the rich have usurped the “economic integrity” of the middle class, there will be raucous rebellion. For the most part, rebellion is the basis of a healthy democracy. Recommended 14

Cholera and the super-loo Jul 30th 2011, 01:28

Although the solutions suggested in this article are excellent, they still miss one key point. That is the power of the underlying mindset that promotes ruinous lifestyles. Change the mindset, and promote cognitive understanding in the most basic cultural sense: “Learn this rule!” and behavioral change will follow. In other words, teach new ideas and values of sanitation through inexpensive communication technologies. Theoretically, the afflicted will cry for justice or at least wash their hands or go farther from their home for their daily constitutional. I know this seems idealistic, but the individual “mental state” supplements the practical tool set and tangible solution. Without a “mind map” there is not direction. Recommended 8

An internet with Chinese characteristics Jul 28th 2011, 23:32

Ah! The fresh and expanding nature of the Chinese economy is exciting. China’s tech firms remind me of Sears & Roebuck’s meteoric rise in the late 19th century supplying out-of-reach American frontier families and business via its innovative catalog. China’s unique Capitalistic adaptation is not only fun to watch but gives expanded meaning to intricate and tenacious thinking, regardless of its origin. Gladiatorial prowess seems the order of the day.

It’s a basic tenet of business: competition is good for everyone. Recommended 80

Giving the Lai Jul 28th 2011, 20:19

“… the Americans take us for granted and … Canada has to strengthen relations with China in order to get more …”

Canada needs to understand that developing old-school political alliances does NOT build respect or even a place at the international table. A country’s strength from now and long into the future will occur with increased production capacity, trading exportation and global financial dexterity. Canada’s socialistic tendency is reminiscent of Greece, Spain and Ireland’s socialization. As Margret Thatcher once said: “You can live on other people’s money forever”. You’ve got to have a ticket if you want to dance. Recommended 12

Flat expectations Jul 27th 2011, 04:47

On the one hand you have “Eye Candy”. On the other, you have “High Production Values” including story, script, acting, filming quality and the elusive “Magic” that happen when they all come together. Unfortunately, merely adding a superfluous coating of 3D to shallow productions that follow a ludicrous and a predictable cadence of script / plot /story line is just another useless topping of visual malarkey and mundane creative vision. Granted, content is king, but that shouldn’t make it a MacDonald’s Happy Meal with a Superhero toy thrown in for good measure. Recommended 9

The 11th hour Jul 25th 2011, 23:25

Here’s the problem. Raising the debt ceiling only “defers” the debt problem, that is the tumbling cards phenomenon AKA: The Invisible Hand. IF, and I say “IF” the debit is allowed to float to its proper level with all commensurate crashes and re-structuring, isn’t that a safer action in the LONG RUN to let that happen rather than chasing Don Quixote’s illusory wind mill of voluntary/political cost reduction? I can’t imagine or recall a sovereign government body any place on earth or any time in history that has or will have the wherewithal to manage its bad spending habits. Recommended 80

Countdown Jul 12th 2011, 00:17

I say let the Invisible Hand do its magic. Truly, bloat is not overcome by eating more, and drunkenness does not require another shot of tequila. Bunker down and let the market forces have their day in the Arena Recommended 5

A sign of things to come? Jul 12th 2011, 00:14

I say let the Invisible Hand do its magic. Recommended 4

Friends like these Jul 5th 2011, 19:57

Every time I read about the China-North Korean relationship, I can’t help but think of the American-Mexico relationship. Major powers with highly disruptive neighbors combined with an inability to shake the pitbulls from their ankles. I guess it tougher than it looks. I mean Mexico is in the midst of a blood bath, and Korea in the midst of starvation, as the greatest nations on the planet sit there flatfooted gasping for breathe. It seems that global dominance is out of the question for both countries, since the planet is filled with much more misbehavior than their petite neighbors. Recommended 4

A beatable president Jun 10th 2011, 18:39

The core problem for any candidate is the inherent contradiction of goals. One one hand the cry for more jobs. The other side of the equation is cutting out-of-control spending. They are two objectives that by definition clash in both implementation and outcome. People scream when military related jobs are cut, hence no cut in military budgets. Building roads, bridges and other government related projects means MORE spending. Cuts … sure, but from where. The government has grown so big, it can only gasp for air to remain alive. My point, is that NO person, president or not, is going to solve the problem. There is NO magic bullet to end the global economic crisis. As corny as it sounds, the only solution will the proverbial Invisible Hand that induces collapse of failed and bloated systems. The worst is yet to come … and I’m an optimist by nature. Recommended 10

