Google: Exordium and Terminus, aka 2525

On Wednesday Google introduced two new concepts. Concept One is that the beta Android operating system contains free Google mapping. Stock prices for Garmin and TomTom (people that sell GPS mapping) are down. Another industry based on selling arcane information on a retail basis challenged by the Google the Category Killer.

Concept Two is Music Search: when you type a song title into Google, you'll get four results that are Google's attempt to let you hear that song.

I wanted to test drive this, so I Googled the title of a favorite song from my youth: 2525. The song is really titled Exordium and Terminus, by Zager and Evans, but I tried the more obscure '2525' just to see what Google did. (Exordium means beginning, and terminus means end.)

Google returned two videos of the song, and two videos of a television show called "Cleopatra 2525". Not bad in the way of search results.


One of the links was this excellent video, made decades after the song was recorded, and I thought I'd include it here because (1) it's a value-added update to an old fave, and (2) it connects to my previous post about Wired For War.

Without further ado, here is
Exordium and Terminus by Zager and Evans:


Finished Wired For War

Today I finished reading Wired For War : The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, by P.W. Singer. This was an excellent book that took me an uncharacteristically long time to read, because every few pages I felt filled up with the implications of what Singer is talking about and I'd need to set it down and let it percolate. 
Progress is accelerated during wartime, and the country has been at war for 8+ years in two countries, and so logically we should be seeing remarkable technological advances. We are, and mostly on two fronts: improved survival rates of combat injuries, and increased use of automation in the forms of aircraft (mostly in unmanned aerial vehicles {UAVs}) and surface robots.

There's going to be long-lasting social changes because of these wars, and I believe they're in stealth mode because to a large extent the war is not evident to civilians. Demographically, we're building a new generation of wartime veterans (which is a great result from a lousy process), and we're also generating a new generation of wounded vets.

There are remarkable advances being made in aviation, automation, navigation, robotics, telemetry, real-time systems, and weapon systems. Google's new Android operating system, for instance, is being used in the Raytheon Android Tactical System (RATS). Soldiers will be able to see each other's location in the "battlespace".

Just as rifles permitted a soldier to kill an enemy at a new range, today's gear allows a "pilot" in Nevada to kill an enemy in Afganistan. Singer does a great job of teasing out the moral implications of this technowar. For instance, is a contractor operating a Predator drone an illegal combatant? Does that justify an enemy's attack on a Nevada shopping center? When killing becomes a real-world video game, are we producing the same child warriors that we decry in Africa?

I highly recommend this book.

Pittsburgh Gets Google Street View's 2nd Squad



A copy of the official press release follows:


Mountain View, CA. (AP) Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced that Street View's 2nd Squad had been selected for digitizing Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Cleveland, and Chicago.

Google's Street View™ technology is used to present "person in the street" views of what communities, people, storefronts, and houses look like along streets mapped by Google.

The decision was greated with dismay by some civic boosters, who hoped that a more leading-edge GoogleCar or GoogleTrike would be used to capture the essence of Pittsburgh's diverse, contemporary, sustainable cityscape.

"Not everybody gets the Trike", said Ulna Pratesh, Street View route manager, somewhat peevishly. "It's a question of resources. The 2nd Squad will do a fine job with Pittsburg. Then they'll move on to Youngstown and Cleveland, then Buffalo and perhaps Chicago."






The Mayor's office had suggested using the Google Trike to digitize only certain development properties suggested by the FOL1 Renaissance Project, and for the infamous 2nd Squad to cover the North Side, the East End, and other relatively unimportant regions. City Council had been split on the Mayor's proposal. Councilman Bill Peduto twittered:


1FOL = Friends of Luke

Original concept by: @Jetpack

Pittsburgh needs a PGH Top Level Domain (TLD)

This post conveys a serious suggestion for the City of Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh needs a TLD, and only city government can accomplish this.

TLD is a TLA (three letter acronym) for Top Level Domain. A Top Level Domain is the segment of a web address furthest to the right. Examples of TLDs that you've seen are .COM , .GOV, and .NET - maybe you've seen .MIL for the military, or .EDU for schools. These are all assumed to be US domains, which the rest of the world finds somewhat arrogant.

Internationally, you'll see country names ( .DE , .FR , .UK, .CN, .IN, .JN). Here's a world map with country-based TLDs represented by spatial orientation and by the relative size of the domain:


The tiny island sovereignty called Tuvalu happens to be assigned the .tv TLD, which they have subleased to people interested in URLs that relate to television. This is quite profitable for them.

