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Interesting Times in China

Posted in Business, China, Geography, Investing, Societal Values, Transhumanism, Travel on November 5th, 2006 by leodirac – 3 Comments

“May you live in interesting times.” -Ancient Chinese Proverb (actually, it isn’t.) The idea behind this saying is that times of rapid change are generally quite painful. Historically interesting times are those involving wars and revolutions — things where lots of people die. Growth and improvement have only come through very slow gradual change. But in today’s China, this is anything but true. Right now is one of the most interesting times in China’s long history, and for the majority of the country, it’s fantastic. (If we all work hard, that kind of intersting time might be behind us.) We…

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Democratization of Information

Posted in Business, Democratization of Information, Google, Investing, Tech Industry, Transhumanism on October 11th, 2006 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Remember what internet search was like back in the pioneer days — say 1998 or 1999? There were lots of bad ones out there, but I’ll talk about three representative ones. There were lots of page-search engines along the lines of Alta Vista. They crawled the web and indexed the contents of each web page. They would try to figure out which web page best matched your search keywords based entirely on the contents of the pages themselves. This didn’t work very well since spammers could fill their pages with keywords they liked that didn’t necessarily add any value to…

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Starbucks: Corporate dope pushers

Posted in Business, Investing, Personal Growth, Societal Values on September 22nd, 2006 by leodirac – Comments Off on Starbucks: Corporate dope pushers

This afternoon in my office’s cafeteria I found a new refridgerator stocked with tasty beverages. Starbucks Iced Coffee in a can. And guess what: it’s free. For now, at least. Want some candy little boy? C’mon, try it. I remember a couple of years ago seeing them giving away cans of their then-new double-shot canned caffeine high downtown on the sidewalk. They’ll get you hooked and then you come back begging for more, $5 in hand. Sound like any other industry we know? Many years ago I remember a friend of mine saying she was investing in Starbucks because she…

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