Late kick-off May 9th 2011, 23:24

Don’t hate me world … but the last world cup was a mental disaster. I wanted to love the game, I really did. Yes, I’m American (that automatically puts me in “pesky” column). But, the theatrics of the players, the corruption of the governing body, the local scams in local politics, and worse those horns … I had a tough time enjoying the games. I hope this next World Cup offers a little more true sportsmanship than I’ve witnessed … please don’t throw popcorn in my hair. I know I’ve blasphemed the world. Recommended 12

Business paradise or den of thieves? May 9th 2011, 23:20

More interesting than corruption is the possible incubation business model for ensuring rugged industrial companies a safe haven. Of course, no should be corrupt, so let’s leave that to the wayside. Companies unfettered from concerns about citizenry may be a novel approach in enhancing business production by providing specialized services to businesses within these geographical sectors. I’m not sure geography always has to be centered around residents … this is a case in point. Recommended 5

Saintly shadows May 1st 2011, 02:11

Child abuse! Those two words should be the stumbling block to sainthood alone. I cannot fathom a saint who KNOWINGLY condoned the widespread, terrible abuse of children. Yes, a great man in many respects, I grant that. But please let’s keep perspective on the gravitas of heaven. Recommended 4

What’s wrong with America’s economy? Apr 28th 2011, 18:50

First, most people assess the economic health of America by analyzing the political system, the sensationalized news broadcasts, and reality shows. This is like looking at a bad case of pimples to assess the health of the heart. It just doesn’t fly. The heartbeat of America is business. It does it better than anyone on the globe. The countries that emulate the American business model are the ones doing extremely well on the global economic stage. People, Americans as well as observers around the world, stare at America’s peripheral antics and call it the telescope of the future. Believe me, underneath the clowns in politics, the feverish greed of bankers, and those who bought into the dream of infinitely appreciating home values, American business will continue to flourish due, in part, to continued migration that gains multi-sector expertise and as a result cross pollinates the US business model to all regions of the globe. My advise to US observers is to stop staring at the disturbances of delirious entertainers but at the business that is America’s business … that is business. It’s rock solid. Recommended 5

Valuing gold in real terms Apr 26th 2011, 17:22

Columbus saw the world as flat. Centuries later, Thomas Friedman goes full circle and also sees the world as flat but for very different reasons; namely the maturation of global technology and communication and the subsequent dependence of nations on these systems. Today politics, economics, monetary values float in accordance with the “sign of the times”. Gold is an antiquated pulse, to be sure, and in my humble opinion has become merely a collective psychological device to decipher complex info in a “sitting around the campfire” sort of way. When your doctor feels your pulse, he’s taking a shorthand note of your total bio-climate. Gold is that pulse to our flat modern world. In saying that, the question is not whether gold is a good investment, but whether it is a good indicator on how countries will adjust their internal economies to meet modern demands. Countries are no long subservient to the waves of fortune. They have learned that active self re-calibration has more impact that chasing monetary heartbeats for high ROI. Point: the world has become a network of intelligent nodes that self-adjust to the internal and external contingencies that occur in real time. I vote the intelligence of the countries to prevail and not the blind reliance on an antiquated notion of Eureka. Recommended 48

The perils of extreme democracy Apr 23rd 2011, 17:35

In my lifetime of living in California, we are filled with outsiders constantly sharing their arcane views about the state. It stereotypes California and then places a boogie-man in front, pointing their finger and saying, “See, they ARE as crazy as they seem.” Rarely are outsiders able to grasp the true nature of the state. California is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. It symbolizes the clashing values of the world. It is a metaphorical atom smasher and the results can get ugly. But, rest assured, simplified problem reductions and straw dog culprits do little to assess the problem. Instead look at the California tempest in a teapot and search your own political souls for solutions to your own problem. Because if you think you have it made … well then self-delusion becomes your small “made-up” California, and here in the Golden State, we’ve heard it all before. Recommended 4

