Friday, August 30, 2013

You're a More Innovative Man Than I Am, Gunga Din!

Professor Chris Trimble invents weird bullshit because that is his job:
In March 2009, Logitech formed a special team with an urgent mission. The maker of computer peripherals, especially keyboards and mice, had been caught off-guard when consumers in China unexpectedly fell in love with a new mouse that was not Logitech’s. The company closely monitored its direct rivals, especially Microsoft, but this market insurgency was engineered by a Chinese company called Rapoo, at best a faint blip on Logitech’s radar screen.

You may think that this storyline, in which a healthy multinational finds itself under siege from a developing world upstart, is unlikely or unusual. If so, think again. Thanks to the rising phenomenon of reverse innovation, we can expect that the scene that played out at Logitech will repeat itself in industry after industry.
What? Reverse innovation?
Reverse innovation defined

A reverse innovation is any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. To be clear: What makes an innovation a reverse innovation has nothing to do with where the innovators are, and it has nothing to do with where the companies are. It has only to do with where the customers are.

Historically, reverse innovation has been a rare phenomenon. In fact, the logic for innovations flowing downhill, from the rich world to the developing world, is natural and intuitive. After all, it is the richest customers in the richest countries that will always demand the newest technologies. In due time, the costs of new technologies come down, and incomes in the developing world rise. As a result, innovations trickle down. Right?

Be careful. The intuitive assumption that poor countries are engaged in a process of gradually catching up with the rich world has become toxic. It is a strategic blind spot that has the potential to sink an increasingly common aspiration: to generate high growth in the emerging economies. The assumption can even inflict long-term damage in home markets. That is because surprisingly often, reverse innovations defy gravity and flow uphill to the rich world. As a result, a defeat in a developing country half a world away can lead directly to a stinging blow in your own back yard.
Be careful of assumptions rick folks! You may find you have them exactly BACKWARDS. Haw haw.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Those Student Loans Were for What Again?

Okay, you have your degree. Are you still a dummy?
For years, employers have relied on graduating students' grade point averages to assess their skills and potential. But employers as well as colleges have been wondering for years, can a GPA alone really tell you that much?

Next spring, seniors at 200 colleges will be offered the chance to take a new test billed by some as a "post-grad exit exam," which may prove more important than that coveted high GPA.

The 90-minute Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+) is an expansion of the Collegiate Learning Assessment, which 700 schools have already used to measure their own performances. On a scale of 1600 (like the SATs), the CLA+ evaluates students' problem solving, quantitative reasoning, writing and critical reasoning faculties.

"What we’re offering to students is the opportunity to illustrate to employers that they have these skills," Chris Jackson, director of business development at the Council for Aid to Education, the non-profit that created the CLA+, told MSN News.
Student guide with sample question here in a PDF.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Les Crane

And of course...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Freedom to Not Have Money

Hoover Institution asshole says what?
Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd of over 200,000 people. The crowd had gathered to protest the dangerous state into which race relations had fallen in the summer of 1963. King’s memorable speech was part of “the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” and its solemn cadences ring as powerfully today they did 50 years ago. No one who heard it could forget its immensely powerful assault on segregation, the demise of which no respectable person—northerner or southerner—mourns today. No one should forget that King’s speech was a major catalyst in moving a still reluctant nation to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
State into which race relations had FALLEN? I suppose asshole is thinking back to the glorious era shortly after America's founding when the Founding Fathers ensured that nearly all the black people in the US had some kind of useful function.
But [King] slips badly when he says, “We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.” The two problems could not be more distinct. The exclusion from the polls of an individual by virtue of race is a denial of what King rightly names “citizenship rights.”

It is easy to think of a legal remedy that could be introduced against formal prohibitions against the right to vote
just as it is easy to envision remedies to legal barriers to entry into labor markets. Striking them down is a no-brainer because at one stroke the new laws are able to expand opportunities for all citizens and shrink the size of government.
Whoa there, it isn't an end in itself to shrink government. Look at your cheapskate nation for fuck's sake.
But wanting some particular political agenda to come before a state legislature does not have those simple virtues. There are thousands of agendas from which to choose, and there is no reason to believe that all people of any race or group should unite behind any of them. While it is easy to forge a strong coalition to remove legal barriers to entry in political and economic markets, it is a treacherous business—and one easily derailed—to try to create a single substantive agenda that people of all races and from all walks of life should support.
Isn't there some process through which things like this are worked out? Word's on the tip of my tongue, starts with "politica". Being able to "have things for which to vote" seems like a pretty fucking good idea to me.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Sunday, August 25, 2013


No, not for me, silly: I'm broke. Travel for YOU. To Iraq.

