Economic Thoughts About Chubby Pageant Toddlers

I haven't gotten a good time to write this until now, despite how short this will be. Anyway, before the semester got busy, I remember browsing around some YouTube videos, and before one of them started, I saw a longer version of the television advertisement for the show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo".

Like most people, I thought the show represented yet another new low in yet another new dimension of reality television. But then I also realized that this family is perfectly happy doing their own thing, while the TLC show executives are essentially manipulating them to gain viewers, and the family is doing this for TV only because they need the money that badly. That's worse!

So then I wondered about two economic possibilities. Given the multiplier effects present from consumption and investment in the economy, how would the growth of the US economy change if instead of spending as much money as they are on filming the antics of this family, the TLC show executives were to spend that much to help give this family and many others like it a decent education and steady jobs? Or, what would happen to the economy if instead of making a show that essentially mocks this family, TLC were to make a show specifically following this family in getting them a decent education and steady jobs? This way, when the show ends, even if the family ends up squandering all their money, they will still have steady paychecks coming in.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Anyway, I'm going to get back to...uh...my own education (i.e. the never-ending stream of problem sets and other classwork).


Featured Comments: Week of 2012 September 9

There was one post that got a handful of comments this past week, so I will repost a few of those.

Review: openSUSE 12.2 KDE

Reader DarkDuck shared, "Absolutely agree that the menu in OpenSuSE KDE version is too cluttered. This is valid for each KDE-based version of this OS, unfortunately."
Commenter alcalde said, "This is really a review of the live CD rather than the distro as such because the live cd is not identical to the full install. If you didn't have the opportunity to actually install the distro, you could have at least installed it into Virtualbox to get a better idea of the final product. Even then, the installer on the live CD isn't as full featured as the DVD (doesn't allow choosing which packages to install) and about 75% of OpenSUSE users install from the DVD rather than the CD according to the last time statistics were published on this. Regarding KDE submenus - this is an artifact of the live CD, because what you described is not present in a VirtualBox install. If you right-click over the KDE launcher and select "Application Launcher Settings", you can click on "Reduce Menu Depth" to prevent items being placed into submenus with only one entry. This is the default on install from the DVD; it must have been disabled on the live CD for some reason (bug?). [...] Other than that, a great overview of OpenSUSE 12.2. So far it seems a lot more stable than 12.1 (which I don't believe should have even been released when it was) and it also offers a lot of improvements users can see and appreciate, unlike the last release."

Thanks to all those who commented on this past week's posts. I don't have anything planned for this coming week, and of course due to the workload of the semester there may not be anything out for this coming week. Anyway, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Review: openSUSE 12.2 KDE

It has been over 10 months since I reviewed openSUSE 12.1. Since then, version 12.2 has been released, so I am reviewing it now.

Main Screen + openSUSE Welcome Screen
In my review of openSUSE 12.1, I was unhappy with the fact that Skype and Google Talk would not work, especially given that they both worked in openSUSE 11.4. I want to see if those and other regressions have been fixed with version 12.2. Also, I see that the GNOME developers want to make their desktop regress further, so with few exceptions (like Pinguy OS), I will stay away from GNOME 3/Shell as much as possible; that is why I am only reviewing the KDE edition of openSUSE 12.2 today.

I did this review using a live USB system made with MultiSystem. I did not test the installation. Follow the jump to see what it's like.


Featured Comments: Week of 2012 September 2

There was only one post this past week that got a comment, and that itself was a "Featured Comments" post, ironically enough.

Featured Comments: Week of 2012 August 26

Reader Charlie had this bit of support: "I enjoy reading your blog for the reviews of distro's that I have never heard about. Its neat to hear about whats out there and one day I may find a better solution than my Ubuntu I use now. Thanks for all you do!"

Thanks to him (or her, perhaps) for commenting on that post this past week. This coming week, I intend to have a review out, but that will probably be all that will be out for a while. Anyway, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Fifth Semester at College

Well, it has indeed happened. I am now a junior! Wait, what? When did this happen all of a sudden?
Classes start tomorrow, and this semester I'm taking 8.05 (Quantum Physics II), 8.13 (Experimental Physics I, also known as "J-Lab"), 8.231 (Physics of Solids), and 14.04 (Intermediate Microeconomic Theory); in addition, I am continuing my UROP from the summer. I'm most scared about J-Lab, because I've seen other friends take it in the past and I've seen how they have had essentially no time to do anything else (often even to the detriment of other classwork). Well, I'll see how it goes; while 4 classes and a UROP will be quite a time-crunch, I think I'll make it through OK. That said, this blog will probably see many fewer posts over the course of the semester. I guess I'll wait and see how that goes too.


Featured Comments: Week of 2012 August 26

There was one post that got a whole bunch of comments, so I will repost a few of those.

Review: Manjaro Linux 0.8.0 Xfce

An anonymous reader said this in response to my question about Xfce RAM usage: "Debian Wheezy Xfce - 92 mb RAM".
Another anonymous commenter said, "Good distro,however; try to get cups to work with HP Officejet which will work on nearly any Debian distro".
Reader Phil Mulley had this to share: "I set up Manjaro (also after having read about it on DistroWatch) using VirtualBox and was very pleased with its performance. I tried both the XFCE and the Gnome (using Cinnamon) versions. The XFCE one is by far the best: I had some issues with the cinnamon one after a couple of system updates the update manager
stopped loading updates, but with exactly the same updates the XFCE version had no issues.  On the whole it was a very slick experience so kudos to the Manjaro people."
Commenter claudecat clarified, "Manjaro is interesting in that it is its own distro with its own repos and packages - some of which are "newer" than Arch's, which will lead to trouble if you try to change the mirrorlist to Arch and update from there. Bridge is a better choice if one is looking for a simpler way to install Arch. Manjaro adds more polish but is less Arch compatible."

Thanks to all those who commented on this past week's posts. I'm back on campus now and classes start this week; this semester is shaping up to be incredibly busy, so while I will have a post this week about classes, after that posts will become much more sporadic. Anyway, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!