Archive for the ‘predictions’ Category

Over the last 20 years I have been involved with advertising technology, copy writing, marketing, direct marketing, and just about every form of advertising that exists in America. I love advertising. I have a special place in my heart (and my wallet) for advertising and marketing. The creative aspects of advertising can be nothing short of brilliant; as is the case with the mathematics used in formulating and measuring marketing campaigns!

Historically (meaning: radio, print, TV) , you needed to justify advertising rates with circulation, readers, subscribers, etc. Nielsen built their entire business on providing TV/radio/internet publishers what was available in “old media”. Advertising with publishers was simple: if you wanted to reach an audience of 6MM parents and have the budget, you could find the right publications, shows, etc. and even narrow your market based upon the demographic overlay of the publishers’ audience. In other words, you want to sell baby clothes to parent… you advertise in Parents magazine, not Wild West Magazine. You’d do the opposite for your limited edition collectors coin.

Social Media ushered in a promise of having near real-time and (supposedly) far more accurate statistics. Suddenly, we weren’t talking about difficult to quantify metrics like “circulation” and “page views”. Social Media brought us the “follower” and “like” metrics (likes, reactions, upvotes, etc), which are the ultimate… They are the Jesus metric and ostensibly engagement.

Of course, bots are an issue, but there’s a larger issue with Social Media metrics: the value that followers and likes are afforded. Standard web metrics like page views/session and time on a page are the gold standard for content engagement, and followers + likes are supposed to provide the same for Social Media. Yet, followers and and likes have a serious shortcoming. I’ll get to that in a bit but first…

There are really only two true “value” measurements in modern technology: human time and processor power+time (which is easy to measure in electricity). Followers and likes doesn’t measure either of those as the human time it takes to follow is nominal as is the computer time). Not to mention the intent of a follower (e.g. Judas followers & Judas sharing). This is further exacerbated by the fact that most Social Media is “free”. Obviously, Social Media is not free. The cost is your data, the rights to your content, and being subjected to the network bubble that ensues. But I digress…

Following a profile on Social Media costs very little human or computer time. Same with likes/reactions. In fact, keeping up with those profiles requires very little human or computer time AND technology is making that time less and less with automation and AI. In other words, Social Media metrics of followers and likes have virtually no economic value (human + computer time). Even comments are questionable. (consider the @username comments that are prevalent in Social Media). Throw in the fact that followers and likes can be purchased through advertising and followers/likes can carry a negative economic value to the brand.

Yet, Social Media monetary value is measured in followers. “Influencers” are those with a greater number of followers and reactions on their media. Throw in bots and the fact that all Social Media algorithms formulate a bubble and it’s not difficult to figure out how to game the social media systems.

Social Media made formulas for determining relevance that is calculated based upon self referencing metrics that are easily gamed and also have little to no economic value. Social Media formulas are not based upon relevance derived by a premium on top of human and computer time.

Enter Social Media powered by tokenizing (e.g blockchain mining). Social Media no longer needs to be powered by advertising (although advertising does not go away). Users mine on their network(s) of choice and use their earnings to perform network interactions. Users are directly investing their computer time into their social network(s), even without consuming content or using the network.

Placing content on the network(s) requires exchanging/purchasing the content space on the network. Which is somewhat counter to social networks today that are paying content creators for their content via advertising.

So, why would anyone want this tokenized model when everything under today’s model is “free”?

  • Consuming content would also require an exchange/purchase, and content creators can place a premium on interacting with their content
  • Advertising/product placement would still exist and content creators have more powerful metrics (e.g. on average, I receive 500,000 tokens for every piece of content I produce) to provide advertisers such that the content creators can charge more
  • Content creators have the ability to set their own rates of consumption as well as the license of their content (permanent, time limitation, etc)
  • Helpers (think stackoverflow.com) would be able to determine if someone asking a question is paying a viable rate for them to provide their insight for tips. For example, User A tips well for the winning answer to a complex coding issue. Helper 1 sees that and is willing to provide more comprehensive advise than RTFM and is rewarded handsomely by User A for the sound advice
  • Advertising on the social networks would have smart contracts that could come with clauses making bot interactions and/or nefarious interactions much easier to punish
  • The social networks have control over all the tokens and can easily reverse/punish bot transactions, virtually eliminating the problem of bots. In other words, if a bot farm wants to provide mining for the social network so that the bot farm can produce and interact with content on a massive scale such that it would influence people, it will cost the bot farm considerably more computer time than it does now. Also, once the bot farm is determined to be a bot farm by the social network, the bot farm tokens can be confiscated by the social network and the bot farm content revoked. The bot farm loses everything and all users effected regain their tokens (providing additional incentive to the social network users to not tolerate bots). The bot farm would have to shift its mining elsewhere immediately or else it would continue paying the social network in mining resources (i.e. computer time).
  • Content creators of games would be able to tap into the mining power of the users playing their games to add a revenue source and help offset their costs to be part of the network.