Trump this Apr 23rd 2011, 17:17

Remember, the mood in America right now is morbidly depressing. Social conflict gets annoying to most middle of the bell curve Americans who essentially just want to feel “good” about themselves. They embrace entertainers as valid and real entities. It’s in this that Donald Trump is perceived. He is a familiar TV face who is rich rich. It’s hard to believe, but Americans don’t look at the political problem intellectually, they look at it like comfort food. They want familiarity, strong anthems of pride and a good TV presence. Donald Trump has those in spades … at least for the short term. Recommended 3

I think it’s time we broke for lunch… Apr 15th 2011, 14:54

By the time 3:00 rolls around I could care less about my client’s and their needs. I think that’s why they invented beer … really! But, I was enlightened to read that it’s blood sugar not mental anguish that causes the disparity. Maybe donuts instead of beer might alleviate my late afternoon anguish. Recommended 24

The rise of the anti-Keynesians Apr 15th 2011, 14:50

We’ve tried both Keynes and Friedman for decades. The problem is the consolidation of wealth for the top 1% goes unanswered in either case. There’s a loop-hole in both models that needs to be filled. We don’t want to tax unwarranted wealth into submission and we know the drizzle-down theory is laughable. Query: is the concept of “becoming rich and famous” so entrenched into psyche that we cannot transcend the WIIFM Radio Station mind wave … you know What’s In It For Me!!! Recommended 3

We’ll be there Dec 13th 2010, 03:39

It’s all rock & roll. If the dissident countries can form their own band and bring in the crowds, then they can enjoy the privileges of stardom. The battle between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones lives on! Recommended 11

The party versus the pope Dec 13th 2010, 03:36

From a conceptual overview, the idea of differentiating “ideological perspectives” seems to be the core issue. Individual freedom of choice, God as Spirit and therefore above any government, the government’s right to govern its people and the individual’s right to govern its own prosperity are the ideas in global conflict. These ideals are in conflict all over the world not just in China. The world is in an Idealogical War not in an old school political squabble. Recommended 6

The Republicans ride in Nov 5th 2010, 02:35

Remember: Ronald Reagan had a lower popularity census after two years in office than Obama and went on to win the next election in a landslide. Looking at the fly on the nose to explain the long term trends of a major power doesn’t reflect great insight. It’s like the sports commentator telling everyone why the play that just happened was inevitable … yeah right. Lift up thy noses visionaries and the horizon will present more drama than a graphic of a “non-political candidate” leading the headless horsemen. Recommended 3

In the name of godlessness Oct 29th 2010, 19:01

Tolstoy singles out one sentence in the Christian Bible: “God is a spirit”! Nietzsche proclaims that God Is Dead as he places himself in the position of the new god. Scientists aim at identifying invisible interactions including gravity, quantum mechanics, et. al. Economists analyze the “Invisible Hand” and its attributable economic forces. My mother prays to Jesus, my kid’s pray to their Androids. My wife prays that I get a raise at work. The modern era has become so complex that COMPLEXITY itself serves as Tolstoy’s “God is a spirit” assessment … unfortunately when I sit and examine the whole thing I merely pray to SURVIVE … and if I do … yeah! I win! Recommended 40

The good, the bad and the tea parties Oct 29th 2010, 18:39

Under every brush of deceit lies an element of truth. So, in this sense the Tea Party has certainly identified “honest to goodness issues” that need to be addressed. BUT! In saying that, the problem with the “truth part” is the surface slogans that bash the core underbelly of our nation’s and to a large extent every global nation’s problem: the alignment of government spending NOW based on the infinite growth theory of the FUTURE … you know: “Give Me Now / Let Me Pay Later”. Oops! Real world economics does not work that way.

It’s much like the coach who gives a great motivational oration before the game and fails to understand the x’s and o’s intricacy of the game. It’s a losing situation close to 100% of the time. The Tea Party in fact does use absurd stereotypes to broadcast it’s message: birth certificates, Hitler and socialism, the non-white status of the President (regardless what Tea Party members say, they ARE racist to a large extent). They fail to allocate blame to the longer term policies of multiple presidents in increasing spending without a stable infrastructure for payment … very much like the psychology of the real estate market: “Real Estate Appreciates Infinitely”. Oops again … life just doesn’t work that way.

