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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Playstations And Xboxes And Merkels, Oh My!

Merkel has lost the upper house of the German parliament, the UK is trying to form a government after their split election (hasn't happened for a generation), the EU announced a press conference to start an hour ago, which hasn't started yet (great way to reassure markets), and our president has apparently gone flat nuts and is raving in public:
Obama ... told a class of graduating university students that education was the key to progress.

"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank all that high on the truth meter," Obama said at Hampton University, Virginia.

"With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," Obama said.
See, there lies the peril of talking about stuff you have never used, because I am almost certain that iPods are for music and Xboxes and PlayStations are for games. The news comes from other devices, like Blackberries. iPads are too new to have had any impact yet.

I think I recognize the symptoms; let's all send a post card to the White House asking our president to start smoking again for the sake of the union and his own sanity. At this stage we cannot have our president wandering around in public babbling inanities like Biden, and we cannot afford to declare him incompetent, because his successor is Biden.

I hope this is nicotine withdrawal and not the horror of realizing that his Euromodel just kinda imploded, along with Newsweek. However, it is definitely not the fault of the iPods.

He bemoaned the fact that "some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction," in the clamor of certain blogs and talk radio outlets.

He's got a point. Take this crazy claim from 2005 for instance.

Bernanke: There's No Housing Bubble to Go Bust

Ben S. Bernanke does not think the national housing boom is a bubble that is about to burst, he indicated to Congress last week, just a few days before President Bush nominated him to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Or how about this one from 2002.

Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here

But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.

It just doesn't get any crazier than that. Many blogs picked that story up and ran with it though. That caused oil traders to became extremely confident. Crazy blogs!

This is the sort of thing I often read using my Playstation 3 (from the comfort of my own couch). It actually does have a browser. That means children could have read what Bernanke had to say. Picture the "E-Trade Baby" placing bids for oil companies! Anarchy!

Perhaps we should ban these new devices before it is too late.

Can't we just turn the heat up to 451 degrees Fahrenheit and call it good?

Oops. Got snarky again. Sorry. ;)
Mark - Yeeeeeeeees. Maybe the real problem is that people are doing their own fact-checking, and our leaders aren't looking too good.

One hears that Dear Leader Kim in the dark Korea has solved all these nasty problems.
Or perhaps our Dear Leader is concerned about articles such as Gretchen Morgenson's latest:
Freddie — already propped up with $52 billion in taxpayer funds used to rescue the company from its own mistakes — recorded a loss of $6.7 billion and said it would require an additional $10.6 billion from taxpayers to shore up its financial position.

The news caused nary a ripple in the placid Washington scene. Perhaps that’s because many lawmakers, especially those who once assured us that Fannie and Freddie would never cost taxpayers a dime, hope that their constituents don’t notice the burgeoning money pit these mortgage monsters represent. Some $130 billion in federal money had already been larded on both companies before Freddie’s latest request.

It's wild and crazy rumors such as this that are just messing up all the brilliant and enlightened plans for progress hatched in DC by brilliant and enlightened minds.
It is indeed sad. Technologies that *could* have been restricted to the useful role of keeping the masses amused while superior thinkers plan their lives have actually been used for the very irresponsible purpose of actually allowing the uncredentialed to disseminate their own "thoughts." What is clearly necessary is to license the use of these technlogies, as was done with printing presses and preachers back when elites knew how to govern properly.
"I think I recognize the symptoms; let's all send a post card to the White House asking our president to start smoking again"

I fell of my chair laughing MoM. That's a chart topper if ever there was one.

"What is clearly necessary is to license the use of these technlogies, as was done with printing presses and preachers back when elites knew how to govern properly.'

They could impose a sarcasm tax on bloggers retroactively. It would not only shut my blog down, but it would also go a long way towards reducing the budget deficit!

Without the ability to use "Really?" and "You MUST be joking!!!" blogs might also become quite boring, making the nightly news that much more interesting by comparison. We could go back to simply enjoying evenings filled with local traffic accidents, local weather, and local sports while the country continues its debt induced decline.

Just a thought. *cringe*
Shhhh, Mark. A year's US GDP wouldn't be enough to pay the sarcasm levy they'd put against me!
MoM, I read your site on an iPod.
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