Monday, December 28, 2009
We are made of something rare. Only 4% of the Universe as we know it is made of what we are made of. We are mainly water blobs of baryons held together by nuclear and electric forces. Weak forces were crucial to take us out of the ovens we call stars; when they exploded as supernovae, we appeared. Freed by weak bosons and neutrinos blasting us off those exploding stars in our space travel that continues to this day.
Now we know that not only the Earth is not the center of the Universe as Copernicus showed us, but we are not even made of the dark materials discovered more than ten years ago by HZT and SCP through the accelerating Universe sightings of Adam Riess.
My point in this note is to remind my white readers, that at least here in the US, today I am in Warrenville, you are not even the main type of race that is going to be dominant in a few years time. Blacks and Hispanics are set to be the majority, I believe around 2030.
I do not want to scare anybody, nor start a substitute Lou Dobbs outlet! I just want my white readers to take a deep breath and look around. If you live anywhere near a major city, NY, Chicago or LA. We are all around you in plain sight. I just want you to recognize our presence, and start getting ready for the upcoming day in which we'll be more than you. I am a proud Hispanic of Mexican Spanish cultural origins. My immediate family on both sides, mother and father, come directly from Spain, without much Native American blood.
I am starting to read today, "The 10,000 Year Explosion" by Cochran and Harpending. If they are right, I am covered for the future also, my children are half Ashkenazi Jews; which according to them, have a good chance of being smart. My boy is already applying for College. If the chips fall where I expect they may. I'll be fine.
After 10 years of the HZT-SCP discovery; I do not think the media has assimilated the significance of this.
We are Minority Materials!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
"Also dropped from earlier drafts was language calling for a binding accord “as soon as possible,” and no later than at the next meeting of the parties, in Mexico City in November 2010. The deal presented Friday evening said only that the agreement should be reviewed and put in place by 2015."
We will be waiting in Mexico, one of the most polluted countries of the Americas.
I like this skinny black guy.
Could it be that Gaia is bigger?
Prof. Hansen tells us now that the Sun is quieter than expected. Maybe the Sun neighborhood is autopoietic, so the Earth is not too hot, not too cold, for some alloted time. If the Earth warms, the Sun cools. That'll be neat, won't it?
" Frequently heard fallacies are that “global warming stopped in 1998” or “the world has been getting cooler over the past decade”. These statements appear to be wishful thinking – it would be nice if true, but that is not what the data show. True, the 1998 global temperature jumped far above the previous warmest year in the instrumental record, largely because 1998 was affected by the strongest El Nino of the century. Thus for the following several years the global temperature was lower than in 1998, as expected.
However, the 5-year and 11-year running mean global temperatures (Figure 3b) have continued to increase at nearly the same rate as in the past three decades. There is a slight downward tick at the end of the record, but even that may disappear if 2010 is a warm year. Indeed, given the continued growth of greenhouse gases and the underlying global warming trend (Figure 3b) there is a high likelihood, I would say greater than 50 percent, that 2010 will be the warmest year in the period of instrumental data. This prediction depends in part upon the continuation of the present moderate El Nino for at least several months, but that is likely."
Thursday, December 17, 2009
"An international team of physicists working in the bottom of an old iron mine in Minnesota said Thursday that they might have registered the first faint hints of a ghostly sea of subatomic particles known as dark matter long thought to permeate the cosmos.
Dark matter became a serious issue in the 1970s, when Vera Rubin of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and her colleagues charted the rotation speeds of galaxies and found that they seemed to be enveloped in halos of dark matter, then called missing mass."
A wide range of astrophysical and cosmological measurements have subsequently converged on an intimidating recipe for the cosmos of 4 percent atoms, 25 percent dark matter and 70 percent a mysterious energy that has been called dark energy and has nothing to do with the news on Thursday." Today at the NYT.
This is only tantalizing. Bigger and better detectors are needed.
Somehow this experiment doesn't ring true to me.
|Dear eduardocantoral, |
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I know that some of you are comfortable with your current email experience. So, wherever possible we’ll provide you with the choice to disable new features and keep the classic email product.
This is just the beginning. I’m truly excited about what’s to come in 2010 so please stay along for the ride. Our promise going forward is to keep you well informed of the changes we make and the new features we launch. In the meantime, please continue to send us your feedback or suggestions as we work to build a world class email experience – focused on you.
