The blog formerly known as The Dobbs Method

The State of the Internet

Posted in Economics, Internet by Taylor Dobbs on 02/10/2010

Mashable posted a simple but very informative infographic about the state of the internet. It had information on demographics of internet users, usage statistics, a quick summary of the blogosphere, and probably most upsetting: internet statistics by nation.

The United States has the slowest broadband internet speed by far of all developed nations. If this isn’t depressing enough, my wonderful state of Vermont is ranked 47th in the nation for internet speed.

Considering America is¬†forfeiting its manufacturing sector and moving almost entirely to an information economy, this is an extremely dangerous reality. It’s like being a fossil-fuel based economy and not producing any-

…well anyways, it isn’t good.

I’m all for Obama’s $8 billion rail stimulus, but I think (for once) AT&T is investing its billions more wisely this year, with¬†$2 billion going to network improvements. This is a situation that will hopefully be fixed as quickly as American consumers realize how far behind the curve we are as a country and demand faster and more widespread broadband connectivity. Unfortunately for me and other tech-friendly Vermonters, I don’t think the movement is going to start anywhere near here.

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John Perkins: Saving the World in 329 Pages

Posted in Books, Economics, Politics by Taylor Dobbs on 02/12/2009

picture-31I’m in the middle of reading “The Secret History of the American Emire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World.” Besides having the longest title of any book I’ve ever read, author John Perkins’ second book does not so far have the optimism the title would lead one to expect. So far, Perkins has discussed (and backed with extensive evidence) the “corporatocracy” and its extreme exploitation of developing nations. Giving specific examples, Perkins describes the role he played in continuing this cycle of exploitation and explains in great detail how such things happen. While it has many obvious overlaps with Perkins’ first book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, I expect the book will go on to talk about what individuals as well as governments can do to put and end to the exploitation that Perkins claims is happening all over the world.

It’s not a light read, and at points it’s all I can do not to roll my eyes at some of Perkins’ attempts at profound analogy, but for its content, I’d recommend this book to anyone, especially if you’re the type who still wears Nike and tells your friends “they don’t do sweatshops anymore.” Perkins and his friends in Asia beg to differ with you. Check this out; it won’t make you proud to be an American, but maybe it will tell you how to make an America to be proud of.

Steve Jobs Should Teach My Economics Class

Posted in Economics by Taylor Dobbs on 01/22/2009

Apple JobsEvery Tuesday and Thursday, I am blessed with the privilege of sitting through a 75-minute long Microeconomics class. While economics is a fascinating subject, it requires many real-life examples to be effectively taught. Before today, I thought I was going to be bombarded with lame examples in which I calculated whether Jim or Paul should sell lemonade while the other picks the lemons for an entire semester.

Today’s class, however was completely saturated with iPods. (more…)

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