Thursday, May 31, 2012
This has been a busy week at work, so not enough time to blog. But, that doesn't mean I haven't had time to mutter things under my breath.
1. Mitt Romney's Bay Area fundraiser happened just up the hill from Free Will HQ, but sadly we were not able to attend the $50,000/head affair. I will definitely attend any $50/head fundraisers that Mitt might be holding in the coming months.
2. Good show on Romney's part to head over to the abandoned Solyndra factory, which is just a bridge away from last night's party. One wonders whether this was spur of the moment (tipsy billionaire partygoer: Hey, Mitt, you know that Solyndra factory is right across the San Mateo Bridge!) or if there was a little more planning involved.
3. The main problem with the Facebook IPO was that everyone was sure that FB was a sure thing. They forget that Google faced a lot of pre-IPO skepticism over its prospects. They also forget that, 20 years ago, Apple was a niche company with a string of failed short-term CEO's and a $5/share stock price. Nothing happens overnight, sadly, even if we keep needing to be reminded of that.
4. With all the abuse hurled at FB and Morgan Stanley, an overlooked aspect of the FB disaster was the complete breakdown in NASDAQ's trading system. I thought the whole raison d'etre for NASDAQ was that is was more tech-friendly, but it performed worse than the old ticker tape stock exchange.
5. Come to think of it, there was an IPO a couple months ago by a company (its name escapes me) that designs computerized trading systems and...the system crashed.
6. Another big, unacknowledged loser from the FB IPO was Jerry Brown whose budget forecasts relied quite a bit on the one-time boost of a "pop" that was not to be. See what I mean about people and sure things?
7. If you asked the Free Will Grandparents, they would likely tell that folks like Dolores Huerta helped to ruin California through their racially-tinged intimidation campaigns against state farmers. No doubt seeing the socialist Huerta receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom from a guy who says he "stole" Huerta's "Yes! We! Can!" slogan (but don't call Obama a socialist!) led to a lot of midnight grave-rolling.
8. Don't even get me started on Obama's "Polish Death Camps" remark. For one thing, I don't think I've ever heard such a phrase. (kinda like "White Hispanic"). "Nazi Death Camps" is the conventional shorthand and has worked well for decades, but I guess the Obamites wanted to get fancy.
9. If you haven't given Spotify a try, you should. There's limitless music available virtually for free, if you can handle sitting through the occasional ads. There's gotta be a catch...
10. The John Edwards verdict is breaking as I write this, and so far it looks like a hung verdict. Not surprising, as there are strong arguments for both guilt or acquittal. Still, if Edwards can get away with receiving a million dollars as a "gift" for non-campaign expenses, that seems like a bigger campaign finance loophole than anything you could point to in the Citizens United case.
11. Speaking of the Supreme Court, it's hard to believe that in a few weeks we will know whether or not Obamacare will be upheld or struck down in whole or in part. No matter what happens, someone's not going to be happy.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Kids today. Here's what Mark Zuckerberg had to say when asked how Facebook's plans to expand into China would affect the company's open communication platform:
"I don't want Facebook to be an American company," he said. "I don't want it to be this company that just spreads American values all across the world. ...For example, we have this notion of free speech that we really love and support at Facebook, and that's one of the main things that we're trying to push with openness. But different countries have their different standards around that. ...My view on this is that you want to be really culturally sensitive and understand the way that people actually think."
Nice to know that this is the sort of deep thinking that billionaire Obama supporters are coming up with. Free speech, you see, is this quaint "notion" (like American Exceptionalism, probably) that shouldn't have any effect on Facebook's business, even though it's the most important factor in its success. If people at Facebook sit around wondering why they've had so much trouble building trust, they may want to reconsider their blithe attitudes about basic values like privacy and free speech.
Only Discharge can clear this up: