more on historical U.S. advertising expenditure

I’ve made some additions and revisions to the CS Ad Expenditure Dataset that I posted two weeks ago.  One important addition is alternative figures for U.S. internet advertising, 1997-2007. See the “internet” spreadsheet in the CS Ad Dataset. This spreadsheet gives the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) U.S. internet advertising revenue for 1997-2007, as well as U.S. advertising figures for Google (2002-2007), Yahoo (2002-2007), and newspapers (2003-2007).  These additional data show that the Coen internet advertising expenditures for 2004-2007 are far too low.  I’ve kept the Coen internet figures in the category-structured database because the effect of revisions in the internet figures on other figures isn’t clear.

I’ve made some minor revisions to the pre-1935 advertising figures.  These figures might be of some current interest because they span the Great Depression. Between 1929 and 1933, U.S. GDP fell 46% and total advertising expenditure fell 54%.  A combination of bad luck, wrong decisions, and shattered faith made that disaster.  It need not happen again, but it could.

David Carson of Husky Media has observed that online video advertising has suffered from having a television ad model imposed on it.  He asks, “why are we blindly accepting that the best way to build online-video markets is by applying an ad model from a completely different medium like television?”  Note that the Coen categorization includes $37.4 billion advertising expenditure in an “other” cateogory in 2007.  For comparison, the IAB recorded $21.2 billion in internet advertising expenditure in 2007, and the Coen figure for broadcast television is $44.5 billion.  The large size of the “other” category indicates that much advertising expenditure is not easily classified. A wide range of advertising forms already exist, but tend to be underappreciated.

As noted previously, that data are also available in an Excel workbook.

Update: I’ve added estimated yearly Microsoft online U.S. advertising revenue, 2002-2007, to the Internet sheet in the ad expenditure dataset.

COB-27: respecting job assignments

One of the bureaucrats on the staff here at the Carnival of the Bureaucrats observed with pride some time ago the head of an important government agency entering his agency’s headquarters. At the headquarters’ entrance are guards who check ID badges after persons swipe through an electronic badge machine.  After clearing the electronic badge machine, without hesitation and with due respect for job assignments, the agency head politely showed his badge to the guard.  The guard then gave him an approving gesture to enter. This is a clear indication of a well-functioning bureaucracy. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor obsolescence, redundancy, or mighty leaders can deter a bureaucrat from doing her job.

Jeremiah Owyang at his Web Strategy blog celebrates unsung heroes.  He mentions “technology vendors, PR firms, agencies, and even VCs.”  His failing to mention bureaucrats is a serious oversight.

Pete Graner at RedVoodoo declares:

I received a comment on my blog, referencing the Kernel Team requiring a LP bug prior to committing a patch to the tree. The person commenting called it “Bureaucracy”. … Its not about bureaucracy, its about accountability.

Mr. Graner has made a common mistake.  The procedure concerns both bureaucracy and accountability.  Both are useful and worthwhile.

Alex Papadimoulis at The Daily WTF celebrates serious fricking bureaucracy.  This is extremely impressive. Our favorite part: “There was a reason that the support rep’s voice sounded so familiar: she was Jessica, and 774-6216 was Jessica’s number.”  You have to read it to understand.

Chris, at the inspiring blog “Bureaucracy Now!” offers an uplifting quote for the day:

“Regardless of what happens — if a kid dances on your sand mandala — it’s okay. If everybody in the world had that kind of stability of mind we’d be better off.”

All bureaucrats aspire to stability.  It starts with the right mindset.

Azelma Petit at Biz.Edu offers 30 Creative Ways to Fire Someone Who’s Not Pulling Their Weight.  Creativity and firing have little relevance for bureaucracy.  Consider this:

14. Fired Fruit Basket – People usually send fruit baskets for appreciation. Why not change the entire meaning of a fruit basket by sending a fruit basket with a “You’re Fired” card? Even though the employee will still be upset, at least they get some fruit out of it.

If we had a sense of humor, we would rate that as 7.2 out of 10 on the standard humor measurement scale.  But bureaucrats don’t have a sense of humor.

Texas Politics offers a detailed, factual discussion of Texas goverment bureacracy.  This is the kind of document that should replace silly, vacuous mission statements in leading bureaucratic organizations.

Village Connections has honored supporters of New Zealand’s Education Amendment Bill with a Shovel Award.  This distinguished award is for “digging community into a bureaucratic hole.” The award citation observers:

The reason for the Shovel is that this Bill will add another layer of bureaucracy and more bureaucrats to the community. … it is a move away from an environment where children and adults alike develop skills in communicating with one another about whom to trust and in what ways, to one where people are forced to be dependent on bureaucracy.

Community outreach and social responsibility departments at bureaucratic organizations around the world should aspire to receiving such an award.

That’s all for this month’s Carnival of Bureaucrats. Submit your blog article to the next edition using our carnival submission form. Submissions should conform to the Carnival’s regulations. Past editions of the Carnival of Bureaucrats can be found on the Carnival’s category page.

mixed statutory and case law in ancient Mesopotamia

Consider this law:

If a man says to his comrade, either in private or in a public quarrel, “Everyone has sex with your wife,” and further, “I can prove the charges,” but he is unable to prove the charges and does not prove the charges, they shall strike that man 40 blows with rods: he shall perform the king’s service for one full month; they shall cut off his hair; moreover, he shall pay 3,600 shekels of lead.[*]

This written law was established in Assyria about 3100 years ago.  It’s a defamation law, but it specifies a highly particular form of defamation.  Did the Assyrian have a written law covering every major type of defamation (you’re a bastard, your mother’s a whore, you’re a clumsy oaf, etc.)?  Most likely not.  “Everyone has sex with your wife” seems to have functioned in Assyrian law as a synecdoche for defamation.

The Assyrian law differs from case law.  The parties to the action are generic “man,” “comrade,” and “wife.” The law occurs within a list of similarly structured, written laws that make no particular references to historical case judgments.

Particularization apparently was not a generic characteristic of ancient Mesopotamian legal texts. Ancient Mesopotamian laws combined general categorizes of parties with highly particularized actions and punishments.  Whether these laws mattered in practice is a subject of considerable academic debate.  Perhaps these laws indicate that making laws and judging cases were closely connected institutionally in the Assyrian kings’ administrative organs.

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Read more:


[*] Text from the Middle Assyrian Laws, ca. 1076 BCG, of the city of Assur.  See Roth, Martha Tobi, Harry A. Hoffner, and Piotr Michalowski. 1995. Law collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. Writings from the ancient world, no. 6. Altanta, Ga: Scholars Press, p. 159.  The preceeding law: “If a man should say to another man, “Everyone has sex with your wife,” but there are no witnesses, they shall draw up a binding agreement, they shall undergo the divine River Ordeal.”  The witnesses are most plausibly relevant to uttering the statement, not having sex with the wife.   Evidently, this law concerns a situation where the defamation defendant denies making the statement.  In contrast, the law quoted above includes the defamation defendant asserting that he can prove the wholly implausible statement that “everyone” has sex with the wife. These laws make most sense together as defining defamation at different levels of insult and injury.  A similar set of laws is organized around the statement, “Everyone sodomizes you.”