There are moves afoot to establish many more TLDs, and there are benefits and fortunes to be found in running a new TLD. For instance, when .biz became available, there was a bit of a geek land rush to secure URLs.

What brought this to mind was a NYTimes article about how two groups are competing to establish and operate a new TLD, .GAY. They'd be able to sell names within that domain (such as Philadelphia.gay, or vacations.gay for instance) to the highest bidder. That would be a lucrative TLD to operate.

TLDs have previously been distributed nationally, but cities are just beginning to get into the game. If you subscribe to the Richard Florida worldview of city-based economies, it makes sense to extend TLDs down to the city level.

New York City has convinced ICANN, the people who approve or deny requests for TLDs, that it's appropriate for cities to develop their own TLDs, and they're on the verge of getting approval for .NYC. link1 link2


Pittsburgh should establish .PGH as a Top Level Domain. In this case, we're not interested in profits from administering the domain as much as we're interested in extending the regional brand into the web. We want advertisements and logos to say Steelers.PGH, DollarBank.PGH, etc. We want out-landers to see those URLs and think, "that's a city that gets it".



They'll still keep their .COM URLs, and they'll still resolve to the same websites, but it'll be a very low cost web marketing initiative for the region.

Here we go DOT P-G-H, here we go!

Two Tickets to Paris? Nice!


The Post-Gazette is carrying advertisements for free airfare to Paris. Winners must complete their round-trip travel by December 31st.

UGMT (usually, generally, most of the time) when a city or airport is giving away tickets between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's because either (1) they'll lose the service if they don't get a certain number of passengers per year, or (2) they've guaranteed a certain number of passengers a year, and they're trying to make good on the guarantee.

Does this mean that passengers and revenues have not met the levels that the County agreed to guarantee?

So now the County is going to have to make good on the difference between the guaranteed passenger revenue and the actual money, and so the County is giving away free seats (that they're we're paying for anyway)?

  • Could there possibly be a more unfriendly URL than http://www.flypittsburgh.com/Win_Round_Trip_Air_Fare_For_Two_to_Paris_Courtesy_of_FlyPittsburgh_com_and_Delta_Air_Lines ?
  • Couldn't there be a more Pro-Pittsburgh tagline - "From the Paris of Appalachia to that other one over there"?
  • I'd like to clarify that I think that it was a good move for the County to guarantee a certain activity level in order to reestablish international flights. It was a smart thing to do and a legit risk.



Two Tickets to Paris. Nice.


It is remarkable that a lot of the geek pundits proclaiming the qualities of Windows7 were the same people who once announced that Vista was the cat's meow.

John Dvorak is to be praised for his objectivity. One blogger refers to the new product as Vista 7.0 (Written via XP).

NWA188: Perspective on Small Passive Mistakes

Thursday afternoon I had a lot of things going on and my routine was broken by events. They were all good. Instead of driving home I planned to meet my wife at the Honda dealership to deliver our car for maintenance. I had the rendezvous written in my planner, I had remarked on it in conversation, and I had exchanged texts with my wife confirming the plan.

Then I got in my car and followed my routine instead of my plan, drove the wrong way for 11 miles, realized on the exit ramp that I was driving home instead of to the dealerships. I reversed course, got back on the highway in the other direction, passed my job, and went over to the dealership. On the way back I called my wife when I was five minutes out from the dealership and told her I was back on course.

I got there a few minutes late, but it was really no big thing. Just human error. My good wife, who has seen and forgiven many foibles, took it in stride. No biggie.


I'd like to use this true story to consider Wednesday's path of Northwest flight 188. You can click on the map below to see the flight's ground track.


Reports are that the aircraft flew past the airport at high altitude; the flight controllers were unable to raise the flight on the radio. The crew got back in touch, descended and got back into the line of arrivals and landed. It takes a while to descend out of thirty-some thousand feet.

Back in the day, passengers sat in the back uninformed. When they were partially informed, it was a nuisance; see the hijacking scenes from 1937's Lost Horizon. Now the passengers have their GPS and their iPhones and their laptops connected to the onboard WiFi, and they think they know as much as the flight crew.

This was not a big deal. People were concerned; maybe something was amiss. All was well, and it ended well. We don't know what happened. The authorities will figure it out, but it seems like a lot of uninformed noise over a non-event.

