Critical Section

Saturday,  10/31/09  04:51 PM

A quick blogging pass before trick or treating...  (and I must say, it is kind of weird that the time hasn't changed yet, usually it gets dark around 6:00 and that when we go out, but tonight it is going to be around 7:00, huh.)

The Economist notes Falling Fertility.  "As industrialisation swept through what is now the developed world, fertility fell sharply, first in France, then in Britain, then throughout Europe and America.  When people got richer, families got smaller; and as families got smaller, people got richer."  The problem is that richer isn't better from a genetic standpoint.  As strange conundrum...

Philip Greenspun comments: Health Insurance is a basic human right.  This is such a weird concept to me.  Clearly if we provide health benefits to people who cannot otherwise afford them, then we are talking about socialism; those who have pay for those who have not.  It is a sort of forced altruism, and this never works.  The solution has to be for society to reduce the cost of healthcare to the point where everyone - or at least almost everyone - can afford it.  This cannot be done by government intervention, it can only be done by letting the markets work.  BTW this isn't a moral issue, it is an economic issue.

To see why this is so, try substituting something else for health care, like car ownership, as in "car ownership is a basic human right".  Okay, so that means those of us who can afford cars have to pay for those who can't.  We will actually have less money for cars as a result, and will probably not be able to afford as nice a car, just so the poorer members of our society can have one.  Does this make sense?  How about taxing everyone and then having the government give everyone cars?  Well that isn't going to work either, is it...  The best solution is to let Ford and Toyota and Tata flourish, so that they can provide low cost cars.

Venture Capital's wild rideSo, you want to be a VC, eh?  Prepare yourself for a wild ride, as this infographic from Fortune shows...  I will say that despite the tough times and uncertain future, the VC industry is not going to die; those who think so are unfamiliar with the tenacity and appetite for risk found in that group :)

Motorola DroidThe Motorola Druid is out, and Engadget has a review.  The verdict: really nice.  Of course they compare it to an iPhone, and in some ways it is lacking in comparison, but it is a legitimate competitor.  Considering that it is on Verizon, the largest cell carrier, and that Verizon customers can't buy iPhones, I'm sure it will be successful.  Count me among those who didn't think the Android platform was going to matter, and count me among those who were wrong.

So it is the first weekend of November.  Shopping Season!  Yep I have officially seen Christmas decorations and heard Christmas music, and the retail march is on...  I wonder how this year will stack up for retailers?  Probably a bit better than last year, but I don't think we'll be "back to normal".  Too many people are out of work, and too many others are worried about their future.

biggest cruise ship: Oasis of the SeaWow, the world's biggest ocean liner is also the ugliest.  "The Oasis of the Sea is five times larger than the Titanic, the $1.5 billion ship has seven neighborhoods, an ice rink, a small golf course and a 750-seat outdoor amphitheater.  It has 2,700 cabins and can accommodate 6,300 passengers and 2,100 crew members."  Looks like a floating appartment building to me, with all the charm that implies...  [ via the horse's mouth ]

ZooBorn: Ripley, the Barking Owl chickZooBorn of the weekend: Ripley, the Barking Owl chick.  Wins "best facial expression" hands down :)  And also appears to be blogging...

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Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
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Try, or Try Not
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may I take your order?
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