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Devil’s advocate for global warming February 8, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Economics, L.A. Times, Politics.
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The L.A. Times has an op-ed piece offering a cost/benefit analysis of global warming.  It’s pro-warming, surprisingly.  I cannot say that I agree with everything being said, but I always enjoy alternate viewpoints (to those I hear all the time) which get the gears turning between my ears.

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$1.2 million is also a lot of money January 20, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Economics, Link, Second Life, Self-Link.
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$1.2 million: that’s how much is being spent daily within Second Life.

(Not much different from other markets, except the only collateral behind it is a collection of fields in Second Life’s database.)

That’s chump change compared to the daily allowance of the Iraq war. But it’s still 12,000 transactions of $100, which is nothing to sneeze at. I know a few software companies that would be worth a whole lot more if they touched this kinda float even occasionally.

I’m going to stop way short of calling it silly. I played Everquest over a span of five years, World of Warcraft over a span of two years. I understand the high call of virtual bragging rights. I’ve even bought and sold a few dozen virtual “Skull-Shaped Barbute [AC:13, HP:35, SvM:10]” items for real cash over the years. (Note to wife: less than four figures, and I’m pretty sure I’m in the black, not the red. Hi, I love you!)

But… the graphics in Second Life SUCK! The interactive experience is no better than VRML from pre-2000. The mechanics of the world are about as attractive as opening a strip club on the surface of Mars — yeah, you might get to peep a bit, but you’re wearing a 200 lb. suit in a hostile environment, and everyone you meet is trying to bum your oxygen supply.

Feh.

$300 million is a lot of money. January 19, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Article, Economics, Link, N.Y. Times, Politics.
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$300 million is also how much we’re spending in Iraq every day.

(That is, of course, without putting a price tag on the 5 or so American soldiers and the 95 or so Iraqi citizens who die every day.  If we were to assume that a wrongful death suit would find an award of $1 million for each of these, then the number hits $400 million.)