Monday, August 14, 2006

The Supposed Popularity of Fast Food

Back-of-the-envelope calculations can illuminate conventional wisdom.

For example, people get the impression that the majority of the population eats fast food.

But look at McDonald's last world-wide earnings report. $5.572 billion last quarter. Divide by 90 days, and by a $3 average meal price, and you get 20,637,037 meals a day. Well, even if that was all in the US, that's less than %7 of the population eating at McDonald's once each day. Let's say half that is in the US, though. So, if the fast-food industry is ten times the size of McDonald's, only about a third of the US population has a fast food meal every day.

The majority? They eat less branding than one would think.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Oh it's a major operation, I agree

An allegedly massive and supposedly devastating plot in Britain was "revealed": a well-coordinated trans-continental publicity explosion, a PR stunt and propaganda coup of stunning proportions.

It's quite obvious that the black teens captured in the US a few months back, announced by the Attorney General as "major terrorists", were a kind of "publicity prototype", to be extended and augmented when the next group of wayward teens was discovered. So here it is.

There's possibly some small pretext of reality behind the publicity -- we won't know for years. But the reaction is obviously disproportionate, and intentionally so, because the UK & US governments want to strike fear into the hearts of their citizens. They are kings, terrorizing their subjects, to ensure their re-election.

The talking points are so obviously void and manipulative -- whenever a journalist asked for details, the government officials would say "this is a plot of gigantic proportions -- it would have been worse than 9 / 11". They were well-trained in handling the media, because that's the only reason they bothered making the announcement at all. Not to increase safety, but to manipulate the public.