Archive: November 2008
The morning after... Halloween, Shirley's birthday, Pathology Visions, October. Feels like a lot has happened which is now done happening... and it is cold, and windy, a light rain is falling outside, and in my head, too. One of those end-of-year days...
Here's what "the tank" looks like; this is the cover of the latest issue of the Economist. Previous to this election I always felt them to be rather neutral, in favor of open markets and pretty libertarian. But there's a new regime there, and they clearly feel like weighing in on the U.S. election, despite being London-based. They have an influential readership, and while their endorsement may not sway too many undecided U.S. voters, it will certainly have an impact on the perception of the results of the election, whichever way it goes.
Speaking of the way it goes, Zogby has McCain ahead! WHAT! And Fox says Obama's lead narrows...
Meanwhile, McCain is campaigning with our governator in Ohio. He'll be back :)
Mark Steyn sums it up: "This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration... And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange." Not that strange. There are still thinking people out there who vote with their heads, not their hearts. [ via Instapundit ]
Gerard Vanderleun posted the great cartoon at right. Sums up how I feel exactly. That is the point.
In other rather interesting news, Drudge tops NYTimes in web traffic. You could see that coming from a long way off... but now it has happened; a "blog" has more traffic than the leading U.S. newspaper. May you live in interesting times, indeed!
Related, LATimes lays off 75 staffers. I bet Drudge doesn't even have 75 staffers. This is one of the reasons we read so much gloom and doom in the newspapers; the papers themselves are suffering badly. If you work in that environment, you can't help but be affected, and your stories will reflect that.
Scott Pederson emailed to suggest this decade be named the "naughty aughties", because of the extreme negativity on display during the 2008 election. I can't figure out if the negativity is coming from the campaigns themselves, the press, or the electorate. I almost think people get the campaigns they deserve, because of how they respond. Sadly, our reality show society probably responds better to superficial negativity than the details of a serious health care reform proposal...
Victor David Hanson: The End of Journalism. "The media has succeeded in shielding Barack Obama from journalistic scrutiny. It thereby irrevocably destroyed its own reputation and forfeited the trust that generations of others had so carefully acquired. And it will never again be trusted to offer candid and nonpartisan coverage of presidential candidates." Dead on.
Lemons: Another week, another 18,885 layoffs. This totally sucks. That is 18,885 people whose lives have been changed, who will struggle to make their house payment, who will not be taking a vacation or buying nice presents this Christmas. The ripple effect of all these layoffs is the biggest baddest thing about the financial meltdown.
File as Making Lemonade, from NBS Financial (my PFA):
The month of October was the worst for the stock market since October 1987. The dichotomy of this is that this week was the best for the stock market for 26 years. As one of the few financial advisors who was in this business in 1987, I can attest from personal experience that those that sold after "Black Monday" of 1987 faired much worse than those who did not sell.
If we look back at the last three bear markets:
Ending February 2003 -49.1%
December 1987 -33.5%
October 1974 -48.5%
The average gain over the 24 months following each of these three declines was 47.7%. We all wish the market hadn't declined over the last year, but we are were we are and now is the time to focus were we are going and not were we have been. Based upon both historical precedent and the visible dynamics at work, I would suggest that the next 45% move in the markets will be up not down.
More Lemonade: AlwaysOn wonders Coming Soon: High-Value IPOs? I sure hope so... There were only six IPOs in 2008, only six. Still I can remember when PayPal went public in early 2002, the first after 9/11. And it popped.
Sometimes you have a day where the day itself matches the way you feel, and so it was today for me. It was quiet and rainy, and I felt quiet and rainy. It was a day for work, and reflection, and my friend Peter called at just the right moment to invite me for a cappuccino, which led to a nice two-hour conversation about the state of the world and ourselves. I did work in a ride up Rockstore in the pouring rain; of course Murphy choose just that moment to dump, but it was great.
From the "but who's counting" department; I have now made over 400 posts this year. Wow. That is the most since 2003, my first year of blogging, and assuming I don't suddenly stop - admittedly not an entirely valid assumption, given history - I will exceed my total for that year, possibly even exceeding 500. Cool. So why do I do it? Because of you, of course! Thank you for reading...
In other naval-gazing news, I fixed the "Welcome back! Posts since your last visit on __/__/__ are shaded..." logic on my home page, which I had broken on 10/18/08. You're welcome :)
The other day in my BOO! post I reviewed October, including my discovery of Lala, which prompted me to start using it again, which is why I found myself listening to Ted Nugent at 11:00 on a Saturday morning. How excellent was he? The sheer energy and enthusiasm of his live stuff was incredible. I can't think of another musician who transmitted so much vitality, perhaps putting David Lee Roth in second place. Well okay Bono is in there, too. I'll stop now :)
The Hubble Space Telescope is working again. Whew. I know you were worried about that, so now we can both relax. Beautiful picture it took, too...
On the Next Big Future: Brian Wang reviews the Singularity Summit. I wish I'd been there, but as I noted before, I will probably be able to go back someday and attend :)
Floyd Landis is back! Yep, he's joined what's left of the old Healthnet team, now sponsored by OUCH medical center. I had forgotten about his hip - not only has he not ridden professionally for over two years (since winning the 2006 Tour, then being disqualified for doping), but he has an artificial hip now. Still, it will be great to see him back in action...
l'Hydroptère sets a new sailing speed record! 50 knots over open water... amazing. Check out this video, you will not believe it! (Good sound track, too :) This is a trimaran with hydrofoils under the outriggers...
Robert Scoble makes a great point: Never underestimate Microsoft's ability to turn a corner. Their announcements of Azure, Windows 7, and Web Office at the recent PDC were certainly their most sensible and interesting in years. Someone (Ray Ozzie?) must have figured it out.
So I find myself using Chrome more and more often, for more and more stuff, even while Firefox remains my default browser. The tradeoff: Chrome is faster, while Firefox offers Adblock. That's it.
Return to the archive.
this date in:
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird