Markets in everything

by on March 9, 2014 at 12:42 am in Economics, Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized | Permalink

Horse head squirrel feeder.  Who could possibly want such a thing?  Is that the result of a fixed point theorem?  Aren’t fixed costs God’s way of keeping such nasty stuff away from us?:

You have a Creepy Horse Mask, why not the squirrels in your yard? It turns out it’s even funnier on a squirrel. This hanging vinyl 6-1/2″ x 10″ squirrel feeder makes it appear as if any squirrel that eats from it is wearing a Horse Mask. You’ll laugh every morning as you drink your coffee while staring out the window into your backyard. Now, if only the squirrels would do their own version of the Harlem Shake video. Hole on top for hanging with string (not included).


For the pointer I thank John De Palma.

1 Live-Evil March 9, 2014 at 12:42 am

absolutely fucking wonderful

2 drew March 9, 2014 at 1:18 am

“Who could want such a thing?”

…How could you not?

3 Rahul March 9, 2014 at 1:40 am

+1 It’s fantastic. I want one. Now my evil mind is dreaming what other animals you could play this trick on.

4 TMC March 9, 2014 at 11:29 am

I’m thinking my neighbor.

5 So Much for Subtlety March 9, 2014 at 1:48 am

Horse? I want a Nixon mask!

6 Meets March 9, 2014 at 5:49 am

The Great Stagnation is over.

7 ummm March 9, 2014 at 5:51 am


8 BC March 9, 2014 at 6:15 am

An example of the marketing “skill” that will be so valuable in the Average is Over world? Will robots ever be able to come up with ideas like this one?

9 Tununak March 9, 2014 at 7:35 am

This would totally work for dogs and cats too. Maybe ferrets.

10 Rich Berger March 9, 2014 at 8:03 am

This is really Ace of Spades territory.

11 Rich Berger March 9, 2014 at 8:11 am

When I reread that copy, I knew that it had to be Archie McPhee. Where else can you buy Man Hands?

12 anon March 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Is that where Kerry Kennedy got hers?

13 AA March 9, 2014 at 9:31 am

Can someone explain the joke/statement about the fixed point theorem and fixed costs?

14 miss belvedeet March 9, 2014 at 11:13 am

Yes. The post was the set up. You just delivered the punch line

15 Alex K. March 9, 2014 at 11:58 am

Fixed point theorems are the result of a general mathematical method for proving that in some abstract space, a point with certain properties exist. This is done by showing that the properties in question are equivalent to that point being the fixed point of some function F, and then using general theorems to show that the function F actually has a fixed point.

In the context of economics, fixed point theorems are used to prove that equilibrium points exist. So Tyler is asking if squirrels with horse head masks are part of an equilibrium point.

The fixed costs part is less technical. In general, if you want to produce some cheap plastic widget, you do it by investing a significant amount in some specific form of equipment (perhaps a physical plant, or perhaps the wages of the design team, etc.). After the initial investment is done, the cost of producing one widget is actually very low. So we say that the widget has high fixed costs and low marginal costs.

Tyler is saying that God, in a lost tablet, wrote the law “Thou shall not produce frivolous plastic trinkets, and I will make sure of this by making the trinkets’ fixed cost high.”

But Tyler forgot that in another lost tablet, God made provisions for computer aided design, 3D printing, and cheap wages in China, so the fixed costs of trinkets can decrease significantly.

I’m not sufficiently versed in Religious Studies to know how to handle that contradiction.

16 Jacob March 9, 2014 at 10:07 am

This strikes me as an elegant solution to the squirrel baffle. If you’ve ever tried to keep them away from a bird feeder you know the wealth of technology (including expensive electric shock designs!) used for that purpose. Far better I think to give in and make fun of them on their own feeder. Birdseed is for the birds.

17 Dan Hanson March 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Hilarity needs no justification. These are awesome. And the concept translates to many other animals. We may be looking at the creation of a new industry.

So, we don’t have flying cars in the 21st century, but we do have silly squirrels. The great stagnation is over.

18 Matt March 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm
19 zz March 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm

A pleasant side effect of marijuana legalization is that society will have more great ideas like this.

20 anon March 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm

What? No affiliate link?

Here you go:

We used to trap and drown them to keep them out of the garden. Our neighbors with gardens loved us as we created a black hole for squirrels in our block.

21 Mike March 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

As a kid, we were paid $.05 for every one we killed with a pellet rifle. They spread fleas, destroyed gardens and chewed holes in roofs, but people still thought they were cute; rats OTOH ….

The heads are funny now, but freak’n hilarious after a couple of PBR’s.

22 Willitts March 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

This demonstrates just how low average fixed costs have become. People’s most obscure and deviant desires are being satisfied by people on the other side of the planet. The story of capitalism doesn’t get much better.

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