Except for the book reviews, there is not that much material on bearcave.com that is not related to computers, the Web and similar issues. This Web page indexes some of these miscellaneous non-technical topics.
My sister, Tirza M. Kaplan, suffered a cerebral aneurysm on the afternood of June 28, 2006. She lost consciousness and never regained it. My (then) wife, Linda, and I wrote our memories of Tirza. We will always hold her in our hearts.
Kate's beautiful house in Delmar, New York
Looking at the current state of the world it appears that there are problems with the standard capitalist market economy. It used to be that if you wrote a sentence like the one above people would accuse you of being a communist. Fewer and fewer people even remember what a communist is, so hopefully I'm safe. The observation that capitalism may be in trouble is not made from a Marxist stand point. The observation is based on the fact that automation, computerization and globalization are taking many of the well paying jobs that have been the foundation of the middle class. This is the group of people who are the backbone of the market itself. Without a healthy class of consumers with disposable income, the only market is the wealthy. Even if "high net worth individuals" are gripped by Caligulian excesses of consumption, they cannot buy enough goods to support all of the automated factories or offshore manufacturing. A healthy market needs a healthy middle class, yet this is exactly the class that seems to be shrinking.
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican canidate John McCain claimed that the US economy was fundamentally strong. Republican apologists and flacks loudly stated that any claims that the economy of G.W. Bush had problems were nothing more than Democratic "talking points". The Republicans said "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"
The "Heilmeier Catechism" are the questions that should be answered when writing a research proposal for a funding agency. Or, for that matter, when you write a business plan for venture capital funding. I was not really sure whether I should this among the Miscellaneous Non-Technical Topics (here) or with the Miscellaneous Technical Topics. I finally decided that Heilmeier's questions are useful when writing proposals in general, not just those involving technology and included it here.
I have been baking artisan style bread for about five years. One of the reasons that I love baking bread is that bread is both very simple and very complex. This gives bread baking a Zen quality. I joke sometimes that I am a follower of Bao Do, or the way of bread.
Fraud, Theft and Corporate Crimes
A feeling of irony is difficult to escape when the theft and fraud recounted on the web pages below is compared to the massive corporate fraud that was uncovered during the early part of this century (e.g., 2000, 2001, 2002). The fraud and theft recounted here can only be seen as small time by comparision. The theft of Cadence software by early Avant! employees is minor compared to the hundred of millions of dollars looted from the shareholders of Enron and Tyco (to name just two companies). The insider trading by Kendall Square executives, who did not have the good fortune to be named Bush, is similar to the insider trading at Harkin Energy by George W., who is named Bush. These infractions of the SEC regulations pale in comparison to the huge blocks of stock dumped by Enron executives.
The Words of William Gibson
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