The fact is that NO politician or political persuasion will solve this problem. So, let’s not pick on the Tea Party … in this sense, everyone is to blame. The outcomes of the election are NOT going to substantially change the underlying causes of economic distress. In my opinion, and as outdated as this sounds, I feel Adam Smith’s INVISIBLE HAND will prevail … that is, the market forces are battling for supremacy in the Greek-God laden clouds … only at the conclusion of the invisible war of economic forces will the proper infrastructures come into existence … followed closely (and belligerently) by new social and personal ideologies of life-style, cultural aims and fiscal responsibility … hopefully, at that point we can resume our peaceful day-to-day existence burdened only the normals stresses of our modern era. Recommended 8

186_OPN Oct 20th 2010, 15:58

Dear Sir,

The first major “technology for the brain” was symbolic writing (i.e., software). The first hardware … a stick. It’s hard to think that the mental and cultural leaps forward were less significant than an iPhone. Each epoch’s “technology” advances to the same degree the advancement to the next epoch. No, all roads of civilization do NOT lead to FaceBook. Recommended 1

Will there be a real “currency war”, causing serious damage? Oct 17th 2010, 16:49

The nature of currency is to create transactional value across borders. Therefore (by definition) the collision of currencies is always a dogfight. Values zip up and down even as we make minuscule purchases (like a bag of Doritos) or large currency trades. A currency war would be where there was NO TRADE or NO DOGFIGHT resulting in specific currency isolation. Because the blood fest gets bloody doesn’t make it a war, it makes the game of commerce healthier and vibrant. No country, no individual, no political philosophy wants to be left out in left field. THEREFORE: I vote NO because there is no war, merely ruffians wanting to be the Alpha Dog of the pack. Recommended 19

Blood on the campaign trail Jun 30th 2010, 15:37

As I watch the level of violence in Mexico escalate, I wonder if it’s not merely the “free market” at work. I speak in terms of the desperate attempts of the “have not’s” to survive in a tilted system of wealth distribution where might makes right with no sheriff in town to quell the contentions. The free market has an inherently dark underbelly. As America begins to re-calibrate its economic value (which will inevitable be downward) I fear that the claws of the free market will create the same havoc all in the name of survival with the guardians of the riches lashing out with force to protect “their stash”. Let’s hope I’m wrong and it’s merely about greed, gluttony and sin. Recommended 28

The long march Jun 30th 2010, 15:28

It seems to me the idea of fixing the Yuan to any external currency misses a substantial point. The most important “market force” impacting China’s currency is its “cheap labor” and it’s willingness to work in sub-standard conditions. Cheap labor creates cheap exportable products … and as long as “cheap products” are available there will always be a ready market for its exports and no external market force can impede its flow. BUT: when China’s work force says “Enough, we want our share”, the Yuan will rise automatically because China will have to pay for the increased value of labor. Now in saying that, once the “labor value” is stabilized then and only then will the Yuan begin to float against other currencies as tradition dictates. Recommended 4

Learning to crawl Jun 25th 2010, 19:42

What seems to be at work on a global and somewhat abstract level is the fact that global economies are starting to understand the underlying market forces in the stabilization\fluctuation cycle of their currency. Historically, economics was easy: The King \ Emperor \ Czar centralized its nation’s currency, taxing its citizenry upon threat of death and exploiting the resources of its empire (labor & natural resources). Fast forward a few centuries and nations are playing a global game where systems of exchange and the rules of economics are shared globally (Imagine adopting the rules and regulations of a MacDonald’s franchise in 1954). It takes time to find an internal equilibrium on a global scale. Remember, before the Nixon administration, China was a black hole, mysterious and ascertainable. What we are seeing is a maturation process of playing the global game of business. The world is still in middle school anxious to get to high school. The real game begins when the collegiate level of economic understanding is the minimum standard in playing the game. What’s at work should be fun, exciting, debilitating, exhausting and worth the price of the ticket. Recommended 34

What lies beneath May 25th 2010, 02:56

Yes, let’s talk about the technology, the science, the 1000 moving parts of the toothpick. When we regain our senses and begin to embrace the devastating depth of this trauma, then we can begin the more important issue of why we continually take a cavalier attitude about destroying the essence of life as we talk so brilliantly about the science of devastation. Recommended 9

