Thursday, November 16, 2006


New York Times About to Collapse

The New York Times newspaper is now on its deathbed. I plan on buying several copies of the last issue as collector's items. How do I know the New York Times will soon go the way of the dodo bird? They have announced it themselves, although with their typical inability to understand how the world really operates they did not quite realize what they were saying. The New York Times announced its demise by spending about half a billion dollars on its new headquarters building. The Times Company will occupy floors 2 through 28 of the building. It has an open plan to ease communication, wide entrances to "facilitate pedestrian circulation," both roof and ground floor gardens, and all manner of green and energy efficient features. It will be the ultimate newspaper headquarters. Of course, any student of human institutions recognizes this for what it really is: a tombstone.

I think the great philosopher C. Northcote Parkinson described this phenomenon best in his classic short work on organizational behavior (and a must read for any literate modern man) Parkinson's Law:

It is now known that a perfection of planned layout is achieved only by institutions on the point of collapse. This apparently paradoxical conclusion is based upon a wealth of archaeological and historical research... A study and comparison of these has tended to prove that perfection of planning is a symptom of decay. During a period of exciting discovery or progress there is no time to plan the perfect headquarters. The time for that comes later, when all the important work has been done. Perfection, we know, is finality, and finality is death.

A vibrant, healthy news organization might have spent that half a billion dollars developing better newsgathering capability, trying to get more subscribers, or developing new markets and products. The fact that The Times Company spent it on having fancier administrative overhead tells us everything we need to know about its lack of future.

I can only hope that the ATF will not be far behind. I wonder what genius in the Bush administration put the nail in that hated-by-conservatives organization by offering to usher them into the grave with a perfect, new, taxpayer-payer funded mausoleum where they can push papers to each other in luxury instead of venturing into the harsh unairconditioned and uncarpeted world to pester the freedom loving citizenry.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Predictions on the 2008 Election

Sadly, my co-blogger's predictions for the 2006 elections turned out to be optimistic. I am standing by my previous prediction for the 2008 election, however: tacky animated shirts will make their debut in political advertising.

Last year about this time I wrote a post "The Future of Tacky Clothing" in which I discussed what the development of wearable, washable touch sensitive and video display fabrics would mean for tacky holiday clothing options. In addition I speculated that they might also be used for wearable electronics, new fashions, and advertising. I also wrote "I wouldn’t be surprised if the technology for clothing with build-in wearable video displays arrives in time to produce some really interesting political T-shirts for the aught-eight presidential elections."

Since that post, Phillips has announced their development of the Lumalive light emitting textile product. Here is a great video demonstration. It looks like the animated political ad shirts are on schedule to be available for their first use by the 2008 campaigns. If only predicting the political world could be as easy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


2006 Election

So where is that delete button again?

Seriously, my predictions on the 2006 Midterms were based on the feel from the Republican front lines. I think Republicans did turn out in relatively strong numbers, the problem is some clearly voted for the Democrats.

I think you are looking at the disgust of the Republican base against their Washington leadership. Yes, Republicans want the War on Terror (which includes the War in Iraq) won, but they don’t want the porkbarrel spending and growth in government that the Republicans brought. If you are going to have that kind of waste from your party, why vote for them?

Democrats have woken up this morning and said all the right things about “a new direction” and “cooperating with the Republican majority to move the country forward.” It may happen; Democrats may finally contribute to a victory in Iraq rather than rooting for our defeat, they may finally stop comparing our military to Saddam’s secret police and those who ran Stalin’s gulags. With the leadership they are bringing in however (mostly hard-core liberals left over from the last time they held the House) I doubt it.

Who knows, I may be pleasantly surprised. And if you believe that, I have this nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you, hardly ever been used…..

Monday, November 06, 2006


Predictions on the 2006 Election

The Senate: Democrats +3 (Republicans retain)
The House: Democrats +10 (Republicans retain)

I'll explain my reasons later (just wanted to be on record).

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