Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Quotes of the day

[HP] looks cheap, but the future of the PC is a very, very difficult business to handicap.--Bill Ackman

One of the interesting things that we’ve noticed is that companies correlate on decision making and speed of decision making. There are basically no companies that have good slow decisions. There are only companies that have good fast decisions. I think that’s also a natural thing as companies get bigger –they tend to slow down decision making. And that’s pretty tragic.--Larry Page

... even though a computer can execute millions of instructions in a microsecond, the furthest light can travel in that time - even in a vacuum - is just 300 meters.--Jeff Hecht

The world has experienced five major technical-economic cycles:
(1) 1771 - , The First Industrial Revolution in Britain, based on mechanization of the cotton industry.
(2) 1829 - , The Age of Steam and Railways
(3) 1875 - , The Age of Steel and Electricity
(4) 1908 - , The Age of Oil, the Automobile, and Mass Production
(5) 1971 - , The Age of Information and Telecommunications
--Leonard Wilson, on Carlota Perez's Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital

Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St Movement!--LloydJHart

I think we are between the last cycle and the next cycle, the latter of which will hopefully improve the intellectual capacity of people who make lists like the one above.--Cav

The midsection of a 67-year-old is not a pretty sight.--Bill Gross

For centuries, parents have given their kids the awkward “birds and the bees” sex conversation. But we are the first generation of parents in the history of mankind who must have a “digital footprint” conversation with our kids. We are the first generation that has to sit our kids down and say, “Let’s talk about Facebook and Twitter and Youtube.”--Jon Acuff

Koch Industries has spent more than $50 million to lobby in Washington since 2006." My reaction to reading this was, "$50 million? That's it?" That might sound like a lot, but let's compare that to, say, General Electric. Over the same period, GE has spent more than $136 million lobbying, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. ... I don't know the Koch brothers; I've never met them. I can't tell you if they're saints or sinners. But at least from this Bloomberg article, their company doesn't appear to be especially destructive or immoral. That much is crystal clear through some perspective. But maybe the reporters can prove me wrong about their bias by their next article detailing the many alleged misdeeds of a company with political ties to the left, like GE.--Daniel Indiviglio

Ms. [Betty] Liu deserves some credit for being a rare interviewer of Mr. Buffett who, rather than simply fawning, challenges him. Other journalists sought out by Mr. Buffett would do their profession and the country a favor by following suit. Some possible follow-ups for next time: “What’s your justification for making your tax apply only to “people who shuffle money around all day” but not to athletes or CEOs? Would it apply to CEOs of banks, insurance companies, or other publicly traded financial firms? Are there any other precedents for taxing income differentially by occupation rather than by source? Is that something we want to encourage in the tax code? Wouldn’t it just make things more complex?--Ira Stoll

Obama has basically confirmed the worst fears about regulators (and himself) which is that business shouldn't be regulated based on any predictable rules, but rather the whims of people who might in their gut just feel that something is wrong. In this instance, people who scream about "uncertainty" may have a point.--Joe Weisenthal

Gibor Basri, Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and diversity, could have served a valuable role here by pointing out that the [affirmative action] bake sale was obviously a parody of racial and gender preferences, not a criticism of students themselves. Whatever one thinks about the issue of preferences, he might have said, such political theater belongs to Berkeley’s once-revered tradition of free speech. Instead, Basri chose to stoke the melodramatic self-pity of today’s college students. “A lot of students, especially students of color, read [the bake sale] as placing a higher value on white students,” Basri told the New York Times. Basri, in other words, obeyed the ironclad script for all such minor perturbations in the otherwise unbroken reign of campus political correctness. That script requires that the massive campus-diversity bureaucracy treat the delusional claims of hyperventilating students with utter seriousness. Students in the ever-expanding roster of official campus victim groups flatter themselves that by attending what is in fact the most caring, protective, and opportunity-rich institution in the history of the world, they are braving unspeakable threats to their ego and even to their physical safety. (Indeed, so desirable is this alleged threatened status that a gender and women’s studies major held a sign during Tuesday’s protest of the bake sale decrying the exclusion of “queer people” from the Republicans’ pricing structure.) ... If he really is incapable of understanding such a simple satire, he does not belong in an institution of higher learning—or at least what used to pass for one. --Heather MacDonald

Eight new Dodge Grand Caravans, purchased 10 months ago with $186,192 in federal stimulus funds, are sitting unused in storage at a county park because Waukesha County has found no takers for its proposed workers' van pool program.--Laurel Walker
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