I’ve been going through my late father’s photos and slides. You know the drill: decades old scenes filled with people you don’t know. My wife is doing her late mother’s 8 mm movies too.
Here’s a prediction. In a few years you’ll be able to input a bunch of photos, slides, or films - of that picnic from 1957, or birthday party from 1974 - into software that will be able to produce a 3D simulation of the event that you can “fly” through, rotate, and so on.
Sinking costs to stifle potential future competition is something hard to motivate for students.
Holman Jenkins had a good example in his column last week about net neutrality; where this is the current strategy:
The greatest fear of Microsoft, Amazon, eBay and Yahoo is having to plumb their deep pockets and offer competing payments to broadband carriers to speed their bits to consumers. They much prefer spending their money to sprinkle server farms around the globe, assuring fast, reliable access for their customers in a way that no newcomer can easily replicate.
All of those server farms are sunk costs that show their commitment to the current “non-neutral” netiture, and which then serve to dissuade new entrants. Obviously, they also help to lock those firms into a preference for that netiture as well.
The new administration seemingly won't let companies fail, and won't let them succeed either.
This is more of an opinion, but it’s an interesting idea to keep around:
… That companies are inclined to snuggle up mainly to share losses and preserve capacity in a downturn or to curb the free-riding of powerful customers. When profits are available, on the other hand, they quickly go back to competing to maximize their respective shares rather than colluding to limit their individual upsides.
… A review of most accounts held by Bernard L. Madoff’s customers when he was arrested shows that about half of the customers had not lost money because they withdrew more money than they originally invested.
All of these people partnered in a criminal enterprise, and yet:
Prosecutors made the revelation as they told a judge in court papers that there was no need to order restitution …
Further, in any Ponzi scheme, the chances of profiting are higher when you get in earlier. Now … go out and look at all the “victims lists” you’ve seen published. Go ahead … here’s one, and another, and there’s even a mashup map.
Not one of these sources – which include rather detailed information including names, how much was “lost”, and sometimes even juicy personal details – lists when these people started investing with Madoff. This is a critical piece of information that is probably easier to get than some of the other ones, and it is unreported.
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