"economy" entries

Four short links: 10 Mar 2009

Four short links: 10 Mar 2009

  1. Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation Sets Up Its Own BitTorrent Tracker — the money shot is not that they’re using the same code as Pirate Bay, it’s “By using BitTorrent we can reach our audience with full quality media files. Experience from our early tests show that if we’re the best provider of our own content we also gain control of it.”. Finally, a broadcaster realizing that they have to jump into the conversation with customers even though they don’t know how it ends. (via BoingBoing)
  2. Sita Sings The Blues Released — release of the movie that was mired in copyright strife, now freed under Creative Commons Attribute And No Damn DRM licensing. It still is copyright-entangled: some of the songs in the movie are restricted and if you want to reuse the songs in your reuse of the movie then you’ll have to wrangle with the copyright overlords.
  3. Crisis of Credit Explained in Infographics — a great 10m movie explaining the whole disaster from cash to crash, with an infographic-meets-Flash-game feel to it. This is the future of educational films. I’ve embedded it below. (via Flowing Data)
  4. Cowpox Smallpox — very clear essay from Maciej Ceglowski about how the economic dramas and the climate dramas challenge our democracy in the same way. You might know Maciej from Argentina on two steaks a day or Dabblers and Blowhards. Complexity as a result of feedback loops caught my eye, as that’s part of the talk I gave at Webstock, “Better Stronger Failures”: “Feedback loops in the financial world are even worse, since the entities being modeled are aware of their behavior – and aware of the models being used to study them. Investors form strategies based not just on market conditions, but on their perceptions of others’ perceptions of market conditions, and so on in a hall of mirrors effect. Any algorithm that can reliably predict the behavior of a financial market will be used by participants in that market to earn money, altering the system in a way that leaves you right back where you started. In this sense our ability to model economics will always be worse than our understanding of the weather, since we don’t have to worry about a raindrop anticipating that it will hit the ground before it even forms, and taking steps to change the outcome.”

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Four short links: 5 Feb 2009

Four short links: 5 Feb 2009

Dearest Reader, for today’s compendium of brief pointers to the writings of the world’s greatest minds features language not suitable for children. So please stop reading this blog post to your child. Please. Think of the children.

  1. Don’t Work for Assholes (Derek Powazek) — sound advice that we all have to learn, then relearn.
  2. Broadband Stimulus Package Explained by Yochai Benkler — understanding the state of the bills in House and Senate, what each proposes to spend, where, and why. I, like many, were surprised to learn that the House’s bill gives half the money to the Secretary for Agriculture to spend. There is no sarcastic comment I can make about the Secretary of Agriculture that the Internets have now not already made. (via BoingBoing)
  3. The Web In The World — Slideshare presentation by Timo Arnall. Good intro to pervasive computing. “I think the hyperlink is a flawed model for physical interaction. (via Liz Goodman)
  4. Offshoring, Does It Ever Work? — very interesting responses to this question on Stack Overflow. As far as “does it EVER work” concerned: it does. It doesn’t work well though. Most people can run, doesn’t mean that most people can run as fast as Usain Bolt.

Big Mo' and The Bears

If you watch sports, as many will do this with the Super Bowl on Sunday, you know that games can change direction. Something happens and momentum changes quite suddenly. A team that was piling up scores suddenly becomes tentative and defensive, as was the case with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, even though they held on to…

Thinking About Wendell Berry's "In Distrust of Movements"

I'm just reading a Wendell Berry essay from 2000, entitled In Distrust of Movements, reprinted on a blog with the inspired name The Irresistible Fleet of Bicycles. I was going to just tweet the link, but realized that more people need to read this, and I ought to quote more extensively. (I hope that fans of Michael Pollan's books like…

Catch 22: Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Succeed

Hat in hand the U.S. Auto Industry lined up for their slice of government aid and it appears as of this posting that they will get the money they are asking for. These titans spent years hiding behind the “free market” shibboleth when convenient (the market wants gas guzzling SUV’s) and when punished by that same market we hear that…

Philadelphia Closing 11 Library Branches

The financial crisis is having a huge negative impact on many public sector services, including libraries. From Publishers Lunch (subscription required): As municipalities across the country face large gaps in their budget, Philadelphia is taking "drastic new steps" to face the "economic storm" that include closing 11 of the 54 branch libraries that comprise the Free Library of Philadelphia….

Unintended Consequences of Nationalizing Banks

This is not a post for or against the actions of the Treasury. This is a quick look at what may be on the horizon–so that we can all keep our collective eyes open. I invite you to add your own observations and questions in the comments. I'd like to start you off with a couple. Now that the US…

Torkington's Law

Here are two presentations that I've found particularly instructive in the market meltdown: Making Sense of the Mortgage Meltdown: many numbers, tables, and charts to help you see the full number of sigmas the last few years represent. Sequoia Capital on Startups and the Economic Downturn: this is a presentation from VCs about how startups should deal with the new…

Publishers Rush Economic Crisis Books

The Economist says book publishers are rushing to cash in on the economic turmoil bubbling up across world markets: Like any good bank in the pre-crash days, some publishers are splashing out to secure talent. Penguin's American arm has been particularly eager, bagging four inky-fingered "stars" in the past month, reportedly at a cost of over $2m in advances….

Thoughts on the Financial Crisis

The other day, we received a blistering email from a Radar reader complaining about our silence on the subject of the economic meltdown. I wrote back: There are a lot of people bloviating about the financial crisis. It's outside of our area of expertise, so there didn't seem to be a lot of urgency to add to the hot air….