Thursday, October 9
Unusual Suspects, end of day, Thursday, October 9
For people who haven't seen limitedpie's Yahoo! Stock Message Board random message
generator, it's a blast. Here's a sample:
Neil Postman died yesterday. He was the author of
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, that kind of changed my life. It changed me because
I more or less stopped watching TV
after reading it. If you haven't read it yet, I'd encourage you to do so. Here's the Foreword:
"We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves.
The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian
But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally
chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy
the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother
is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression,
to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there
would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would
give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us.
Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture.
Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy,
and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and
rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny 'failed to take into account man's almost infinite
appetite for distractions.' In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World,
they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us.
Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right."
Looking quickly through Yahoo's 8-K (released yesterday) I see
that they're expecting revenues for 2003 to be in the range of $1.423 billion to $1.463 billion, gross profit of
$1.219 billion to $1.254 billion, and operating income before depreciation and amortization of $428 million to $448 million.
30% operating margins (before D&A), eh? Not too shabby for a bunch of Yahoos!
The first newly redesigned Series 2004 $20 notes, featuring background colors and improved security features, will be issued today.
Go read today's Trading for Dummies Lesson, and when you're done
click on a Google ad to gimme a nickel, my beer gut thanks you for your support.
Taking a very long view: The Gold Spot Price since 1257. Note the Civil War spike... gold hit $57 an ounce in 1864 and didn't get
back up there until 1972. Of course the dollar had depreciated a tad over that time. ;-)
Neal McCluskey writes about one of the real causes of skyrocketing tuition:
"...higher education will continue to be treated as a federally insured entitlement, driving politicians to continue fueling
the tuition rocket they say they want to slow down."
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