The Next Stage of Gadgets is Not a Gadget

I was thinking about the next big leap forward in personal technology on my run today because that’s how I roll. Personal computing has basically gone from desktop to laptop to mobile, including both tablets and phones. What’s next? The limiting factor is primarily user-interface. Anything smaller than a phone will be too small to have a screen (no output) and too small to have any kind of keyboard (no input). Some kind of direct mental control might work for the input, but there are big privacy concerns. Google Glass is supposed to be the next leap forward in displays, but I’m skeptical. What we needed, I thought, was a contact lens with a screen in it. I figured that was still a long ways off, but the Internet is generous, and always provides. That’s right, folks, an LCD display on a contact lens is already a reality, although it’s just a simple monochrome display at this point.

So the next stage of personal computing will really be wearable devices where the device is actually distributed into smaller segments, like perhaps a CPU built into your watch that displays to a screen in your contact lenses.

Statutory vs Effective Taxes (and Magical Ponies)

When Mitt Romney made that infamous “47%” remark, it didn’t take long for people to shoot that full of holes. But, in my previous post on taxation, I also said that the idea of corporations getting away with not paying their fair share was also dumb. You might ask “Why’s that?” I’ll assume that you did ask, and give you the answer in this post. With magical ponies. 

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Marginal vs Average Tax Rates (and the Hardy Boys)

I’m going to write about taxes. Probably not the smartest move if I want to attract more readers (which I do), but I’ve got two things going for me. First: I’ll shamelessly target nostalgia with some gratuitous Hardy Boys references. Secondly, I’m betting that a lot of people are as tired of hearing bumper-sticker political arguments as I am. Topics like marginal vs. average tax rates or statutory vs. effective taxation might not sound thrilling, but you know what’s even less thrilling? Listening to your relative tell you that he’s going to “go Galt” if he has to keep supporting that slacker 47%. Or maybe hearing your high school buddy argue that it’s criminal for corporations to get out of paying their fair share of taxes. (If you don’t know why one or both of those is stupid, just keep reading. Soon you will.) 

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Yes, but Angus T. Jones Still Thinks It’s Filth…

On Monday the Internet was abuzz with news that Angus T. Jones (the “1/2” from “Two and a Half Men”) had found Jesus, declared the show “filth” and asked people to stop watching it. (He’s stuck making it for another year because of a contract.) To which I responded “It took him 10 years to notice?” Yesterday, Vulture (a popular blog covering the media) printed Angus’s apology and noted that we now had “Two polar opposite perspectives.”  Except that we don’t. Angus apologized to the cast and crew of the show (who depend for their livelihood on people watching it) and also expressed gratitude to Lorre and others (for giving him 10 years of work and stacks of cash), but the heart of his earlier comment was that the show is “filth”. Nothing he said actually retracted that. And why should he?