Hear I Go Google!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Overnight Idea: The Virtual and Personal MBA

In thinking about what would be a really different and challenging thought, I came to this idea: Design a MBA program around internet searched materials, library books and course materials bought on the cheap or obtained for free. Now, (I know) this seems reaching into an area that is all ready done well enough to turn out so many competent and creative souls. I mean, look at Wall Street and all their recent successes?

To me this will a be a project of compiling data, doing the actual course work discovered at MIT Free Online Courses, incorporating known models at Harvard, Princeton University Economics, Columbia, Stanford, Michigan and Northwestern resources, while adding in the latest business thoughts, from entreprenuerial to regulatory practices.

A music interlude: Johnny Cash's I Walk The Line

By no means is this going to be groundbreaking or money making. It's a desire to learn and study in depth what makes all these $100,000 a year people (well, more in NYC, less, in Midwest fly-over) include oddities and books that are classic, and others, that teach a different mantra, that isn't in Milton Friedman's wettest dreams.

I wanted to take the GMAT years ago, back in 1998-99. Studied, bought the Princeton Review book, etc. Got sidetracked and wound up taking the LSAT. Scanner at heart and soul.

So, this will be a new project with a twist or two likely. I like to incorporate information into a model of how something works. Which is what Business is: a model of what works and what doesn't.

More interesting is to discover how Economics, Business, Law and Public Policy work (or don't work) together.

I figure it will take 2-3 years of reading, writing, researching and designing the course work. With plenty I won't learn or know, but plenty that will enlighten me to the history and evolution of what a true MBA graduate should know.

Example: Jim Kramer's Warning in October 2008 about Stock Market

I will post my work: course study, books read or researched, internet articles, business channel stuff, youtube vids, research papers I will write (God willing) and compiled program of PDFs, Powerpoint stuff, Excel spreadsheets, etc. Maybe it will work out well.

There is a few of goals to this: to create both a virtual program and get what others are learning (or mislearning) in their programs. Criticism is welcome - as well as resources that are good to use or available for free. Nearly free is also the goal. Who is getting their education on the cheap in these hard economic times?

I figure if I can put together a comprehensive, intelligent and understandable model for a learning (with the undergrad course stuff included), why does education need to be so expensive?

I'm not selling this idea yet. But it has merit. People need choices that are low cost and digestable in 1 1/2 -2 year window of learning. Also, the path to enlightenment is usually a personal experience more than a guided tour by people with their own motivations and shortsightness built in.

I hope that in the end I can be more informed while informing others in the process.

My 1st semester will start in January 2009. Till then, I am compiling the nuts and bolts of what I need to include and discover during the next 2 years.

(So, that Perfect Storm post will take a backseat.)

Final Music: Johnny Cash's God's Gonna Cut You Down

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Music: Just doing the 1980's

These would be the in the mode of sounds that everyone heard in a multitude of bands that copied or did better (or worse) than the ones I picked out.

Duran Duran was at the top of their game from 1982-1986.

Simple Minds: Does anyone remember any other band that got more out of one song in movie? (Berlin's Take My Breath Away, maybe from TOP GUN?)

Depeche Mode & OMD were listened to by Vision Wear people, riding skateboards (then an act of rebellion) and the pre-Seattle angst crowd.

It's Friday, go do The Big 80's!!!

Depeche Mode - People are People. Well, they are?

OMD - If You Leave. Classic Sync Pop Band.

Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me). The Breakfast Club. The launcher of careers and weird spoofs.

Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf. And out on the prowl!!! Meow!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Post Mortem: The 2008 Chicago Cubs

I took awhile before writing this final 2008 baseball blog. The Chicago Cubs had a wonderful regular season. Not since Ryne Sandberg was MVP and Gary Matthews was the 3-hole hitter have the Cubs piled up as many victories. So, it was a shame they bowed out early to a hot Dodgers team.

What probably hurt more was the way they lost 3 straight games. Game 1: Ryan Dempster suddenly can't find the dish. Gives up a granny and the Cubs offense disappeared under the Meadowlands with Jimmy Hoffa. Game 2: A comedy of infield errors led this Cub fan to want drink excessively, start a fight with a 65 year-old Dodger fan geezer and hope Game 3 in La-la would be fa la la la, la la la la terrific. Game 3: No life in this body as the Cubs showed up dead on arrival.

I am not a poor, pitiful Cubs fan.

Sure, I am poor enough that a new Democratic president will have to give me a tax break in order for me survive through the Second Great Depression. Pitiful would be dependent upon whether my income, car options, job prospects, lack of girlfriend or living arrangements deserves such pity. (I think they do.) Cubs fan: We have seen the last 100 years leave us behind in a dusty trail of Texas dust. But I am not a poor, pitiful Cubs fan.

As an original member of the National League, one steeped in an odd ball history of very good play for nearly 34 years (1876-1910), that went through 2nd division droughts like the one between 1946-1966, and have the tagline lovable losers attached to one's franchise woes, ineptitude and managerial stupidity, it almost seems too funny to get an attack from a Ranger fan.

I wrote a piece about Josh Hamilton this season shortly after the Home Run Derby display. I felt that Texas had bargained shop a guy that should have been where I was, in life - and that was likely given his addictions and proclivities before he 'got saved.' But he turned it around. And that impressed.

I don't harbor any delusions about the Cubs or the playoffs. As Billy Beane was quoted (or miquoted): "My shit doesn't work in the playoffs." The Cubs' shit didn't work in the playoffs because they left their shit in the shithouse of 100 seasons of disappointments. I can relate to these Cubs, with all their potential, their dreams and ambitions, only to come up on the very short side of a playoff ass kicking.

But I don't need curses or Bartmans to know that being so close to the brass ring is actually more a kick in the teeth that being a mediocre also-ran team for 3 decades plus that can't find pitching, but digs up the hitters a plenty, is.

No one is promised a shot at the playoffs.

If the wild card was nixed, the Cubs would have played the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series this year. (Using pre-1969 rules.) Of course, many many millions of dollars would have been forfeited under that design, and thus, not in the best interests of baseball. So we have a playoff. We reward team mediocrity by allowing barely .500 teams in the dance as division winners or wildcards undercast in the same role.

The 1998 Cubs benefited from this rule. So did the 2003 Florida Marlins who beat my Cubs and the Yankees to boot. (And they, the Marlins, still can't get fans, a stadium deal or whatever else a South Floridian needs to root for them. Let me live on South Beach and I'll build the goddamn stadium for them.)

But I can't feel pity or sorrow for teams that haven't mastered the new playoff paradigm. I've seen enough baseball to know that it is as much luck as it is skill in building a champion - or at least a playoff bound team. Oakland did it with money that wouldn't buy a 3rd rate action film in Hollywood. Texas had A-Rod, and nobody else. Spent foolishly on pitchers that couldn't get me out.

But that's the past.

We all need to go forward except for those fans still lucky enough to root for their 2008 teams.

Go Tampa Bay!!!