Assorted links


Resistance of violence with violence is not wrong, though it may be ineffective in a political sense. Killing innocents is of course wrong. Even BHO doesn't distinguish between government, military, and civil society. As a politician it would not be in his interests to do so.

For those who have played both badminton and goodminton: Which is more fund?

1. "thinks the quants who flocked to Wall Street relied too heavily on mathematical models." (Isn't that almost definitional?)

"He's especially critical of the notion that math can forecast human behavior, essentially the basis of finance." (Hmmm, where have I heard that before? Wait, it will come to me.)

The violence that erupted at this year's G20 summit wasn't anywhere near what he thought it should've been. "Where the hell was everybody? If people aren't angry now, they'll never be." (Interesting.)

If this stuff really is rocket science, then maybe it's too hard, and people might not be surprised when they crash and burn. If you believe in an efficient market, and your model is either right or wrong, then where do you get your margin of safety, leverage?

The Mandel comment on innovations seems to illustrate the reason for a lack of innovation. His entire comment focused on low volume product areas that had to be very expensive and needed to be purchased by people who, because they needed them, were bankrupt because they were in poor health and thus couldn't work. With the cost of health care rising rapidly, the last thing the US needs are products that depend on government paying for the sickness resulting from declining over all health.

In health care, the innovation comes from finding inexpensive ways of preventing a decline in health that can be sold to every one in high volume. Maybe it is a way of seeing interacting with patients in ways that promote good lifestyles. Maybe a safe, cheap drug that eliminates the compulsion/instinct to eat when stressed and not physically active. Maybe a way to boost fat burning cells to regulate. Maybe a shift from industrial food to fresh food everywhere and always.

But the obvious area where innovation is badly needed is in sustainability. This is a high volume market, either a high volume in "negawatts" - small innovations that together add up to drastic reductions in energy demand, and 'freewatts" - methods of replacing imported oil and environment destroying coal with labor that harvests the free energy from the sun and the internal energy in the earth.

The public policy on energy has held that replacing energy with labor is too costly, so instead the emphasis has been on finding ways to mine more fossil fuels regardless of the short and long term impact, and to ensure that oil imports are uninterrupted no matter what the cost in human rights in those regions where the oil comes from.

On the other hand, the excess supply of labor accumulates and the term used is "creative destruction" with the call for yet more tax cuts to incentives the unemployed who have had drastic tax cuts to get jobs and produce the means to consume more energy. True creative destruction applied to labor combined with the emphasis on medical innovation would be euthanasia combined with body part harvest and transplant advances. That would be the liquidation of labor, breaking it up so that it can be used for more productive purposes.

The US has led the way in innovative ways of converting fuel into food, with the height of industrialization of food being the innovations of Earl Butz. What is now needed is innovation to produce food from free energy and free toxic waste which is creating massive environmental problems, manure, power plant emissions, etc. To produce food without the high cost of transportation. The innovation of increasing consumption of in season crops. The innovation of producing food in cities. The innovation of ensuring that fresh food is available on every city block instead of industrial food which creates health problems.

The two high volume businesses in the US are food and energy, and innovations in those areas will find huge high volume markets. Clearly the public policy has promoted the replacement of labor with unsustainable fossil fuel consumption, biased toward imports funded by overseas borrowing, and then the impoverishment of the excess labor that results.

Or maybe the US can start a marketing campaign, and marketing is one area where the US is truly innovative, to promote the harvest of excess labor for food, and generate an export market to serve rich cannibals.

5. Here's a different perspective :

But what actually happened to American innovation during that period? We came up with America Online, Netscape, Amazon, Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, Craigslist, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, the iPod and iPhone, Xbox, Facebook and Twitter itself. Sure, we didn't build the Prius or the Wii, but if you measure global innovation in terms of actual lifestyle-changing hit products and not just grad students, the U.S. has been lapping the field for the past 20 years.

I'm just amazed and pleased that Tyler is linking to something James Murphy of LCD soundsystem wrote the other day (indirectly through this kottke blog) and Mark Bitman just quoted Tyler's "cooks more than carnivores" statement on his Bitten blog. This really is a grand conversation.

Americans play badminton like babies, regardless of their actual age.

It used to be alleged against Shakespeare that he
punned in sublime or serious contexts. Samuel
Johnson thought that for the Bard the pun proved a
fatal Cleopatra for whom he was content to lose
the world.
"Goodminton. Badminton."
As punning concepts go, it is not bad. From an
economic point of view, the first depends on
cooperation, the second on competition.

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