Duck! and Gather

Archive for June 16th, 2008

I had drinks a few weeks ago in San Francisco with a fellow highly educated, liberal-leaning techy. I told him I’d love to take some betting action against someone who would pick McCain in November (I would pick Obama). He said he wouldn’t take that action, so we moved the conversation over to whether or not Obama would not merely win, but win in a landslide. He was thinking Obama would win, but not in a landslide. But as we began to parse the various Southern states, looking for some good betting ground, we realized there was no room for a good bet. So we left it at polite discussion.

Best bet I’ve made yet is with my wife. Her entire family is for McCain. She’s the only one for Obama. They ridicule her position. But they have her thinking Obama won’t win, even though she’d prefer that result. So we made a bet: Obama wins, we have another kid; McCain wins, no more kids for us. Of course I won’t hold her to that bet once the landslide results are in November 4. But at least it feels good to pretend like I have something meaningful riding on this little bit of historical arbitrage. (I’ve been prodding her to offer her mom double or nothing on a small debt we owe her mom. i.e. McCain wins, we pay her mom $2X; Obama wins, we pay her mom $0. But my wife refuses to take advantage of ignorance.)

Anyway, check out Obama’s 50 state strategy. “Obama’s strategists don’t really believe he can beat John McCain in [generic “Red” state]. So why blow cash there?” The article goes on to describe an elegant “bleed the Soviet Union to death” strategy to beat McCain in the Fall.

I say what this modest strategy will buy is not merely a victory in the Fall. I say it will buy Obama a surprising populist landslide the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Anybody wanna take McCain?

Just got off the phone with my sister. We chatted about the NBA game last night which was the subject of my previous blog posting. I talked about how that game, and the stinky way that it ended, was no different than what has been happening in our culture in other domains. The core idea is that we consumers want something, and the corporate provider of that something finds a more cost-effective, efficient way to bring that thing to us. But instead of making those improvements through proper means, the corporations “cheat” their way to those improvements.

To me, the NBA game last night was an example of the NBA corporation cheating to give me, the fan, what I want: namely, Game 6 tomorrow night. As a fan, I want to see the series go to 7 games. I want to see Game 7 tied with a minute to go. And in that final minute of the season, I want to look into the souls of the men playing, and see who they truly are as they perform in that crucible. That’s what I want as a fan — as do the majority of fans.

The NBA would like to give us what we want. But they can’t assure this through fair means. So they cheat. They gerrymander the reffing to give us what we want. But that sours the taste for us fans. And the NBA expresses “surprise” that we fans would complain.

What about the corporate media? I have read that over the past decade or so, news organizations have run stories, like video segments from an on-site “reporter”, that were written and produced by Corporations or by Government. This “Video News Release” practice saves the media corporation lots of money, since producing these video segments is expensive.

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for the money has gone too far

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June 2008
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