Every so often, the question of what’s ahead for the world comes up around here and one of the most frequently recurring issues is “What will people do once the internet goes down?”
Although the hopeful answer is Get Local, Get Smart, Get Organized, the more likely answer is that humans will find new and creative ways to waste time.
Not all time wasters are created equal, however. Some of really, really interesting. One of my all-time favorites was an early Macintosh game called “Balance of Power.” Published in 1985 this is a marvelous game if you ever get a chance to play.
If you want a good idea for a book to write, try this one on: A history of humans based on the games they were playing at the time.
The basic theme might be “So, you think this is a joke?” and then a review of the various games that were typical of living conditions of people here and there throughout history. I’d buy one of the first copies…
Monopoly is pretty interesting game since it actually has its roots in economics and the rent / single-tax theories of Henry George (and his believers in Georgism, no relation). That game was first published as “The Landlord Game” in 1924 and gained lots of followers in the US during the Great Depression.
All of which is a longish way of getting around to our first major brain-firing of this the morning: The discovery of a dandy online game which may become a kind of “statement of the times” – in game form – much as Balance of Power defined the dangerous balance of the Cold War or the way Monopoly defined an earlier test run of the PowersThatBe.
This one is called Budget Hero, and although it’s been out for a while as part of American Public Media’s “Engage 08″ series, and honestly, I think I did pretty well in my first turn at budget whacking since the game reported:
Debt’s no match for you: You reduced the debt from 75.5% of GDP to 63.1 percent.
Your kids called to say thank you! You delayed the budget bust pushing it from 2031 to 2034.
You’re a downsizer! You shrank the size of government from 25.9% to 24.5% of GDP.
Mind you, this was my first pass through it.
Given that the economics can actually be penciled out, why all the hijinks in Washington is just beyond me. Math tends to be pretty inflexible stuff.
Still, the point of simulations is that they reach mathematically justified conclusions, unlike the congressional budget process which is, in an odd way, divorced from the reality of math.
Would be kinda cool if a nonpartisan group (Congressional Research Service comes to mind) which would simply attach to any budget bill an updated outcome of the agreed upon financial model.
Of course, that would be too simple. Don’t know if you remember the comments last November of once Reagan budget director David Stockman, but there’s a high correlation between what he’s saying and what we’ve been saying for a couple of years. Serial bubbles and the whole lot.
“This is about cleaning up the mess, the morning after….”
And if it takes something as clear as a budget “game” scorecard being attached to each Bill in Washington so the weasels at the helm can’t say later “Well, I didn’t know that would occur…” the proof will be incontestable.
So not only are we living in a kind of Matrix where 95% of people are hypnotized by the non-real righty-left charade, but off in the back room, The Grunch is writing checks like there’s no tomorrow.
And on our present trajectory, there won’t be. Anyone who has studied Gaming 101 knows that answer.
A Note to the PC Police
A couple of readers sent in notes yesterday accusing me of a racial slur by referring to “a coon’s age” as a time reference.
It was not.
Perhaps I should explain that here in the South, especially the rural environs thereof, raccoons were once thought to have a long life. An old raccoon might have lived 15-years or longer. As research later showed, most raccoons don’t make it past six months of age, due to the coyotes and other hazards here in the Outback. That’s about the last time we had significant rain here in Drought Land.
I’ve often believed that a writer should reflect their current circumstances and Saturday I spent some time with a couple of friends in the oil industry. Colloquial speech all over the place. Worse, before the storm came through with our much-needed rain, Zeus and Puscilla were fighting on the screen porch with a juvenile raccoon.
Just as in Clif’s work where speech tells us what’s coming next, so too, the choices of words we each make (and analogies used) will reflect our most recent interactions with the rest of the world.
So, if I lapse into a Southern term here and there, you may properly assume I have been enjoying the company of genuine Southern folk. Similarly, if I fret and stew about financial matters a bit more, it’s because the repair bill on the airplane keeps going up. (Another story…).
Going sailing/boating shifts my language a bit, too, arghhhh.
Anyway, that’s how brains and language work: Recent influences dictate choices of words. And if you think a coon’s age (6-months to whenever) is a racial slur, time to get out of your shell and see the world a bit, bubba. There’s three definitions ahead of #4, and I’m too ADHD to make it past #2.
By the way, having live in three of America’s four corner areas, and in the middle, too, has been incredibly useful in writing dialog for my great American novel project. Maybe that’s why great writers tends to live in many places, or be well-traveled: because depth in language provides better writing.
Typos and proofreading issues aside, of course.
Down At the WuJo: The Bleed-over Future
Since we’re skirting around how “things” work, I suppose you have seen some of the recent work suggesting that humans may actually “run” (as in think and live) on a 4-6 second time delayed basis.
A Stanford site has a good discussion of the “specious present” problem here.
You know how the old-fashioned tape recorder worked? Tape moves across a record head and is then played back by the playback head? Well, the ‘routing’ of temporal perception may be along the same lines.
The key thing, however, is in a tape recorder, the distance between heads and speed of the tape is fixed such that the offset is constant.
Seems it’s relatively so, in humans, but not entirely. So it’s with some interest in the India earthquake this week that I’m now able to go back to our National Dream Center and look up prescient dreams about earthquakes. Here’s one in particular which was posted on March 3 of this year:
I had two meditational type dreams recently. One was showing me a massive earthquake..maybe 10+. in or around the himalayas. That quake completely destroyed part of the mountains. People and villages could not be found and were missing. Could not tell the time of the event. I could not tell whether this was above Afghan, Pakistan, Kashmir or India.
The other was in California I think in march – April. I tried my best to zero in on the center. The best I could see it was in or near Bakersfield. The picture in my head showed cracks going out from the epicenter. The cracks also generated quakes. The words “for two years” appeared above the map I was visioning. Alot of the cracks went toward Los Angeles through the canyon country, but some went east toward Lake Isabella. One crack went toward fresno and some went down the san andreas toward Victorville.
I pray for none of the events to happen unless needed to reach the higher age!
So lets look at some of the elements here. Death toll from the quake is up to 83 now, by the way.
Location in dream: In or around the Himalayas. Yup, that’s the Himalayas, alright.
People and villages? We should find out about that sooner or later, so keep an eye on the missing villages part.
So was this “predictive”?
More recently, we have a reader who apparently loses a dog in an upcoming major quake. Not surprising that if there is a strong emotional tie-in that would tend to ‘bleed back’ into the past a good bit, depending on closeness emotionally receptivity. Either that, or it was a one-week delay on watching an earthquake movie, but maybe not…
A dream in mid July foresees an earthquake in Java/Indonesia that will put Krakatau to shame, but not many hints on timing.
The problem with forecasting earthquakes is you can always make a forecast and always be right.
The Tuesday Funnies After This…
The Tuesday Funnies
Next time you go out for food…
Last week, we took some friends to a new Indian restaurant, ‘*****’s Place,’ and noticed that the Indian waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the Indian staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired, ‘Why the spoon?’
‘Well, ‘he explained, ‘the restaurant’s owner hired ******* Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.’
As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare. ‘I’ll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now..’ I was impressed.
I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the Indian waiter’s fly.
Looking around, I saw that all of the Indian waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, ‘Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?’
‘Oh, certainly!’ Then the Indian waiter lowered his voice. ‘Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.’
I asked quietly, ‘After you get it out, how do you put it back?’
‘Well,’ he whispered, ‘I don’t know about the others, but I use the spoon… ‘ !!!!!
And from our third layer back-up law firm up in D we received this fine insight to start the day:
“I refuse to believe that corporations are people until Texas executes one.”
I think the old saying is “Your lips to God’s ears…”
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Sizing Up Disruptive Technologies
Almost six months ago, we pondered – in Peoplenomics Issue # 504-B – the possibility of a new and highly disruptive technology appearing. We speculated there could be ripples throughout the economy should a new technology show up that dramatically extends a product life and simultaneously creates a massive wave of unemployment. Camp, as it is, to talk by the Kurzweil “Singularity” the adherents of every-accelerating change reveals they have their heads up somewhere (go ahead and guess…) because they overlook two axioms of fast change: Unemployment and capital that demands a return on investment (ROI). All of which would be fine if disruptive technology was just theory. The bad news this weekend is a disruptive technology is now showing up…
Computer cookies have a purpose in life – they facilitate things like online banking and stock trading. But there’s a vicious side to them: They can be used to track your web use without you even knowing about it. And even more dangerous are the ‘cross site’ cookies which can install malware on your computer without you ever knowing it.
The answer? Maxa Cookie Manager, MCM.
Take it for a free test drive by clicking here – and it you like it, activation is easily done. If you’re a heavy web user (who ain’t?) you may find like I do that you’ve accumulating a hundred or more cookies per day. Only a handful need to be white-listed, like your brokerage account or your bank. The rest? Software designed to spy on you that robs you of computer performance. Been using it for several years and pleased as the Dickens with it.
The “Do Drop Inn”
Amazing gardens in about 2 square feet of floor space: www.mygroponics.com. And remember our saying at MyGroPonics: It’s OK to be a vegetable…
Post your weird dreams to help our research along into what goes on at night in people’s heads: www.nationaldreamcenter.com
“Live on $10,000″ A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn’t, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book “How to Live on $10,000 a Year…or less!”
It’s an automatic download. It’s written in an information dense style: The whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left. A bonus section called “How to Build Anything” should instill confidence if you’ve never taken on a home improvement/home creation project before, too….. Click here for the index and details.
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