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Archive for the ‘The popping bubble’ Category

Google search prompt: “Geithner jewish”

by henrycopeland
Thursday, March 26th, 2009

The Google search bar helpfully tries to autofill when you’re doing a search. Start typing in the letters h and a and it prompts “haute couture” and “Harry Potter.” I assume this based on the frequency of other searchers’ terms.

Start typing in Geithner, and this is what it prompts:

Is that really what Google searchers are most interested in?

Google’s documentation explains: “As you type a search query into the new Toolbar’s search box, you’ll see a list of useful suggestions based on popular Google searches, spelling corrections and your own Toolbar search history and bookmarks.”

Looking at the results for the “Geithner jewish” search, the fifth is to another blogger’s previous observations on the same disturbing trend.

Cramer vs Cramer

by henrycopeland
Friday, March 13th, 2009

Generation Great Recession

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Kate Zernike offers a good look at what today’s kids will learn from the “Great Recession.” Writing in 1951 about children of the Great Depression, Time magazine opined

“Youth’s ambitions have shrunk,” the magazine declared. “Few youngsters today want to mine diamonds in South Africa, ranch in Paraguay, climb Mount Everest, find a cure for cancer, sail around the world or build an industrial empire. Some would like to own a small, independent business, but most want a good job with a big firm, and with it, a kind of suburban idyll.” The young soldier “lacks flame,” students were “docile notetakers.” And the young writer’s flair “sometimes turns out to be nothing more than a byproduct of his neuroses.” (This even before Philip Roth, born 1933, had published a novel.)

“The best thing that can be said for American youth, in or out of uniform, is that it has learned that it must try to make the best of a bad and difficult job, whether that job is life, war, or both,” Time concluded. “The generation which has been called the oldest young generation in the world has achieved a certain maturity.”

Taleb looks at the difficulties of learning about tomorrow’s failures

by henrycopeland
Friday, February 27th, 2009

Taleb writes:Go to a bookstore, and look at the business shelves: you will find plenty of books telling you how to make your first million, or your first quarter-billion, etc. You will not be likely to find a book on “how I failed in business and in life”—though the second type of advice is vastly more informational, and typically less charlatanic. Indeed, the only popular such finance book I found that was not quacky in nature—on how someone lost his fortune—was both self-published and out of print. Even in academia, there is little room for promotion by publishing negative results—though these, are vastly informational and less marred with statistical biases of the kind we call data snooping.

Glut ad infinitum

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Martin Peers, in the the Wall Street Journal, picks up the thread on the glut of potential ad space with this great lede:

What does the Internet display-ad market have in common with Zimbabwe?

Both are printing nearly-limitless amounts of their main currency, vastly diminishing its value and undermining their future. The currency, for Web sites, is their ad inventory. And while Zimbabwe, under different management, can change course, the same isn’t true of the display-ad market. Web sites keep generating new content and extra pages on which ads can run.

More thoughts on the advertising inventory glut here.

PBS meltdown coverage

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I want to remember to watch this later…

Since the Great Depression

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 16th, 2009

Usage of the term “since the great depression” among documents indexed on Google, now clocking in at 5,600,000, is up almost 10-fold since September.

We’ve got 90,400 instances of “worst since the Great Depression” and 9,160 instances of “longest since the Great Depression.” But zero instances of “weirdest since the Great Depression.” Until now, of course.

Shiller’s overview of real estate

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 16th, 2009

Robert Shiller, the great real estate bear, lectures…

Dominoes as big as Alps

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 16th, 2009

Ever hysterically rational, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes this morning about European banks’ huge lending overhang to post Communist economies. The headline, “Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown,” seems to suggest there’s some alternative to failure. Sadly, Europe doesn’t have the capital, political will OR the political infrastructure to rescue either the west European banks or East European folks who have borrowed absurd amounts of money valued in other countries’ potentially much stronger currencies.

Start-up wind-ups

by henrycopeland
Friday, February 13th, 2009

WSJ reports:

“Start-ups are failing faster and you’re going to see a major shakeout,” says Martin Pichinson, a managing director of Sherwood Partners, a Mountain View, Calif., firm that specializes in winding down start-ups. Since mid-January, his firm has shut down an average of three start-ups a week, up from just one or two closures a month in September, he says.

And this is what an silicon undertaker looks like.

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