Perhaps, users could also mine elsewhere and then transfer funds to their social network wallet of choice and exchange for tokens to interact on that network. This would open up an entire marketplace of services within the social network environment.

The value of a social network is now the amount of tokens created on it’s network * the exchange rate of those tokens on the open market. Followers and likes have measurable economic value, and Judas would be paying 30 tokens instead of earning tokens as a bot troll.

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It helps to be a Nobel laureate when you spout out economic nonsense. But, if you’re not able to milk your 2008 Nobel prize, here are the top ways to become a successful bitcoin doomsdayer:

  • It helps if you have some sort of “authority” on the subject: Nobel prize in economics, MBA, degree in finance, Instagram pictures of you on a boat, etc.
  • Start by claiming bitcoin is a bubble and even claim that you’ve been saying that for years.
  • Claim that you’ve been “right” about bitcion and cryptocurrency for years. You don’t need to have any proof of such claims, just make the claims.
  • Make nebulous claims like “this won’t end well” and “this bubble is about to burst”
  • Use words like parabolic
  • Make as many unsubstantiated claims of bitcion’s “true value” as you can. Just make up a number: $1,000… $3,000… Doesn’t matter if you understand the technology or not. Just make something up that sounds scary to people.
  • Be as vague as possible as to when the bitcoin bubble will burst. Remember, being an internet oracle doesn’t require specifics or even a month. Oracles are made by claims of “soon” and “imminent”.
  • Be as vague as possible as to what value the bitcoin crash will dip to. In fact, don’t even say what the crash will be. This way, when there’s a correction of 40% you can still claim oracle status! Definitely don’t make a 100% accurate prediction to the exact thousand dollar amount that BTC will drop to.
  • Use the word bubble at least 3-4 times every hour; even in conversations unrelated to bitcion
  • Make reference to the mythical tulip bubble
  • Bask in the glory of being right 4-5x per year about the bitcoin bubble when there’s a major correction in the budding cryptocurrency market every few months!
  • Bitcoin shame as much as possible on social media!

P.S. In Krugman’s defense, he does make a valid point that he doesn’t understand technology. He also makes a reasonable point that bitcoin lacks viability as a transactional currency. That is valid given BTC’s current limitations for handling massive tx volume and BTC’s high tx cost. BTC will either need to change or (more likely) be used as a store of large amounts of wealth and for large transactions (e.g. buying a house).

I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Sheila Blair (chair of the FDIC), but at least she is coming up with ideas that actually make economic sense! Paulson on the other hand has already spent 1/3 of the $700 billion dollars he charged on the National American Express, and believe me when I say that we aren’t going to see any benefit from that money and are likely not even going to get any of it back. Now, Paulson is talking about buying stock in banks, which is just the most ridiculous idea to ever come out of the building next to the White House. Granted, Paulson is going to be gone in January anyway, but his plans to spend the “bailout” funds like there’s no tomorrow really need to stop. W could certainly redeem himself a little by asking Paulson to resign or firing him if Paulson doesn’t resign.

There are plenty of things to be passionate about. Firing people is usually not something that I am passionate about. However, when there is someone whose ideas are so detrimental to the stability of the American economy, we need to get rid of him. If you’ve been buried under a rock, Henry Paulson is the communist Treasury Secretary who was calling for the bank “bailout” months ago. Unfortunately, he got what he wanted. After having fumbled the ball on US economic policy so far, our Congress somehow believed him that we needed this.

Now, his team has come up with the most absurd idea in the history of idiotic economic ideas: purchase stock in banks to help their balance sheets. Where does he come up with such idiotic ideas!?! While buying up bad debt from failed loans would certainly create a mess, this communistic thinking is the most absurd idea I’ve ever heard! What will happen *when* (not if) the stock goes down? Who really reaps the reward of the US government going in a buying stock? The investors. The banks are not going to benefit at all because investors are going to watch their stocks go up and then jump ship because Paulson was stupid enough to buy their stock. The stock will come back down, and the US loses money.

For conspiracy theorists, this is just the beginning of the evil plan by the smoking gunman to turn America into a communist state. While I can’t agree with the over all conspiracy, the thoughts of Federal government ownership to the tune of $700 billion is VERY disturbing.

