Critical Section


Thursday,  02/26/09  10:06 PM

I was in a full-on funk today.  I spent the whole day battling an IT/email problem I didn't even know I had when I woke up.  In between I was on conference calls with customers - that wasn't bad, but it didn't cheer me up.  Even a bike ride on a beautiful day didn't do it.  Even discovering WTFs/minute didn't do it.  Even endlessly buying shoes didn't do it.  Even watching me on TV on Palomar didn't do it.

Now I guess we'll find out if blogging can do it.

One of the interested effects of blogging every day is that you become aware of time passing beneath you, kind of like riding a bike down a road.  There are different time horizons; "stuff happening now" (need to blog about it), "stuff which happened recently" (blogged on my home page), and "stuff which happened in the past" (in the archive, but no longer on the home page).  Experimentation has yielded the arbitrary boundary of ten days between "recent" and "past"; that is, I keep 10 days worth of posts on the home page.  Invariably when I check my home page I scroll down to see what has just scrolled off, what things from my recent past have now slipped back into the less-than-recent past.  Right now the stuff at the bottom of the home page seems immensely far away, much further than recent.

Don't know if this is good (lots happening in my life) or bad (life tearing by)...
Maybe that's why I'm in a full-on funk.

federal budget deficitYippee!  We have a $1.75T deficit.  The graph at right gives some idea of how out-of-the-ordinary this is...  a complete disconnect.  The direct result of a giant stimulus for which we don't have the money to pay.  Yes, Virginia, this is inflationary, and amounts to taking money away from you and me and giving it to, well, other people.  The great redistribution of wealth is on - disguised as a recovery plan.

Maybe that's why I'm in a full-on funk.

Related: Philip Greenspun considers can we dig ourselves out of this hole by taxing the rich?  Quick answer: no.  Slower answer: the rich aren't rich enough, and there aren't enough of them.  Hence the stimulus, which amounts to taxing everyone.

Meanwhile it is worth asking: should we let California go bankrupt?  Check out this snippet: "Another budget buster is California’s spending on social services, clocking in at about 70 percent more per capita than the national average...  California’s legislature has only reluctantly embraced federal welfare reform, and for years the state has had one of the worst records in moving people from welfare to work because state law limits the ability of welfare administrators to sanction those who refuse to participate in work programs."  We're not worthy of being bailed out.

Maybe that's why I'm in a full-on funk.

Apparently nobody wants to nationalize Citi, but we're going to end up doing it anyway.  First FNMA and FDMC, then AIG, and now...  As bad as things have gotten, how much worse would the have been if nobody had been bailed out?  Why should the government do anything?

asymmetric TV for displaying 4:3 and 16:9 contentThis is pretty awesome - an asymmetric TV for displaying both 4:3 and 16:9 content.  I love it.

ad for Loewe's high-fidelity TVAnd while we're talking about TVs, check out this excellent ad by Loewe's...  high fidelity, indeed!

Carol Bartz, Yahoo's new CEO, blogs about getting our house in order.  No idea whether this will help, but the openness is refreshing.  Actually I have some idea that it will help.

Kindle 1 and 2, comparedEveryone seems to like the new Kindle 2; ArsTechnica says evolution yields revolution.  I like love my Kindle 1, and the '2 is apparently better in many ways, so it must indeed be cool.

One reason is the screen; apparently it took 12 years and $150M to develop by E-Ink, the company behind the Kindle's display.  Wow.

Zen Bound - a peaceful iPod "game"John Gruber links Zen Bound, a game for the iPhone.  I mostly ignore these things, most iPhone apps are duller than dirt, or dumber, but this one looks pretty cool.  I like the general concept of doing something fun as meditative, instead of as a pseudo competition.  Who knows, I might even try it. 

Might even get me out of my full-on funk.

Huh: Hearing damage occurs after more than 5 minutes of full-volume listening on iPod.  I wonder what happens after riding a fourteen hour double century with your iPod at full volume?

Well, it didn't work.  Blogging was all very exciting, but I'm still in a full-on funk.  Blech.

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