“Fight Club” in 2013

January 27th, 2013

Watching “Fight Club” again today is a strange and very interesting experience.

So much has changed since the book / film came out. It is clearly set in a different epoch.

Its character ‘Tyler Durden’ says:

God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables;
slaves with white collars.  Advertising has us chasing cars
and clothes, working jobs  we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. 
	
…
	
We've all been raised on television to believe
that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods,
and rock stars. 
	
But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact.
And we're very, very pissed off.

It seemed fitting at the time. What happened since then?

Many of those jobs are gone. People in that slice of society
make less money today. Sometimes even in absolute dollars.
Certainly corrected for inflation. In the same time the share
of the upper sliver of society on the other end of the wealth
distribution has nothing but exploded.

So why seems the portrayed unrest even further removed
from reality than less than a score years ago?

The answer might lie in the proliferation of computer games and the Internet
during that time.

Both soak up all that extra male testosterone and time that would
otherwise find not much constructive application in the world of 2013.

Oh, and it looked absolutely awesome. I miss movies shot on film.

thinking vs remembering soundbytes

November 19th, 2011

It is very telling to watch the first 2 minutes of this video

Libya is a country that had significant changes in 2011. Nato flew countless missions. It is shocking to see somebody who aspires to become president
respond to a question about this in this manner: This is a person trying to recall phrases he has memorized.

It would be so much fun to swap one of the cards that the candidates learn from. Have them utter total rubbish for a minute.
But one never knows if that would not get them elected …

confusion as a political tool

November 8th, 2011

For some people is bendable. Sadly they will pay the price for their ignorance.

Seeding confusion is one tool deliberately being used to keep peoples away from certain facts.

Another one is ‘astroturf trolling’ - as in the comments for this article.

For me the forces and practices of Fox News & Co are just 1 level up from spammers & scammers.

So far society and people just endure those issues. Hope that changes.

It changed for other ailments like slavery or witch hunts before.

David Simon (”The Wire”)

October 8th, 2011

A recent lecture by David Simon

Very much worth seeing. He has his own perceptive that is coherent and thoughtful and based on his first hand experience. For me was able to shed some light on why the USA is the country with the biggest jail population. According to him 7% of inmates are there for violent crimes. Prisons are a profitable and growing business in the US. I don’t agree on his views in terms of labor. Would maybe be nice if the world would still be like he sees it. Small countries like Germany can still work under those premises. But only since they supply the rest of the world with their products. You don’t see many US made cars in Germany. Robots don’t need unions. Things have changed so dramatically in the last 10, 20 years. But the political system and peoples minds and perceptions are stuck in some fairy tale land of the 50s.

Science PR - good luck getting the Manhattan Project going today

September 23rd, 2011

Yesterday two ’science stories’ ‘broke’: “Neutrinos traveling faster than light” and “Computers can read images out of the brain”. I am borderline clueless on matters of physics, so I leave that one alone. The fMRI mashup by Nishimoto et al is borderline in my view. The presentation of their findings makes it way to easy to drum up headlines like “Brain Imaging Reveals What You’re Watching” or “Scientists Reconstruct Brains’ Visions Into Digital Video ”

Only spending little time with the setup it seems that the experiement pretty much reveals that 5,000 hours of youtube video are so stereotypical that even a fMRI of the v1 can match some patterns back. For a given individual, after hours of learning. To suggest that the video shown on the right as ‘coming out’ of the brain is extremely misleading.

Having two of those studies in one day means nothing of course. But one can go off on a tangent and wonder why - I am sure wonderful - people and scientists drop science in exchange for head lines and eyeball. Maybe it is time to decide over the 2012 budget? And I am sure that given realities of today it is much to get money for “we can go back in time” or “we can film your dreams”.

I have doubts that the Manhattan Project would have a chance today. Rewind to 1940: Some professors had drawn some numbers on chalk board. Up this day only very few
people understood what they were talking about. I certainly have no clue. They had no computer simulated films. They had no precedence. The bomb they were talking about
was by multiple magnitudes bigger than anything that had done before. There was nothing in reality to show for. Just scribblings on a chalkboard. And some common consensus among a few people. One could see this happening if they would have asked to disappear into the desert to do a bit of thinking. But they needed a bit more: Factories bigger than anything else that had been built. And 10% of all electricity in the entire US to run them. To make a handful of matter that -according to science- might make one big boom.
All based on science. And politicians and military people did go with it. And they built different models that both worked after five years.

