The passing scene: Notes & links 11/26/13

Silicon Chasm: the class divide on America’s cutting edge by Charlotte Allen for The Weekly Standard.

Pundits such as Richard Florida say that if a community caters to the “creative class,” there will be business innovations that expand the economy and benefit the whole community.   Charlotte Allen’s tour of Silicon Valley indicates that things don’t necessarily work out that way.

When Product Features Disappear: Apple, Amazon and Tesla and the Troubled Future of 21st Century Consumers by Steve Blank.

One of the great innovations of the 21st century is software-based products which you don’t need to maintain yourself, and which suppliers automatically upgrade without you having to go to the store.  But Steve Bank points out that the downside is that (1) the product you bought today may not be the product you have later, (2) manufacturers can, and do, downgrade your product as well as upgrade it, and (3) you have no legal protection.

“Blood Avocados”: the Dark Side of Your Guacamole by Jan-Albert Hootsen for the Vocativ news site.

Alcohol prohibition in the United States in the 1920s fueled a big increase in organized crime.  But when Prohibition ended, the crime syndicates didn’t go away.  The gangsters found new forms of enterprise.  Drug prohibition in the United States has fueled a big increase in organized crime in Mexico, Colombia and other countries.  But drug legalization won’t make those crime syndicates go away.  Jan-Albert Hootsen wrote about how one Mexican drug syndicate is taking over the avocado industry.

Coal Politics: Big Win in a Small Town by Lou Dubose for the Washington Spectator.

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One Response to “The passing scene: Notes & links 11/26/13”

  1. Anne Tanner Says:

    Thanks for the Silicon Valley article, Phil. I don’t even feel a desire to visit, let alone live in such a sterile place.

    Like

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