Monday, November 29, 2010

More manufacturing jobs? Really? Do we really need more stuff?

Something that has bugged me. It has become a bipartisan call (esp in the recent Time issue on Detroit, but also generally) that the US needs more manufacturing jobs. Seriously?

We manufacture today more than we ever did, we're just so good at it, that we don't need many people doing it any more.

So if we had more manufacturing, that means you want us to produce more stuff. Do we really need more stuff?

In a world where 80% of the world has a cell phone, and being in poverty means you are most likely to be obese, most Americans have pretty much all the cell phones, Xboxes, lcd tvs, ikea furniture and food we could want.

Should we manufacture more to export? First of all other countries are producing their own stuff. Second, trading with other countries means getting something in return. So we're still left with more stuff.

What do people need more of? Perhaps better education perhaps, better healthcare, better restaurants, better gyms, better tv shows, better movies, better design, better art, better dance lessons, etc. Basically better services.

People seem to think the production of services is somehow not real. Of course it is real.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists: Brief Note: Daryl Bem and Precognition

Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists: Brief Note: Daryl Bem and Precognition: "In case you missed it, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a flagship APA journal, published a study by Daryl Bem containing ..."

Some nice follow up on Bem's evidence for psychic powers being published in the JPSP (the top social psych journal)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Predictions on Groupon

Yahoo rumored to want to spend $3 billion on Groupon.

This reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a few tech savvy friends that said that Groupon would be the next Big thing in the next year or two. I was skeptical since while I believed the idea was sound, it is an industry with low barriers to entry, and in its inchoate state, it is unclear who will emerge as victor (say Gilt, or one of the dozen other similar companies Yahoo has been partnering with recently).

Does this industry have a buzzwordy name yet, btw, dot-brick perhaps?

My friend replied that the difference is that groupon requires local relationships. Which it could then monopolize. Perhaps.

The Yahoo! deal perhaps suggests my friend was right, though Yahoo also reminds us that a company that looks dominant early on can still fall.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diegetic Exegesis

Felt compelled to share this from catandgirl: