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September 28, 2010

MineCraft makes $350,000 a day

And it only has one pocket to flow to, only one creator. Nice work. And yeah, I bought a copy. I imagine this would be amazing for kids as well, as it's basically "Lego Desert Island the Game." With monsters. The Escapist : News : MineCraft Makes $350,000 a Day
It seems there's nothing you can't build in MineCraft, even enormous piles of cash. Retro-styled indie building game MineCraft nets its creator hundreds of thousands of dollars every day. The game, which currently costs around $14, is apparently selling one copy every three seconds. MineCraft is almost entirely the work of a single person, Swedish programmer Markus Persson, and with no retail overheads, the money is going directly into his pocket. Persson has said that he was surprised by the game's success and that while he thought he could make a living from it, he never thought it would make him rich. Persson also claimed that he had received job offers from Valve and Bungie, but had turned them down. The game has a simple objective - harvest resources and use them to defend yourself from wandering enemies - but people have used it to create amazing structures. Persson built a rollercoaster in order to test the rideable mine carts he'd created, and others have put together impressive houses - that later got burnt down - and even the floating city of Columbia from BioShock Infinite.

September 27, 2010

The secret engine of China's economy: perpetually rebuilding the same buildings

China: Proudly Demolishing Buildings Before Completed In Pursuit Of The Glorious Housing Bubble Perpetual Engine | zero hedge
Ever wonder how China can endlessly generate goal-seeked GDP of precisely 8.00001% year after year? Or how it can constantly find use for the massive and ever-larger surplus of warehoused commodities? Simple - never stop building. Which, apparently means blowing up empty building before they are even finished and rebuilding them. Rinse. Repeat. After all gotta keep all those construction workers from rioting, and all those USD reserves redirected into Brazilian and OZ commodities, now that China is not really buying US debt anymore. China Hush has some stunning pictures confirming that in its search of the great home bubble perpetual engine, the politbureau comrades may have stumbled onto the bricks and mortar equivalent of Shangri La. In the meantime, more on the whole "controlled demolition thing" from China Hush. As one of the most architectural productive country, China aggregates 2 billion m2 of new building area every year, consuming about 40% of the world’s concrete and steel. However, on the flip side of the new building fever, there lie the rubbles and remains of other “older” buildings: people tear down four-star hotels to build five-star ones and bulldoze newly developed construction sites before they are even finished. Lots of young strong buildings are down, fulfilling their unnatural destiny in the roaring noise of blasting.

Krugman: Structural Unemployment is a Myth

"Structural Unemployment" means that the workers we have don't have the right training or are living in the wrong towns. Many experts are pushing the idea that our current recession is a structural one. But none of the data supports that view. What *does* support that view is if you know it's a lack-of-demand recession but you don't want to embrace the kind of solutions that would call for. You look at the solutions and decide to claim reality is different than it is. We have a lack of demand. We need an embarrassingly large stimulus. Op-Ed Columnist - Structure of Excuses - NYTimes.com
What can be done about mass unemployment? All the wise heads agree: there are no quick or easy answers. There is work to be done, but workers aren’t ready to do it — they’re in the wrong places, or they have the wrong skills. Our problems are “structural,” and will take many years to solve. But don’t bother asking for evidence that justifies this bleak view. There isn’t any. On the contrary, all the facts suggest that high unemployment in America is the result of inadequate demand — full stop. Saying that there are no easy answers sounds wise, but it’s actually foolish: our unemployment crisis could be cured very quickly if we had the intellectual clarity and political will to act. In other words, structural unemployment is a fake problem, which mainly serves as an excuse for not pursuing real solutions. Who are these wise heads I’m talking about? The most widely quoted figure is Narayana Kocherlakota, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who has attracted a lot of attention by insisting that dealing with high unemployment isn’t a Fed responsibility: “Firms have jobs, but can’t find appropriate workers. The workers want to work, but can’t find appropriate jobs,” he asserts, concluding that “It is hard to see how the Fed can do much to cure this problem.” . . .