Drama’s Roundup - January 3, 2008

Posted on January 3, 2008
Filed Under Drama's Roundup |

Social Net Site Is Said to Be for Sale
Why It’s Interesting: As I noted in , Plaxo, a Silicon Valley darling that hasn’t figured out a way to turn a profit since its launch in 2002, has retained an investment bank to find a buyer. Yes, it appears that an increasing number of startups are being sold, not acquired. I’d personally bid $10 but I prefer companies that can figure out how to turn a profit after 5 years and an 8-figure amount of investment.

What’s Your Consumption Factor?
Why It’s Interesting: One of my favorite authors, Jared Diamond, discusses consumption. He makes some interesting points. The most notable:

For Americans to reduce consumption] real sacrifice wouldn’t be required, however, because living standards are not tightly coupled to consumption rates. Much American consumption is wasteful and contributes little or nothing to quality of life. For example, per capita oil consumption in Western Europe is about half of ours, yet Western Europe’s standard of living is higher by any reasonable criterion, including life expectancy, health, infant mortality, access to medical care, financial security after retirement, vacation time, quality of public schools and support for the arts. Ask yourself whether Americans’ wasteful use of gasoline contributes positively to any of those measures.

Getting In Gets Harder
Why It’s Interesting: As the children of the baby boomer generation finish up high school, universities are swamped with applicants, meaning that many spoiled Millennials will get their first taste of disappointment when their applications to their favorite universities are rejected. A user named Carl Willis made a great comment:

It seems that American youth increasingly perceive college as “post-high-school high-school school,” to paraphrase from “The Onion”–the taken-for-granted stage of education succeeding high school, to which even mediocre students feel entitled. It’s no longer reserved for the most motivated and the best prepared. It’s just what everybody does. How often do you drive through the fraternity ghettos of a big state school and wonder how this gutterball element of the population could possibly be affiliated with an institution of “higher learning?” So it’s good to see colleges becoming more selective, re-asserting their rigor and purpose amid this flood of schlubs invested in it merely for the social experience, for the prospects of higher-paying jobs, or because Mama wants ‘em to go.

Of course, I’d disagree that colleges are re-asserting their rigor and purpose; from what I’ve seen, the vast majority of graduates from even the best American universities are still clueless when they get their diplomas. As I’ve pointed out before, you can buy an education from a top university but you can’t buy common sense.

Why It’s Interesting: Free market economics has spread to the animal kingdom: scientists have discovered that female monkeys trade sex for grooming and the price fluctuates due to market forces. Eight to sixteen minutes of grooming gets a male monkey a happy ending. Sure beats dinner and a movie. There is a catch though - the females are having sex 1.5 to 3.5 times per hour. Sloppy seconds is an understatement.

Couples Outsource Pregnancies to India
Why It’s Interesting: This is a huge business opportunity and you can be sure Drama 2.0 is going to exploit it.

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