November 18, 2008

Been thinking about how I just don't have a sense of scale on economic matters. I mentioned this before in the context of what Obama's campaign shelled out for a half hour multiple network infomercial. National Median income is around $40K I've heard. I have a hard time really grasping most companies selling enough of anything to thereby pay for a staff of dozens or more.

Counterpoint: but I don't grasp just how many people 300,000,000 (the population of the USA) represents.

Countercounterpoint: still, consumer interest seems like such an odd duck. There are certain old networked computer games that have a single, centralized server. And in a lot of these, you'll be lucky to find more than 10 prowling around there.... 6 or 7 billion people in the world, and at the moment, it's just you 2 or 3 goons in this little nook of popculture. if you want to get enough for an actual game, you have to preschedule stuff in advance, outside of the channel of the game itself. It seems weird to me that interest drops off to such tiny numbers.

And my sense of scale in economics goes the other way. A less than 3% drop in retail sales is widely considered a disaster, and a bigger decline than we say after 9-11. 3 frickin' percent! How brittle is this system anyway?

I know right now it's worse to think about this stuff, because obviously the system has been chugging along, and continues to chug, for many decades, but it seems to give some credence to the whole "HA HA! IT'S ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS!" crowd.

Video of the Moment

"where I step a weed dies" - unnamed trantula in an Archy the Cockroach poem. (similar "name shouldn't be lower case" as E.E. Cummings) - how Obama is like Disraeli, Napoleon, Ozdemir-the leader from a different culture. But isn't that Hitler too?
Firefox's popup blocker needs to be smarter and allow stuff I just clicked to make happen.
Tempted to put in coins and select the empty vending machine slot, watch the things spin, turning crass commerce to machine performance art
Too grumpy to ingest a "Wicket in Action" book? "Most web-app frameworks don't provide a stateful programming model"? Eh? Like JSP Sessions?
Also irksome with "Wicket in Action": Servlet/JSPs aren't "regular Java programming"? - I think more people have done that than, say, Swing
Easy to get paranoid at work. If you recognize you're leaping to conclusions, pretend you didn't hear it, unless you need to jobhunt NOW