A clouded future May 19th 2010, 17:25

The fly in the soup in the current system is relegating productivity to hours. Fast story: Long ago, I was working in a computer company that in part assembled power supplies. Each new employee came through me for their first assignments and all was well. Everyone was paid by the hour. One day a new energetic and intelligent employee came through and began work. Two days later he came to me in distress. His fellow employees were outraged at him. I asked why. He told me he assembled 143 supplies per day in the previous two days. I said that’s great. NO! he responded, everyone else only assembles 5!!! My immediate thought was how he would negotiate a higher hourly rate and started to pose some alternatives. NO! he responded again. I need to know how to reduce my output to 5 a day without anyone noticing. My point is that if the independent cloud system is going to work is must reposition itself from the traditional and out-dated system of on-site hourly wages to PRODUCTIVITY based on fixed project payments … the most efficient, effective producers make the most money. When the highest producers are identified keep them … they are the gems. You say my thought is an idea waiting to happen (???) … no we have been doing it for 25 years and it works like a precision wheel in perpetual motion. Recommended  45

The wrecking of Venezuela May 13th 2010, 19:01

No leader any longer acts in isolation. Instead, they are merely participants on a world stage they share with a multitude of actors. As a result, they are not solely dependent on their nation’s support or opinion. Global economic forces (such as the price of oil, embargo’s, et. al.) have the force of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand firmly in place. It’s the global market that will determine the LONG TERM viability of his tenure, not the immediate political pendulum sways of fickle partnerships. Keep your eye on the global stage of trade and IF the people begin to starve THEN change occurs axiomatically. IF they prosper THEN all is well. Recommended  657

Don’t shoot the messenger May 13th 2010, 18:48

The idea that an “external tangibility” is the direct fault of “bad human behavior” is ludicrous at best … but it also serves as the basis for rationalizing the dark underbelly of human nature (i.e., blaming a minority for economic distress, blaming the gun for killing, blaming a joint for drug addiction, blaming a car for taking me to the bar and driving me home drunk)… the “tool” is NOT the culprit … it’s the dereliction of misplaced human values where “fun & entertainment” are more valued than “intelligence & thinking”. Place a group of game playing fun seekers in a room with Albert Einstein and they’ll end up laughing at his hair … put a group of thinkers in a room with Lincoln Logs and they’ll build a structural model of DNA. Recommended 21

The box office strikes back May 13th 2010, 01:00

I would love to have a theater that serves cocktails, snacks and NO teenagers … tell me when they come to America and I will be the first in line (for gosh sakes, we need to escape somewhere from the global madness) … I’ll even leave a tip if the drinks are generous and the movie slightly entertaining. (FYI … I use to love the excellent cuisine dinners \ fine jazz evenings in a couples-only booth … Great! Absolutely Great!) Recommended 8

Lone madmen without guns May 13th 2010, 00:49

The assent into the global scene comes with a cost. China is no exception. They will experience the growing pains of global interaction, the frustration of a population that acts out in violent ways and abuses like corruption, censorship and aristocratic privilege. Unfortunately, the acts of violent people (whether acting in isolation or in cultist collectives) are part of the growing pains of modern governments. Finger-pointing to find a “root cause” overlooks the complexity of a growing society and its integration and influence in the global political \ economic spectrum.

China we feel your pain … at the same time you will not be the exception to the rule of the atrocities of a modern world. Recommended 30

Scaring the salarymen May 5th 2010, 16:30

The underlying issue is the loss of control in maintaining the proud Japanese tradition. Money, especially capital investment, has a way of teetering the foundation of culture as new OWNERS set new standards and … yes … new traditions. In America, we felt it when Japan first started investing in our companies, importing cars that overtook our cherished Chevy and now the table turns. It’s a global world, the tides turn with abundant force … the moral of the story: LEARN TO RIDE WAVE WHILE HANGING TEN. Recommended 36

Who should govern Britain? Apr 29th 2010, 23:45

Yes, the global conundrum of the “at least we’re keeping ’em working” government mentality … in America it’s “jobs, jobs, jobs at any cost”! Unless the private sector is motivated to move without the baggage of “get rich with unrealistic returns at all costs” then the masses will gravitate to the cover of the Pharaoh. It’s an age old problem. Don’t worry the government umbrella collapses just as fast as the derivative based real estate market imploded. The bright side … food lines will be government sponsored as China works the cracks to gain market share. Recommended 10

