Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘James Howard Kunstler

Midday Tuesday

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Midday Tuesday!

* Those of you participating in Infinite Summer (hey kate) may enjoy IJ blogging from Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and others at A Supposedly Fun Blog.

* Bleeding Cool reviews Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man script.

* Maybe information doesn’t want to be free? Malcolm Gladwell pours cold water on Chris Anderson’s Free, itself famously in trouble for some apparent plagiarism:

There are four strands of argument here: a technological claim (digital infrastructure is effectively Free), a psychological claim (consumers love Free), a procedural claim (Free means never having to make a judgment), and a commercial claim (the market created by the technological Free and the psychological Free can make you a lot of money). The only problem is that in the middle of laying out what he sees as the new business model of the digital age Anderson is forced to admit that one of his main case studies, YouTube, “has so far failed to make any money for Google.”

Why is that? Because of the very principles of Free that Anderson so energetically celebrates. When you let people upload and download as many videos as they want, lots of them will take you up on the offer. That’s the magic of Free psychology: an estimated seventy-five billion videos will be served up by YouTube this year. Although the magic of Free technology means that the cost of serving up each video is “close enough to free to round down,” “close enough to free” multiplied by seventy-five billion is still a very large number. A recent report by Credit Suisse estimates that YouTube’s bandwidth costs in 2009 will be three hundred and sixty million dollars. In the case of YouTube, the effects of technological Free and psychological Free work against each other.

* Kunstler: Don’t call Americans “consumers.” Because when you rename a problem it suddenly goes away.

All Is Quiet on New Year’s Day

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All is quiet on New Year’s Day.

* As the Bush administration blessedly draws to a close, it’s important to remember the casualties of the War of Terror, people like Alberto Gonzales. (via)

* More people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers. More importantly:

The percentage of people younger than 30 citing television as a main news source has declined from 68% in September 2007 to 59% currently.

That’s good, good news.

* Howard Dean, Vermonter of the Year. Maybe next year, Ben and Jerry.

* Batman casting rumors you can believe in: Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin.

* It’s the future, and Microsoft still sucks.

* Top 10 space stories of 2008. A different 10.

* Top 10 cryptozoology stories of 2008.

* James Howard Kunstler’s predictions for 2009. Prediction: Pain. Via MetaFilter.

* Thank god for philosophy grad students, the only graduate demographic upon Lit students can look down.


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Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2008 at 4:59 am

Kunstler on Colbert

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Peak Oil Cassandra James Howard Kunstler was on Colbert last night:

Written by gerrycanavan

May 2, 2008 at 3:22 pm

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This Week in the Eco-Apocalypse

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“We badly underestimated the degree of damages and the risks of climate change…All of the links in the chain are on average worse than we thought a couple of years ago.” Much more at MeFi.

Also in environmental linkage: Jeffrey Sachs has economics for a crowded planet at NPR, while Paul Greenberg unexpectedly beats me to the punch with a post on James Howard Kunstler and Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia, which I read on the plane to San Francisco and which figures importantly into a paper I sometimes imagine I’m working on on environmental Marxism and sustainability.

I should have a longish post on that topic at culturemonkey sometime in the next few weeks—definitely before June. I have two other papers to write first, which is exactly why I’m on the Internet at two in the morning doing none of them.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 19, 2008 at 5:34 am

‘Entropy Made Visible’

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‘Entropy made visible’: James Howard Kunstler talks about our suburban nightmare at TED 2008. Via the MeFi thread.

There are a lot of ways you can describe this. I like to call it “the national automobile slum.” You can call it “suburban sprawl.” I think it’s appropriate to call it “the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.” We can call it a “technosis externality clusterfuck.” And it’s a tremendous problem for us. The outstanding, the salient problem about this is that these are places that are not worth caring about.