30 October 2012

Creating Economic Opportunity: My Basement Science Park

With typical unselfishness I have decided to open up another science-industrial park in my basement, to take advantage of regional clustering effects and accelerate time to market in order to boost the competitiveness of local industry and generate ginormous tax revenues for the new imperial palace I've got in mind plus a four thousand percent ramp-up in military expenditure to underwrite a new wave of foreign adventurism that will establish lopsided trading relationships to suck natural resources from nations poorer than us at conveniently depressed prices, which can only further stimulate the domestic economy and create widespread jobs and happiness and put a few dollars in consumers' pockets so they can go out and pick up the next big electronic gadgets that will be produced in mass quantities in my basement science park, which will cover an area of 0.04 hectares with buildings and roads and all that stuff, plenty of space for R&D facilities and no shortage of comfortable chairs.

In order to create jobs, we will be hiring vast armies of laborers and management and providing a generous salary and benefits package to encourage maximum productivity while at the same time fostering a hip company culture and emphasizing work-life balance giving every employee time to recharge their batteries so they can really buckle down and focus on producing the next boatload of gadgets and apps that will not only make our lives easier and more complete but also unleash a new wave of economic opportunity by increasing productivity and making any type of service accessible to anyone anytime anywhere which will unleash yet another wave of entrepreneurialism so that all of our employees can start their own side businesses creating even more jobs for their friends and family members and eventually grow these fledgling companies into established enterprises that can cluster together in science park basements where they can form complete supply chains that offer comprehensive one-stop shopping and service-based customer-facing win-win relationship-building until everyone's head explodes, the end.

18 October 2012

Proverbial Endorsement: Auggie

In these trying times for this great nation it is important that each citizen, no matter how badly misguided / misinformed, stands up loud and starts ranting about politics, the wrongness / insanity of the opposition and the evils of 'the system'.  Normally we keep a safe distance from the fray, preferring for our giggles to continuously seek variations on the same nine or so silly tropes we've been recycling since childhood.  But at the end of the day we have to admit our dependence on our fellow humans for survival, and that even though a great number behave like disgusting pigheaded simians, we should at least make a superficial attempt to find common cause with the least objectionable among them, lest the rest should seize (the reins of) power and make the future, like the typical [star you scorn] movie, not as good as it could have been.

That's why, as long as we must have these practically pointless hullabaloos called elections, we hereby endorse the unnamed candidate we can only refer to obliquely as "Auggie".

Supporters of Auggie see no reason to look elsewhere.  He simply looks presidential.  He embodies the ethos of the times.  He can lead from the front or from behind, heck he can lead from either wing or give you solid minutes at center in a crunch.  He is firm in his principles yet open to alternative points of view and in the end willing to compromise to achieve the greater good, narrowly defined.  He is a devoted family man or woman as the case may be.  He will lower your taxes and raise your deficits and you won't even notice or care because he's so smooth on TV, he'll even pop by for a beer once in a while and regale you with hunting and cavalry stories until you fall asleep, smiling, on his knee.  He is everything a president should and must be, electability notwithstanding.

Not that Auggie is without detractors, who point to his or her lack of a strong track record of fighting for the right to introduce legislation opposing tramways, and the existence of certain long-ago associations with (all together now) unsavory characters.  Nonetheless we believe that, examining the whole of Auggie's career, the unmistakable backbone of silent relentless moral goodness and dedication to bettering the lot of the common person comes shining through like a beacon of ... a beacon of ... bacon?  No, like a beacon of achievement, shining the reflection of the beam of hope back onto ... bacon?  What the–?  Who keeps–?  [Laughter offstage]  Stop it!  You are ruining the endorsement.

As for his performance in the debates, everyone does it these days and if Auggie took a few too many quaaludes before the proceedings, that just goes to cement his image as a man of the people.  We all make mistakes, and Auggie makes some doozies to be sure, but now more than ever, in these uncertain times, we need a president who is not afraid to make too many mistakes, even if it means popping an extra quaalude or two.

Vote for Auggie, simps: Let Hope Be Alive Right This Goddamn Second for Making Tomorrow a Better Future, Today.

This endorsement was paid for by Moneyed Persons for Auggie Should S/He Ever Actually Come Into Being and Run, United.  It may help to imagine it as read aloud, with feeling, by Jack Nicholson.

06 October 2012

"The Coming Collapse" with our friend J.J. Freedman

We are living in Roman times my friends, and such times by their very definition must end.

Hello, dear readers, I’m J.J. Freedman and I'm the host of the new column: The Collapse.

I think a lot of people are like me, we're kind of wondering.  We know society is going to hell on a greased pole in a handbasket, it seems pretty clear that civilization as we know it is about to go careening off a cliff and fall smack dab onto an iceberg that will rip a gaping hole in the hull of the steamship of progress.  But still, we have lots of questions.  

What exactly is this nightmare world we're headed toward actually gonna look like?

I mean are we talking Mad Max, civilization as we know it gone and it's just a total flipping free-for-all?   Or is it more like Waterworld?  What with global warming and all I could see that – just water, man, as far as the eye can see.  And the beach is like on top of the tallest mountain ... that would be heavy. 

I mean it'd be a hard life don’t get me wrong, but at least it would mean something, you know?  Does the way things are today mean anything to you?  Do you think the center can hold?  Is there any way to stop humanity from so over-consuming as to do catastrophic damage to the ecosystems on which we depend for survival?  I think we can all agree on the answers here.

Anyway Mad Max seemed a bit over the top; I wonder if we're not headed more toward a Postman-type thing – all the technology is gone and while some institutions hold together on a small scale, mostly it's like all warlords and shit.  In that case I guess I just need to know how to farm, grow potatoes and raise pigs and chickens, maybe a fish pond, live lean and occasionally starve – and of course be able protect my family from roving gangs of bandits led by guys like Christopher Walken.  That's not gonna be easy, but I'm a good guy and I think it's likely I'll survive and even marry a fantastic woman although I may lose one minor character close to me, possibly even one of my own kids.  That would suck satan's crack, but hey I'll survive to the movie's end, at least.

My major concern is, is there going to be more than one attractive woman per village, or is this gonna be like a total sausage fest?

Speaking of technology, what about the robots?  Will robots be all but alive, able to inter-replicate, and feel?  Will we be confronted with the moral dilemma of their near humanity, like in AI, Robot?  Or is it safe to say they'll always be kind of clunky and as easily unplugged as you would a toaster?

And what caused it?  Is it like all post-apocalyptic, everything's melted and everyone's filthy and diseased?  I mean did a nuclear hoe-down go down?  Or does it look and feel just like our world, except that there's something strangely weird about it?  Could it happen without the big catalyst, could things just gradually get worse and worse until we wake up one day and the nightmare is reality?  Are we on a slippery slope to Idiocracy?  That wouldn't be so bad, it looked like they still got some decent food and plenty of sex and drugs, hell just maybe I could rise up and be president of the stooges.  I'm as good as Luke Wilson.

These are some of the answers that some of the people like me are asking questions about.  I hope that in the coming months we can explore these questions and maybe shed some light on our collective vision of the future.