Saturday, August 29, 2009

New study shows the narrow concentration of financial power

Recently an article in Rolling Stone compared Goldman Sachs to a vampire draining the world. This article explicates how the world's financial power coalesces around a few key organizations.

WASHINGTON -- A recent analysis of the 2007 financial markets of 48 countries has revealed that the world's finances are in the hands of just a few mutual funds, banks, and corporations. This is the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power, and point out the worldwide financial system's vulnerability as it stood on the brink of the current economic crisis.

A pair of physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich did a physics-based analysis of the world economy as it looked in early 2007. Stefano Battiston and James Glattfelder extracted the information from the tangled yarn that links 24,877 stocks and 106,141 shareholding entities in 48 countries, revealing what they called the "backbone" of each country's financial market. These backbones represented the owners of 80 percent of a country's market capital, yet consisted of remarkably few shareholders.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Avatar trailer is out

This movie is being sold as a lot of things. One of the main things I have heard about it is how it will bridge the uncanny valley. It resoundingly fails to do that. It looks like World of Warcraft.

Don't get me wrong, it's pretty, but District 9 bridges the uncanny valley, this one does not.

It's all in the eyes and the corner of the lips. Basically, in high concept computer animation such as this facial movement looks very stiff and stilted like everyone has had their eyelids stretched and injects botox into their eyebrows and lips, in otherwords, they have sacrificed expressiveness for fullness. Meaning that the stills will look great, in terms of the animation it will be lacking.

I still look forward to it as I look forward to every sci fi epic, even though the last three major sci fi epic trilogies have pretty much straight up sucked: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix. I find the overwrought environmentalist paganism to be a little sketchy, but I'm willing to watch Fern Gully meets Halo. ;)