A new idolatry Apr 25th 2010, 19:38

All three options for singular focus are misplaced. Core focus should be laser beamed on the THE COMPANY: the business operations, product delivery, profitability, a lean, agile and expert work force, reasonable pay-outs based on true revenue generation (you get the point)… any other focus is off-point and a distraction … THE BUSINESS IS CORE – not its separate parts … that’s like saying: “Should we pay more attention to our feet, our stomach or our brain in a marathon race?” It’s the total corpus. Maintaining healthy day-to-day knitting is the sweet spot of success … bar none!!! Recommended 21

Land of the lost Apr 24th 2010, 00:48

The inbred metric of Hollywood coolness as an indicator of future success is similar to the pre-IPO shenanigans of stock values … both are arbitrary … when a company goes public the market forces take hold and the inevitable insider elements go down the tubes. Theoretically, it’s hard to generate rumors when a lot of people are doing the trading. SO: if the movie industry were exposed to the same forces, by definition, the “coolness factors” subside and general public acceptance takes the lead metric role. NOW: will the public be a good judge of quality as opposed to studio control of predictable plot twists and stereotypic endings … YEP! Recommended 38

Greedy until proven guilty Apr 22nd 2010, 16:47

The most important aspect of this case is “public awareness” of the excessive pay-out bonuses of top bankers and executives. I honestly feel this awakening is a first in history, i.e., that a public’s awareness of top heavy salaries based on the “we need to maintain good talent” principle will impact the way wealth distribution is done. Public pressure will be the real thorn in GS’s side, and other institutions that attempt the outlandish bonus structure (that is unless you’re the guy getting the bonus). The gate of transparency has been opened and public opinion will continue to ponce on the elite workings of the rich whether legal or not, moral or not or just plain greedy or not. Recommended 59

Flash in the pan Apr 19th 2010, 15:50

In 2 years the problem will be solved by the market. First, version 1.0 of anything in technology is a useless indicator (WordStar, Visicalc, CBasic, Lisa, etc). Second, the individual versus business markets split into two (apple was in the business market and got zapped). Business wants long term utility with low adoption costs … open systems … no other way. Tossing away one iPhone is a lot different that throwing away 600 iPhones (business) … the invisible hand of the market will decide which way this river flows. Recommended 16

The new masters of management Apr 16th 2010, 11:11

The history of business has always been about expansion and international trade the motivating trigger for exploration of new products (you know things likes spices, tea, silk). History also shows a continual shift in trading power from Spain, to Holland, England, American, Japan, India, China … but the fact of the matter is that trade needs markets and markets induce innovation across the board. As old products and companies become obsolete they are replaced by newer and cheaper products (or they would not be replaced). My point is that innovation is a basic principle of business not something that is just happening now. Technology isn’t synonymous with innovation … that’s modern myopia. So, as consumers enjoy the continual advancement toward better goods with lower prices and companies morph into more responsive product providers, hopefully business will continue its peace keeping role to make the world a better place to live. Sometimes I think the only thing that keeps us from blowing each other to smithereens is the hope of getting a new 48″ Plasma TV. Recommended 11

Sleepwalking towards disaster Apr 11th 2010, 16:13

Closed systems always create myopic realities of themselves. Historically external conditions usually took long periods of time to fester into crisis … Now outside influences live on melt-downs …. It is out of Japan’s hands now and the “Almost Invisible Hand” is quietly at work. Recommended 9

Paradox Apr 5th 2010, 15:35

I like to look at the “miraculous” in terms of THE MOMENT BEFORE THE DISCOVERY OF GRAVITY. Before that point in time, gravity was an invisible thing, unknowable, moving things with abandon, a strange invisible hand taken for granted as absolute reality … of course, we discovery it’s properties and adjust them in relative terms over the next few centuries. It may be that Christ was an individual that intuitively understood “unknown and intelligent forces” … the same as the Greeks did with Helios skyrocketing across the sky with the Sun. I believe that one day we will tap the M-Theory of Physics that we now call God and find out its true nature … that doesn’t mean we will dominate the FORCE OF GOD or GRAVITY … or even the rotation of the SUN. But, we won’t be victims of a monumental conundrum that splits our humanity in two. Recommended 8

