— aleatory

This Friday on the anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty draft and amid a likely worsening economic outlook (Eurozone GDP out Tuesday) the EZ economies should announce moves to rein in the spending of the southern European states & complement this with a plan to harmonise fiscal policy. This will mean among other things bringing tax rates in peripheral nation states into line with eurozone leaders France & Germany.

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concentrate on the ideas

An insightful blog post1 the other day railed against having lots of ideas and emphasised the need to stay on track, to concentrate on execution of The Big Idea. Here’s the other side of that argument.

There are many economic activities in which the rapid generation of ideas is a must have – take trading as one example. This is purely the game of projecting your ideas for where the market is going onto what is happening in reality. And just as you must see both sides of the trade as they say, so too do you need to foresee multiple scenarios ahead in order to understand all potential market movement. Because how it gets to the projected end result is just as important as when/if it gets there. Multiple & even contradictory ideas are the lifeblood then on which trading activity is based.

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Last time round. The blur matches the state of my inebriation.

The urban sprawl is rapidly outpacing the idyllic rural lifestyle it engulfs at the city limits – a man & his wife tend to their vegetable field against a backdrop of high rise apartment blocks. The buildings are new, but retain a drabness that is subtly Soviet. Elsewhere the other chief external influence on modern Baltic architecture is evident – Scandinavian ‘box’ living spaces with their dark wooded veneers & pastel green panelling.

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Modern Warfare 3 – ONN from kenny yuan on Vimeo.

It was the largest roll of notes I’d ever seen. 3 grand in fifty pound notes. The guy who hauled it out did so as if it were a rolled up copy of the Sun. One night on sentry I had a conversation with another guy on how his law exams were going. Another evening those of us new to the unit went through a joining process at the end of which we were judged by our peers as suitable to serve alongside them.

The side effect of leaving us in a state of complete physical incapability as we crawled into our pits in the early morning was only a minor talking point, getting up the next day for annual fitness tests just another non event none of us stopped to think about for a second. No one failed.

No one ever fails.

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I’m a longtime fan of netbooks over other mobile tech gadgets, finding their versatility an important stepchange in the prior arms race for increasingly powerful ‘portables’ that weigh a metric ton and need their own special carrying case, or mobiles with a preposterous array of unusable functions.

May have missed the hackathon at QUB but I’ve still managed to do a bit of hardware related fiddling with this guide on boosting my 4211′s performance & removing a niggle.

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Confusing some of the people some of the time is enough.

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The cinema language happened by experimentation – by people not knowing what to do. But unfortunately, after 15-20 years, it became a commercial industry. People made money in the cinema, and then they began to say to the pioneers, “Don’t experiment. We want to make money. We don’t want to take chances.”
Coppola, Marrakech International Film Festival, Morocco

Although he was referring specifically to the film industry here what Coppola says holds true in the general case – during a time of disruption, as the moving pictures obviously were to therather staid arts world of the time, there will be great advances, but at a cost of predictability. There is a human need to reduce risk. Particularly once a disruption has turned from something inexplicable and chaotic, into a neatly boxed and apparently understood ‘thing’.

Take the disruption around the dawn of the welfare state. Another time of great change, moving from a previously very set class system of society to one where merit not background decided what you could accumulate in life.

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How perceptions of Being Bigger may not always play out in reality.

First Mover Advantage. A popular adage in this era of perennial web startups. Equally as strong has been the thought that established players – the big fish – can simply move in on the small fry’s niche patch and bring it to the mass market – the Free Rider effect.

Groupon is arguably a case in point. Out of nowhere the young gun from Chicago has been described as the world’s fastest growing company and a $6bn gamble, only for such heavyweights as Google and Facebook to begin to muscle in on it’s coupon territory, sensing their already huge ecosystems will at least make the new guy irrelevant.

This is the textbook case. What happens when the innovator is somewhat higher up the foodchain? We may be about to find out.

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