Statistical Abstract of the United States 2007–complete PDF

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Unless I am overlooking something, there doesn’t seem to be a complete PDF copy of the Statistical Abstracts of the United States 2007 on the census website, but rather 45 separate PDF files for you to download. Now, I’m never in a mood to flip through 45 PDF files, and the paper copies of the Statistical Abstract at libraries are nearly always reference copies (i.e. you can’t check them out).

So here you go, we combined the 45 separate files into one complete Statistical Abstract of the United States 2007 PDF file for your statistics reading pleasure and convenience– hopefully the GPO or Census Bureau will release the Statistical Abstract as a single PDF in the future:

Statistical Abstract of the United States 2007-complete PDF

Here’s a NY Times article detailing the interesting sorts of facts you can find in the Stats Abs:

Fatter, Taller, and Thirstier Americans

“More people are injured by wheelchairs than by lawnmowers, the abstract reports. Bicycles are involved in more accidents than any other consumer product, but beds rank a close second.”

“In 1970, 79 percent [of college freshmen] said their goal was developing a meaningful philosophy of life. By 2005, 75 percent said their primary objective was to be financially very well off.”

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Lil Wayne-Outstanding (Produced by Dr Dre)

Notable for being the best Dr. Dre beat since 50 Cent’s In Da Club and the Mobb Deep Outta Control Remix. One of the best beats I’ve heard in a long time. Features a sleepy drum beat, interesting introspective piano and bassline, and then this real 80s keyboard sound–it all comes together almost like a Kajagoogoo song, Durutti Column, or something along the lines of Three Imaginary Boys/Seventeen Seconds-era Cure. A pretty great sound. Lil Wayne also is pretty great on this track, with lines like this how could this not be awesome: “When I come through you’d better duck like Howard.” What mad genius would reference HOWARD THE DUCK!!!  And “I’m all about the bread like a sesame seed…”

Lil Wayne-Outstanding (Produced by Dr. Dre) courtesy of Spine Magazine

Why did you do that? I don’t know. But the people priming you might: Social and environmental influences, priming the subconscious mind

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I’ve always been a fan of the “broken window” theory–I’m surprised it isn’t mentioned in this article, which is very interesting, and has implications for advertising, education…social engineering? This can all be mixed with ideas about environmental influences, social influences, network effects, and recent research on altruisum

NY Times article: “Who’s Minding the Mind?

I ended up my original (accidentally deleted) post by stating that a good recipe for influencing people might be to aim for good-natured competition mixed with good-will in general. Sounds like a certain model of capitalism–people being motivated, ethically and good-naturedly competitive and socially productive, and if they make a good deal of money, putting it to good use through philanthropy–a happy medium that hopefully can balance competitiveness and productivity without the need to be overly regulated or taxed. In part because of social priming, mores, and possibly guilt. A sort of “compassionate” capitalism.  User friendly.  Caring not just about people in the narrow role of product or service consumer, but as parts of interlocking and sustainable communities.

Note the part about guilt in the article–the prospect of guilt plus the prospect of making money may be driving a lot of the “green” business initiatives we’re seeing a lot of these days–an example of social influences driving perhaps socially useful and desirable business decisions.

Photo by neurello

We need more great directors

Wow

Ingmar Bergman just died. I remember seeing ‘The Seventh Seal” for the first time at the dearly departed Fine Arts Cinema in Berkeley. I can clearly recall the stunned silence among the 20 of us in the crowd when the film ended and the lights went on. There was no movement for a few minutes and then we all slowly shuffled out without a sound. That’s the effect that great movies should have on you.

Obituaries: NY Times, Guardian, SF Chronicle

I haven’t heard all the references, but this sounds promising

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‘If you can begin to wrap your head around the idea of a fusion of Relayer-era Yes, The latter day Magic Band (especially Ice Cream For Crow) and Butthole Surfers circa Hairway To Steven, you’ll begin to comprehend what this acidically brainburning Russian power trio have cooked up here on their sole release”

More info and download link from the always rewarding Mutant Sounds blog.

My Next Computer May Be a Mac

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I spent futile hours today trying to set up a home network of two PCs through a router, and received endless “you might not have permission to use this network resource” messages. I hear setting up such a network on Macs is effortless. I cannot believe how many people seem to be facing a similar problems setting up home networks on PCs, judging from posts I read when I googled the problem–and there are seemingly no less than 1,000 different solutions to the problem (none of which seem very easy or conclusive or which worked when I tried them). I mean, how hard can this be? Why aren’t there one or two definitive Microsoft posts explaining how to fix the problem–and without me going 10 windows and tabs deep and checking endless little checkboxes or mucking around with registry stuff.

