Archive for March, 2009

Furor over Fox news

I know there’s a lot of anger over what was said about the Canadian military. I can understand the anger, and know why what they said is wrong, but another take may be, why bother with what they say? Who cares if some late night bozos spouted off? Why must we act so indignant?

This article by Jack Knox puts it best.  Why bother getting too mad–consider the source.

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The real industrial index

A colleague of mine, Rich Pell, completed a very interesting blog post on the an industrial index based on real industrial stocks.  It’s doing slightly better than the Dow Jones Industrial index.  See the post here

An idea whose time is coming

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885), ‘Histoire d’un crime,’ 1852

I saw this quote and really liked it.  The first “idea” I thought of when I read this is proportional representation.  I’m hoping that this idea will have it’s time.  I believe it is coming within the next 10 years, provided people can be properly educated.  Let each vote count!

Are we alone?

A new article on CNN talks about a newly released theory from astronomer Alan Boss that states there may be as many as 300 billion earth-like planets also in the Milky Way. here is a quote from an article on CNN.com 

There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution and author of the new book “The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets.”

He made the prediction based on the number of “super-Earths” — planets several times the mass of the Earth, but smaller than gas giants like Jupiter — discovered so far circling stars outside the solar system.

Another group mentioned in the article is a group from the University of Edinburgh.  They state there may be as many as 300 to 30,000 intelligent civilizations that may have existed (still exist), but there is no reason to believe that they have contacted us.  This all comes from a mega simulation of the milky way based on all our advanced astronomical observations.  Very interesting indeed.

I also happened to listen to an Economist podcast with Simon Conway-Morris on evolution.  He brings up the same kind of arguments, but he thinks that we are alone and brings up the Fermi paradox.  Why haven’t we heard anything? 

Truly food for thought.  Although, I do agree that we have to fix many problems here on this planet, I find it hard to not gaze outward to see where and who we really are in this universe.  As we send out more deep space probes and find new ways of measuring the cosmos, I’ll be very interested to see what we find.

Company hibernation in this winter of a recession.

My working career is currently over the 11 year mark.  I have seen some small boom and busts, but definitely have not experienced a downturn like this one is (and will continue to be).  My brief experience with a small recession was the high tech down turn of 2001.  Some smaller companies closed down, and some larger companies did lay-offs.  The company many of my friends worked at did a small amount of lay-offs, and then went to a every second Friday off with a 10 percent pay cut.  I do know that the salary is not the only thing that gets paid for each employee–benefits and insurance are on top of that.  But doesn’t this seem like a better way to save money, and keep your talent ready for when the downturn is over?  Loyal employees who appreciate that they were kept around, and know how the machines work?   A 10% paycut doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, especially if deflation occurs.

Loring Wirbel takes a look at how companies come out of this recession in his FPGA guru blog here: Pistons seizing