It's not like he landed a 767 on a taxiway. That was Monday's event. (See James Fallows on the relative risk and media coverage).

These things have been happening for decades. People wonder how they persist in spite of all the modern techno bells and whistles. I'm not so sure they don't happen because of all the modern marvels, if we haven't become passive in the presence of assistive technology.

Final thought: the Northwest MSP flyby and the Delta 767-taxiway story actually involve the same airline, since the NWA-Delta merger. Which, ahem, is a bit of a stretch.

Hyperlocal News Buzz: Newsday Follows PG+'s Lead

Long Island (lohng-eye-land) newspaper Newsday will move their website to a $5/week subscription-based model on Wednesday. Most of their content will go behind the wall, with some minor content (home page, school closings, weather) available to all.

If you subscribe to the dead-trees Newsday, or get your cable service from local ISP Cablevision, you're in for free. The cable company crossover is an interesting crossover that gives them 2.5 million "subscribers" from Day One — although they're all passive, no-marginal-charge accounts that are likely to artificially inflate the numbers like a Vietnam body-bag count (now in XML format!)

What's most interesting to me is that they're flogging the hyperlocal news buzztheme:
"We are excited about this model because in addition to a unique ability to immediately reach about 75 percent of Long Island households, we believe the hyper-local approach is right for Long Island," said Debby Krenek, Newsday managing editor and senior vice president/digital.


The Washington Post just shut down their hyperlocal news experiment in Loudoun County, Va.
“We found that our experiment with LoudounExtra.com as a separate site was not a sustainable model,” said Kris Coratti, a spokeswoman for the Washington Post Company. “Updating the large amount of special features and technologies” on the site, which was run by Post staff members, proved unsustainable...


To a certain extent, hyperlocal news is the news industry's dot-com bubble: the industry is failing and both legacy powers and new entrants are throwing money into a possible web front with no indication of probability. If the bubble collapses in a progression of mergers, the last man standing may have enough eyeballs to either save a local paper, or drive the local paper out of business.


The nascent hyperlocal news bubble will give legacy players something to do while they're burning through their cash reserves, it'll keep the outsourced web shops busy, it'll give the new journalism grads a casual dress sort-of-job while they're working on their screenplays, and in the end the hyperlocal news fad will probably be another nail in the coffin for newspapers.

Features that would be truly game changing would be Google Earth mashups with local crime and accident reports and real estate - in other words, co-opt the CraigsList ads and the OpenGov movement - but that's already a crowded webspace without an established path to profitability. It's going to be very hard for a local newspaper to cost-justify building their own geo-news service, so the national startups may have a foothold: the legacy papers have the local touch, and the national players have the applications.

My PG Plus Wishlist

Here's what I'd like the Post Gazette Plus to do for me - help me to visualize the hyperlocal news within Pittsburgh's somewhat unique geographic context. Pittsburgh is a hodgepodge of overlapping backwater municipalities, and although I've been consuming local news since I moved here in 1985 I still end up wondering "where is that, exactly" when I see a news story about Lincoln-Lemington or Blawnox. I'd love to see box-in-a-box imagery that shows me, on maps, where these stories are happening. Stratification by niche neighborhoods isn't exclusive to Pittsburgh - I think about Dumbo, for instance, in Brooklyn - but it is an established attribute of Pittsburgh that the web channel could exploit.

Post Gazette Plus 10/21/09

The Future Ate My Particles



Interesting NYTimes article about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland. The LHC, you'll recall, is supposed to accelerate particles to incredible speeds and then crash them together, demonstrating in a very scientific way what little boys with toy cars know instinctively: it's great fun to smash things together, and if you can get an explosion out of it, well, so much the better.

The LHC is the biggest and most expensive science project ever. Scientists believe that the collisions will provide (at a macro level) a simulation of the first moments of the universe, and (at a micro level) particles known as the Higgs boson. There is also a small theoretical possibility that the experiment will generate a black hole that will destroy all life on Earth and swallow up the solar system, but hey - you want to make an omelette, you got to take a few chances.

Between Sept. 10 and Sept. 19, 2008, the LHC was powered up and operational, until an explosion in the supermagnets and power couplings shut the thing down. Since then the LHC has endured a series of unexpected technical difficulties.

Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan — two brilliant scientists, affiliated with prestigious institutes — have published papers (paper1 , paper2) suggesting that maybe the problems getting the LHC running again aren't technical - maybe the future is interfering with the effort.

From the NY Times: This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the United States Superconducting Supercollider, also designed to find the Higgs boson, was canceled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Dr. Nielsen calls it an “anti-miracle.”

There are two theoretical scenarios which Nielsen and Ninomiya suggest.

In the first case of the Higgs and the collider, it is as if something is going back in time to keep the universe from being hit by a bus. Although just why the Higgs would be a catastrophe is not clear. If we knew, presumably, we wouldn’t be trying to make one. In this scenario, which admittedly requires time travel, our future scientists are trying to keep our present scientists from blowing up the universe.

In the second case, when events in the current reality present a choice - A or B - both choices occur, each in their own new quantum reality. And so in some realities, which are really probability densities, the black hole did swallow the solar system - we just don't know about that because we're not living on that thread. In the thread we are living in, the happy circumstance of the magnet failure allowed us to continue, and in the future we realize the tremendous risk and take steps to ensure the project fails.

Wow.

People may say, how does all this theoretical physics really improve my life? I mean, scientists in the Apollo program gave us Velcro and Tang back in the day, but what has the lab done for me lately?

The young boys with the toy cars would know how to use this bold new theory.
In the 60's we said: the dog ate my homework.
In the 90's we said: Windows ate my homework.
In the 00's we said: the Internet ate my homework. (the netscuse)
In the 10's they'll say: the future ate my homework.

Google Trike Suggestion: Great Allegheny Passage

I've previously written about the Google Trike using StreetView technology to present bike trail images in Google Maps. Now, Google is soliciting suggestions (until October 28th) about where the Google Trike should go next.

If you'll click https://services.google.com/fb/forms/streetviewussuggestions/, you'll see Google's solicitation of the next area for the Google Trike to map.

I'd like to respectfully request that you click that link, and suggest that the Google Trike goes to:
Category: Trail
Suggestion: Great Allegheny Passage
City: Pittsburgh and Cumberland
State: PA and MD
This would encourage tourism in the Pittsburgh-DC corridor and give more national visibility to a positive Pittsburgh attribute.
Kudos to: Paul Wiegman for passing this around.

Google Trike: My Perfect Next Job

I've had indications of what my perfect next job could be - I could be a bicycle guide along the Great Allegheny Passage. I could run a pedicab hauling passengers between Station Square and Southside. My latest ambition somewhat diminishes those other possibilities: I could work for Google Maps.

I've only ever seen a Google car once, but there are Google vehicles driving the roads everywhere on behalf of Google Maps. They have funny masts sticking out of them, with all sorts of electronics on the boom - GPS receivers, probably WAAS receivers, and digital cameras pointed in all directions. Recently, this lead to the introduction of Google Streets View.

In fact, here in Pittsburgh, somebody who knew when the Google car was coming staged a some performance art for the Google car to encounter, digitize and document. The Street View of Sampsonia Way is online here.

Street View is very popular. There's a limitation; Google was only documenting what could be seen on public roadways; there was no documentation of footpaths, jogging paths, walkways, or bike trails. Enter: the Google Trike. A perfect next job for me could be pedaling the Google Trike.


The Google Trike is a bicycle that travels where the Google cars can't go. Here's a picture (via BikePittsburgh, thanks!) of the Google Trike on a Pittsburgh trail - the Southside Trail, if I've got that right, looking across the river at downtown.


Here's a picture of a Google Trike mapping a narrow alley in Rome:


Interview with Google Trike Operator Pilot


Google Trike at Stonehenge:


Also, I expect they'll make a contribution to the effective organization of the bicycle dashboard, which cries out for advancement:


The use of a tricycle is inspired. Imagine if we'd had that insight forty years ago, maybe this would've looked different:



This could be my perfect next job. Although, I would suggest, the Google Trike could use fenders, and a bell. And an orange triangle. This is just way cooler than riding a Good Humor tricycle.

Linux Baby Rocker



There's elegant code, and there's elegant implementation, and sometimes you get to see them together in the same project.

Here's a bit of elegant code, just 5 lines if you remove the explanatory comments:
while [1 = 1]
   do
        #eject cdrom
        eject

        #pull cdrom tray back in
        eject -t
   done


Here's an abundantly elegant implementation:

Pittsburgh, the Copenhagen of Appalachia



Excellent article in USAToday proclaiming the Great Allegheny Passage as a Recession-Proof Getaway, complete with "life-affirming views amid forgiving terrain".

