Check out these amazingly correct predictions in 1974 from a balding, gray-haired prophet. Check out the sideburns of the reporter:
First computer I worked with in high school was about 4 feet tall, 8 feet long, and about 4 or 5 feet deep. The printer was about 5 feet tall, 5 feet wide, and 3 feet deep.
Continue reading “Great prediction from 1974 – one day a computer with the capacity of this mainframe will fit on your desk and you won’t be tied to the office where the mainframe is located”
Bloomberg – North America to Drown in Oil as Mexico Ends Monopoly
Potentially another game changer for world-wide energy – – the Mexican legislature has changed national law to allow foreign investors to own oil reserves. This will draw the major oil companies with their talent, equipment, funding, and infrastructure. Speculation is oil production from Mexico could double in a decade.
Still some major obstacles, but the potential is huge. The Mexican government and her people could benefit tremendously. I really hope they handle this well, for their good and the good of everyone who uses energy.
Newsday – Remember the energy crisis? Fracking fixed it.
Notice that the constant stories of the “energy crisis” isn’t in the news anymore. If you were around in the ‘70s you remember long lines to buy gas on your assigned even or odd day. Crisis stories continued for years, through the entire Carter administration and beyond.
Continue reading “3 background articles on the energy revolution – – Energy boom may expand into Mexico, What energy crisis?, and Bakken in graphs”
Absolutely yes. In most measures, most people are better off than 30 or 100 or 250 years ago.
Life just keeps getting better and better when we look at things like life expectancy, health care, standard of living, number of people living in abject poverty (the portion of people world-wide living on inflation-adjusted $1 a day dropped from 42% in 1981 to 14% today), availability of air travel, astounding technology, and the rapidly dropping cost of that astounding technology.
That’s the overarching point of a new book, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, by Angus Deaton. The New York Times has a great review: A Cockeyed Optimist.
Continue reading “Is life far better than years ago?”
The two best articles I’ve read that explain the massive shifts we are seeing in the economy were from Walter Russell Mead back in June 2011. Those articles put much in perspective and give a hint at a way forward. They were foundational to me starting to focus on the radical change taking place all around us.
The Death of the American Dream I compares the painful transition away from family farms to a suburban home funded with a cheap mortgage and paid by working a life-time job. We are now transitioning away from the model that has been in place since everyone reading this was a child. It will be painful, just as the disappearance of the family farm was painful.
Continue reading “A long term perspective on the turmoil and change we see around us – The best primer I’ve seen.”
“Then and Now” at Café Hayek discusses the radical change in living standards since Don Boudreaux’s grandparents were born.
Look at some of the improvements:
Maternal and infant mortality has dropped dramatically – His grandfather lost his mother (i.e. his great-grandmother) in childbirth. His grandfather and grandmother lost their 4th child a few days after birth.
Continue reading “Amazing progress in living standards from 100 years ago”
Check out this hi tech way for handling hot news.
During the 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas the debates received next day coverage in all the nation’s major newspapers.
Continue reading “News flash with 1850s technology”
That is the question posted by Joy Pullman in her post of that title at Values & Capitalism.
In “The Wealth of Nations,” Smith points out that the number of people under your command is a measure of power and wealth. Continue reading ““How Many Servants Do You Have?””
Really wish I’d thought up that idea, but I’m not that insightful. Don Boudreaux makes that point in his post at Café Hayek: Everyday Millions of Strangers Are Working for You.
Here’s the question:
How much of what you eat, wear, drive, or use today did you make yourself?
For me, the answer is zero.
I didn’t make, grow, or construct anything I wear, eat, live in, or sit on.
For my father and his family the answer was a lot.
Continue reading “You have millions of people working for you everyday”
World War I generated most of the horrible disasters we’ve seen in the last 100 years.
With the possible exception of the decline of the Roman Empire, World War I was the greatest disaster in human history.
It contributed mightily to the Great Depression, which fed the Nazi revolution. That in turn led to WWII.
The war unleashed the totalitarian ideologies of communism, fascism and Naziism, which very nearly destroyed Western civilization. Their poisonous legacy lives on in radical Islamic extremism.
Continue reading “200 years of economics history in one editorial, which explains how we got into our current mess”
There is a huge amount of blame to be spread for the Great Recession that started in 2008. While the recession technically ended four years ago back in June of 2009, most people in California and lots of charities here are still feeling the effects.
I see exquisitely little discussion of how intentional federal policies created the distortions that led to the financial crisis. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Phil Gramm and Mike Solon help explain why much of the blame belongs to the federal government: The Clinton-Era Roots of the Financial Crisis.
To make this non-partisan, I’ll point out that the flawed policies from the Clinton administration were ratified, continued, and extended by the Bush administration. Not to worry, both parties have worked lots of overtime to earn their share of blame.
While you can argue on the proportionate blame between the two parties, I’ll point out that regardless of the allocation you determine, 100% of that particular allocation falls on deliberate federal policy.
Initial efforts to persuade private pension plans to fund low-income housing failed. The administration forced Continue reading “Lots of blame for the financial crisis of ’08 falls on the federal government”
(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
Think you could map out the history of the world over the last 4,000 years, showing the relative power of all the major governments and people groups, and then put all that info into one chart?
John B. Sparks did just that back in 1931. His five-foot-long chart can be seen at Slate – The Entire History of the World – Really, All of It – Distilled Into a Single Gorgeous Chart.
Very cool to look at the ebb and flow of the people groups discussed in the Old and New Testament – the Egyptians giving way to the Babylonians and Assyrians. Then the Persians and Greeks and Romans. Then the Ottoman Turks, then British & other European powers. The map stops in 1931, at the start of the Great Depression and between the two world wars.
Continue reading “4,000 years of history in 1 chart – superb visualization”
Don’t be too confident when you guess who will win the battles for market share and who is destined to disappear. Remember when Yahoo was the dominant search engine provider?
When that upstart outfit, Google, appeared on the scene in 1998 who would have predicted it to be the dominant search engine in 2013, a mere 15 years later?
My friend John Bredehoft creates a forecast from 1998 using information available at the time in his post, In which I apply the wisdom of 1998 to an old Salon article.
If he was blogging at the time, he guesses he would have not given Google much of a chance to succeed against Excite, Lycos, AOL, MSN, and Yahoo. He would have guessed the new Disney search engine would fare better than Google and several others.
His hypothetical comment about Google: Continue reading “Be careful when predicting who will win the tech battles – search engine illustration”
Check out the Business Insider set of graphs showing how much better things have gotten in the last few decades or the last century.
31 Charts That Will Restore your Faith In Humanity.
A few of my favorites: Continue reading “31 charts showing things are getting better and better”
Check out this superb graph from Wired Magazine reposted by Carpe Diem – Chart of the day: The falling price of memory.
Fantastic illustration of how drastically storage prices have dropped in last 20 years.
Let’s look at the technology I’ve used to pass info back and forth to clients while at their office.
Continue reading “Plummeting price of memory”