I have news for people who voted Yes on Proposition 8. The California Constitutional amendment is invalid. Here’s why:

in 1959, California ratified the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Article 1 states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges (emphasis added) or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

California’s Constitution does allow for amending our Constitution with a simple majority vote. However, it also requires that when two amendments conflict with each other that the amendment with the higher vote wins out over the amendment with the lower vote. Since Proposition 8 passed with only 52.4% it becomes invalid.

I highlighted privileges above because a lot of people seem to be talking about “rights”. In fact, the title of Proposition was listed as “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry”. However, the 14th Amendment extends FAR beyond mere rights to all privileges. Whether marriage is a right or not is of no consequence. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Proposition 8 is invalid.

There’s a lot of crap that Biden has been getting for his comment about terrorists testing America if Obama is elected. Was he referring to the Cuban Missile Crisis? Or was he referring to the attacks of September 11?

Let’s put things in perspective here, my friends (as John McCain would say). Bush, a politician with next to zero experience, gets elected and America is attacked. Were they planning the attacks before Bush was elected? Hell if I know. Would they have attacked if Gore was in office? Who knows.

Having a noob President who also happens to be a cowboy in office certainly would give the terrorists an additional incentive to attack us. It has been well documented that the terrorists are interested in bankrupting America. This is precisely the direction that Cowboy Bush and Congress have been taking us.

However, I’m willing to bet that a McCain presidency is far more likely to result in a terrorist attack on America than an Obama presidency. Why? Because John McCain has shown that he is willing to fight a “war on terror” by invading another country that had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11. McCain is willing to turn America into a communist country (ala voting for the communist bailout of failing banks in America) and send our soldiers into harms way with misguided and fabricated military intelligence.

Just think about it for a minute. Where was his 30 years of experience when he was sounding the war on Iraq trumpet? Where was all his wisdom when he cast his votes in Congress that put us into the situation we are in now? A lot of good that experience did for us over the last 8 years, right?

I’m having flashbacks to the Teapot Dome Scandal in the mid 1920s’ after I read this article on CNN about the Oil Whistleblower.

History certainly does have a way of repeating itself. Something tells me that there’s going to be a lot of uncovering of dirty laundry after Bush and Cheney are gone. Get the paper shredders ready Dick!

First, they really expected a Bush supported emergency bank bailout plan to just walk down the isles in the House. I’m sorry, but hasn’t the Bush administration been talking about the strength of the economy for the last several months? Years even? Given that they had their heads up their asses or were completely lying about the situation, why should be believe in any urgency about the bailout. Seeing as how they were completely wrong about the state of the economy for at least the last 18 months (the largest bank in the world – WAMU – doesn’t fail overnight folks), why are they suddenly right about the economy?

Then, this morning I read this article about a large slide in the manufacturing index. This should have been a no-brainer. If businesses can’t get money from their banks, they tap their other resource for capital: inventory. It’s a pretty simple business concept. Sell inventory and turn it into cash. Most businesses that sell products operate like this. Somehow, this is a foreign concept to the folks on Wall Street? Of course, in normal economic conditions businesses reinvest that revenue back into inventory. But if your bank is holding you by the gonads, you don’t buy more inventory. You keep the cash.

Good thing the fundamentals of our economy are strong.

John McCain, looking to gain support for his gas tax holiday, reached out to Hillary Clinton supporters in a stunning speech stimulating the lives of all the “bitter” voters of Pennsylvania. While most of the media focused on the bitter voter aspect of the McCain speech, I found it damning for the McCain campaign that his advisers believe his gas tax holiday is a winning argument. God help us if we have an administration that believes this idiotic economic policy will do anything more than severely damage the US economy.

Often cited as having a better grip on economic issues, Barrack Obama surprisingly proposed a $50 million subsidy for big oil on Monday. Where have you spent your tax rebate check? My guess is that you’ve spent it (will spend it) at the gas pump. Guess who is making the money on higher gas prices? It isn’t your local (independently owned and operated) gas station. Obama tears into McCain for offering up a gas tax holiday (yes, a stupid idea), but his proposal to expand the tax refunds is no different: a subsidy for big oil.

How about we get politicians offering up real economic solutions. Solutions that are going to create more jobs rather than get us to spend more money on gas and useless crap from Walmart. How about some financial incentives for anyone who wants to solar panel their house! How about some tax credits for small businesses and entrepreneurs who are the heart of the American economy! What about spending that $50 million on helping people start or grow their businesses! Give me some real fiscal stimulus, Obama, not some watered-down version of McCain’s gas tax holiday.