Time to rebalance Apr 3rd 2010, 15:04

The most famous radio station in the world WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) created a “materialistic mindset” of indulgence that toppled the foundation. It will only be a fundamental shift in VALUE (not economics) that can rebuild a healthy infrastructure. Japan was unable to reformulate its value system after their crash and remained in suspension for over a decade. The new value system: FRONTIER POLITICS … work hard, plow the fields, live within your means, great craftsmanship, great products and viola … people will find the stability in their lives. I know, I know … it sounds corny … but when you think about it – it starts to make sense. Recommended 30

Papal vulnerability Apr 3rd 2010, 14:46

Corruption is an inherent part of any “closed” system: China, Wall Street, French Kings, Russian Czars & Communist Leaders, Hitler’s Nazi Party. The Catholic Church is no exception … EXCEPT this time there is global press, a public use to scandal at the top and no where to hide by tossing befuddling words in every direction. Corruption is a betrayal of trust of its constituency. A corrupt system cannot sustain itself given a crazed and offended public. Let the heads fall where they may, what’s left will be free to start again and hopefully learn from past absurdities. Recommended 12

It wasn’t us Mar 19th 2010, 22:22

The core question is simple: Is there an underlying pulse that will in some remote sense predict the health of an economic trend and then in turn be susceptible to external remedies that will cool or heat the process to maintain regions of normalcy.

Every “false” boom is characterized by a mass frenzy of “get rich quick” mentality … I site the California Gold Rush of 1848-49 … the Dot Com Rush in the 80’s – 90’s … and the Real Estate Infinite Appreciation Mentality of NOW (well before the current fiasco).

Whenever the front door of a market opens wide and invites participants to “Get Theirs” (i.e., get rich quick with no risk with infinite potential on the upside, no risk of downside swings) … THEN gently look to the pulse point beating “exuberantly” and viola … the death knoll is around the corner.

The idea that the pulse point is a mystery, uncontrollable or in the hands of the Invisible Hand is delusional. Whoever felt their property would not appreciate infinitely please raise your hand … see my point. Recommended 26

Presenting the bill Mar 19th 2010, 17:37

If we see the Health Care Bill as symbolic of hard-ball politics certain then certain trends are predictable. For example, IF the bill should pass, I guarantee that opponents will be in line the NEXT DAY to sign up for it (remember the Red States movement toward the stimulus package). NOW: this doesn’t mean the fight is over. Also on the next day, a new issue will move to the front of the line and the battle royal continues without a hitch. The real fight is ideological and social NOT LOGICAL. Recommended 15

Assets on the other side Mar 17th 2010, 22:08

If we would only allow classic trade principles to work here. It would be redundant to say “legalize it – tax it – freely distribute it as an adult consumer product” … others here have stated that more eloquently than I have … but if redundancy is the issue why do we have to keep stating that allowing the free trade of a high demand product amidst a need to corral real dollars into legitimate channels fall on deaf ears … and “No” … corruption doesn’t account for all the stupidity. Recommended 20

Of liquidity traps and surpluses Mar 17th 2010, 21:42

Economist-Think just seems out of kilter with Trade-Reality. The issue of demand is based upon the primordial psychology to see life as expanding regardless of its truth … NOT economic theory and models geared to only explain past events, not create new propensities.

THEREFORE: what we have with China is a battle for GLOBAL MIND SHARE (yes, good old fashion mind-influence peddling) … The US is scared of itself right now (internal political strife at an all time high with illogical basis for the arguments) … China doesn’t know how to play the BIG GAME (yet) …

THE WINNER: will be the one that looks up from their computers, puts their Hugo Boss sunglasses back on and starts professing the “I AM THE COOLEST DUDE AROUND” philosophy … trade axiomatically follows. Recommended 19

Building tensions Mar 17th 2010, 16:02

The problem with the talks is the lack of “teeth” in the persuasion side of the equation. We give Israel a lot of aid:

Since 1992, the U.S. has offered Israel an additional $2 billion annually in loan guarantees. Congressional researchers have disclosed that between 1974 and 1989, $16.4 billion in U.S. military loans were converted to grants. In addition, there is the more than $1.5 billion in private U.S. funds that go to Israel annually in the form of $1 billion in private tax-deductible donations and $500 million in Israeli bonds.

The simple solution: hold back daddy’s allowance … result … talks get on track IMMEDIATELY. Recommended 39



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