Showing posts from 2014

The "Creative Class" of today

A sequence of unrelated things including a talk in which the speaker mentioned how still today the most important software in the world is written by only 5% of all programmers and his mentioning of "Halstead length" and a post by a software programmer who emigrated from Russia and mentioned the actual term "Creative Class" led to this post.

The "Creative Class" of today, the inventors of software are not unlike the past creative class of writers, composers and painters. The essential human qualities and characteristics needed, the process of creation as well as the product have similarities. A person or people have to be able to imagine something that is unique and appealing in a very direct way to a lot of people. A writer has to come up with a unique story line, a composer with a sequence of tones that not only have not been arranged in exactly the same way before but that also evoke something immediate and "hardwired" in the listener.

An app i…

At first, there was thought

And that thought was expressed probably at about the same time verbally, in gestures and in drawings in early social settings of humans. Languages evolved to codify sharing of thoughts and the only "record" of past thoughts was oral history. The need for giving some permanence to thoughts gave rise to first types of writing which were pictorial, eventually to evolve into more abstract form of symbols and ending up with the purest form of such abstraction - written word in the form of an alphabet. 

The need for communication across distance of both time and space required a form of a display device for the written word that was more portable than caveside rock or walls inside of a pharaoh's tomb. First came the clay tablets and then papyrus and ultimately paper as display devices.

In the history of thought, display device of paper or paper equivalent is just a tiny sliver of history and a temporary stage just like all the previous display devices. It is now being replaced b…

All these "Inequality will bring down Western Civilization" arguments

And the alternative is exactly what? Radical re-distribution of wealth? No thank you, I don't want any of my stuff redistributed. You want it, you'll have to take if from me and I'll go all 2nd Amendment nutcase on you.

I do not buy the premise of inequality being what will bring down civilization or even a single country. This is because all the well-meaning egalitarians fail to account for one very simple thing - an issue that seems outrageous on paper is much less so in real life and as Victor Frankl said, it is only our individual circumstances that matter to us, not as much our comparison to the circumstances of others. This is why I can feel pretty crappy and thinking about how much better my situation is than that of those who are dying of hunger or being oppressed will not make me feel any better at all.

The point is that when Catherine the Great built the Hermitage or the Winter Palace on the back of serfs in Russia, the inequality between her and those others was…

13 gas stations on 21 km stretch of road or "State Capitalism" does not work

A 21km stretch of road in Mexico between Punta Mita and Puerto Vallarta airport has a total of 13 very nice, big Pemex gas stations. What is noticeable is not only their sheer number but that they are all Pemex.

The state of Mexico is via Pemex managing its unemployment rate and providing employment for a lot of folks who spend most of the day doing nothing at all because none of these stations are very busy.

No matter how non-sensical this is, I will bet any amount of money that there is some PowerPoint slide somewhere in Mexico that shows a graph of how with more gas stations you will sell more gasoline.

This is a perfect example of why "state capitalism" does not work on that most fundamental of levels - return on capital.

The country's collective savings are being spent to build infrastructure that is not needed and therefore produces very low return on investment because motivations of the owner - the State - are quite a bit more complex than the motivations of a pr…

What is the people's obsession with Orcas?

I don't quite understand why people seem to be so into Orcas and how those animals are in some way noble, special and in some way "spiritual".

Based on what?

If it were one fish one vote, Orcas would have been voted out of existence in the animal kingdom long ago (I know, I know - there is no voting in a "kingdom"...)

They terrorize all the other species around them eating massive numbers of them daily from salmon to seals to anything else they can get their killer jaws into.

And yet, people worship them almost and are all about his special they are because they whistle in some way we can actually record with our audio equipment. What about the sounds seals make when being devoured by Orcas?

Orcas are superpower of animals, Hitlers of the sea so to speak. Please stop talking about them as something great and praiseworthy!