Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Real GDP vs. Aggregate Hours Worked

Click to enlarge.

The sustainability of real GDP growth from here is just one of those things that I do not trust. Go figure.

On the one hand, correlation does not prove causation.

On the other hand, I don't need proof to be distrustful. If I'm walking late at night and an unmarked van pulls up to me and everyone in the van is wearing ski masks, then I definitely better see some snow and some skis. Let's just put it that way. And truth be told, I'd still be distrustful.

And on that third hand, how many trillions more will/can we borrow to prop up real GDP?

This is not investment advice.

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Real GDP vs. Aggregate Hours Worked


Stagflationary Mark said...

Based on the number of posts I've done over the last 48 hours or so, it would seem that I had some pent-up doom and gloom charting demand inside me. D'oh!

Troy said...

what can be borrowed can be un-borrowed!

Krugman really p'd me off in his blog again:

"But what was deeply wrong with the US economy in late 2008 that wasn’t true of the US economy in late 2007? Recessions happen, and any halfway plausible story about how they happen is likely to suggest that non-fundamental government interventions, like printing money, can make things better."



I don't know if K is being intentionally dense or that just IQs take a hit the higher you go up, but the only person in macro that I can read without annoyance is Keen.

Yes, printing money is 'making it rain' for the little people some more. And yes it stimulates consumption. The problem is that it all that money is quickly drained out of the little people economy, and you've got to keep doing it over and over.

That's probably the story of Japan's long depression, too. Too much money going up the pyramid, not enough staying with the people who are earning it.

Stagflationary Mark said...


That's probably the story of Japan's long depression, too. Too much money going up the pyramid, not enough staying with the people who are earning it.

I think that's probably a pretty darned good theory.

Troy said...

Zooming in on the above:


I call that chart, 'Icarus'

In other news on the game-making front . . .

This past week I've got into WebGL again. When it first came out I thought it was kinda useless (IME programming JavaScript in the browser environment is not for the sane or those who wish to remain sane) but after further review and some percolation with Microsoft's TypeScript direction I think it's got potential.

I was too busy opinionating on political blogs to catch MS's original announcement of TypeScript late last year, but somehow I learned about it a couple of weeks ago and I think it's a pretty solid piece of work to get JS into a usable programming environment.

So last month I started looking at what authoring environments existed. HTML5's Canvas2D is the standard now that Adobe was forced to abandon Flash (!) and I was originally attracted to the CreateJS's canvas wrapper (Easel.js) since Adobe chose that implementation to transition its ActionScript/Flash community onto, and they also finagled themselves as the official producers of an "Atari"-branded suite of tools and SDK for online game production and delivery.

But after a day or so I saw that Easel.js was a rather thin wrapper on the Canvas2D API and its mathematical underpinnings were entirely suspect, plus its performance on any pixel-level manipulation (eg. color modulation) was utterly horrendous (1fps), which led me to looking at what WebGL had been doing lo these many years since whatever its faults I knew it was pretty performant.

And I'm pretty impressed at what I've found! WebGL itself is just OpenGL ES2 but the JavaScript community has taken the ball and run with it this past year (three.js puts a proper OOPified over WebGL).

And after some hacking I've found a way to get Visual Studio F5-debugging JS/WebGL in IE (Microsoft is dragging its heels on WebGL since it's a competitor to its D3D developer mindshare so I had to install an IE extension from Russia (!) to get IE loading WebGL).

VS can also launch Chrome to do debugging inside the Chrome browser, but that's not "IDE" but just a handoff, so its disjoint and a much slower cycle.

Now, none of this is for desktop content per se, if I were doing that I'd just go with SharpDX in C#.

But what I want is a a good deployment path to iOS, OS X, and Android, and it's quite doable embedding a JavaScript subsystem in desktop and iOS apps that drives the rendering into a proper accelerated GL context.

Alternatively, I could go with Mono and drive OpenGL that way, but I think TypeScript is a much more expressive language and VS is an arguably better IDE than MonoDevelop (but man it's fallen from its VS4-5 glory days).

So the tech stack on Windows development is looking like:

TypeScript -> VisualStudio -> JavaScript -> HTML -> IIS Express -> WebGL -> OpenGL ES -> IE extension* -> D3D -> Screen

(* Chrome has "Angle" -- Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine -- to turn OpenGL into D3D, dunno what the extension I've got for IE is doing)

Deploying this on iOS would be: JavaScript -> WebGL -> Apple's JavaScriptCore -> (native Canvas2D/3D shim -> OpenGL ES 2.0 context -> Screen.

Android would probably go on a fullscreen Chrome app or something.

It's all slowly coming together!

But to do all of this I had to install Windows 8. Man what a bad thing this is. It reminds me of the retarded offspring of Windows 3 and a HAL 9000:


Stagflationary Mark said...


I think I'll just stick to Rocksmith and try to learn to play the guitar, lol.

You've reminded me just how much work it can be to write the kind of game I'd want to play. ;)

Troy said...

yeah, all this work is to just avoid the pain of lacking a decent JavaScript IDE on the mac.

What I *should* do is just write one!

Microsoft sure as hell isn't going to port Visual Studio to the Mac, and whatever it is on the PC it's not all that usable any more anyway.

Hmmm, somebody already got the JavaScript -> OpenGL working:


IDEs have gotten so far away from the simplicity of Turbo Pascal and Lightspeed C (my first 2 sw purchases when I got my Mac in 1989).

I want to write something a smart junior high kid could use. I've been thinking about this idea for 10+ years already, sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Please make a Dai Senryaku type game so that I don't feel the need to do it. ;)

It bothers me that we live in a world where a game like that can only gather a 5.8 mediocre rating on IGN. Hey, at least the community thinks it is an 8.0. I'd be 9+ personally.