Patrick.net was featured in a SFGate.com article today. We all saw Ben Jones' blog featured in Business Week. According to author Carol Lloyd, NPR has been snooping around here for sources to interview (although that's yet to be verified, if you've been emailed or called by an NPR researcher/reporter, let us know).
What is the real impact of Bubble Blogs? Undeniably, blogs in general have quickly become established as a powerful alternate form of media. But blogs as a source of information are also often criticized for being raw, unedited, and often biased or outright inaccurate. It's even possible to find self-proclaimed internet curmudgeons criticizing blogs and bloggers in a blog.
Has this blog, and the other pioneers which took on the growing insanity of the real-estate bubble, really had a meaningful impact? I still maintain that blogs only affect the wider public sentiment on the margins. Most people do not receive their information through blogs. Those who still read consume simplified infografix color newspapers, the rest figure it out from commercials they forget to skip while watching something they Tivo'd. But, maybe affecting the margins is all that really matters. If we've helped to turn the few in the front of the herd, then the rest will follow.
Finally, what about anonymity? The largest single criticism leveled at blogs, and increasingly at Bubble Blogs, is that all the resident "experts" and "pundits" are anonymous. Anonymity breeds lack of accountability, and questions motives. Of course we aren't all anonymous. Certainly Patrick, Ben and others aren't. Some regular contributors and authors aren't either. But does it even really matter? I am not anonymous, yet I've been accused of being a real estate industry shill, despite the fact anyone can read my resume online. So I'm not so sure it truly makes a difference.
What do you think? Are we helping, hurting, or just fooling ourselves?
(Suggestion for thread by FormerAptBroker (FAB), who, while anonymous, is verifiable by this blog's admins just like most of our regular contributors).
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FollowBefriend1 threads6,749 comments
Back before they "cleaned up" Bugis Street (kind of like Bourbon St. or the Strip) they had it ALL baby! Heroin, opium, hash whatever. And of course for "Her Majesty's Loyal Subjects" time for something completely different while "on holiday"! Damn freaks.
Seriously, the waitresses would come to your table with a photo album of Sing's finest "bennie boys". Most were fairly obvious but there were always a few that might be able to pass for female. I just thought it was a good analogy for Randy's super advanced jukubot b/c of the ability to pass for human (in this case a different gender). Nasty place.
FollowBefriend (4)44 threads4,602 comments Los Altos, CA
People are incredibly sophisticated parsing machines. I'm sure both skibum and DS could elaborate from different perspectives, and astrid could work in some philosophical basis as well.
But I don't think you have too much to worry about just yet. It is my opinion that neither the raw computing power nor the sophistication of algorithms yet exist to accurately fool humans into misidentifying non-humans as being human.
It's the "qwirky" things we do that are hard to mimic without detection. Use of idioms. Regional flavors. Emotional authenticity. AI can replicate those things, inject believable variability, even adjust to responses very convincingly, but it's that little "something's off" that it can't get right.
Machines used to be too perfect, so we could pick them out. Now they're too perfectly imperfect. Even feigning imperfection is too precise.
But someday it will come to pass. It's only a matter of time. Around then it will be time to pick up old Asimov and familiarize yourself with the laws.
I think its just human nature to blame someone, anyone.
After all, in this Great Land of Litigation, if you're not making easy money, then someone needs to be sued...
Personally, I'm not in the least bit surprised, or threatened by it. If it makes people feel better to blame a small bunch of people online for the woes of the housing bubble, then let them.
Its not going to stop what's happening, nor is anything we here (and on other blogs) do or say.
As nice as it would be to think that I have a minute bit-part in bringing down the housing market, its hubris to really believe it to be true.
As long as some nutjob doesn't come after me waving a machete or an AK-47, blaming me exclusively for the crash in the housing market, then let them have the biggest bitchfest ever seen. It can't hurt me and it makes them feel better
FollowBefriend (4)117 threads17,655 comments
I hate blame. It is unproductive.
People should start blaming themselves. Or the stars.
Not if accompanied by a fair but stiff prison sentence and/or fine!
Still not productive.
When will people start taking responsibilities for their own actions? People who make the wrong financial decisions deserve to lose everything.
Then people will learn to make better decisions.
Following up on my follow up (I need to go out for lunch more often and get off this blog)...
It's not that the NLP/AI infiltration agents have to be entirely unrecognizable as artificial. They only have to fool a few people for a short time to effectively change the direction/sentiment of a blog. Go back 2 threads to the Troll discussion, and read the Wiki on Trolls. It is a very interesting psychology at work, how Trolls can hijack and affect the conversation downstream with only minimal efforts upstream, even if they are easily identified as a Troll.
The same is true of infiltration agents. They're just super sophisticated, automated Trolls with programmed purpose.
And the reason these NLP guys are the guys to do it is they have the data and technique to know how to predict what inputs will result in which sentiment outputs. Just programming a TrollBot is university comp sci stuff. But knowing how to impact sentiment a certain way is venture-capital funded with big hopes stuff.