747-8 Intercontinental

February 14th, 2011

So, you think you are super cool, since you ordered a gulfstream private jet?

Well, unfortunately there are still a couple of people that 1-up you. By a long shot.

Boeing builts 747s since the late sixties. What meant to be used for cargo, since all long passenger flight would go super sonic soon anyway, became the largest passenger plane. Until recently: Airbus finally trumped those huge 747 jumbos with their dead ugly A380 a few years ago.

One of those 43 sold A380s will actually be converted into a flying palace.

Boeing revealed their new 747-8i yesterday:

Turns out that 7 out of the 28 ordered 787-8i will be sold to “VIP clients” as well. The super rich certainly got allot richer in the last years.

Usually that kind of wealth can afford to remain invisible. Having the worlds largest passenger jet converted to your liking gives a glimpse how a billionaire rolls in 2011.

how to spend 685,100,000,000 dollars

September 13th, 2010

real easy: just get allot of burocrats

forecasts

February 3rd, 2010

And they keep doing them:
Very nice visualization by the times

the skinny kid with the funny name

November 4th, 2008


glad that there are good signs

October 4th, 2008


Booming global demand for new business jets is expected to continue through the end of 2009

from the wsj

glad the bailout worked.

president palin speaks

September 26th, 2008


"We have trade missions back and forth, we do" said Palin. "It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state. "

So the current one could not talk straight. But people wanted him anyway. twice. Or maybe 1.5 times. Turns out that running the country on stupidity got us in the biggest bubble ever. The US / Russian relationship is still the one with the most potential for danger. Hearing this women talk like this about it is scary. With the dumb president people thought / hoped that the VP would take care of things. He might even have. Who knows. This women could technically run the show.

That is scary.
Bush running things was scary. And we see now how much they let things slide in the wrong direction. This bubble is Bush made. It got created by turning the interest rate screw in the wrong direction for to long. Simple as that. A more intelligent administration could have avoided this problem quiet easily from building. Just don’t let the housing prices inflate that much. Interest rates are controlled by the fed. Carefully raising them would have cost a couple of fractions in growth. Maybe. But it would kept the system in the healthy zone, not where we are right now.

one in four not clued in.

September 22nd, 2008


In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey out Monday afternoon, 47 percent of registered voters questioned said Republicans are more responsible for the problems currently facing financial institutions and the stock market; only 24 percent said Democrats are more responsible.

via http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/22/cnn.poll/

That means that 47% of all registered voters actually know which party ran the country in the last 8 years. Only one in four people is confused about that. Amazing.

I wonder how many would answer “Clinton” or “Carter” if asked who was President on September 11 2001.

three party system?

September 18th, 2008

Listening to Mr McCain it seems that the US got a 3 party system overnight: There are the democrats, his party, and then the one that is in power now and that is responsible for all that mess that he can not deny either.

I am amazed to no extend that this kind of orwellian reality bending has a realistic chance of maybe even working out.

At least they spare us with the orange alerts in this election cycle. Those were are big deal in 2004. At least in the media they took allot of room.

applied rules

March 19th, 2008


The Bank never "goes broke." If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much more needed by writing on any ordinary paper.

Monopoly rules, Hasbro

Transscribed word by word.

amazing

March 13th, 2008


Bush: We have a dollar that’s adjusting, and I am for a strong dollar. One reason I am for a strong dollar is because I want, you know, people to — I think it helps deal with inflation.

When this man came into office it took 90 american cents ot buy a Euro. Now it’s 155 of those.

“I am for a strong dollar”

Funny that the that seems not to be enough. It’s not God setting the dollar course. It’s how many of them you print. If you print to many then they are worth less. If you print less then the they are worth more. Simple.

one fucking fifty?

February 28th, 2008

you need 1.51 dollars today to buy one Euro.

I know, since I bought lots of Euros today.

I needed 89 cents to buy a Euro before the moron became President.

