Saturday, October 8, 2011

This World Keeps Changing

This was an interesting week. On October 5th Steve Jobs died. I know he had survived pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant, but it just seemed like he wouldn't die, at least anytime soon. People are beginning to wonder about the possible demise of Apple. I think that they put so much work into defining what made Jobs so distinctive that for the next several years, probably the next decade, they have nothing to worry about. Secondly, I can't help but think of the movie Tron or Batman how the son inherits the company. Who knows what the future will hold?

The iPhone 4S came out. It's cool because it has HSPA+ (3x faster data speeds), a better processor (up to 7X faster graphics), an amazing camera, up to 64GB of storage, and to top it all off it has this new thing called Siri which people don't really know what to do with yet.

Unemployment is still high, yet we can not find engineers! There are three open positions in our group for finite element structural analysis engineers for people with 1+ year experience and a salary of $70K+ that have been on the website for a month yet only 12 people have applied, and one is me and one is my coworker who sits behind me and we are just looking for a promotion.

Secondly, I hear about the booming oil and gas fracking industry throughout the midwest and tales of 2% unemployment where someone can find a job they day they arrive in town. Do you really want a job? Go to North Dakota.

On the European economic front they are having problems. We spent so much money, for so long that now it is time to pay it back. Let me tell you from experience it is fun getting into debt, but paying your way out of it is not easy. I am making more money now than I ever have but my standard of living is barely higher than it was in college. I sleep on an air mattress! (It is a double tall queen size.)

This is such an interesting time to be alive! I will be able to say that I watched the world go from no cell phones or Internet to ubiquitous cell phones with the Internet. We went from some of the greatest peace and prosperity to a 10 year old war and a long running recession and very slow recovery.

By the way, stocks on Wall Street have been up and down huge percentages recently (10% per day in some cases) and the more volatile stocks are in general the more money those in the market stand to make. If for no other reason that people are buying and selling and Fidelity, among others, is making a commission on each transaction. In other words, billionaires get richer and unemployed people in their 40s and 50s still can't find jobs.

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