Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Obstacles to capitalism

There are, as I see it, two obstacles to the perfect capitalism—that is, where quality wins. First is lack of access and open information. This creates situations where low quality wins, merely because people don't know about, or can't get access to (often because the low-quality businesses have tried to block that access & information, or override it with noise) higher quality products.
Second is the shortsightedness of man. This is why Standard Oil did so well; even though people must have known what could happen, they didn't believe it would, or didn't think they could make a difference, and went to the cheaper place and let the older places go out of business. There are other effects, as well, but mostly along these lines. This is primarily a cultural thing.

7/9/2007: I'm not really going through my journal entries to comment on them at the moment; I'm republishing them on my blog at the moment. But I can't let this one sit. I wrote this long before I had an Economics education, and it's not bad. The first part I definitely still agree with; information access is a major economic problem creating many disequilibria. But I'm not so sure about the second. The problem that was obviously foremost in my thoughts when I wrote this was the Apple/Microsoft problem. But first, that may not be as big an economic problem as I had thought, however I may dislike the outcome. Peter Klein has some interesting insights on this subject. Second, the Standard Oil case I refer to—where Standard would come into a small town across from a local gas station, drop their prices, drive the local station out of business, and then hike up their prices higher than the local station's ever were—is apparently apocryphal. So much for high school History class. Third, I now think that the other major obstacle to a properly working capitalism (besides artificial constraints imposed by government) is externality problems (a topic that deserves its own long post, so I won't elaborate here).

Posted By Calion to Genius/Idiot—Journal Entries at 12/29/1997 12:20:00 PM

Monday, April 25, 2005

Automatic hyperlinks

Automatic Hyperlinks! here's what the Web should be like; it's the next step toward Originist. Write a browser where you can select any block of text (even links, although they still also behave normally too) and turn it into a hyperlink. You would have three default options (possibly in a pop-up menu): One would give you definitions of the words and/or phrase you selected; another would (try to) take you to the most definitive link on the subject—say, for instance, you select "Apple Computer." This option would take you to Apple's homepage. If there were not clear definitive link for the subject, it would take you to: Option three, the list of links. This would require a much-better-than-current search engine, which would list links by relevance, with definitive links on top, then indices on the subject, or perhaps before those, dictionary entries, encyclopedia entries, and history of… links, both for the words and the concept, then lists of books, articles, etc.; then, maybe, a list of actual pages by appropriateness, only one page per site, and not based on how many times those words appear on a page, but whether they appear in the title or any descriptions of the page, etc. This part will be lots of work. But what about pictures, or just things people think of & want to know while browsing? There must be a way to type things in. All of this is presumably working toward the Originist. Money? Plug-ins?

Posted By Calion to Genius/Idiot—Journal Entries at 12/29/1997 12:17:00 PM

Friday, April 22, 2005


• Intellect is an emotion. You know what is right because it feels right, because it makes sense, because all of the pieces of that particular puzzle in your head fit in places that feel appropriate, that feel right. People consider intellect as part of the consciousness, the ego. It is not. Only the choosing mechanism itself, that calls on and decides to use the intellect, is that.
• Your mind will come up with answers—or at least with questions—on its own, if you encourage and let it. Lots of them. Don't worry about why—it just does! You are not your intellect. You are only your memories and thoughts. All the ideas and emotions come from somewhere deeper. You don't need to know how it works to use it, and in fact if you insist on knowing how it works before you use it, you'll never find out, because you'll have no means to find the answer! Exactly why this should be true I am still unsure of as yet, but I am sure it's true.

—Make sense of everything. This does not necessarily contradict the above. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it doesn't make intuitive, gut sense to you.
• Every piece of knowledge that you encounter, either take in and understand, or admit you don't understand it and put it aside. never allow yourself to partially understand something, taking it in and making it your own without comprehending it fully. Understanding your own emotions is the first, most important key to this.
This is what I did with Ayn Rand. I allowed her to convince me that what she said was right, to believe it was right, without fully understanding why each thing she said was right.
        You will never succeed until you understand what you know, and as you get new data, understand that, and integrate it into who you are. This is the key.

Posted by Calion to Genius/Idiot—Journal Entries at 12/29/1997 12:16:00 PM


If you have nothing worth dying for, you have nothing worth living for.

Posted by Calion to Genius/Idiot—Journal Entries at 12/29/1997 12:15:00 PM

Monday, April 18, 2005

Virtual Mode


• "I am capable of interpreting your commands and questions and verifying your actual intent when you misspeak yourself or are vague."
        -p. 231, Virtual Mode, Piers Anthony.
Cat is incredible. Every great leader needs an intellectual manservant of this nature. The three are ultimately perfect companions for any man with great things to accomplish. These are three roles which would be highly difficult to integrate into less than three individuals.

Posted By Calion to Genius/Idiot—Journal Entries at 12/29/1997 12:13:00 PM

Blogging again!

Woo hoo! I'm posting again!

It's been quite a while since I've put anything up on this blog, and now three in one night! I'm not sure I can contain myself. First my PowerBook died :( then I was swamped with other things, and then minor technical issues (combined with more lack of time) conspired to ensure that Genius/Idiot was dormant. I know there are at least a few people eager to read the bits of wisdom I have collected, so I will try harder in the future to keep to something resembling my once-a-night schedule. Hm. I wonder if I can somehow set up a delayed-posting system to post while I'm away at summer camp, etc. Has anyone heard of such a thing?

Well, it's my bedtime now. Later.

Posted by Calion to Genius/Idiot—Current Thoughts at 4/18/2005 08:57:00 PM


I find it interesting that no one has commented on the title of this blog. I haven't quite figured out what it means myself; it just feels right.

Posted by Calion to Genius/Idiot—Current Thoughts at 4/18/2005 08:51:00 PM