The lovely brochure is by Adel Abidin. More here, from an exhibit of Middle Eastern contemporary work at the Museum of Anthropology. Good stuff, particularly the rug by Nazgol Ansarinia (better representations of it elsewhere).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More Reagan Than Reagan

Michael Reagan:
Portraying Ronald Reagan as a racist because he was in favor of lifting economic sanctions against South Africa is simplistic and dishonest.

If you knew my father, you’d know he was the last person on Earth you would call a racist.
Dude, you were adopted. Your adoptive father was a racist.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You're the Great One, I'm Marty McSorley

Kathleen Edwards is sometimes really awful and sometimes really great. I think this might be both.

Monday, August 19, 2013


From a PDF at Educause:
Students may be unaware of the ownership implications when they submit content to a MOOC. User agreements - standard on every MOOC platform - generally give the provider rights to license and redistribute user-generated content, often in perpetuity.
An example of a standard agreement (wording is basically the same across platforms) illustrates the point: By submitting or distributing User Postings to the Site, you hereby grant to [provider] a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferrable, assignable, sublicensable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to host, transfer, display, perform, reproduce, modify, distribute, redistribute, relicense and otherwise use, make available, and exploit your User Postings, in whole or in part, in any form and in any media formats and through any media channels (now known or hereafter developed).
In other words, by participating in a MOOC the user agrees to grant the platform provider a sweeping license to do what they want with the user’s content.
Thinking of expanding that essay? You don't own it.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Better Living Through Chemistry

While certainly the intellectual achievements of Substance Labs™ will live forever, recent articles in magazines found at supermarkets suggest its proprietor may not. Investigative research inquiries suggest a number of ways with which to deal with the problem of eventual lifelessness — no thanks at all to the proprietors of a competing blog, whose suggestion of life extension via use of a time machine to confiscate drinks and smokes and factory-assembled meat products from prior selves resulted in fistfights and one paradox-inducing heart attack. Contracting out deprives us of local innovation in any case.

So on to our immortality formula, assembled from scratch over the course of most of an afternoon with the care for precision and sterility one can ALWAYS expect from Substance Labs™ and not from the competition whose toilet-paper dispensers produce only ONE SHEET AT A TIME, a problem for those with normal fibre intake.

Once completed, or near enough for a first go, a test subject was required, and fortunately the neighbourhood is well-supplied with little girls who have some free time on the way to grandma's house. One tasty experimental potion later and voila!

Preliminary results indicate an enormous increase in durability and stamina at the expense of speed, intellectual ability, and reduction of desire for anything other than human flesh.

So we are well on the way to success!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saying It With Class


Friday, August 16, 2013

Kill 'Em All

And let God sort them out:
A long-running family dispute over a classic gospel song won't just fly away.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ordered more hearings in the fight over who owns the rights and royalties to Albert Brumley Sr.'s classic "I'll Fly Away."

Three of Brumley's children, four grandchildren and a daughter-in-law filed a lawsuit against one of Brumley's sons, arguing that they should be able to get a share of the royalties from the song. They asked the court to terminate the copyrights to the song, which was being held by a company owned by son Robert Brumley.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Planes Sucks

I suppose that Pixar's end was the Disney deal: there is no reason at all for an adult to watch Planes. It will divert children, but so will three episodes of their favourite TV show, so there is no reason at all to choose Planes over anything else that will keep your child occupied and in good health for ninety minutes.

Listen to this a few times instead.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Crap from Townhall:
Incoming freshmen at the College of Charleston are being encouraged to discover their ‘erotic truth’ by reading a comic book memoir about a woman coming to terms with her sexual identity and her closeted gay father who had a relationship with an underage male babysitter.

“Fun home: A Family Tragicomic,” is the school’s official selection for “The College Reads!” The graphic novel written by Alison Bechdel explores gender and sexuality issues. The book is included in academic curriculum as well as other activities and all faculty and incoming students have been urged to read The New York Times bestseller.

