Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Harvard Study Debunks The Long Tail

The Wall Street Journal’s Lee Gomes summarizes Harvard business school marketing professor Anita Elberse’s study refuting Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail.

Prof. Elberse looked at data for online video rentals and song purchases, and discovered that the patterns by which people shop online are essentially the same as the ones from offline. Not only do hits and blockbusters remain every bit as important online, but the evidence suggests that the Web is actually causing their role to grow, not shrink.

In retrospect, "The Long Tail" seems to have followed the template of many Wired articles: take a partly true, modestly interesting, tech-friendly idea and puff it up to Second Coming proportions.

Bloggers had a special role in talking up the theory, which is no wonder considering how it held out the promise that even the most obscure among them could win a robust audience. The sad truth is that the blogosphere is as hit-driven as the rest of the world, with a tiny percentage of blogs getting a huge chunk of the traffic, and with many blogs simply going unread.

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Why I'm Voting For Nader

Barack Obama said this in Fargo, ND.
"[W]hen I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies....”

“My 16-month timeline, if you examine everything that I’ve said, was always premised on making sure that our troops were safe,” he said. “I said that based on the information that we had received from our commanders that one to two brigades a month could be pulled out safely, from a logistical perspective. My guiding approach continues to be that we’ve got to make sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable."

He added, “I’m going to continue to gather information to find out whether those conditions still hold."

Note all the conditional weasel words highlighted above. Obama's position is essentially indistinguishable from John McCain's.

On Thursday, September 27, 2007, I wrote about the Democratic debate where Clinton, Edwards and Obama refused to pledge that they would have withdrawn US troops from Iraq by 2013. I quoted Jeffrey Feldman at the Huffington Post:

Rather than having a Presidential election between a problem solving Democrat and a militaristic Republican, the Democratic Party appears to believe that the race will be between an enlightened militaristic Democrat and an authoritarian militaristic Republican.

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