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Tomorrow the fire marshal inspects to see if we have a fire extinguisher, and whether or not we've removed those annoying tags from all the pillows and sheets. At some point after that we'll actually be able to bill for my quarter million dollar travesty.
But you know my proudest accomplishment of the week?
Fuckin' A that was a tree in sections Sunday morning, and by Sunday sunset I could barely make a fist with my right hand.
The knots in old trees in the pacific northwest are bigger than the trees in New Mexico.
We don't disagree. My main point is that the system is definitely tilted towards those with the acumen to splash six figures around as if it were poker chips at the expense of those who have never heard the phrase "fractional reserve banking."
- Medical system definitely does not favor consumer empowerment.
I coulda sworn you were an executive at a biomedical startup and shit. That makes this statement the equivalent of Maximus Decimus Meridius stating that gladiatorial combat does not favor kittens.
My wife nearly lost a client last week. Lady left a voice mail freaking out over the fact that her insurance wasn't covering routine blood tests - they stuck her for a thousand dollars and oh holy fuck it wasn't like this with the last kid. My wife had to call her back and say "you have a five thousand dollar deductible. With the last kid you had a zero deductible. That's what deductible means - it means you will pay, with few exceptions, five thousand dollars before insurance will cover anything."
Our allowed charges for procedures vary by an order of magnitude depending on which insurance company is paying. That's why we have not one but two billing subcontractors.
I understand the instinct to parse the article for the pearls that affirm your righteous indignation and then move on, but there's more at work here.
Google is, depending on the quarter, either the biggest or the second biggest company in the world and 90% of their money still comes from advertising. Facebook has the highest market cap in the world and 85% of their money still comes from advertising.
Traditional media buys are governed by a number of standards and practices. Their effectiveness is audited. You get what you pay for or you sue for fraud. As a consequence, advertising in the land of broadcast is a known thing with known results. There's a show on TV and advertisers pay for it so they can put their commercials in front of your eyeballs.
Online media buys are governed by fuckall. Their effectiveness is a black box. You pay what you get for or you get kicked off of Youtube. As a consequence, Youtube is a wasteland of hastily-constructed bot videos that respond to Google's closed search algorithm.
The FCC under Trump is going to do exactly zero to regulate the Internet. Shock videos about chemtrails that people watch for five seconds by accident are profitable because of the way Youtube counts views - which means Youtube encourages shock videos about chemtrails. This "fake news" we're all talking about? It's a direct consequence of the way online content is monetized.
This article is about the world's largest advertiser saying they're changing the way online content is monetized.
It's absolutely true: "We're not getting enough return on our investment, someone is getting richer off our advertising than we are, fuck them." But corporations aren't moral. No less than Saint Friedman argued that a moral corporation was a bad corporation. So what we're left with is the invisible hand of the marketplace refining the efficiency of online ad buys.
And they're used to traditional media, where they can verify they're getting what they're paying for.
There is no aspect of your media landscape that does not run on advertising. And while you're not wrong in saying "a pox on all their houses" you're also not learning anything by doing it.
L Ron Hubbard wrote a story in Astounding Magazine back in the late '50s where he argued that the quickest path to riches was not investment or business acumen but starting a cult. Two years later he wrote Dianetics.
Frontline's piece on Trump/Clinton is an impressive piece of media that doesn't paint Trump as a fascist. It identifies him as a bully that has never had to tell the truth so he doesn't. He's gotten to where he is by indulging his instinct for self-flattery and he's always been big enough to avoid burning out. But then, he's surrounded by sycophants with their own agendas so what we're left with is a bull in a china shop surrounded by ideologues with red capes.
So... I built a business. It's fuckin' expensive. We've got a business loan with a balance of over a quarter million dollars on it. And my wife got a medical degree. there's nearly a quarter million dollars on that one, too. My family is a half million dollars in debt before you even get to the house.
But I realized last week that if you take the appreciation on the house and subtract the business loan from it, we're tens of thousands of dollars in the black. I could sell my house right fuckin' now and pay off the loan. BAM. But I'm not going to do that. Because see we got a TARP bailout which means the thing will be paid off in like nine years. And that TARP bailout was on our mortgage, which was refinanced over ten years ago.
And the student debt? Income-based repayment. And the loan counts as a loss. Which we get to depreciate over a number of years. And we make 360 payments and the loan is forgiven. Income-based repayment on that sucka right now covers about 1/5th the interest on the loan.
My family is a half million dollars in debt and deeply fat and happy. If I were a 1040EZ kinda guy I'd be fucked but since I've gotten in the habit of playing with six-figure balances I've learned some of the horrific games rich people play. To even get the loan we had to get all sorts of insurance to prevent against hardship and loss so there really aren't many things that could go wrong that would actually put my family in financial jeopardy. The business? Sure. But it doesn't run around in a tutu so I don't give a fuck.
It's a symptom of the problems we're in that you need to go to school for six weeks to be legally allowed to cut hair but a quarter million dollars in debt? Sign on the dotted line. On the one hand, any schmuck who bought this house in 2001 would be sitting pretty. On the other hand, any schmuck who bought this house in 2001 would have faced weekly or monthly exhortations to open a line of credit, take a 2nd mortgage, refinance over and over again (and reset the 30-year clock) and piss away her investment. "Here - we're going to give you a whole bunch of money! Then we're going to spend the rest of your life tricking you out of it! Welcome to capitalism!"
Our basic problem is we live in a caveat emptor society and we teach our citizens exactly nothing about what they should be aware of or how to stay out of danger.
It's pretty fuckin' cool. If you run the Youtube video through an osc (I ran it through a DK MSD600M because I have one strapped across the mains) you'll notice that he's got some pretty brutal gating going on to keep the fuzz down but it's legit. I suspect his software captures square waves as "good enough" instead of showing the transients which allows him those nice, clean lines.
To the contrary, I see most people arguing that they're the first step towards fascism.