Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Computer TV Conspiracy Theory

I was up late one night and noticed that my Windows media player had a new function that streams television programming online. I shook my head and thought 'there go the broadcasters and cable distributors,' now I don't need them to see the shows I want. So I tracked down an old episode of Twilight Zone, the one with Burgess Meredith in "Time Enough" where all he wants to do is read books. I'm not going to spoil it for you. I sat down and began to watch the episode on my laptop. Gradually, a strange feeling crept over me.

As I was sitting there watching this character on the screen in his wildly magnified eye-glasses trying to make change for a customer in his role as a bank teller, my thoughts drifted toward my own imaginings of what I might do to show someone that my laptop was now a T.V. I imagined myself speaking in a twang characteristic of someone severely educationally deprived: "Hey! Look whut I diyid! I turnt my laptop into a TeeVee.!"

My first reaction was to hit the 'Esc' key, and then I went for the 'x' icon with my cursor and closed that window. I never want to see that again! I was filled with horror, not from the content of the video directly, but because of the distraction it represents from the relevant information I need to survive and compete in Western society.

I was given the book Freakanomics for Christmas 2009 and I'm still reading it. It's taking me so long because my life is filled with information input from other sources, but a key point the authors make is the subject of "information asymmetry," the difference of information between the "experts" and the "consumers." While studying communication at UIS, I discovered the secret information war being waged since the railroad barons in the 1800's hired journalists to write propaganda. The authors point out that the Internet has so severely narrowed the informational advantage of "experts" over "consumers" that it is costing businesses billions of dollars a year in profits. The playing field of information is becoming level thanks to the Internet, and now AT&T and Verizon seek to capitalize and control the flow of information to regain the advantage, but that's another story for

For the businesses most affected by the closing information gap, the remaining tool is distraction. Newly relaxed rules on advertising alcohol and sexual aids on television during prime time, newly relaxed rules on profanity and obscenity, the treatment of political reporting on television as if it were a sport, more programs containing unscripted or real violence, more advertising of sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine aimed at children, NASCAR, and myriad other appeals toward baser instincts and emotions that trigger wasteful consumerism, heaved up into the main-stream media information flow like Mount Saint Helens. Internet search results are returning ever more frustrating useless results. Somewhere, kids are graduating from high school and going to work for the corporate media vomit machine, spewing such bullshit as the Pepsi ad where everyone is showing printed posters of green grass and plants in their little video squares.

It's Sunday, May 23, 2010. I'm going to get my camera and my Tom Tom, pick a nice scenic spot using Google Earth, and go take some photos today.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Non-tourism and non-entertainment related businesses should move from downtown.

When Springfield was smaller, downtown was the primary draw, but now with sprawl, the places one visits for entertainment are scattered all over. The venues should be centrally located so they offer a full range of stimulating activity within walking distance.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This blog is in response to the article "Dove proposes less-severe noise law" in the State Journal Register

In the comments at the SJ-R website I continue to suggest ad nauseum that the products with no other purpose but to generate loud sound, interfering with the peace and tranquility of the community, be taxed. I will therefore make a direct appeal.

The lack of response will indicate that some laws are aimed at symptoms rather than causes, which means that the intent of those laws is to retain punishment and its related bureaucracy, instead of aiming at a problem that might result in no longer needing that bureaucracy. In other words, some laws are created for the benefit of making busy-work to keep someone in a job that might otherwise be eliminated because a problem was solved by dealing directly with a problem rather than its symptoms alone.

A high recidivism rate, for example, is symptomatic of certain laws benefiting bureaucratic perpetuity rather than solutions.

This noise ordinance serves as a perfect example, focusing at the act of public nuisance rather than the key components that instigate such nuisances.

All crimes are symptoms of greater problems, but the laws of the land are fixed in a psychological medium of stone solid dogma. This dogmatic approach to the law is known in communication circles as "argumentum ad antiquitatem" or an appeal to tradition, a logical fallacy rationalized under the wildly conservative and blatant term "precedence."

The worship of precedence should be a determining factor of failure to pass the bar exam or denial of public service employment. In other words, anyone who refuses to question old law should not be allowed to serve as a judge. That includes the bible. Preachers who do not engage in questions or debate about old laws in any ancient tome, are unworthy of the pulpit, just as any judge is unworthy of the bench, who refuses to doubt a law on a regular basis.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mayor and Aldermen should tie their income to the economy, the local economy, not the Chicago economy.

This is in response to Mayor, aldermen may tie their raises to economy in the Illinois State Journal-Register:

Mayor and Aldermen should tie their income to the economy, the local economy, not the Chicago economy.

According to the Illinois Workforce Info Center, Sangamon County ranks at number 9 of the top ten highest average wages in the state of Illinois. The average weekly wage is $861.00 and the average annual salary is $44,772. T he mayor’s salary being nearly $120,000 places the position so high that reality is just a bad dream fading over coffee in the quiet morning light.

This business about tying wages to the consumer price index has nothing to do with the unemployment rate or average income based on current taxable income. If they are going to talk about adjusting their income based on the performance of the economy, they should start thinking of their income in terms of percentages of current tax revenue. They need an incentive to raise the standard of living for everyone so they can reward themselves with the increased tax revenue that results from the increase in everyone’s disposable income in the community.

So fix the ceiling of public employee salaries at the average annual salary or average weekly wage of everyone in the community, and get busy finding a way to raise that average, or find someone who can.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Illinois has top-heavy over-paid government bureaucracies.

The Illinois State Journal Register didn't post the following editorial on the Internet for reasons you may determine for yourselves, so I saw fit to take care of that for them.

Source -- The Illinois State Journal-Register

Friday, May 07, 2010

Civilization cycle nearing bottom

German Parliament agreed to bail out Greece, but Portugal may be left twisting in the wind. It's been said that a retired banker from Chicago fears the economic situation in Europe is contagious and will spread to the United States within a few months.

According to, Citi is predicting a market correction down by 20%. There seems to be no other direction but down, however, I plan on holding my stocks for at least a couple of years, and I plan to trade my shares manually, not setting a trailing stop to sell, because the market is too volatile.

Employment is up over 200K jobs, but those jobs are very low paying jobs that cannot sustain the economy because the lowest housing rates are still well over 50% of median income. Notice that nobody in the news ever mentions this fact? This, plus fuel and utility costs will reduce disposable income to bare essentials such as food and clothing. People who recently purchased a new car or mortgage will soon find themselves upside-down and desperate for someone to purchase those goods.

The local economy is supported by business owners, government workers and health care professionals. Springfield is somewhat shielded from the rest of the state because of such a high concentration of these kinds of workers, however, finding help at a retail store or other private service will be extremely difficult and time-consuming because the merchant labor class has been reduced to mere skeleton crews, rendering the workplace unbearable for the few workers who remain.

Managers are finding themselves sneaking into work off the clock to play "catch-up" out of fear they may be accused of poor management, while in reality the shortage of staff is entirely to blame.

The sudden increase in income for the newly employed creates a temporary surge in frivolous spending that leads into indebtedness. The celebration of getting a job by eating out and buying new clothes will be very short-lived. For those who do not have debt and find themselves with a slightly larger amount of disposable income may be tempted to upgrade their housing, and then find themselves trapped by future increases in utilities and fuel costs.

The solution is simple: Create a solid foundation of disposable income at the bottom of the economy. Bring profit margins down to ten percent and pay your workers enough to stimulate the economy from the roots up. You will have a much safer society with fewer people in prison or otherwise draining the economy through taxation.