There's a great video of Cumberland trail activist Larry Brock describing the trail and its economic impact. The work is still in progress, but the trail is already bringing positive economic benefits to the towns while presenting low obligations for maintenance and marketing. Seems pretty green/sustainable.

Maybe next summer, maybe 2011, the trail will be complete from McKeesport to Point State Park. Then we'll see more cyclists coming into Pittsburgh with loaded bags looking for lodging, carbs, and beer.


Current status is there's a trail in McKeesport that leads over the Riverton Bridge and then stops at the trainyards. In 2010, the trail, the gas company, and the railroads will complete the trail up to the Waterfront. The Holy Grail is the hope that there'll be an accomodation negotiated with Sandcastle by 2011.

I know great bicycle advocates in Pittsburgh who believe that their efforts are best spent on projects within the city proper- sharrows (that is, share-arrows) and bike lanes, signage, etc - and while those are very important, IMO the completion of the trail between Duquesne and the Hot Metal Bridge is going to be the event that moves downtown bicycling past the tipping point.

Completion of the trail will move out-of-town cyclists into the Duquesne-Southside-Station Square- Jail Trail - Downtown corridor. That will present a volume and a presence beyond that which local cyclists generate. It'll be a force-multiplier.

People will be coming into Pittsburgh to ride to DC, people will be coming from DC along the trail. Their economic impact will include bike accomodations, bike lockers, bicycle friendly hotels and restaurants, etc.

To a lesser extent, you'll see people flying into Pittsburgh with their bikes in bike-boxes and trying to ride out of the airport to a hotel near the trail complex - and then we'll see momentum for the Montour Trail's Enlow Road Connector.


I'm thinking our next sobriquet might be "Pittsburgh, the Copenhagen of Appalachia".

Rare Home Truths about Windows

I never expected to actually read such news. A senior police officer spoke to members of parliament and candidly told them that they should use Linux if they expect secure Internet banking.

I guess the truth always comes out in the end. Microsoft has lies, hush money and non-tech savvy users on its side, but as Lincoln said, you can't fool all the people all the time.

Of course, I could also tell that we still have a long way to go.

The collection of MPs listening to van der Graaf were very enthusiastic about his suggestion but didn't understand what he meant and asked for clarification.

"You may need to explain further for us," said one MP, while another responded, "yes, we need to understand that".
On the brighter side, knowledge comes from asking questions and finding out more. When lay users find out more about Ubuntu Linux, I doubt if many will stay with Windows. The success of Firefox proves that people are not wedded to Microsoft's products.

PG Plus: Standoff, Casino, Governor

Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission has announced that bloggers must disclose their paid relationships with companies or products they blog about, even if the payment is only a free sample.

Let me be clear: I have received no payment, consideration, or so much as a free copy of the Sunday Post Gazette in exchange for my campaign to support the introduction of Post Gazette Plus.

I did think that a better title would have been "Post Gazette 2.0", or "post-Post-Gazette" (seems somebody already had pPG.com), but whatever - I'm here to support the hometown Black and Gold. But I'm not getting anything out of it, not even a complimentary pass to see what's actually in "PG+".

And that's the PG+ marketing plan, because you can't see what you're buying until after you've paid for it. I think that's asking too much - Salon gives you a two-day pass. The NY Times Select would give you a free look. All the street dealers know, if you want somebody build a habit, give them the first taste for free. Even McDonalds gives away their cold coffee.

As it is, I'm just sitting on the outside looking at those teaser headlines, hoping that maybe Santa Claus will bring me a PG+ subscription. I'd like to be able to entertain my Black-and-Gold peeps with some subscription-only, value-added scoop n'at.

Here's some enticing Thursday teasers:

The Post-Gazette (standard edition, PG-Zero) brings us the news of three adventurers who are accused of turning a casino machine into an Automated Teller Machine, having withdrawn $430,000 in a series of $2500 transactions.

The accusation is that the trio persuaded a casino employee to activate a "double-up" mode on the machine, which left it vulnerable to hacking. A series of specific keystrokes and the machine would generate a significant payout to the operator, and that payout would not be reported on daily summaries.

This unauthorized role reversal - with the "gambler" using the machine to take money out of the casino - is abhorrent to all who understand the nature of casino gambling, which can be summed up in a three-word rubric ("the house wins") and a two-word unspoken corollary ("suckers lose").

