While living in the internet-driven “now” it’s a paradox, indeed to read about long-form television.

Yet here we have again how CBS is reporting on the evolution of “slow TV” on YouTube.

There are lots of reasons for it – and some of them are worth a bit of deep thinking because they tell us something of the future and of ourselves…


A good starting point is the 7-hour and 14-minute ride from Bergen to Oslo here.

We don’t have blocks of time like that – what, being retired and all – but we did watch the “Trans Siberia by Private Train” vid in a more reasonable 35-minutes.

Elaine loved it, but the clickety-clack of the tracks might as well have been a sleeping pill.  I was out in five minutes…

About the messages that might be found in this, other than the lack of extreme commercial injection in most of it, is that people may like trains a lot more than Amtrak ever figured.  Or, it just may be that sitting in front of a 55″ TV the effects are quite immersive.

As Elaine watched the whole Trans Siberian trip, she kept repeating “It was just like being there.”

Which ought to be a HUGE red flag for other modes of travel.  Who needs to go on a cruise ship to Alaska, when you can just point a camera at the shoreline and glaciers going by and see the whole deal from home?

Or, as we have advocated nearly forever, going on Skype with a good camera and mic is very close to the same effect as traveling to meet with a colleague.

(My buddy Gaye over at www.backdoorsurvival.com and I have been holding weekly chats, 45-minutes or so, for years on Skype.  We get a lot out of it in terms of website ideas and such but it applies much more broadly.)

There’s no question that video is a great business tool, but stripped of huge numbers of commercials, here’s an interesting question:  How many people would pay $20 a month for a “commercial-free” version of all YouTube product?

My sense it that a YouTube commercial-free versus a free YouTube with commercials might make Google a ton of money.\

That, and things like adding more streaming content.

We lost about 4-hours of Saturday’s planned work party because of the Yahoo streaming of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.

Not as good as a long-form trip- around Scandinavia, maybe, but watching the Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger interplay was as humorous as anything Colbert of Maher come up with.

While short-form “comics” do things like tasteless humor, the longer-form Buffett-Munger act was full of useful content.

It really comes down to a Tale of Two Worlds.

The SMS short, quippy, occasionally useless (or worse) versus the more thoughtful long-form with depth and detail.

In a world falling short on context, the latter, both in print and video, seems to be where insight comes from.

The SMS-parrots?  Not so much.

France’s New Liar-in-Chief

If you had read the 2002 book “The Commanding Heights: Battle for the World Economy” you would have a much clearer idea of why Marine Le Pen lost in France this weekend.

For in it, Yergin and Stanislaw get into who’s going to run the world and the elections in France this weekend were, to our way of thinking, a fine example of how to use authority and power to “fix” an election.

As we headlined this weekend, the “fix” was in for Macron from the get-go.

Take this headline, for example:  “French electoral authorities warn against spreading hacked Macron data.”

Those documents allege a series of financial affairs run through the Cayman Islands.

Yet, when questioned, Macron insisted in misdirection worthy of sleaze insisted “I don’t have any accounts in the Bahamas!”

Macron’s real answer was to file suit, knowing it would take the issue off the table until after the election…

And you know who else put a thumb on the French election outcome?

Barack Obama.

The idiots who went to the polls in France may not know their geography well, but the Bahamas are what, a thousand miles from Georgetown, Grand Cayman, B.W.I.?

Then were was the heavy hand of money.  Since Marine Le Pen was openly skeptical of the E.U. she might have gone with the recently rising tide of nationalism around the world and tried to dial back the megalomanias we call the Brussels Sprouts.

Ain’t happening.  And France will now descend into the new dark ages of totalitarian liberalism which (since people vote themselves everything) should end with France becoming as bankrupt as the rest of Europe.

None of this would concern us but that it increases the future likelihood of war over Ukraine.  Because that country has petroleum resources in the Russian held area and when Putin, et al want a fair price for energy, the decaying Europe may have no option but to steal from  their neighbors to the East.

Going forward, then, we would raise our bet on another war in Europe down the road.  France’s government has run rampant with political correctness disease and the free lunchisms that go with that.  As costs mount and no one has dough, there won’t be a better place to avoid, that comes to mind.

The good news that ties both our “slow TV” and the France story together?

Thanks to high def long form video, going to France may not be done electronically.  Just send out to the local French restaurant if you have one, and get them to send over some freshly baked loaves and a meal.

With the elections done, we also expect the invader’s terrorism to ramp up again.

Remember where you read it first.

Write when you get rich,


Ahead, Weakly
Dear (Rich) Millennial