Friday, October 21, 2005

Consolidation

I fully support the technology that is being created right now to make my life easier. Devices, programs and doodads that make me more productive while saving me time and energy are certainly hard to argue with. I like a coffee pot that not only wakes you up but brews a cup of coffee for you to grab on your way out the door. I like my television with the DVD player and VCR built into its one frame. I like anything wireless and my ability to use wireless things with nary a concern for proximity to its base station (I like to use my bluetooth keyboard from the fire escape outside of my office).

What presents a minor conundrum for me is the threshold of technological progress. That is to say, the goal of major progress is to consolidate tasks into ever smaller amounts of space and time. I don't profess to know what the limit is for this goal but I do know there is a limit. Or in more specific terms, I am bored of my ipod.

That's right. I am bored of the nearly 8,300 songs on my ipod. You know, that 19 days worth of music I carry around in digital form? Yawn. All those CDs I digitized so I could have them with me at all time? I'm over them. There is something about having my entire collection at my fingertips that has led me to cycle through the list of artists on my ipod and think way too often that I have nothing I want to listen to. Most of this malaise I think comes more from my perception of my circumstances than from a flaw in the ipod's design. But there is something to making human existence TOO easy that I think can inspire this feeling.

It's not that I ever relished the moments of digging through my CD shelves for the one CD I thought would capture the mood I was in. Due to poor organizational skills, these moments of digging took way too long and paid off in pretty fleeting dividends ("Oh damn, that Wall of Voodoo album is… okay!") However, I certainly never looked at my wall of CDs and thought, wow, there's just nothing good here. There was always something worth finding. It's possible that the simple act of search and appreciate, followed by the opening of a CD case and the insertion of said CD into the stereo insured that I would always have a commitment to the music I was playing. The fact that it would take another few minutes to find another CD also made me stick with the one I was playing longer. The ipod has such a perfect interface, it makes fast-forwarding through slightly imperfect songs very tempting. Is that bad? I'm not sure. A lot of the best listening experiences have to do with discovery. To have too much control of the experience can limit that sensation.

Also, Netflix. You've made my movie-watching experience too easy, Netflix. How dare you?!? Netflix subscriptions generally work like this. You get one. You fill out a massive queue of movies and then wait for them to roll in. The first 10 you blaze through, sending them back the same day you get them, thinking to yourself, ha ha Netflix, this month, you're losing money! The next 10, you slow down a little, maybe even hanging on to that obscure documentary for a full three weeks but still rotating the other two titles regularly. The third 10: it's curtains. It takes a week or two just to get through one movie. You start to resent the red envelopes showing up in your mailbox and sitting on top of your TV. Yet because of your commitment to Netflix, you also don't go to the video store anymore. Is this what FreshDirect is like? Do you start enjoying your food less because you didn't go to the store to buy it yourself? Would I like Netflix better if the packages were harder to open?

I was once at a conference my company – a cable TV channel – was having, listening to their plans for the future. This was in 2000 and the industry was flush and full of money. I remember hearing the speakers talk about how with the advent of TiVO, it was going to be harder to get people to watch commercials and thusly give companies reasons to pay for commercials. Setting aside the fact that this kind of discussion is pretty dull for someone who likes uninterrupted movies on TV, I took note of their proposed method for circumventing this new device with an even newer device: The Internet Television. That wasn't actually its name but its goal was to consolidate your online experience with your broadcast experience, in their eyes increasing the potential for impulse buying ("Holy Shit, that guy on that show is eating a tasty sandwich. I am going to order a tasty sandwich from this online deli.") and relegating the commercials to the online space of the TV. My channel - which is part of a bigger company - was going to roll out this device itself and assumed that doing so would ignite a buyer's frenzy. It's possible that other things grabbed their attention but after that conference and a few weeks of buzz, the device never really made it, caught on or took over the market. With little evidence, I always assumed that the product made life TOO easy. People who sit on the couch watching a lot of TV, I think, like to at least have the option of going online in another room of the house or if in the same room, at least, diverting their eyes to a different screen and replacing their remote with a keyboard.

