The mortgage-fueled market slide is leading the United States into much more than a recession—it is also ushering in a new economy. The consumer economy that was born in the 1950s is lurching to an end, and a new “creator economy” is emerging. This shift represents the third economic turning in just over a century. A look back at its antecedents reveals much about what to expect.
"Who’s in charge of Sony Ericsson today and what did they do with the old crew? Reversing a previous statement saying there’ll be no Android updates for its Xperia X10 family beyond Eclair, SE has just announced that it’ll bring Gingerbread to the X10 at the end of Q2 / start of Q3 this year.”
As a consumer I see device lifecycle support is the biggest weakness in just about all of the smartphone industry. The carriers don’t care about the consumer once the initial sale happens and the manufacturers are powerless to make change because the carriers are the gatekeeper to the in-market phones.
If a consumer does finally get blessed with a late-term update from their carrier at what cost does happen? Probably a full wipe of all user settings, content, whatever. The release notes may advise a full backup before installing but what for percentage of users is that an actionable task yet alone reading those notes in the first place. People are struggling to do basic tasks like “use the camera” and this is what we give them?
“Like tools, knots are useful and increase our power over nature; but unlike tools, we carry them in our heads, not our heads. When they parallel tools, it is on a different level of abstraction. The trucker’s hitch is an image in cord of a block and tackle. It is no more a tool than a picture of a tool is—and yet it has the power of a tool.”—The Ruricolist: Knots
“Double Irish Arrangement”—A financial term, along with the Dutch Sandwich, that will be discussed at great detail on today’s show, which is about how US companies save billions of dollars by funneling their money into off-shore tax havens. (via nprfreshair)
“Life is like boxing in many unsettling respects. But boxing is only like boxing.”—
From my long-time favorite, On Boxing, by Joyce Carol Oates (shared via my Kindle page).
Recently I exchanged direct messages with a fellow Seattleite, @name_inspector. He joined my old boxing gym and I happened to catch the mention amongst his other (excellent) posts to Twitter around business names and linguistics. It’s been fun to try for 140char expressions of the hurdles of boxing. Joyce Carol Oates nails it, though.
@name_inspector joining Cappy’s is also proof-positive that I’ll take the people with guts to walk into a boxing gym* over most other groups of people. It takes a off-kilter intent and self-possession to decide to do that to yourself.
I hope soon he’ll take his first punch and send me a note. It’s a christening of sorts.
* I’ll allow other combat sports but boxing’s firmly it its own ring psychologically, as it were.
“The 1,000’mile journey back to the Gold Coast was a nightmarish one for Captain Ogle and his men. It rained incessantly and the ships were buffeted continuously by typhoons which swirled out of nowhere and turned the sea into a seething cauldron, before disappearing just as suddenly. And the pirates were by no means resigned to their fate. Many were ‘impudently merry’, wrote Johnson, taking refuge in black humour. Still naked, and displaying a surprising knowledge of Greek mythology, they complained that Ogle’s men ‘had not left them a halfpenny to give old Charon, to ferry them over Styx’. Eyeing their meagre rations, they joked that they would not be heavy enough to hang once they got to Cape Coast Castle.”—My favorite bit from If a Pirate I Must Be…: The True Story of Black Bart, King of the Caribbean Pirates, which was a gift from my pal Katy (as noted on my Kindle shared-stuff page).
“Sometime in the nineteenth century it became possible for masses of people to live away from animals. Deprived of its foundation in the common witness of animal life—left untethered—culture became a castle in air.”—The Ruricolist: Animals
After internal testing of the signup process we just wanted to do a little bit of live external user testing of the signup before SXSW. So my co-founder Joe Johnston took off the password protection on the page and before going to bed last night we asked a few family and friends to test it.
We woke up this morning to over 10,000 users. And that grew to 20K in a few hours.
If an opponent has managed to get inside your home and all other gambits have failed, Potter suggests training your child to walk in, look at the man, appear taken aback say something worriedly like, “Mummy, I don’t like that man.” The thinking is that children’s snap judgment is unerring, and that they can spot moral failings like dogs can spot ghosts. If you find yourself on the receiving end of such a maneuver, Potter recommends that revenge can be gotten at Christmas by buying the child a gift just a little bit too young for them (“Christmas Giftsmanship”). This is the only thing known to consistently offend children.
A delicious article. Much food for thought as I continue reign of terror against my work nemesis.
Is truth nothing more than a convention of power, or can truthful historical accounts resist the gravity of politics? Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sought to master history itself. The Soviet Union was a Marxist state, whose leaders proclaimed themselves to be scientists of history. National Socialism was an apocalyptic vision of total transformation, to be realized by men who believed that will and race could slough off the burden of the past.
The twelve years of Nazi and the seventy-four years of Soviet power certainly weigh heavily on our ability to evaluate the world. Many people believe that the crimes of the Nazi regime were so great as to stand outside history. This is a troubling echo of Hitler’s own belief that will triumphs over facts. Others maintain that the crimes of Stalin, though horrible, were justified by the need to create or defend a modern state. This recalls Stalin’s view that history has only one course, which he understood, and which legitimates his policies in retrospect.
This is a highlighted segment of “Bloodlands”. Hell of a book, though I’m a known softie* for questions about evil. I never realized how the geography I learned or culturally absorbed around the Allies’ WWII events—think “Band of Brothers”’ domain—differs so much from the part behind the Iron Curtain’s fall—stories like the Belarusians in “Come and See”**—which seemed like it was a different war entirely.
* That’s a effed up phrase.
** Available on Netflix but start drinking the day before you watch it. If you don’t believe me—even as a self-confessed calloused soul—then take Ebert’s advice. It’s hard to watch but harder to have rummaging around in your subconscious, after the fact. This goes for “Bloodlands”, too.
Having lived in my house more than a decade now, I have instincts for its physics. Sounds, weight, spaces, shaking, echoes, lights. Case in point, I effortlessly read the play of headlights across the front of the house, facing the street and highway on-ramp beyond.
Tonight—mid-book—the lights played the wrong way on the window frames and ceiling. They told me the thoughtlessly loud undergrads leaving the house party up the street forgot it’s a one-way street that ends in a not-sympathetic large intersection. I watch for the corrective sweep of red lights back the other way, telling me they reversed course. Lastly—on most weekends— there’s the tell-tale primary strobe of the cop’s lights, having lain in wait just up the block. The red-blue fireworks in the leaded glass lasts awhile, accompanied by garbled bullhorn instructions, contrite replies and sound of doors shutting and nervous feet. Then someone quietly crying as they walk past the gateway in my walled yard.
All I had to do was put down my book, snuggle under my blanket and watch the play of lights to tell that well-worn narrative. It’s a weekend short story.
“It is a pleasure to be sorted into a particular generation because assortation, if it is not hierarchical or invidious, is naturally pleasant. Advertisers know this. They know that offering to tell “Which X are you?” or “What kind of X are you?” tempts us. And something loves to displace the faults of human nature to contingent phases of it. Sentences that begin by naming “these days”, “this country”, or “our society”, generally become intelligible only once they are understood to refer to human beings as such. The generation provides another locus for such displacements. Then such awful questions as “Why are we here?” can be rephrased in cozier terms like “My generation has no sense of purpose.”—The Ruricolist: Generations