Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Sunday, December 22, 2002day link 

 Entrepeneurial business ideas
picture The photo on the right is by Leonard Nimoy, aka Mr. Spock. Arcticle on salon.com about his love for photographing naked women.

But that wasn't really my point. I'm trying to practice thinking like an entrepeneurial capitalist, so I'm looking for grassroots things people do to set up businesses. If you go to Google and look up "naked women", the first site you get is this site, which has no naked women at all, but it is a little joke page, with a button you can't quite seem to get to click on. And the programmer's page is linked in small print way at the bottom. My point is, he's probably making good business just from that one little link.

But it is better to do something actually useful. See Gizmodo. It is a site for gadget freaks. Everything cool and new in electronic gizmos, information and reviews, in a pleasant and neutral format. But there are some links for being able to buy some of the stuff too. From what I hear those guys are doing well with that. On the order of paying somebody $1K/month for doing writing, and bringing in $5K/month in commissions from the online stores they send people to. Perfect. Everybody's happy.

Several people figured out that they could make a list of the top books mentioned most often in the thousands of weblogs updated recently. Nice service. Shows where people's attention are. But it is also a great little way of making some extra money without anybody having any problem with it. See, the people who compile those lists (using automated programs) will also add their own amazon.com affiliate code to all the links, which means they will get a percentage of any purchases of those books. That certainly doesn't bother anybody.

I use that too if I link to books at Amazon. So, if you right now go and pre-order your new Segway Scooter for 2003 delivery, I'll get a nice commission. Order one for me too now you're at it.
[ | 2002-12-22 23:56 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Commence habitation.
Doc Searls, answering Eric Norlin who was ranting against all the new agey hippie webloggers who think that there is something inherently free and socially just and evolutionary about the Internet, and who himself seemed to think the Net is just like anything else: about making money and whatever other self-gratifying activities people are already into.
Doc: "Well, I guess I'm one of those NewAgers, but I'm an OldAger too, and the crank in me agrees completely. The Net is a new world. You can do all kinds of stuff on it, and with it. ALL kinds. Exclude nothing, because it'll happen. Worlds are like that.

About making money. Ever asked yourself what the business model of rocks is? Of dirt? Of trees? Of rotted plants? Of reproductive urges? Last I looked the building, concrete, lumber, oil and porn businesses were doing pretty well. The difference with the Net is: its resources are infinite. They don't need to be renewed, because they're not scarce. You mine and harvest them by processes like duplication. Take all you want; just don't buy the illusion that you "own" any of it. You don't, any more than you own the air you breathe or the jillion-ton wedge of rock and lava between your yard and the core of the Earth. Deep down, it's a commie kinda place. Deal with it.
Think of the Net as a laboratory for human nature, because it's the first world entirely made by human beings. And as Craig Burton says, we've only begun to terraform it. It's like we created a parallel planet, occupying the same space and time as the one we already inhabit. We're there already and have to make the most of it. Including the fact that some of our founding dreams were wet."

[ | 2002-12-22 23:56 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Angry people in airports
The most linked article in weblogs today is Coffee, Tea, or Should We Feel Your Pregnant Wife’s Breasts? at Kuro5hin. It is presented as a tale of some ordinary decent people who get grossly mistreated in an airport by a fascist police state, for no reason at all, and he gets thrown in jail and she develops complications in her pregnancy. Well, I read it, and I'd otherwise be the first to complain about the violations of human liberty and rights to privacy going on in the United States right now. But, even reading the guy's own account, it sounds more like a self-centered macho guy with a big anger problem.

The security checks at U.S. airports are very annoying, and it is very questionable if they'll make much difference in hindering terrorist attacks. I made the mystake myself of flying to Las Vegas recently from L.A., rather than driving. Each way they twice pulled me aside to meticulously go through everything I was carrying and wearing. Taking off my shoes, patting over my body, locating my nail clipper, etc. It might or might not all make sense, but there's a point to it, and it certainly wasn't the personnel at the gate who came up with those policies. And everybody's a bit on edge. So, the very wrong thing to do is what that guy did. Refuse to take your hat off, because you can't see why you should have to. When they find the scissors in your bag, and they point out that you aren't allowed to bring scissors, you jump up and yell "What the fuck! What kind of shit is that?!?" Yeah, that'll help. And when your pregnant wife is crying after having gone through the same thing, you don't comfort her, but you stomp over and try to start a fight with the people who had checked her. The result is very predictably that they'll take you away in handcuffs, but that they'll later look quite leniently on it after things have calmed down, and it was obvious that you were being protective of your pregnant wife who was vulnerable, and you for some reason didn't understand what was expected of you. It has nothing to do with whether your rights are violated because somebody has the audacity to think you might have a bomb in your hat or around your waist or under your skirt or in your shoe. Indeed, it is people like you who are most likely to think they have a reason to. People who carry anger with them wherever they go.
[ | 2002-12-22 23:59 | 13 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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