The footage shown nationally of Sulieman (and his wife) were to die for! I never imagined I could get so turned on by a gal using profanity like that and hitting a reporter in the face with an empty water bottle! Especially the thinly veiled death threat of "knowing people south of the border" and going back to her car for a......gun?
I was ashamed (but I wanted more!)
I think Mr. Sulieman has suffered enough.
People who cheat and win, need to be nailed too.
Only if they bend the rules so much they break.
You cannot blame Enron executives for everything. The investors themselves were more at fault. They should have known better.
Did they say that Nixon was bad because he was caught?
I do not think Nixon was that bad.
I am not a cheater though. I believe in karmic justice.
FollowBefriend2 threads2,498 comments
Nixon was a pubpol (public-facing politician) working for the interets of finpol (financial establishment).
Just substitute GWB for Nixon, and it's a perfect fit. On second thought, most US politicians fit that bill.
On second thought, most US politicians fit that bill.
I doubt even the Bolsheviks were for the people.
Oh I was hoping everyone could do me just one little tiny favor?
Could we please once and for all stop referring to the twisted, hodge-podge gaggle we all know and love as real estate as a "market"?
Calling this "abortion that lived" a market is an insult to real markets. You all can call it what you want but please, can we stop calling it a market? It isn't.
OK, I'm setting up a used wheel barrow exchange!
Wasn’t it he who took the dollar off the gold standard?
So now it is legal for you to own gold.
But you know, they can still confiscate gold a la New Deal.
I have a bank account opened in Canada. Will get a safe there, too.
I think if the amount is more than 10K you need to report to the US Treasury. Correct me if I am wrong.
Canada is the way to go! Global Warming is good for Canada!
Limiting punishment to the (however foolish) investor or worker via market losses, only solves half the problem and does nothing to promote trust.
But the remaining investors will become smarter and more difficult to cheat. Problem solves itself.
I totally support regulations that guarantee transparency though.
I believe capitalism is mostly built on information. Not necessarily trust.
Trust (or faith) is what you have if you know less than what you need.
The key issue, when I become rich, is how to hide money from potential divorce settlements.
That is tough. You are not supposed to hide assets. You may just need a prenap.
Perhaps we should join force to create an anti-divorce lobby someday. :)
Capitalism as defined by Ayn and Adam explicitly requires that participants not be coerced, whether by people, companies, or governments.
Coercion destroys the basic fabric of a capitalism because it disrupts efficient market function.
Is saying "buy now or be priced out forever" coercion?
I would also favor a polygamy legislation.
I would not support that.
Bap33, they are mad because this reality is not what they wanted.
That is fine. I understand. Very few men would share my world view.
Well, if you apply that to both sexes, you may have more support.
I prefer the traditional view of marriage.
Only under extreme circumstances (e.g. the need to quickly rebuild population after a global catastrophe) should a man have multiple partners.
Is saying “buy now or be priced out forever” coercion?
Not unless you believe people are passive actors. By that reasoning, all advertising is coercion. I think it is manipulation, but not coercion. The difference being that one can be expected to resist manipulation (through willpower, education, support, etc.), but reasonable people give in to coercion because the costs of fighting coercion are greater than the costs of giving in to it. Coercion is also when the individual has no possible, reasonable recourse to prevent it from happening.
Giving my wallet to the crazed smack addict at the ATM is coercion, but I am reasonable to give him my wallet and live to see my son another day.
Giving my wallet to Enron's collapsed pension fund is coercion. I couldn't reasonably do anything to prevent it, and should not have reasonably expected my established, publicly regulated company to be fraudulent.
Giving my wallet to a realtor and mortgage broker trusting they will do what is in my best interest is _not_ coercion. I have the means to and can reasonably be expected to take action to prevent their manipulations.
Giving my wallet to a Coke machine because I saw a commercial on TV is also not coercion for the same reason.
But I don’t know how much it can shield you from really malicious lawyers.
Perhaps you should become a malicious lawyer yourself. :)
I do not believe in evolutionary biology.
The grey area of coercion is things like giving your wallet to a professional scam artist. While it is easy to spot these scams from the outside, it's pretty well established that pretty much anyone is susceptible to some, usually many, forms of scams if the scam and artist are good enough. I think they did a study where they were able to devise scams which fooled detectives who are professional scam-artist busters.
This would probably be coercion, but a lot of people would be quick to say the victim deserved it (back to mental accounting -- everyone believes they are above average).
Giving my wallet to Enron’s collapsed pension fund is coercion. I couldn’t reasonably do anything to prevent it, and should not have reasonably expected my established, publicly regulated company to be fraudulent.
The problem is the bailout of the collapsed pension fund. There should be no bailout.
Commerce will not flourish when cheating is rampart.
One problem is that law enforcement is imperfect. Market participants cannot count on regulators to ensure integrity. The market itself should enforce integrity by disincentivizing fraudulent behaviors. Information and transparency can facilitate that.
Thanks, I will look into it.
