Use of proprietary IT associated with increased industry concentration

"Successful IT systems appear to play a major role in the recent increases in industry concentration and in profit margins, moreso [sic] than a general decline in competition."

"...quantifiable information constrains the state as well as enabling it." The role of the Panopticon in creating the public sphere.

Fuck peak oil
"My guess is virtually 90% of the oil industry is assuming that $70 oil is not going to last more than a few years," according to Adam Sieminski, the chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank ... he guesses that most oil companies are projecting crude will fetch $40 a barrel plus inflation over the long-term.

The article goes into the whys ... right now 35% of oil discovered makes it to market, the rest stays in the ground. Oil companies have gotten better and better at extracting it, and they're counting on continued improvement.

Wall Street looks like it's betting on more of a peak oil scenario, though.

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Just published, sounds v. good. Buy at Amazon or download CC-licensed PDFs. Also see the associated wiki maintained by the author.

oh? you too?
"It's a new business model ... what we're doing is creating a market."

corporate checks and balances?
I think there's a central but seldom-stated disagreement in arguments about markets and corporate power: to what degree do the interests of corporations coincide? I think most - well, most liberals anyway, would argue that the areas in which the majority of corporations share a common interest should be carefully watched in a democracy. Liberals that are extremely suspicious of corporations often appear to believe that firms' disagreements are superficial, and that on important issues they operate monolithically. Market-friendly liberals like me disagree, and while I could come up with examples in both directions, it seems like something that could be systematically addressed.

The Global Baby Bust
Philip Longman argues that declining birthrates will be socially and economically ruinous.

Tons of statistics in a bunch of categories, with different visualization options. Very interesting feature that shows you which variables are correlated with the variable you're looking at. Shame you can't look at things over time.

danah: favorite non-profits/foundations?

what I posted there:
"Dammit, beaten to the microfinance punch! :) Anyway, Grameen Foundation, an offshoot of the original Grameen Bank that, unlike the original, operates outside of Bangladesh.

(Difference from Kiva above is that this is pure donation - Grameen will likely get the loan back to use again, but you won't.)"

Amazon Mechanical Turk
Do simple tasks for Amazon. Apparently if you work hard you can get around $6 an hour. That's a princely sum in a lot of the world, wonder if this will be international.

Freakonomics Authors' Blog
Most posts by Steven Levitt.

don't get taken
Good, slightly paranoid advice.


ask mefi recommendations

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Home & Professional Page
"Book-Jacket Style Summary: NNT is an essayist, belletrist, (literary) flâneur, researcher, and practitioner of uncertainty (“mathematical trader”) focusing on the attributes of unexpected events, with a focus on extreme deviations, the “Black Swans” (i.e. outliers), their unpredictability, and our general inability to forecast."

Also, coo-coo for cocoa puffs. I mean that in a nice way.

FINCA International
"financial services to the world's poorest families"

The Long Tail
Quit blogging and finish the book already.

Tim Burton's garage sale
Near LA, March 11-13.

shift diary of an escort service
Nothing takes the romance out of sex like "Please do not use the microwave and the AC at the same time. I will make arrangements to properly install the AC."

US Treasury Auctions in LA
US Marshals List of Sellers (federal seizures)
Supposedly the savings here are not that great, and you wouldn't be able to have a mechanic check the car out first.

A bunch of people on MeFi try to convince me not to be an idiot

Consumer Search
Aggregated product reviews for a ton of stuff.

askme: investing for the apocalypse
Stuff like "if I think interest rates are going to rise and the dollar is going to fall, where should I put my money?"

Some thoughts about Hernando de Soto
Apparently the English translation of The Mystery of Capital isn't that great. Pity.

You send them an audio file, they transcribe at $0.01 a word. Gluttons for punishment, they also offer a free 100-word trial.

whoa blogs are badass
That's a New Yorker columnist (since when have they had such a thing?) and bestselling author duking it out in the comments section, there. CRAZINESS.

Yeah, I know the New Yorker ain't all that. Still.

(No, I didn't pay any attention to the discussion of EMT.)

wooo rock and roll

An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances
pdf, html

I'm in awe. It's like Kazaa, except instead of trading music you're trading money.

Finding an Office in New York City
This has nothing to do with anything (I would like to find an office in New York, but not as the person on the lease). But making New York real estate seem manageable is a feat.

'Here's another reason you need a lawyer. The lawyer can say to the landlord, "Whaddaya mean if we're 3 days late on the rent we get evicted? We want the right to be 15 days late!" When your lawyer says this, no offense is taken. He's just the lawyer. But if you, the tenant, try to say it, the landlord will say, "What, are you planning to be late on the rent?"'

Does p2p music charts for biz types. Skewed toward young people comfortable with technology (university-provided broadband.) And based on the top 20, yeah, hip-hop rules the world.


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