The Daily Brandon

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Mar 12

The end

Effective immediately. This is the end of thedailybrandon.com. Please follow me on Twitter for an upcoming announcement about a new online collaborative project.


Feb 22
In which Ann Coulter uses policies that libertarians agree with to prove them wrong? I don't know, something like that...

Feb 19

Jan 25

Jan 9

Jan 4

Dec 21


Dec 13

Dec 6

Dec 4

Nov 30

Fantasy Football

An interesting segment of an article entitled "How to Have a Good Idea" by Grant McCracken on Reason.com

Fantasy Football

Fantasy football now entertains 27 million people. They play this game an average of nine hours a week. The fantasy football industry is valued at around $800 million a year.

The game was invented by Wilfred Winkenbach, Bill Tunnel, and Scotty Starling in a Manhattan hotel room in the early 1960s, before the Internet existed. The idea was simple. Take the numbers generated by a professional sport, and use them to create outcomes in a fantasy league.

Professional football was throwing off a lot of numbers. At the end of any given Sunday, it was possible to determine not just the points scored by every team, but the yards gained by every running back, the number of interceptions made by every cornerback, the number of sacks recorded by every defensive end.

In American sports, almost everything gets counted. For most of us, these numbers are a record of events past; they tell us what happened as National Football League teams battle their way through a season. But for Winkenbach, Tunnel, and Starling, these numbers were not backward-looking. Potentially, they generated new events taking place in a new league. You could actually make this data the stuff of a new reality. Last week’s exertions and heroics on the field were creating the foundation of an alternate world in the ether.

It’s like the “discovery” of pineapple juice. There was a time when juice was treated as an extraneous accident of the canning process. Once the meat of the pineapple was in the can, the juice was thrown away. It was left to an outsider to say, “Could I have that, please?” Mixed cocktails and the International House of Pancakes would never be the same. The NFL was producing numbers with extraordinary but hidden value. Until Winkenbach and company came along, these numbers were being thrown away.

The economics are astounding. Winkenbach found a way to fund a new universe of professional sports for pennies on the dollar. The McCaskey family spends a couple hundred million dollars to put its team, the Chicago Bears, on Soldier Field every year. Winkenbach created his universe for whatever it cost to gather, store, program, and deliver the data. Compared to the physical world, the economic ratio was extraordinary, perhaps one fantasy dollar to $1 million in NFL currency. Or put it this way: The whole of a fantasy football league costs less to operate than the minimum salary of a single NFL player ($375,000).

Of course, Winkenbach was “exploiting” someone else’s resources for his own purposes and profit. But that’s the point of a Culturematic. He had found a way to extract new value from the existing world.

Like any Culturematic, fantasy football had no guarantee of success. If it was going to work, it would have to speak to the American sports fan. All Culturematics must satisfy this condition. They must speak to something in our culture. Fantasy football proved to be an excellent way of engaging the new breed of sports consumer.

Fans were getting smarter. Many of them had played the game at some level. Still more had been raised in a family that took the game seriously. Millions were listening to learned commentary on ESPN. This knowledge went deep. Many fans could describe the defensive formations that would work against Peyton Manning versus the ones that would work (God willing) against Michael Vick. Fans with this much knowledge were no longer satisfied with just sitting in the stands or arguing at barbecues. (Even painting their faces purple and putting on Viking horns wasn’t enough.) People with this much knowledge wanted more involvement. Fantasy football let them into the game.

Beneath the smarter fan was a still deeper trend. Americans as a group were moving from a passive, lean-back posture—couch potatoes waiting to be entertained—to something more active and engaged. In football, in sports, in popular culture, and in just about every other domain, Americans wanted more traction.

But for the three guys sitting in a New York hotel room, fantasy sport was merely a probe of the possible. At that moment, fantasy football was a will-o’-the-wisp, one of the millions of stray fancies that flow through American heads on any given day. Most of these ideas keep moving, passing back out to the sea marked as “Here Lie Wild Beasts” and, in some circles, “Don’t even think about it.”

A few of these ideas survive long enough to get a hearing. But not much of a hearing. Friends can be relied upon to offer discouragement, as in “Winkenbach, you are such a loser. You can’t win betting on real football, so you make up fantasy sports. In your dreams!” But some ideas survive the first cut. If they resonate with the culture, they can hope for wider adoption, and if they really speak to something in our culture, they scale up until they attract one in 12 Americans. That’s how many now play fantasy football. Culturematics are not expected to take the world by storm. But sometimes they do.

Read more…


Nov 19
this image isn’t photoshopped. and it makes me laugh every single time I look at it!

this image isn’t photoshopped. and it makes me laugh every single time I look at it!


Nov 14

Questions

  • Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
  • Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
  • Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
  • Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
  • Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
  • Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
  • Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
  • Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
  • Why should there be mandatory sentences—even up to life for crimes without victims—as our drug laws require?
  • Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
  • Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?
  • Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
  • Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
  • Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
  • Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
  • Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
  • Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
  • Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
  • Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
  • Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
  • Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
  • Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
  • Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
  • Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
  • Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?
  • Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
  • Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
  • Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
  • Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
  • Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
  • Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
  • Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.

Thank you to Congressman Ron Paul and his 23 years of service. (Never said that about a politician)

http://www.dailypaul.com/263111/ron-pauls-farewell-address-full-texth


Nov 8

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