A casino is a facility for fleecing gamblers suckers by arbitraging the probablity of victory against the payoff rate. It's a lot like the old-school numbers bookie: the odds of winning are 1 in 1000, the payoff is 500 to 1, so the house keeps 50% of the volume.


The reason we have casinos, the reason We The People license casinos, and the reason the state protects the casinos is that they offer state budgets a piece of the action.

So this unsavory trio is alleged to have gone into a place that runs a fixed game, a crooked house, and they reverse the game and cheat the cheaters. So what?


What's intriguing to me is that the state is now the enforcer for the casino. No more no-neck leg-breakers needed. Somehow, we've put the Washington County District Attorney into the business of tending to the casino. And when I say "the state is now the enforcer", that really means that We The People are the enforcers.

What is our public interest in protecting a rigged game, or in protecting those who run a rigged casino?

People who go into these casinos aren't gamblers, because they're not playing in a game of straight percentages - they're suckers. These three accused men, however unsavory, might be the true gamblers - they played the casino at the casino's own game, and gambled that they wouldn't get caught.

Near as I can tell, their mistake (if guilty) was gambling on a retail scale, while the House and the State are working the wholesale game.

Let's apply Kant's Categorical Imperative - would it be OK if everybody did it? Would it be all right if a lot of people swindled one-armed bandits? I believe it would be all right. (edit)

What is the state's interest in defending a swindling machine that exists to take money out of the population?

JSON Schema becomes more Orderly


I have been convinced for a while that just like REST will gradually displace its more heavyweight SOAP/WS-* equivalent, JSON will slowly displace the mighty XML in its various strongholds (today Web Services, tomorrow the world :-). But to do that, JSON first needs to incorporate some rigour into its definition, using an equivalent to XML Schema, Relax NG or Schematron.

The JSON Schema proposal seemed to fit the bill quite nicely, but I was always vaguely uneasy that it was so verbose. There was probably no escape from that, since one of the requirements was that JSON Schema should itself be valid JSON (otherwise two parsers would be needed to consume a snippet of schema-compliant JSON).

Now along comes another schema syntax for JSON called Orderly, which has the twin advantages of being succinct and being able to round-trip to JSON Schema. The syntax has already been revised with inputs from commenters, and is looking much better in its second version.

Orderly's main advantage is its human-readability and -composability. Its simplicity (with no loss of rigour) will give JSON (and JSON Schema) the impetus they need to challenge XML. If Orderly catches fire, I believe it will accelerate the adoption of JSON for serious service-oriented work.

It's overdue.

Friday Post Gazette Plus

Robert Reich is an economist. To say that Robert Reich is an economist is to say that Lance Armstrong is a bicyclist.

I disagree with him on political matters, but I always listen closely to him on economic issues, because he's brilliant, generally right, capable of explaining technical nuance in layman's terms, and he's willing to state contrarian views.

Although physically diminutive, his stature is such that in 1992 the Democratic wisdom on economic policy was "to get somebody in the Oval Office who will put Robert Reich in the basement".

In his blog on Thursday, Reich talks about The Truth About Jobs that No One Wants To Tell You.

America is productive and making money. Let me rephrase that.
Americans are productive and Corporations are making money.
They're making money (i.e. they're taking wealth) out of the population.
The workforce is suffering while the corporations are thriving.

The "new normal" is that the formerly-middle-class will not have high-paying jobs, benefits, unions, security, retirement, or certainty. We're entering a "post-jobs" economy, call it the Wal-Mart economy, and Reich points out that the corporate strategy is unsustainable.

Reich calls for a new Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the ongoing jobs program he recommends would dwarf the recent bailout and stimulus programs.

There's a lot of examples of Works Progress Administration projects around Pittsburgh. My favorite is the terminal building at the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

We have an industrial policy which suggests that car companies are too big to fail. We have a financial policy which suggests that investors must be protected from market forces and responsibility.

We need to have a jobs policy that develops the middle class so that they can continue to bail out those corporations that the government deems worthy of our treasure.

China has a jobs policy. A major reason China is growing is they've adopted a policy of putting people to work. I'm no fan of Beijing, but they certainly have established and pursued employment as a priority, and right now they're doing better at it than we are.

I encourage you to read Reich.
(via Get The Flick.)
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