I have to say that condemning two things I actually do enjoy like the ipod and Netflix is a little crazy (maybe the Internet TV is actually the key to happiness). As is arguing against progress. You can't argue for progress to stop. You generally can't identify what you've got as just right (I once thought my imac of several years ago was the fastest I would ever need a computer to be. Then I started rendering things... overnight.) If you're lucky, you can tell when you've got too much and then hopefully, you just have to reconfigure your perspective and take advantage of it. If there's more progress to make, it's probably better you embrace it, try it, and if it helps, use it. If it don't, go back to making your own paper and powering your lightbulb with a bicycle. Saving time is great provided you have things you want to spend that time on. Maybe that's my complaint. My argument is with myself. On days when I'm deep in my ipod and watching my scratched Netflix disc of Team America, my frustration is based in the time I'm saving and not using, that instead of using, I'm applying to further shortcuts. The shortcuts sack my joi de vivre and I end up not liking the music I own or the opportunity to watch movies delivered to my door. Man, I sound lame. I'm not trying to argue a techno-philosophy. Basically, I heard someone say they were sick of their ipod and in the past I'd found myself feeling the same, irrational way. Human perception, you crazy!

There was an old Mad Magazine where Earth in 20,000AD consists of little atrophied blobs who ride around in bubble cars (the fifties version of future cars always involved spheres) and have everything they could ever want within their little, weak arms' reach - the victims of a lifetime of unfettered progress. They had little propellers on their heads and very few teeth.

My point: If in the future, we're to wear little propellers on our heads and have very few teeth, it will be a bleak future indeed.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...


CaliforniaLoanRate.com
We will work with you to develop a plan that best serve your particular needs. We will then negotiate with your lender to incorporate any changes that are needed to make the plan acceptable both to you and to your lender. Keeping you in your home is advantageous to the lender. Our job is to help them appreciate that advantage.
SHORT SALES MAY SELL YOU SHORT

You may have been told that a short sale is your only course of action. What you may not have been told is that you may be dealing with the consequences of that action for many years.

DEADLINE SENSITIVITY

We understand that you may be facing immediate deadlines and that any delay can mean a loss of meaningful options for relief.

BEYOND BANKRUPTCY

Though we are happy to assist you with bankruptcy, should that be necessary, we believe it is an option that is avoidable more often than people realize.

TYPICAL RESTUCTURING PLANS

Restructuring plans may include:

Adding delinquent payments and any foreclosure fees to the back end of the loan. This may include a permanent reduction in your interest rate.

Forbearance plans may be used to temporarily halt the foreclosure process for up to four years while you make payments to become current with the lender.

GOALS OF NEGOTIATION WITH YOUR LENDER

In our negotiations with your lender we are seeking to lower your payments, lower the interest rate, mitigate any negative impact on your credit rating, and keep your home from going into foreclosure. The lender benefits by continuing to receive payments on the mortgage, and saving on the costs that would be incurred in a foreclosure.

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU

We will need to document your income and expenses for the last two years. Documentation will include pay stubbs, tax returns, bank statements and property tax bills, and all of the paperwork associated with your mortgage. We will need copies of your bills to document your financial situation and the factors that led to your falling behind. Please provide any other letters or notices that demonstrate that you faced a reduction in your income or higher than expected expenses.

TELLING YOUR STORY

We will ask you to prepare a draft letter that explains in your own words what factors have led to your need for a modification from the lender. It is important that you author this letter, and that it is not generic. Please include the details that bring to life the financial difficulties that you have faced. If you feel that you were not properly and fully informed regarding the terms of your loan, please describe the process by which you came to sign the loan papers and what your understanding of the terms of your loan was at that time.
CaliforniaLoanRate.com..


http://CaliforniaLoanRate.com

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are numerous steps when arranging a funeral service, whether it be preparation for burial or entombment. These include, but are not limited to:
Obtain a Burial Certificate - Law requires a burial permit to be procured by next of kin, typically via a licensed funeral director or through the local Vital Records or Birth and Death Registration office. Usually, a nominal fee is charged to acquire a burial permit.
Select a Burial Site - Oftentimes, the deceased will have either orally requested a burial site before death, or even have written such a request in a will.
Transport Deceased to Burial Site - This can be accomplished through a mortuary or special car service, typically in the form of the traditional hearse. However, many opt to customize this aspect of the funeral procession, in terms of the vehicle selected for transportation. There's usually an additional charge associated with transporting the deceased.
Opening and Closing of Gravesite - This must be arranged with the cemetery ahead of time, and there's typically a fee associated with both the opening and closing of the grave. Fees may vary depending on the day and times of service.
Purchasing a Burial Vault or Liner - Burial vaults, or liners, encapsulate the walls of a casket and prevent the surrounding earth from collapsing the casket over time. Typically, these aren't usually required by law, but often mandatory at most cemeteries, as it helps with site maintenance.
Select a Monument or Grave Marker - It is customary, and sometimes required by cemeteries, to purchase and place a headstone, tombstone or memorial marker at the gravesite for identification and also ritualistic traditions.
BayAreaFuneralService.com

