Inventing the Future

No Deal, Charles

I agree that we are on the precipice of a disaster. I would like us to act to prevent it. I do not insist on assigning blame or even being fair in how we act, as there will be time for that later. The only thing that is required of how we act is that it solves the problem.

No one has explained to me how taking the bad loans off the books of banks actually solves the problem. What has been explained to me by the officials and the politicians is that there is far more money at risk than that tied up in these loans. The money has been promised to average Joes, governments, and wild speculators, based on the idea that other average Joes, governments, and wild speculators will pay even more for these incomprehensible instruments in the future. At the original bottom of this pyramid are the at-risk loans. Yes, I agree that there is a crisis of confidence in the market, as the President put it. But I fail to see how now the politicians now suddenly understand these instruments, and that the way to keep them from collapsing is to take the loans off the books of the banks.

Are they saying that they intend for average Joes, governments, and wild speculators to keep shoveling ever-increasing amounts of money into the derivative market based on these loans? Ponzi schemes do collapse when triggered by a failure of confidence, but a child can see that even with no failure of confidence, they can only be sustained as long as there are increasing amounts of investment at the bottom. Eventually, the world runs out of money.


Now is the time to drop a note or leave a message for your representatives and let them know how you feel. Their contact info is online. Don’t forget to tell them that you’re in their district/state.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", Inventing the Future | Also tagged , , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

I predict a mini-rapture

For $40/year, this service will send an email to your loved ones after believers disappear in the coming rapture. There’s a deadman switch that will send the messages automatically if three of the five owners don’t log in every three days.

I guess I’m a believer, because I’ll bet those guys are going to disappear mysteriously. The site doesn’t say what happens to the money.

It might be kind of interesting to do this properly: let the designees of each individual account be notified if the account-holder doesn’t log in. Might be useful for journalists, abused wives, bloggers, and other folks in fear for their lives from governments and wackos.

Posted in Inventing the Future, Memology | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Susan Crawford Tells It Like It Is

Must give a shout out to my friend Susan Crawford, who has stuck with the mess-that-is-ICANN long after my patience got exhausted. Susan tells it like it is on ICANN’s rejection of the .XXX TLD proposal.

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General Exception

Home made high-altitude UAV

One of the neat things about the ever-dropping price of technology is how people end up using off-the-shelf parts to create things that just a short time ago were the domain of government-funded organizations or large corporations.

Last year, one such project prompted governments into action as a man in New Zealand started to document his homemade cruise missle project.

A bit more on the benign side of things is this high-altitude unmanned glider project. Capable of being released from the edge of the atmosphere, such a glider could be used for all sorts of research, including a very cheap way of performing aerial surveys of remote areas.

Posted in General Exception, Hardware | Also tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

General Exception

Patriot Missle Coverup

This article over at the Register implies that there has been a cover up over the death of two British pilots who were shot down after mistakenly being identified as an Iraq scud by the Patriot missle system. It seems that the military is reluctant to criticize the missle system, given that billions of dollars in sales to foreign governments are pending. Acknowledging its major flaws could be bad for Raytheon’s bottom line.

Hmm… I dimly seem to recall some half-remembered president that nattered on about the threat of the industrial-military complex to American freedom. Or something.

Posted in General Exception | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
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