Computer names? Check. Workgroup names? Check. Folder sharing, drive-mapping? Check. Now let me share my files already!!! I hear with Macs you basically just hook up the computers and check like one checkbox or someting and voila, instant home network. I think you may have lost a another customer, Microsoft–I’ve had enough of your bungling OS crappiness–including so many drivers and programs not working with Vista on that other computer I use–if Macs are even a smidgen better, and I can still run Windows programs on Macs if/when I need to, bye bye.

I mean, there are so many little things you could have done also in all of your programs to make them better, that other people are now doing and making them available for use online–WTF??? I’ve never quite understood Microsoft bashing or anything, but at this point, I am ready for anything even marginally better–enough is enough!

*update*

Okay, finally got the network up and running. First, I had to add the network in the “trusted” zones in the firewall tab in Zone Alarm. But the IP addresses that kept showing up as being blocked by Zone Alarm, when added to the trusted zones didn’t do the job–those IP addresses were just the router IP address, and I had to use one of those online “this is your IP address” websites to find the “real” IP address to add to the trusted zones. But then I could still only access one computer from the other but not vice versa. It turns out when I right clicked on the folder I wanted to share on one of the computers and clicked “Sharing…” and selected the checkboxes to share it over the network, the “setting permissions” process had been interrupted.  I had to redo that process–it took Windows maybe 15 minutes for to successfully set the permissions! Anyway, Microsoft (and Zone Alarm), I didn’t find this info anywhere on your websites–I had to hunt around a bunch of other websites to find it and piece it all together. Like I said, if Macs can save me a few hours here and there by making this sort of thing easier, when I just want to share files between two computers–if Macs can make productivity more efficient, then more power to them. I do feel so much more late 20th century, having finally set up a home network (mostly to facilitate easier backups, so I don’t have to move my external HD between two computers)…

All your search data are ours: Google as consulting firm, forecaster, market researcher (consigliere?) to business and politicians, and, ultimately, as a new world power to be reckoned with

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Google Goes to Washington With Own Brand of Lobbying

In a conference room overlooking the Washington Monument, about 150 young Democratic operatives-in-training recently munched on animal crackers as Google Inc. executives pitched the Internet company’s offerings.

Google’s newly hired team leader for political sales, Peter Greenberger, explained how attendees could use online ads and other services from Google to help their candidates win. One Google product could provide details about people who visited a campaign’s Web site, such as the approximate area where they lived, Mr. Greenberger explained. “Tremendously valuable info,” he said, adding, “It’s free. Did I mention it’s free? It’s free.”

Looking at the graph and the quote above, Google’s forays into genetics research (here and here for example), wireless spectrum/telecom activity, partnerships with NASA, inroads into Microsoft’s office applications market, huge market share for search and online ads, and tons of high-profile and low-profile acquisitions, it’s becoming tangibly evident just how much power Google has obtained through its ability to track and aggregate an immense amount of information about people’s information seeking behavior.

Google seemingly aims to become a courtly advisor of sorts to politicians and businesses, a company that will be able to shift world politics and trends behind the scenes, and who knows, may ultimately be able to play companies and governments against each other, for better or worse–look at how they are demanding rule changes in the wireless spectrum auction, and how they are claiming Microsoft is committing antitrust violations–and they may learn of the possibly conflicting activities and goals of many of the worlds most powerful companies and businesses through various partnerships and endeavors, information which would be of no small value.

(Not to mention the information they could gain unethically by…well, they already scan our g-mail to post “targeted” ads, so, well, you get the picture–especially as they are pushing for more businesses to take advantage of Google-provided online solutions such as docs/spreadsheets/e-mail. Just sayin’, you know? That’s an awful lot of proprietary information at stake there…)

Google will evolve basically a real-time version of a predictions market like Intrade, except the predictions will be based on actual empirically-observed user behaviors online through search query and click thorugh data.

Very interesting stuff, with this amount of data and information, the strategic value of which is immense–let’s put it this way, has such a continuous stream of so much empirical observation data ever been available 24-7 to any one company/group of researchers in the history of the world?

It’s like a Panopticon with a 24-7 view but with much more rich data gathering tools available and where where users’ aren’t imprisoned and therefore go about their normal behavior in the wild, giving Google an accurate, unbiased view of their online behaviors. I don’t think such a continuous stream of data on human behavior has ever, ever, ever, ever been developed before.

It’s sort of like a 24-7 real time version of the National Geographic genetics/genographic project, but with way more people participating–Google basically gets to see the DNA of people’s online searches, and, to an extent, a peek into the minds of billions of people. Immensely powerful data, and immensely interesting issues are sure to arise.

Now, with their bid for wireless spectrum, link to a genetics reserach company, involvement with NASA, scanning of library books, and who knows how many other diverse projects, with tons of cash to invest in a truly diverse set of cutting edge projects, well, it’s too much for a simple human mind to comprehend–but I’m sure the huge Google AI has some interesting plans in store for humanity.