New blog name so I don't feel guilty about creating another abandoned blog.

I've been working on a new project. I'm helping design a new open source driving simulator. It's a huge challenge because of the many areas of expertise that are involved in making it work. We have 74 people signed up to help and I'm a project manager.

The trickiest part is going to be the management of this project. Driving simulators, as strange as it sounds, have been a passion of mine for the better part of a decade. This project is a test for me. Do I have what it takes to create something from scratch and make it a success? If so I'll have a lot more confidence and experience creating a business.

I'm a strange animal. I score very high on standardized tests but I don't do very well in school. Does that mean I have a short attention span or does it mean I'm lazy? I hope it's not the latter. I think I'm just waiting to find something I love to do. Right now I'm doing it with this simulator but I'm not being paid.

I have a hell of a lot to learn but I'm so wrapped up in the fact that I have so much to learn that I have trouble with confidence. Even if I pick a line of work and become the best at what I do, I'll inevitably have a lot to learn even then. So how do you know when you're successful? I think my definition of success needs a lot of fine tuning.

Making money honorably and still having time to spend it is a good definition. Finding somebody compatible to spend my time with might be another good definition. They tell me that if you can't be happy alone then you shouldn't be in a relationship in the first place.


Quote of the day:
Not so Evar Gassan, 20, whose liquor store in the Christian district of Karada was doing a roaring trade across the confessional divide.

"Everybody is buying drink to celebrate -- both Christian and Muslim," he said, gesturing toward 10 empty crates of imported Jordanian lager. "I will stay open until 9 p.m. and then go home to fire my Kalashnikov."


I have the flu but I managed to find another quote of the day.
In the future there are two roads. One is to look backward and hang on to what we think we're entitled to. The other is to recognize what has made America. Our virtues lie in a flexible and open, technology friendly, risk-taking, entrepreneurial, market-driven system. This is exactly the same type of challenge farmers went through in the late 1800's, sweatshop workers went through in the early 1900's, and manufacturing workers did in the first half of the 80's. We've got to focus on setting in motion a debate that pushes us into new sources of job creation rather than bemoaning the loss. There are Republicans and Democrats alike who are involved in this protectionist backlash. They're very vocal right now, and they need to be challenged.
Stephen S. Roach, managing director and chief economist of Morgan Stanley

Why don't these guys ever run for office? Easy, it doesn't pay as well :)


OK, I changed the title of my Blog from Lazy Middle Class Intellectual (a song lyric) because I recently realized that I'm not lazy. My attention span is short so I have trouble focusing. That and after looking at my logs I think my boss found my blog!

More timeline thinking. I don't think Open Source Software like Linux will compete with Longhorn(the next MS operating system)... in the short run. I was working with some email filtering today and instead of creating a folder with files in it. I set up folders in Outlook and attach files to email that I send to myself. That way you have information folders that aren't just files. You have emails as well as data files all in the same place. That is what MS wants to move towards with its new OS. Open Source will pounce when computing matures. Microsoft R&D is just paving the way for it's competition.

BirdsEye invented the frozen foods industry in England. They installed freezers in most of the shops which was very expensive but necessary to complete their vision. Unfortunately, they weren't counting on a bunch of startups who quickly moved in and started using the freezers that BirdsEye had payed for. Microsoft is the BirdsEye of technology, the freezer installation is happening now with the development of Longhorn.

Open source thought number 2. People are willing to pay for software if it is better than the free alternative. That seems obvious but a lot of people don't look at the Total Cost of Ownership.


I've been working on a couple of new things. One is called Folding@Home. It's a distributed computing project that uses your unused computing power to help find cures for diseases like Alzheimers, Parkinsons and cancer. Check it out HERE It's for a good cause and it's free.

There is a lot of work going on in business computing. MS is dedicating Billions of dollars anually to the problem. The problem is making data access and analysis simple. I use a database called SQL Server which is in a sense just a glorified excel spreadsheet. It's an ugly beast to work with. If you want to analyze data through reports you have to write your own custom front end code in C# or some other language or pay a lot of money for Crystal Reports which still requires a lot of configuration. I'm planning on starting my own business so I'm looking at ways to start with the latest, legacy-free stuff and eek out a competitive advantage.

The big picture is that people who are good at analytical thinking will start to earn a lot more money because they will no longer have inefficient tools holding them back. Everybody will be more productive and everything will begin to cost less. Now the question that remains is, where do all the people who used to do paperwork go?

Theory of the day: Inefficiency prevents a massive, impending wealth divide.
The assumption here is that low skilled laborers will be unable to adapt to the "New Economy" Supposedly the Jobless Recovery is due to the efficiency gains created by the massive IT shopping spree during the dot.com bubble. That doesn't bode well for the wealth divide. The fact that striking grocery workers have renamed capitalism corporate greed is a powerful sign that progressive taxation isn't progressive enough. The single biggest barrier to a healthy society is a lack of estate taxes. Bush calls estate tax "anti family" which is the same spin that brought us the constitutionally offensive Patriot Act. Look at Coors. The company was nearly run into the ground because of family members on the Board of Directors. It's anti-capitalist, in fact it's neo-monarchistic. Bush would have us eat cake.

Another issue I have is the tax code. I had a tax class in college and it was one of the two toughest classes I had. The complexity is tied to the fact that we like to give tax breaks to those in need. Fair enough but we've created enough complexity that tax lawyers become a good investment that mainly benefit the rich. Ironic that this regressive taxation is the result of a well meaning legislature. I'd love to see the end of itemized deductions. Have a couple simple credits and be done with it.

XML Web Services and the things MS is proposing are the epitome of efficiency. It's going to be interesting to see what the wealth divide looks like in 6 or 7 years.