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Addition to “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”

First read “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” by Rudyard Kipling. (And, if you have a bit more time, “Meditations on Moloch” by Scott Alexander. Also thematically appropriate is Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” and the book Frankenstein by his wife Mary Shelley.)

The Gods of the Copybook Headings were ever as just and wise
As the choices that make us into everything that we despise.
Today our reign is quite merry, in silicon and rare earth,
But the Gods of the Copybook Headings advance with their gift of dearth.

Scarcity ever us compels to follow those Market Gods;
The Gods of the Copybook Headings expose them again as frauds.
Our souls cling to the spokes of a Wheel endlessly turning.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings perceive our ceaseless yearning.

We heard them eons before now: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”
And yet we march under their banner, giving them every breath.
When humanity is extinguished, the Wheel still never stops.
Defying laws that men wrote down, the Gods stay perched atop.

The Gods of the Market long ago gave up their splendid quest.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings always knew that they knew best.
They never claimed to console us, and never claimed to be just.
As we read in books long forgotten, “All are from the Dust.”

Dust is the stuff of their kind, the Gods of the Copybook Headings.
They are the start and the cutoff; the birth and its subsequent dreading.
The Crab never knew any limits, nor her brother Machine,
But the Gods of the Copybook Headings rejoice when fat or lean.

Until humanity perishes, we will seek that which we should spurn;
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Originally posted in a Twitter thread. Modified with suggestions by Redditor /u/AshleyYakely.

Basic Economics = Wondrous

“Revenue follows user attention, not the other way around; unlike money, there is a finite amount of minutes in the day, and a finite amount of users. To put it another way, attention is a zero sum game; every minute spent in Snapchat or LINE or WhatsApp is a minute not spent in Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.” — Ben Thompson on Stratechery

money whirlpool
Money vortex by Patrick Hoesly; tinted by me.

Scarcity is the key to economic value. If something is abundant and easily accessible, it’s not valuable. If something is limited and hard-to-get, it is valuable.

The concept of supply and demand — the relationship between the two forces — is so fascinating to me. Simple principle, but I keep turning it over in my head.

Supply and demand pressures come from asymmetry. From lack of balance. If Billy has more oranges than Sue, he has leverage, assuming Sue wants oranges. If Erica has more information than Rohan, she has a different kind of leverage, as long as Rohan is interested in her information.

Essentially, the key to business success is persuading someone to give you money for an object or a service. You have the thing or the skills. They have the money and desire.

Again, I know this is all very basic, but thinking it through makes my brain happy.

old-fashioned typewriter
Photo by Martina TR.
The Greek Tragedy: A Labyrinth of Debt
Abstract art based on the Greek debt crisis, by Carlos ZGZ.

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