Summer lasts about 6 weeks in Vermont. I'm off the road—and for once enjoying the full & matchless glory of a s-l-o-w Vermont summer.
Hence my less than vigorous Blogging. Sorry. (Actually, not sorry at all.) So I'll try—but not very hard.
It's not for lack of "stuff":
E.g., if one were to combine three enormous, oversize, clunky, uninspiring car companies (oh, say, GM, Nissan, Renault) why would one imagine that the result would be a "seriously cool, fast-moving enterprise" capable of beating Toyota or Honda?
Hyper-big = Non-innovative. Period. (Just give Microsoft's Steve Ballmer truth serum.) The global auto industry has spent gajillions on R&D (eg GM = #1 R&D spender in U.S.A. over the last 25 years—no bull) and not given us a fundamental breakthrough in 75 years—unless you count automatic windows. Verizon spends most of its "R&D" (does it actually have R&D?) fighting innovation and trying to preserve a semi-monopoly—with the result that Americans are falling further behind each day in connectivity & speed (see Andy Kessler's great piece—"Give Me Bandwidth"—in the 26 June Weekly Standard). Big Pharma is wasting the talent of tens of thousands of researchers to give us me-too drugs and fund tens of thousands of additional sales-"girls" to push them. Etc. Etc.
Whoops, I said I'd not go there ...
(BIG GRIPE 0710: I understand the realities of retail, but I am genuinely pissed at getting a "fall catalogue" from LLBean when I am psychologically embedded in my b-r-i-e-f VT summer.)