December 2nd, 2008


Sideways recession?

‘Bernanke-san’ Signals Policy Shift, Evoking Japan Comparison (Bloomberg)
It is still early to say that he will succeed even at that. But history is judging Japan quite a bit more favorably now than economists did during the country's "lost decade". The country managed to keep the economy in a near balance, without either growing or shrinking, for all but the beginning of those years. A decade without economic growth may seem like economic hell, but it is not. With the population not growing either (it is actually starting to shrink slightly now) life simply went on as before. Zero economic growth does not mean zero income - it just means the income is the same from year to year. You still buy a new car every now and then - it is just not more expensive than your previous car was when new. (It is most likely better though - technology marches onward even during a recession.) You still buy new clothes about as often as you did ten years ago. And you certainly don't go hungry to bed. Obesity would still be the larger killer.

Of course, things could end up much worse than that. But even a disastrous recession that destroyed half of the GNP would simply set us back to the standard of living when I was young - and we would still have every invention we have made in those years, making the actual quality of life far better than it was then. But the sideways sliding into the future is probably more likely, and certainly no reason to commit harakiri.
Newbie, CoH

City of Heroes issue 13

Yes, the newest free expansion to the game is being rolled out today! I have tested it on the test server and am mightily pleased. There is some disgruntlement in the PvP camp, as there must be when you fiddle with PvP. But for the rest of us, the one true Superhero Game just became even better.

CoH (and its evil twin, City of Villains) may be the last major MMORPG to get resting experience, but it is also the one that gets it perfectly right. This follows from the basic nature of the genre, with its formula of secret identities. When you log out from now on, your hero will be assumed to slip into his or her secret identity. If you do this in a recognizable place such as a university, hospital or train station, you will start to build mini-powers or other benefits. You may even combine careers to unlock combination benefits. This comes in addition to the usual double xp (or sleeping off debt) that follows from your activities as a mild-mannered nurse.

Some of the benefits are awarded retroactively, so if you have not been playing for a while, this is a good time to come back! Of course, it is still a good time to start on the game for the first time too.