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I'm interested in and write about a wide variety of topics - economics, psychology, marketing, music, etc. I prefer writing long articles to short posts and don't update very often.

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Culture & Media

Miscellaneous articles on, well, culture, media, and the state of the world.

The US Government Budget & Debt (Obama Edition)

June 1, 2009
To say that Obama has his work cut out for him would be putting it mildly. The debt is expected to surpass the gross domestic product in 2011 - someting that hasn't happened since World War II. How did we get here & what do we think will happen next? Find out inside.

USA Government Debt - historical to 2008

March 1, 2009
Some simple graphs of the US debt from 1791 to 2008. Including graphs adjusted for inflation, and comparing the debt to the GDP.

Prof. Miller's In-class Assignment for Wednesday.

Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? "Well, today we will experiment with a new form called the 'tandem story'. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

Global Oil Production and Consumption

Oil. Who has it. Who makes it. And who needs it.

Why Your Pointy Haired Boss Is A Mathematical Certainty

We've all had one. That annoying boss who just doesn't have a clue. A useless middle manager that can't lead, can't manage yet somehow manages to keep his job. Well, know you'll know why he exists.

The Triangle Problem or What's Wrong with the Obvious Truth

They say seeing is believing, but what happens when the most obvious answer deceives you?

Viral & Buzz Marketing

Now that marketers know that people are talking to each other (yeah, it took a real genius to figure that one out), they want to be sure it's only about their double plus good products.

The Year The Internet Tipped

How small changes to the Internet have changed the way we talk.

Market Segmentation That Works

Joel Spolsky wrote an excellent article on pricing, what works and what doesn't work (apparently nothing works). So here's my rebuttal.

World to MPAA: Mind Your Own Beezwax

MPAA to world: Stop sharing files. World to MPAA: Not everything is about you.

Chrysler, Wal Mart and the New World Economy

A parable about an automotive company and their place in the global marketplace.

The US Trade Deficit

The dollar is weakening. We're entering into a massive trade deficit with China. The sky is falling. What does it all mean? Here are some nice graphs to help you make sense of it all.

The Rebel Sell

If we all hate consumerism, how come we can't stop shopping?

Reality TV... Faked? So What?

According to an LA Time article, reality TV is pretty heavily scripted, but is all reality TV the same?

Yet Another Interesting Map of the Vote

Some people will find this humorous, others... not so humorous.

The Corporation & The Persuaders

The Corporations are selling us out. They are their own nation-states that dictate how their citizens (employees) can act, and wage war on everyone in search of a better profit margin.

The Definitive Map of the Vote

This is the map of the vote I wanted. A county-by-county look at how they voted. Putting to end forever the misconception of "red states vs. blue states." All counties are a shade of purple, though a surprising number of counties really are blue or red.

Leaving So Soon?

So, you want to leave the country? A (hopefully humorous) guide to expatriating.

The National Budget, Debt & Deficit

"Clinton balanced the budget." "The national debt is at an all time high" (and so is the deficit). What does this all mean? I found some historical information and plugged the numbers into Excel and generated these charts.

Maps of the Vote

Bored of the Red and Blue maps of the country? Well how about a county-by-county breakdown, or a red to blue gradient for each state?

The Osama bin Laden interviews

If you read the full transcript of the tape, you'll know that he talks of some interviews he gave. Well, here are a few I found. You can judge for yourself whether or not his message has been consistent.

Full transcript of bin Ladin's speech

"And it all shows that the real loser is ... you. It is the American people and their economy."

You can do anything - but not everything

Everyone's favorite personal productivity guru David Allen has some tips how to keep up the pace -- without wearing yourself out.

A Tale of Two Osamas

There are some interesting differences between the CNN & Aljazeera translations of the Osama bin Laden speech...

Canada Vs. America: Reactions to the Patriot Act

The Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia is recommending an immediate freeze of all outsourcing of public information to US-connected firms because of the Patriot Act...

Wired Releases an "Open Source" Music CD

November's Wired magazine will feature a CD with songs released under the Creative Commons license, which means you get some limited rights over the music.

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 50,000 words in 30 days. Are you ready?

Leave The Rat Race Forever

"I would come to believe that expansive houses and standard nuclear families served to isolate the human soul and that tight tribal communities were infinitely more suited to our natures." Jerri Nielsen, Ice Bound

The Merchants of Meme

Drop a pebble in just the right spot and you can start marketing Avalanche. Or "What Webloggers and MTV have in common."

Standing In The Shadows Of Motown Deluxe Edition

30 years after the last Detroit Motown album, this massive 43 track tribute to the unsung musicians sets the record straight.

The Sims 2: The Sims Reloaded (Review)

The best selling game of all time spawns a second generation. But does it live up to it's parents expectations?

The Apprentice "Scoop Dreams"

On the second episode of The Apprentice with an extended rant on decision theory. (Updated for Saturday)

$19.99 vs. $20 or Pricing 202

Someone asked about the perceived difference between $19.99 and $20, and here's my answer.

The (New) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

YAY! ALL NEW episode of the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show!

The Apprentice Season Premier: "Toying With Disaster"

The episode that proves that The Apprentice is child's play. ;-)

The Justice Department Strikes Back

The FBI seized computers, software and equipment as part of an investigation into illegal sharing of copyrighted movies...

US Government: P2P Companies Don't Violate Copyright Laws

"Affirming a lower court decision, a federal appellate court ruled Thursday that the distributors of software used by millions of people to exchange music files over the Internet cannot be held liable for aiding copyright infringement."

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Orkut is Cool.

Or why PeopleRankā„¢ is the next big thing.

Television as Parent

In the 1950's we had Leave it to Beaver. Today we have American Idol. Oh how times have changed. What message is Television sending us, and why are we so eager to consume it? or You thought reality TV was the end of civilization as we know it just because it was programming for the lowest common denominator.

Is Blogging Replacing Oral History?

Blogging is becoming more and more a part of our culture as people of my generation are spending more and more of their lives online, practically living online. In many ways, this is what the Internet is about - empowering the average person to broadcast their message in the same way Mass Media does.

Observations on Bush's Speech

A few minutes into Bush's speech tonight, I became aware of a few interesting things.

How To Disappear, Protect Your Privacy, and Eliminate Spam

A handful of suggestions on how to live with less spam, with less fear of identity theft, and a little more anonymously.

You Are Where You Live

What does where you live say about you?

Left Wing Propaganda

Why are all of my friends so obsessed with Left Wing Propaganda? Another long rant on the state of human affairs, and an attempt to have my website flagged by the FBI by putting as many key words as I could think of into one article.

page first created on 11/16/02

© Mark Wieczorek