The power of debt

Here’s a quote that turns everything you think you know on it’s head: When the debt is big enough, it’s the debtor who has the power, not the creditor. That’s Niall Ferguson talking in Vanity Fair. It’s for stuff like that I read Vanity Fair. Well, the photos don’t hurt either…

An Interview with a DVD-man

Rare is the dinner in an expat restaurant in Africa which is not (politely and quietly) interrupted by a DVD-man. They have a stock of DVD’s in their backpacks, and work their way through the restaurant giving you a chance to peruse their wares. You have to see the DVDs to believe them, they are…

A message…

…from America, reaching out to every corner of the globe, into the hearts of those who have watched us struggle and fail to meet our potential over the last 8 years: Yes We Can! Like a drug-addled celebrity, we’ve hit rock bottom, and now we’re ready to turn our lives around and meet our potential….

Economic Meltdown in Iceland

Read this thread on a local geek social group in Leeds. That’s the voice of one scared girl, and perhaps the reality is not so bad. But just the fact that there is one Icelander who’s feeling that freaked out makes my heart go out to her. I’ve suggested to her that one problem is…

Big Mining Machines

The Long Now foundation took a field trip recently. The pictures are cool, as is the irony that they went to a trade show held once every four years. Miners have a time scale closer to the Long Now’s. What does it mean that mining is a slowly changing industry? The economics of extractive industries push…

The Market Goes “Underground”

Here’s a lesson about social policies, politics and economics. In Gaza, tunnels used for smuggling goods have become the major supply line, and an industry in themselves. The market will provide, it will always provide. The question is, how do you use the power of the market to get the other results you want? In…