Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Well-Oiled Engines: What Would an iPhone X Have Cost in 1958?

Consider the 256 GB memory iPhone X: Implemented in vacuum tubes in 1957, the transistors in an iPhoneX alone would have:
• cost 150 trillion of today’s dollars: one and a half times today’s global annual product
• taken up a hundred-story square building 300 meters high, and 3 kilometers long and wide
• drawn 150 terawatts of power—30 times the world’s current generating capacity



6 Things Juggalo Culture Teaches Us About Trump Cracked (January 2017 but still useful). So far as I can tell, the Juggalos are the Burning Man of the working class. That’s why the FBI classifies them as a gang, but not the CEOs attending Burning Man, despite the wage-fixing cartel that they ran.

Russians are hot in the publishing world these days, and leading the pack is “A Legacy of Spies” by John Le Carré, his first George Smiley novel in 25 years.
The latest book finds Smiley protege Peter Guillam retired from the world of spies, enjoying some rest and relaxation on a farm in southern Brittany. But his Cold War past gets dredged up again as he and other  colleagues are called back to London to account for  past misdemeanors, actions taken during a time when  the methods used against the Soviets mattered less  than winning the ideological war.

Other recent and upcoming diplomatic thrillers — and you’ll know one when you see it: blocky font, red type, Kremlin on the cover, hammer and sickle optional — include “The Defectors” (Atria, out now) a page-turner by Joseph Kanon involving the KGB, the CIA and two American brothers caught between the two; and “The Shadow List” (GP Putnam’s Sons, out Tuesday) by Todd Moss, formerly the top American diplomat in West Africa, which deals with a Nigerian e-mail scam, a married couple that works for the US State Department and the CIA, and a Russian master criminal nicknamed The Bear.

21ST CENTURY EMPLOYMENT: The Stay-at-Home Mom Turned Foot-Fetish Model

DEMOGRAPHICS: The Mystery of Why Japanese People Are Having So Few Babies. “In a country where men are still widely expected to be breadwinners and support families, a lack of good jobs may be creating a class of men who don’t marry and have children because they—and their potential partners—know they can’t afford to.”


via SB Productivity and Meetings

Where modern macroeconomics went wrong Real World Economics Review (MT).

IT IS not easy to feel pity for Goldman Sachs. Its alumni lord it in pivotal government positions around the world; from every prestigious business school, applicants queue in hope of a job; its senior executives earn eye-watering amounts; and it has a presence, it seems, in every corner of the global economy. Yet these are troubling times for the bank. It is facing fundamental questions about its business model. Its investors are particularly worried by a precipitous decline in the fortunes of its core fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit (FICC). That is the business from which Goldman’s current leadership graduated. The bank’s president, Harvey Schwartz, used a conference on September 12th to give an unusually detailed account of how it is changing. He outlined plans for igniting growth in an apparently stagnant business, and for preserving profitability despite that stagnation. One factor in Goldman’s problems has been a change in its staff... Goldman