Inventing the Future

Going to California With…

I like to think I’m particularly adaptable on those occasions when I happen to recognize that I need to be, but I perpetually feel inadequate in recognizing when the rules of the universe have changed. That’s a pretty significant skill to be lacking when you’re trying to invent the future.

So it is with even more than the usual range of emotions that I have come to “sell” our home in Wisconsin and will finally be moving to California. I am told that this is an extraordinary accomplishment, but I’ve “adapted” so much, the celebration has a Pyrrhic cast.

The US housing market has all but ceased to exist as a functioning market with any sort of liquidity. In my neighborhood, there should statistically be about one home sale each week. Ours was the seventh in the previous eight months, and I think all of those were the previous calendar year. The issue seems to be that every sale is contingent on having the buyers sell their home, which isn’t happening, so the whole country is waiting for one big circle jerk. Many housing industry folks are claiming that prices have not fallen much, but that’s disingenuous – the average selling price nationally and in most areas hasn’t fallen much only because the average home size continues to rise. The average price per square foot of any particular existing fixed-size house is dropping like a stone in a still pond. (Areas that do not see average housing sizes grow have indeed been seeing a big drop in average selling price.) And with bankers knowing this and knowing that several hundred of their ilk are being carted off by the FBI – no I’m not making this up – they’re not making a lot of bridge loans that would allow folks to buy one house before they sell the next.

So here’s what we did:

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Posted in Inventing the Future, Philosophical business mumbo-jumbo | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

TotSF: Indymedia Server Update

In my favorite bellweather case for “have we sunk back to the level of McCarthyism yet?” the government has challenged the standing of IndyMedia to find out who asked the FBI to confiscate its servers, and why. Story at The Register. I may try to add my own analysis if I get a chance to read the pleadings.

Stay tuned . . .

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged | Comments closed

General Exception

Judge overturns ISP provisions of PATRIOT act

A judge has struck down a portion of the PATRIOT act which requires ISPs to hand over records on their customers and keep silent about the handover. The ruling means the FBI can no longer use National Security Letters to demand an ISP’s record on a customer without any sort of recourse.

The enforced silence is one of the more nasty aspects of the PATRIOT act… in fact, we covered one aspect of this earlier when the ACLU was prevented from discussing a lawsuit they filed against the NSL provisons of the PATRIOT act itself.



Read more over at News.com
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Posted in General Exception, I Fear These Things | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

General Exception

“Patriot” Act used to supress news of lawsuits against it

I hadn’t heard about this when it happened a few days ago (but then, I’m out of touch, so maybe everyone has heard about this). The ACLU filed suit over certain provisions in the Patriot Act, and were slapped with a gag order based on… The Patriot Act itself.

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Posted in General Exception | Also tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)
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