Archive for March, 2009

I remember reading about a plan to grow algae and live on the sea on a man-made platform in a Scientific American sometime back in the 1980’s. I also recall seeing a show on big ships where millionaires could purchase an apartment on the ship. I believe there is a converted offshore drilling rig or two which are now tiny cities. Seasteading dreams have been around for decades. Perhaps with the advent of sea going apartments the Seastead is finally on the horizon. (Pun Intended.) :)
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
— Milton Friedman I think all too often we forget that people in power are ambitious and the person who reins in power to do some good now also reins in power for so many others to do so much bad tomorrow.
Every business owner can benefit from an article on pricing. With everyone buzzing about inline marketing, there is a danger of giving too much away for free. I recently wrote to an old client and friend that selling something for a price places certain conditions on the buyer and on the seller that are not available to the purchaser of free services. Another friend and client and I have spoken at length about under pricing products. The same quality product which sells for sells for $59 is viewed as inferior to something which costs $199. The purchaser will certainly return the higher priced item if it lacks value. The lower priced item may already be marked in the purchaser’s mind as inferior. My client found she sometimes sold more events at a higher price even though the market for the less expensive items seemed larger. I have had a similar experience comparing shoppers in New York (NY) with shoppers in Louisiana (LA). In a previous life I worked at The Home Depot. A big box retail store. In LA, shoppers were bargain hunters and had little respect for the products or the people servicing them. In NY, shoppers tended to be affluent people with money to spend. They had a great deal of respect for the merchandise and for the sales clerks. (more…)
Sheldon Richman worte the following in Obama’s Uninformed Optimism on the Future of Freedom Foundation web site.
There is more to fear than fear itself. There’s government and its dim-witted attempts to fix the economy.
The article articulates a pet peeve of mine. Lawyers, like President Obama, do not have the training needed to make economic decisions about a whole country. Heck, economists do not have the training to make economics decisions for a whole nation. IMO, we need a system of government which strips government of the power to affect the economy. Swearing a person into office does not magically imbue that person with a means to predict the future or to understand an economy. Relying on any government official to “fix” the economy reveals at least one major flaw in our system of governance. As long as we rely on a flawed system of government we do ourselves and our descendants a huge disservice.
John Kolbert wrote a function to to get a list (array) of users by their role name. For example, he shows how to get a list of editors. I would only change the function slightly to accommodate my own programming style (and because I can't leave well enough alone).
  1. function get_users_with_role ($role) {
  3.     // gets all users with specified role
  4.     $wp_user_search = new WP_User_Search( '', '', $role);
  6.     return $wp_user_search->get_results();
  8. }

As John notes, remember this is for use in the admin panels. Thanks, John.
It seems counter-intuitive to some folks that raising tax rates might lower tax revenues. Here's a story about a story about oil companies leaving a high tax nation for a low tax nation. This is how we chase tax revenue from our country by raising taxes.