July 10, 2009

Economists who aren't clueless

You may have already read Stan Liebowitz's "Anatomy of a Train Wreck" article about the mortgage meltdown (Steve Sailer publicized it), but he's written a lot of other great stuff, mostly about intellectual property and technology. Here's his webpage. If you don't know much about the real history of Microsoft's ascendancy -- and that includes just about everyone, since Microsoft is more of a folk devil than an existing company in most people's minds -- you should read through his very clear and data-packed articles there. Your library should have some of his books too.

Aside from reading about Microsoft, you can also discover that those academic urban legends about the Dvorak keyboard and Betamax tapes being superior to the QWERTY and VHS alternatives are bogus. We haven't been locked in to inferior standards at all.


  1. I must admit I thought (back when they were in hot competition) that Beta had a slightly better picture than VHS (in hindsight, probably the power of suggestion). But I could see that VHS would win the format war, due to Sony's dumb decision to keep Beta's physical size "appealingly" diminutive...which wasn't big enough to hold the longer Hollywood films on a single cassette. Even if Beta had in fact been technically superior, who cares? Beta and VHS are gone, replaced by something better.

    The 1980 tech standard for the compact digital audio disc (aka CD) disgusted many audiophiles, but 99.9% of the population has never owned a system (or had a sufficiently-trained ear) that could resolve the difference. A few years ago, the SACD (Super Audio CD) finally fixed the technical shortcomings of the CD...audiophiles rejoiced...and, despite being backward-compatible, the new standard flopped. Most people now listen to MP3, which is significantly lower-quality than the 1980 CD standard.

  2. Comment_Whatever7/13/09, 12:31 AM

    Agnostic, if you want to defend Sovereign Emperor Gates from those who seek to overturn the Throne Of Heaven, then I'll be more than willing to meet your Asiatic mind at Roissy's.

    I know you won't publish this, I just want you to hear how pathetic I think your worship of Sovereign Emperor Gates is.

  3. And I just want you to know how much I delight in your envy of companies that kick ass.

    I think your bitter loser key is jammed, btw. (They don't have any of those on my ThinkPad.)

  4. Comment_Whatever7/16/09, 2:46 PM

    Was Gary Kildall, from whom Gates stole 'his' first operating system from, also a bitter loser?

    Of course, I DO understand that Emperor Gates 'defeated' his opponents in 'battle'. He stole all their code, and then added 'his own'(that is other programmers work paid for with money from IBM and his other backers) and somehow beat them. He had all the code they had(because he could steal it all) + what he could pay others to make. Truly, it must take a master to 'win' with those advantages.

    Though all the money he made from the Microsoft Stock Options Fraud WAS impressive. An exceptionally clever scam. It did turn Microsoft into quite the cash machine. I'd say on par with Enron.

    But of course, YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT DO YOU? So maybe you should actualy learn the facts before embracing popular opinion.

    Aggy, if you had worked in the real world you would be less amused by corporate thugs.

  5. Embracing popular opinion -- which is that Microsoft is not evil... right. You're the one blindly jumping on the bandwagon, like most idiots do.

    And once more it's you that's clueless -- read Winners, Losers, and Microsoft to see how they really came to dominate. Their products were rated better. If they weren't, they didn't dominate the market (like personal finance software).


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