13 January 2012

Inefficient Horrorshow Tolchocking

Friday the Thirteenth is a good day for many workers paid on the 15th of the month, because it means payday is two days early.

  • Without further comment due to multiple conflicts, consider a coherent piece on scams and bad deals aimed at authors who self-publish.
  • Here's a side effect of the Borders bankruptcy: externally imposed, ideologically driven changes in product mix. This is not a good thing, nor an excusable one, nor one consistent with the "efficiency" meme ordinarily used to justify overconsolidation in defiance of antitrust law.

    Ironically, this is exactly parallel to a minor tempest-in-a-teabag controversy brewing over across the Pond. The UK's Tory prime minister wants subsidies to focus on "bigger" films, which I suppose makes sense from a purely efficiency-oriented point of view (which I reject when it impinges on freedom of expression, but that's for another time). Needless to say, filmmakers are not in agreement, with each other or Mr Cameron. Meanwhile, neither of those parties is noting that the efficiency question has nothing whatsoever to do with filmmaking, and everything to do with distribution to the public... an entirely separate issue. If it was a question of efficiency, more than the occasional exception would be profitable under even H'wood's definitions (because practices would adjust to account for that — pun intended), and we'd have no superbombs like this one or supersuccesses like this one.

  • Over at a pseudonmyous philosophy blog, there's the unexceptional statement that Adam Smith's works on economics were equally works on moral philosophy — an almost inevitable conclusion if one actually reads An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, instead of some half-baked ideologically filtered "summary" prepared for undergraduates who have neither the experience nor the skills (let alone the motivation) to seek beyond that summary for reality.
  • Speaking of which, what is an efficient business model? You might be surprised: A focus on intellectual property seems to correlate with both well-run companies and high market-value-to-assets ratios.