Nader - again

February 24th, 2008

Since it worked so great for Bush in 2000 Nader is trying the same for McCain in 08.

the people and the decider

February 20th, 2008

Looks like the people have made their mind up on the decider. Now would be the perfect time to find Osama Bin Laden. Whatever happened to that project Mr. B? Will taking my shoes when getting on an airplane help with that? Or maybe he surrenders himself if we add another really vivid colored threat level? “Hyper Mauve” or something?

obama

February 3rd, 2008

After 04 I thought I would not care about the elections again. But that would actually mean letting Bush win for the third time. Regardless how odd and wrong it was to let that happen twice, it should not repeat again. It probably is always worth trying to make the world a better place. So I officially endorse Obama here. Mrs. Clinton is just this years Kerry. And we all know how well Hermann Munster worked. America can vote for the better president. It has done so in the past. Not particularly this century. But -honestly- the choices were not to great either. Bush, Kerry and Gore. 2 or less sylables in a name are simply not enough.


fighting terror, sans SSL

January 14th, 2008

the small chronies (50K in tax money wasted for this site) get caught

Actually those monkeys at Desyne kick out a 403 to me, since my IP is not one that is in the US. How pathetic.

I would have not missed much. Just verbage like:


Our clients range from global Fortune 100 corporations to local retailers. They all, however, share one thing in common: an absolute commitment to a strategic marketing approach wrapped around a comprehensive web-based technology capability. It's a formula for success we have delivered to more than 1000 clients since our founding in 1996.

Awesome that they all share “an absolute commitment to a strategic marketing approach wrapped around a comprehensive web-based technology capability”.
That evokes strong mental images. No, really.

germans and their money

January 3rd, 2008

Germans don’t like to part from their money. On average each of them has 57.900 Euro (85,000 Dollars right now) in the bank or in stocks. Per person. Not per household. On average people in Germany spend 10% less than they make. That probably explains why S-Class Mercedes or Porsches are a rare sight here. They get made and sold to people that have the money (these days mostly found in countries with oil) or ones that pretend they have (hm, let me guess where that would be). Tragically much of those saved Euro’s were used to finance US mortages.

Right now the Iraq war seems to have cost 482 Billion US$.
So Germany could have paid for 14 of those. From it’s savings.

success and why it is nice

January 3rd, 2008

Interdubs had an awesome year in 2007. I had a certain expectation where the service should be by now. Development-wise and feature=wise I am behind. I want more features, and I want to write them now. But doing them right does always take more time than I think it would. And, my clients got what they essentially need months ago. Since then new features have been extra and on top of it.

Looking back at 2007 I particularly like the the fact that Interdubs could scale from a few beta clients to more than 20 customers. Many of them with very diverse needs. And all of them seemingly happy: Even though nobody is contractually obliged to continue their subscription each one renewed month by month. People some times wonder why Interdubs is so inexpensive. Specially compared to it’s feature set. I think it makes sense: Having the most awesome feature vs. price ratio means that I don’t have to spend much time to keep my clients happy otherwise. It also helps with marketing: If anybody interested in an online media solution should happen to talk about it to an existing interdubs user I will get a call. And when I get a call it becomes a sale. Sooner or later it does. Always.

2007 was also nice, since I had not to act on my 99.99% uptime or money back promise. By now it would be not so nice, if I can not charge anybody for a full month. Which is the whole point: I believe in Interdubs’ reliability enough to put my money where where my mouth is. Outages might happen in the future. Nothing is perfect. But by giving my clients their money back for a whole month, if Interdubs should be longer unavailable than for 5 minutes I there is at least a plan. If this should ever happen. The looming penalty of a month long ‘invoice outage’ makes it financially viable to upgrade the servers that Interdubs runs on. So that it does not happen in the first place. Or is at least less likely.

2007 I published 590 times code updates to Interdubs. That’s why I don’t like to call things “Versions”. Version 590? Sometimes I just moved a couple of links around, to make a frequently used choice easier to find. A couple of times I replaced or upgraded the entire engine that runs Interdubs. I might have gotten lucky, but at no point did I loose data during those updates. And only about 10 changes were so stupid, that my users demanded a change back or further alteration of what I did. Knowing that I will hear about things going in the wrong direction allows me to suggest things with great liberty. The same concept looks enabling from the other side as well: Interdubs users know that they will be listened to. Sometimes it takes only minutes between a suggestion and the actual feature / change showing up on the site. Actually a great deal of ideas and features that make Interdubs worthwhile are a result of this collaboration.

2007 was a very successful year for Interdubs, so I had to decide what to do for Holiday presents. I decided not to send any at all. Instead I asked my kids to pick a charity. They suggested “Doctors without Borders” which I liked as well. So instead of sending gift baskets around some people got vaccinations that they needed.

Being able to decide on these things what to do is one of the perks of running your own company. Today I found Charity Navigator and realised with great relief that only a very small percentage of the interdubs donation will go to the adminstration.