Randy H Says:
> I’ve mentioned this a long time ago, but I am directly
> familiar with one venture that works on very sophisticated
> natural language processing (NLP) software, and
> applies it to blogs. Their bread and butter is reading
> sentiment in real-time by parsing blogs and “machine
> reading” the conversations.
Maybe CR is not a real person but a creation of the NAR’s new NLP powered BLOG reading “trollbot”. The trollbot can spam BLOGs with comments like “WOW I just saw another listing sell for ABOVE list price”. It looks like the AI might need a little work since the trollbot has kicked out the same above market listing more than once…
Hers and Plato’s effectively deflate (better verb?) the wishful thinking that the market is everything. I know this will disappoint many market adherents on this board.
Market fundamentalism is attractive because it is mathematically elegant.
Humans are just imperfect beings. I am not surprised or disappointed that market is not everything.
> I would also favor a polygamy legislation.
> Something like if you have 10 mil in cash
> asset, you can have a second wife, legally.
> Thereafter, for every additional $10 mil,
> one extra wife. But that one can wait.
I can’t figure out why guys that want to sleep with lots of women ever get married (life with a second girlfriend is a lot easier than life with a second wife)…
All guys don’t want to sleep around and many guys (like my Dad who is approaching his 50th aniv.) are happy as can be with one person.
Most people don’t change much and almost all the guys I knew that had one girlfriend through college are still married while the most of the guys that were never faithful to college girlfriends for longer than 72 hours have been divorced at least once (or have a pathetic wife that does not care that they are sleeping with the nanny and cleaning lady)…
May I also recommend "Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant"?
When you see such beautiful edible art pieces, you are reminded that humanity is still capable of goodness.
People who cheat and win, need to be nailed too.
post(" Everybody likes to cheat and win. Many are afraid of being caught and punished. Did they say that Nixon was bad because he was caught?");
This is the type of commentary that suggested a blogging chatterbot to me. Quick one liners with a curious specific mention (Nixon) which isn't connected to anything. This is then immediately followed by a question might to evoke additional responses - classic bot strategy.
So, yeah, maybe rather than half-troll, CG is a Chatterbox combined with an amused software engineer aiding his creation with occasional hand-coded posts. The Microsoft IP adds to my suspicion, but I'm the sceptical type.
Re: fighting - Randy responded for me yesterday but avoided any specific namecalling because he's already annoyed at having FAB on his tail. Anyway, let's see what your program makes of this post.
Wait, if a guy can not be faithful to a girl for longer than 72 hours, how can he call his woman his girlfriend? Shouldn’t she be a sex friend?
An "11th house" partner?
Slate had an interesting article recently extolling the virtues of polygamy. It claimed that it actually gives women many more men to choose from.
Overpopulation is a very real problem. Polygamy will not help that.
I may be scolded for this... but there needs to be a moratorium on all foreign aid to countries with positive population growth.
> It looks like some smarter people are being a
> wee bit more sane on asking prices.
> Asking is $1.65, it looks like it last sold in 2001
> for about $1.35 (actual sale price not known,
> but property taxes look like about $1.2-$1.5).
Title records show the 2,555 sf place built in 1890 sold 8/1/01 for $1,250,000 with a $1mm loan from Union Bank...
I have not changed my original position on Gentle Cheetah GC CG. He insists upon exhibiting classic Troll behavior. By that I mean he is capable of soliciting sympathy or apathy from others, depending upon his particular line of pursuit. But, if you've been reading his posting consistently, a pattern of intentional subversive destruction is obvious. I think astrid called it "intellectual curiosity". From my perspective that is the hallmark of Trolldom. Back in the old USENET days every time a Troll got busted they'd claim they were "doing an experiment". I recall even one of our early Trolls in the MP days, when busted by surfer-x, claimed he/she was doing a thesis at Haas on bubble-psychology. It's always amazed me how many social scientists with lots of free time there seem to be on the 'net.
CG could be a bot of sorts, but I kind of doubt it. At best he's using some kind of simple script engine that spits out arcane references. Kind of like the postmodernist essay engine DS linked a while ago (I forget the link, DS can post it again). There are lots of things like this on the internet which will do keyword insertions of unlikely, yet seemingly deeply intelligent, reference phrases. Usually invoking some antiquity historical or art history reference, to make the author look unbelievably smart.
That's how you can tell. Real people, like me, will often think they're absolutely right about something and write on and on about it, yet readers can pick out as wrong, or partially wrong, or misinterpreted, or incomplete. CG's breadth and depth of apparent knowledge is unlikely even for a tenured professor, let alone a MSFT guy. Contrast that to DS, who often dumps lots of info, but if you read it you'll pick out flaws here and there -- just like you can with the rest of us.
Gustav Le Bon and Charles Mackay? Better be a damned good social behavior thesis you're writing there while you're supposed to be working on Vista.
Hurt, helped and foolish, it all applies to me. There is currently a casting call out for "Flip That House". Here is the link
Seriously this blog encourages me to wait things out. Given enough time things might come our way.
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