Archive for January 2009
Recently, I was engaged in a conversation with a 50 year old housewife when she uttered a phrase I have heard countless times before – “I try not to be judgemental.” I have always had difficulty accepting this as remotely true for anyone, and it has struck me as a near impossible premise from the first time I heard it said. For some reason, this time around, it came across as patently absurd.
Let us imagine the daily life of an individual who does not judge. Lying in bed fast asleep, the alarm buzzes with it’s typically annoying piercing beeps. Our subject turns over in bed with eyes groggily opening. He looks at the time, 6:30 AM, and can’t decide if he should tumble out of his bed to get to work. He’s not sure if earning that paycheck is really worth all the trouble. Here, our non-judgemental hero would be stopped dead in his tracks.
We all, whether by sociatel pressure or not, make a value judgement as to the total benefit of employment against the effort required to earn a paycheck. For most, we decide that having a roof over our head, driving a nice car, and being able to purchase those expensive French pasteries we so enjoy are worth the time and energy we put into our jobs. We judge that money is well worth the time and energy required to earn it.
With the explosion in the number of blogs littering the internet, every blogger takes extraneous efforts to increase their visitor count. The all important hit count is the singular indicator whether your blog is popular or not.
There are blogs dedicated soley to advising bloggers on who to get their blogs noticed, and attract a larger share of readership. Focusing on key words, interlinking blogrolls, content distribution, and comment links in other blogs are all part of the “how to get your blog hits” mantra.
You’ve followed all the steps to get you blog hits – selected a topic to focus on, included important key words in your tags and post titles, built a nice shared blogroll with other blogs, and politely commented on other blogs to get the word out about your blog. After all these steps your blog is averaging a couple hundred hit per day. All things considered, you’ve done fairly well for yourself. But your blog is middle-brow. One of among tens of thousands of other blogs that suffer from medicrioty in terms of hits.
The trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald will be starting a real world version of the Hollywood Stock Exchange – an online virtual trading world where players buy and sell movie and celebrity stocks. Cantor will now offer movie studios to purchase bonds relative to a movie’s financial performance.
Cantor is actively recruiting veteran HSX traders to participate in advertising and selling these bonds to movie studios. Cantor Fitzgerald needs “experts” to sell their product. While there are undoubtedly individuals who have fared appreciably more successful then other traders on HSX, I’m hard pressed to say there are any “experts” in the fantasy trading game.
Let us assume the Cantor incarnation will operate similar to HSX. A movie stocks price is based on it’s expected total gross(for wide releases four weeks, twelve weeks for limited release). On it’s opening weekend, a movie will adjust according to it’s weekend gross along with an internal multiplier(typically 2.8).
As with all systems that aren’t manufactured, for instance casinos, sports is a highly unpredictable arena. But littered with experts from former players to journalists eager to give you their arrogant self-predictions for future seasons.
Every season for every sport, these experts publish their predictions in newspapers, magazines, and television shows(the latter particularly prone to bombastic proclamations of arrogance). The experts put on record every year(and every week) their elevated knowledge in the sports domain. Take a quick look at just how much these so-called professionals really know, and you’ll find that sports is as unpredictable as most everything in life. That guy on ESPN whose studied football for twenty years is probably no better at predicting the final NFL standings then you or me.
Take a look at ESPN’s preseason power ranking for the NFL. The error rate is astounding. Of the 16 bottom ranked teams, 5 of them made the playoffs this season. Two of the supposed three worst teams ended up with records 11-5 records(Atlanta and Miami). The Titans were ranked 16th and ended up with the best record in the league. The Jaguars, Saints, and Seahawks were all ranked in the top ten, but not one ended with a winning record.