I am certainly looking forward to move Interdubs forward in 2008.

airport security

December 30th, 2007

Patrick Smith writes about the TSA and how we fight an attack that happened six years ago, that is over and could not be repeated.

that would be nice

December 24th, 2007

cheap solar panels?

That would indeed be nice.

next war get some rfid tags

December 7th, 2007

The mightiest force ever lost some stuff in the desert it seems.

what Annie said

December 4th, 2007

Annie Leonard talks about stuff Whoever she is.

I am with her. To a point. The breastmilk part is a bit much, and on technology she is just plain wrong. Which discredits the whole piece somewhat. And that is a real shame. Since the whole consumerism / consumption stuff weighted against diminishing returns in respect to happyness is a very important point. And there are others in this presentation that are pretty obvious and get equally ignored. Still worth the link, and maybe even worth watching.

war

November 25th, 2007

not your usual link or idea

War really sucks. It happens if people feel they can gain from it.

money

November 11th, 2007

According to this article China holds 1.4336 trln US$.
Big number. Each Chinese seems to make 1500 dollars a year. There are 1,321,851,888 Chinese. Which would mean that all Chinese would not need to work for 8.6 months if they would just spend the Dollars that the chinese reserve holds.

Or they could finance a seven year Iraq war. Out of the cash they have sitting around. And with the kind of spending the US military got used to. Something tells me that the red army has a different pricelist then the military in the US.

So, it seems that having stuff made over there for years somehow gave them allot of money. And therefor power.

about abortion

November 6th, 2007

Garry Willis writes about Abortion in the LA Times.
He says:


Evangelicals may argue that most people in Germany thought it was all right to kill Jews. But the parallel is not valid. Killing Jews was killing persons.

There has been allot of hollow talk like “we didn’t know anything about it” after WW2 in Germany. And that is wrong. It also is wrong to try to escape the responsibility of the Holocaust. It is a part of German history. But this sentence suggests that Germans in general agreed to kill Jews. Which is bullshit. Some did. And some built an industry around killing people. Yes, as horrible as that. But to suggest that there was a poll and that just happen to go against one part of the people is simply senseless.

It is pretty strange to open such a piece by invoking Godwin’s Law

Abortition is a tricky issue. Such is Holocaust. Mixing them up in one piece is not really what makes a good start. The article itself rambles around some valid points, and then falls into total pointlessness.

what it costs

October 22nd, 2007

According tothis article the war in Iraq costs two billion dollar. A week. I am sure that those 160,000 troops risking their life will be glad to know that that amounts to 12,500 US$ a week for each of them. Or we could just leave and pay each each 75 US$ a week. Does not sound like much, but the GDP per person and week is 64US$. So, yes, the US spends more on the war than the country is producing on its own. It used to be one of the wealthiest countries with a larger population in the arab world. Now this war has been gone for quiet some time.
And, no, we still have not found those weapons of mass destruction. That was the reason why the US had ot go there. So we have been told. That is a old story you might think. Exactly that kind of thinking helps this administration. They told us that war was the only option because of those weapons of mass destruction. We should hold them to their own arguments, instead of falling for their next story version about the ‘front in the war on terror’. Some things are simple. This one is.

Science allows for it’s demise

September 11th, 2007

This ‘news’ about generating energy from burning saltwater is ridicolous bullshit.

Here we are, using those internets, which are run on computers (just ask Homer) and other products of science to mock it’s very contents and basic laws.

Of course it is an extreme example. But the same principle seem to apply frequently: Those creationists should be consequent and stop using the products and merits of science. All of them. If they don’t like what science has discovered.

Two hundred years ago when people even in the more developed countries were dying left right and center on odd diseases and epidemics there simply was no question: Science was good. Now, that we are reaping all those benefits and so many of us have these careless existences some people think, that the current state of society and wellfare would just be ‘normal’, or god given.Well, it is not. The default is much much more grim. Over the last four hundred years people worked really really hard to make all this possible. It was not easy to harvest all this knowledge our econimies and factories run on. All these efforts were based on the absence of stupity. Now it seems as if some people start to take stupid stuff serious. Since it seems that they can afford to. People living in Rome two thousand years ago were in a similar position. Why would they care? Of all Shakespear plays I liked Coriolanus the least. Now that’s starting to change. Somehow I think that it’s message is not that off after all.