“This book will open important conversations about identity, diversity, sexuality and finding one’s place in the world,” Provost George Hynd said in a prepared statement.”

Bechdel is the author of self-syndicated comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” and was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award.
Okay, so the nitwits are upset that things people actually read about and think about are subject to investigation. No surprise. Comedy:
The book has outraged some parents who accuse the College of Charleston of trying to confuse students about their sexuality.

“The school has a reading guide that questions the values and morals a parent has instilled,” one parent told Fox News. “It asks the child to question their own sexual identity.”
Apparently you can go to college and learn things your parents have not told you! Also colleges are full of children. There is, however, Hope for America:
But some parents called the graphic novel college-sponsored pornography.

“I was appalled,” one parent told Fox News. “This is a gay-rights coming-out book and it has some pretty strong anti-Christian themes in it.”

The parent asked not to be identified because they feared their 18-year-old son might face repercussions on campus.
Behold the parent refusing to embarrass their child.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

100% Pure Polonium

Conrad Black:
At the best of times it is hazardous for the mental equilibrium of a rational person randomly to turn on the television set, and it is probably especially so in summer. Last week, in a cavalierly daredevil moment, I did so, and was almost reduced to the incommunicable state of Zechariah in the Temple as a result. First, I unluckily happened upon what purported to be a serious discussion of the supposed difference in public responses to men’s and women’s weeping. The party of vintage, quaveringly emotional feminism, twitching and squirming as they emitted the unimaginable frustrations of their benighted lot, apparently unmitigated by their license to inflict themselves on the silent armies of unsuspecting tele-spectators, complained that men who wept were deemed to be sensitive and that women who wept in public were deemed to be weak. Another grievous count was thus added to the long charge-sheet of male attitudinal atrocities.
It continues:
And these few precepts in thy memory see thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; but do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; for the apparel oft proclaims the man, and they in france of the best rank and station are of a most select and generous chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: To thine ownself be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell: My blessing season this in thee!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Religious Liberty

Todd Starkers:
An Army chaplain’s assistant said she was accused of creating a “hostile and antagonistic” environment after she posted a message on her personal Facebook page calling homosexuality a sin.

The soldier, who asked not to be identified, said her commander ordered her to either remove the Facebook message or face a reduction in rank and pay.

“I haven’t taken it down and I won’t take it down,” she told Fox News. “It is frustrating that people are trying to silence me – for something that I believe in. We fight for the freedom that I can’t enjoy right now. That’s not right.”
Who will stand up for this tradition of anybody in the army being allowed to say whatever they like at any time?
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, shares Hudnall’s concerns.
“Just because a person wears a uniform does not mean they give up their religious liberties and their ability to speak about matters of faith,” Crews told Fox News.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

John Nolte Discovers Metaphors

Here is the title of an article by John Nolte at Big Hollywood:
The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy shouldn't be surprised that director Neil Blokamp's "latest politically tinged sci-fi feature" falls apart during the third act. So did Blokamp's first politically tinged sci-fi feature, the overrated but promising "District 9." According to McCarthy's astute review, though, "Elysium" goes a step further into the arena of wild left-wing, Hollywood hypocrisy.

Here is how McCarthy describes the world and plot of what is likely another box-office bomb from star Matt Damon:
Blomkamp sets the dystopian juices flowing with images of future sprawling slums and urban ruin that one might initially take to be Mexico City or Sao Paulo but that are soon identified as belonging to Los Angeles in 2154. Most of the beleaguered inhabitants seem to speak Spanish and do menial labor if they do anything at all, while good health care is very difficult to come by.

By contrast, hovering far above Earth and appearing like a five-spoked wheel in the sky is Elysium, an enormous space station where the rich live in a stress-free country club environment enhanced by marvelous technology that can cure any ailment, meaning that life can theoretically go on indefinitely.
Dude, if McCarthy's description is accurate (I haven't seen the movie) that is not Los Angeles in the year 2154, that is Los Angeles today.

The only difference is that the "five-spoked wheel in the sky" called Elysium is really -- wait for it -- the Hollywood Hills.
Well done Mr. Nolte. With work and diligence your future in the ninth grade will be a success.