I find myself saying things like, “I support the alternative fuel (particularly electric) car movement. I’d love to test drive a Volt, or own a Prius. Some day, when they’re cheaper, I will.” (Or, in a variation: “No way would I pay $35k for a car, but I mos def support the move away from gasoline.”)
But what’s the point of believing I support the direction of the industry (despite its flaws) if I’m not putting money into it to actually support it? It won’t go anywhere if people don’t spend money on the things.
Fer skerious, though, there’s no way I’m spending $35k on a car.
Not sure what the happy medium is.
Speaking of “support” (not really), I just ran a 2-hour fantasy one-shot in the Tri-Stat dX system for people who’ve never roleplayed ever before. It had been a while since I ran or played Tri-Stat (a few years), and there’s nothing quite like creating 14 characters in one night to highlight the flaws of a character creation process. Oy.
I’m writing up the mini-adventure (which could easily expand to be 4 hours; we couldn’t really fit in a full combat with their approach) to post here, but it may be a couple of days. I’m tired of looking at the damn thing.
Upon reading “The Biggest Stock Scams of All Time” (an ambitious title, perhaps), I decided to update my non-existent knowledge of these scams and failures—including the 2008 business failures.
I know, I’m so late to the party. I get the housing market failure. As Elf says, it’s not rocket science.
But when Enron occurred (2001), I was a junior in high school, immersed in the IB program, and only cared about grades and college, not about the business/financial world. Reading up on Enron and WorldCom/MCI (who blatantly put expenses on the books as income) was only the start. (MCI was taken down by a little team of auditors working in secret at night who uncovered the $3.8 billion USD in fraud. Seriously.)
Then came Arthur Andersen, the auditing company that participated in the fraud of Enron. They exist online now as a single-page presence, created in Visual Studio 6.0 with no tracking code. They don’t even care who visits. Or about lower-casing their HTML tags.
According to Wikipedia:
From a high of 28,000 employees in the US and 85,000 worldwide, the firm is now down to around 200 based primarily in Chicago. Most of their attention is on handling the lawsuits and presiding over the orderly dissolution of the company.
Continue reading Actually Kinda Clever
Not, of course, limited to Wednesdays. Today just happens to be one. …Barely.
I shall open with a video of Nayna, my belly dance instructor, from a couple of months ago:
I’m somewhere off to the left, wishing I’d brought my own camera. This was after class, so I don’t feel bad about watching my instructor dance instead of dancing myself.
It’s been a hot minute since I posted any links. Apparently this is also the Elf Sternberg addition, since three of his posts appear here. Good stuff.
- Lands of Dream Donation Drive – Jonas is doing one of the coolest donation drive ideas I’ve seen. Donate, and receive a detailed description and beautiful picture from the Lands of Dream. What in the hell is the Lands of Dream? Go play The Book of Living Magic. Took me about an hour (I read every description!), and everything about it is gorgeous: the art, the writing, and the music. Then take a look at some of the art/writing that Verena and Jonas are producing as part of their drive.
Then donate. (Mine is in the queue, and I’m so excited to see what I get!)
- Embracing pain | dooce® – “What this therapy enabled me to do as well was hold that blight in my bare hands and cover it with tears. Because the Heather who had mounted all those excuses would have acknowledged it, tipped her hat, and moved right along. Too much to get done to dwell on such things.”
- Elf M. Sternberg – On picking up Stoicism… – My own struggle with Buddhism separation from other people led me to examine the idea of the Bodhisattva, but that feels… arrogant. Elitist. Dragging people to enlightenment. I don’t like it when skeptics who are assholes do it, so why would I want to join the party?
I’ve become too much of a people person to want to detach and be a pure observer. I’m not sure that Stoicism is a good fit for me, but after reading Elf’s account, my curiosity is piqued. Continue reading Weekly Linkage: Art, Science, and Spirituality
Crafting a business.
I don’t mean writing software on the side while you have a full-time job and dreaming that someday you’ll be your own boss. I mean sitting down with a spreadsheet and some historical data, and projecting real-deal income and expense numbers. Figuring out how to create every penny you need to make something successful and sustainable.
Okay, that’s not actually the business itself. Doing the work to make those numbers work is the business. Bookkeeping is the business. Putting fingers to keyboard and phone to ear, day in and day out, is the business. But those numbers are crucial, and your eyes must be open to the actuals of what you’re doing.
When the numbers don’t have to balance, it seems easy. It gives an inflated sense of success: I have x visitors per day or month on my site, I make $y in advertising/royalties/whatever, my part-time product makes $z, and I have a name and brand. I’ll just scale up my time and make that many times more. I got this in the bag, yo.
Continue reading Know What’s Difficult?