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to BayAreaLawyers.com We are your free directory of San Francisco Bay Area lawyers who provide free or paid consultations to local residents in California.

3:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MalignantM​esotheliom​aPrognosis​.com

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos

Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart,the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart) or tunica vaginalis

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos and glass particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos or glass can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking, but smoking greatly increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers.Those who have been exposed to asbestos often utilize attorneys to collect damages for asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in mesothelioma (see asbestos and the law

The symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, and is confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to take biopsies. It allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (called pleurodesis), which prevents more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Cannabis, also known as marijuana (sometimes spelled "marihuana among many other names refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive . The word marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish marihuana. According to the United Nations, cannabis "is the most widely used illicit substance in the world."[5]

The typical herbal form of cannabis consists of the flowers and subtending leaves and stalks of mature pistillate of female plants. The resinous form of the drug is known as hashish (or merely as 'hash').

The major psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly abbreviated as THC). Cannabis contains more than 400 different chemical compounds, including at least 66 other cannabinoids (cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), etc.) which can result in different effects from those of THC alone.

Cannabis use has been found to have occurred as long ago as the 3rd millennium BC] In modern times, the drug has been used for recreational, religious or spiritul, and medicinal purposes. The UN estimated that in 2004 about 4% of the world's adult population (162 million people) use cannabis annually, and about 0.6% (22.5 million) use it on a daily basis.[9] The possession, use, or sale of cannabis preparations containing psychoactive cannabinoids became illegal in most parts of the world in the early 20th century Since then, some countries have intensified the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, while others have reduced it.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Large number of similar exposure units. Since insurance operates through pooling resources, the majority of insurance policies are provided for individual members of large classes, allowing insurers to benefit from the law of large numbers in which predicted losses are similar to the actual losses. Exceptions include Lloyd's of London, which is famous for insuring the life or health of actors, sports figures and other famous individuals. However, all exposures will have particular differences, which may lead to different premium rates.
Definite loss. The loss takes place at a known time, in a known place, and from a known cause. The classic example is death of an insured person on a life insurance policy. Fire, automobile accidents, and worker injuries may all easily meet this criterion. Other types of losses may only be definite in theory. Occupational disease, for instance, may involve prolonged exposure to injurious conditions where no specific time, place or cause is identifiable. Ideally, the time, place and cause of a loss should be clear enough that a reasonable person, with sufficient information, could objectively verify all three elements.
Accidental loss. The event that constitutes the trigger of a claim should be fortuitous, or at least outside the control of the beneficiary of the insurance. The loss should be pure, in the sense that it results from an event for which there is only the opportunity for cost. Events that contain speculative elements, such as ordinary business risks or even purchasing a lottery ticket, are generally not considered insurable.
Large loss. The size of the loss must be meaningful from the perspective of the insured. Insurance premiums need to cover both the expected cost of losses, plus the cost of issuing and administering the policy, adjusting losses, and supplying the capital needed to reasonably assure that the insurer will be able to pay claims. For small losses these latter costs may be several times the size of the expected cost of losses. There is hardly any point in paying such costs unless the protection offered has real value to a buyer.
Affordable premium. If the likelihood of an insured event is so high, or the cost of the event so large, that the resulting premium is large relative to the amount of protection offered, it is not likely that the insurance will be purchased, even if on offer. Further, as the accounting profession formally recognizes in financial accounting standards, the premium cannot be so large that there is not a reasonable chance of a significant loss to the insurer. If there is no such chance of loss, the transaction may have the form of insurance, but not the substance. (See the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board standard number 113)
Calculable loss. There are two elements that must be at least estimable, if not formally calculable: the probability of loss, and the attendant cost. Probability of loss is generally an

4:29 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home