Coming to terms with being human.


Are You Ready to get Drafted?

a note: this post is absolutely serious

Both the Senate and the House are considering bills that will institute mandatory government service for men and women ages 18-26. Here is the actual title description of bills S89 and HR163, cut and pasted from (yes, the sentences are identical).

“To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.”

Write your Congressmen. Tell your friends. I’m 28; you’re the ones getting kidnapped.


Arm Wrestling the Invisible Hand

You know about Adam Smith’s invisible hand, right? Basically, he realized that everyone tends to look out for themselves and yet the public interest is served by this self-interest. Yes, I simplified it too much, but that’s what the link is for. Smith’s observation is a good one. There are processes inherent to social systems that do help everyone. The only problem is this: the invisible hand likes to b****-slap the poor.

In a network, the medium of exchange tends to pool in certain areas. A few websites receive most of the traffic. Some creature becomes the head predator of the local food chain. Bill Gates and the Vatican exist. The rich always get richer. In the case of money, this means that all the cash that is busy flowing up the chain is noticeably not moving back down to the bottom.
Sometimes a society has enough wisdom and heart to compensate for the natural flow of capital. Methods are devised to distribute money more equitably. In the United States, these systems don’t exist.
Wait, did I say that? I mean America is the best nation ever. No economic system has ever been more fair and life-affirming. God Bless the USA!
Anyway, look at this. Of the world's 100 largest economic entities, 51 are corporations. The leaders of these and other corporations also happen to be really stinking rich.

I have a bias. Allow me to share it. I do not believe that individuals are entitled to wealth. I think people should be paid for their service, don’t get me wrong. However, a CEO is not entitled to more money than a janitor. He may receive more, but he is not deserving of more. He is just lucky; graced by the system. If the system decides to gift him with less money, so be it.

I believe we should create a new business model. In this model the highest paid worker’s salary would be linked directly to the lowest paid. The link would be by percentage. It is not uncommon for an American CEO to receive a salary a hundred times larger than his workers. So let’s tie him into a 10 to 20 percent range. If mail clerk A receives ten grand a year, then the big boss can’t make more than 100 to 200,000 dollars a year. That is a hell of a lot of money.
The great thing is this. Mr. Greedy at the top can still make more money. All he has to do is pay his employees more. Society becomes forced to pay attention to the lower class by taking advantage of natural self-interest.
So that’s the idea. Sure, there are a lot of details to work out, but its better than what we have.

My Midriff is Getting Fatter than My Ego

this is an audio post - click to play

Links contained within my rantings.

Fast Food Nation and Super Size Me.


My GPA is working at MCDonalds

I don’t have thirty dollars a month to spare. I’m saving my cash for World of Warcraft. But if Visitorville was free, I’d be all over it.

I’m talking about the bastard child of Site Meter and the Sims. Visitorville shows web traffic using visual clues in the form of a city. I like this idea. We should do it with just about everything.
I want to see every dollar in my bank account represented by a little person. I would set a savings goal, which would be represented by the city’s infrastructure. As I fail to meet the goal, and I will fail to meet the goal, the buildings can fall into disrepair. That would give me a lot more incentive to save than seeing a red number.
Or what about my GPA? Let’s represent it with a man whose appearance changes based off of my scholastic success. If he starts looking like someone who would ask me for a dollar, I just might crack out the textbooks.
Let’s look into this people. Any programmers out there?