Just a quick thought.
As we all awaited the SupremeCourt decision on the Affordable Care Act, many of us (yes, me included) got our news from the Scotusblog. The Scotusblog live blog was practically indispensable on that very important news story. And, yes, they got it right.
And, today when Anderson Cooper came out, he chose to do so on a blog — Andrew Sullivan’s blog.
We have arrived at the point where the right blog can be a legitimate news source. With the Scotusblog example, we learn the value of “narrow expertise.” And with Sullivan’s blog, if you have followed him at all, you know that he has a remarkable ability to take a major theme and find just the details we need as he runs with that theme. He has done this in a number of ways, with a number of stories.
Just one way the world keeps changing.
(iPhone vs. Blackberry): How Long Will You Be Successful With What You Offer Today? – Maybe Not So Long
“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Here’s one of those predictions that missed it a bit…
BLOOMBERG: The iPhone’s impact will be minimal. It will only appeal to “a few gadget freaks.” Nokia and Motorola haven’t a care in the world.
In an opinion piece in Bloomberg, Matthew Lynn predicted that the iPhone’s impact on the wireless industry would be minimal, arguing that the smartphone would really only appeal to “a few gadget freaks.”
You know, for most of human history, you did not have to worry about whether or not your job was going to disappear. And people “relaxed” because once they learned a job, they could perform that job for a very long time. In many instances, generation to generation. If you dad was a farmer, and your grandfather was a farmer, then you were a farmer, and your son would be a farmer. Sure, other stuff mattered – work ethic especially. And the elements could wipe out the family farm, or war could disrupt everything. But your job – your product, your service – well it would be ok. Even for most of the last century, there was stability. If you knew how to work on your spot on the assembly line, you were pretty much set for life.
Back to these predictions. How about this one, from Business Week (from the same Business Insider article)?:
BUSINESSWEEK: The iPhone will never be a threat to the BlackBerry.
Stephen Wildstrom argued in BusinessWeek that the iPhone would not be a BlackBerry killer as some had predicted because the two devices were intended for two different markets.
“People get BlackBerrys to get mail, specifically corporate e-mail,” he wrote “People are going to buy iPhones to get entertainment, with mail as a bonus. The products live in almost totally disjoint worlds.”
The iPhone vs. the Blackberry: It seemed like such a slam dunk win for BlackBerry when the iPhone first came out. But, as we all know now, that “seemed like a slam dunk” missed the mark pretty dramatically.
So, here is the threat we all face today. Is our product or service one that can last for while? And, whatever we do, let’s not get cocky, complacent… We’ve got to become world-class observers, constantly scouting out the possible competition. Something is coming around the corner, and we’d best be ahead of that new threat, and then the next, and the one after that…
How and Why The Wealth of Nations is “one of the most important and influential books ever written.”
The title of this review is from the Foreword to this volume, written by Eamonn Butler (Director of the Adam Smith Institute), and continues as follows: The Wealth of Nations “transformed how we think about the nature of economic life, turning it from an ancient to a recognizably modern form.” Razeen Sally is Senior Lecturer in International Politic al Economy at London School of Economics and Co-Director of European Centre for Political Economy (ECIPE). In the Preface, he observes, “The governing principles of the Smithian economic system is ‘natural liberty’ (or non-intervention), which allows ‘every man to pursue his own interest his own way, upon the liberal plan of equality, liberty and justice.’ And as Smith goes on to say, ‘All systems of preference or restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord.’”
Those who have read one or more of the volumes that comprise Tom Butler-Bowdon’s 50 Classics series already know that he possesses superior reasoning and writing skills as well as a relentless curiosity when conducting research on history’s greatest thinkers and their major works. For these and other reasons, I cannot think of another person better qualified to provide the introductions to the volumes that comprise a new series, Capstone Classics.
Unlike so many others, he provides more, much more than a flimsy “briefing” to the given work. In his 32-page Introduction to this edition of The Wealth of Nations, Butler-Bowdon discusses subjects and issues such as these in order to create a context, a frame-of-reference, for Smith’s insights:
o Adam Smith and the world in which he lived
o The Wealth of Nations (TWON): Its origins and influences
o The major political and economic issues that it addresses
o The meaning and significance of two terms, “wealth” and “nations,” in the book’s title
o Contemporary works with which it was compared and contrasted
o Adam Smith’s views on social relations
o How a strong market “works”
o Why specialization is “the key to prosperity”
o Smith’s views on enlightened self-interest as opposed to society’s best interests
o The crucial role of capital
o How and why Smith differentiates (in TWON) a nation’s productivity and its system of currency
o The respective roles of price and demand in a market economy
o TWON)‘s “agrarian bias”
o Smith’s views on government’s proper role
o Correlations between personal wealth and natural wealth
o Smith’s views on hum rights
There are dozens of others, of course, but hopefully these will provide at least some indication of the scope of Butler-Bowdon’s coverage in the 32-page Introduction. As indicated earlier, is to create a context, a frame-of-reference, for Adam Smith’s insights. He does so brilliantly and also in each of the other volumes in the Capstone Classics series that have been published thus far.