Thanks again for choosing AOL Mail!
President, AOL Consumer Applications
Something I can say, is that the child doesn't have to talk much. I just put the microphone in her mouth and she only said 2012.
That is handy, I guess I should've asked: What about 2012?
Anyway, Alex gave thoughtful answers to what he thought were scared children. He comforted them. Forget about it, and have a good time.
Now that I am reflecting on this great IYA-2009 finale. I write here something for me really, as my readers must've noticed by now. This is my diary, the fact that I chose to make it public has to do with my personality. I let people get close to me. I guess it has to do with having been treated well. I trust people.
Because of my dereliction of duty; I have to speculate. I guess Alex was right in his assumption, these kids are scared and need reassurance. Parents may be anxious making ends meet and the children pick up that anxiety. We are scaring the kids. I am afraid, I reared up my children with a "realistic" view of the world, being a scientist and all that. I never put myself in their position. No Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, and so on. My girl had an imaginary friend, Alicia, and my wife had the good sense of letting her have her friend as long as she wanted to. She breastfed both of them more than any woman I know; as long as they wanted. Thanks Mary.
We should protect the little ones, not scare them. I am so glad that Alex used his immense stature in front of these kids to give them expert advice: Forget about it, and have a good time.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Here is another jewel from this piece:
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
I know a good friend Garrett Cook , from Captain James Cook stock, that writes bizarro novels. These alternative universes cohabit ours, it seems. Conservatives are the aliens from UFO's lore, but I stand by my point made in a post in this blog. There is no intelligent life in this Universe, besides that of Krugman and people like him.
It is moments like these, that I worry about the future of my bright intelligent children.
I know I shouldn't despair, sometimes is hard though.
Esto de jugar a la vida, es algo que a veces duele.
This game called life, is something that hurts at times.
Friday December 11, with some of the five million people walking towards Tepeyac Hill Basilica to celebrate Our Lady Guadalupe's birthday; we arrived to Mexico City, where astronomer Alexei V. Filippenko presented his last results at the University City (CU, by its initials in Spanish) to the Astronomy Institute faculty and students.
The talk is based on work contained in three papers, with data taken over the past decade, with 10 years more of work to get the robotic telescope built and working.
For nearby supernovae Ia, they found a correlation between the rate per unit galaxy mass and galaxy mass: the more massive the galaxy, the smaller the rate per unit mass; if multiplied by each galaxy's mass, the rate increases with mass. More supernovae are produced in big galaxies.
The second result is the formula:
dN/dt ~ (1 + z)³
where z measures distance, and t time: the greater the z, the farther the exploding star, and N is the number of observed core collapsed supernovae.
Astronomer Xavier Hernández from IA-UNAM, expressed the opinion that the first result may be biased by using a reference galaxy mass of 4x1010 solar masses, which is big for this type of supernovae Ia.
Filippenko believes their result is the best they can get with their data set, which has been collected for ten years, and is the biggest sample obtained by a single group.
As it happens, there are not that many galaxies with lower masses producing supernovae they can detect with their robotic telescope.
Previously an amateur Australian astronomer had the nearby supernovae record. The religious minister Evans is a human "robot" to detect visible nearby supernovae.
Now Alex's group has the nearby supernovae Ia biggest professional sample in the world. To collect this amount of exploding star sightings, systematically characterized, their KAIT robot was used.
Alex then presented in this talk, and at a previous one this last summer, the results of the analyses done by his group.
Many of us expect all their analyses and results; we'll know more on these stars so important to study the "Accelerated Universe", that his group HZT, and SCP; discovered in 1998.
With talks in the "Sinfonía del Mar" open air venue this Monday, December 14, at 18:00 hrs in Acapulco, and Wednesday, December 16, in Chilpancingo at 11:00 hrs. in the SNTE auditorium; both with the title "El Universo en Expansión" and presented by this UC-Berkeley astronomer, and translated by me, we formally finish the activities of the International Year of Astronomy-2009.
I think it is appropriate that we celebrate four centuries of Galileo Galilei's use in 1609 of a telescope in Astronomy, with talks based on the use of a Newtonian telescope, invented later, and for the invention of which, Isaac Newton was accepted to the London Royal Society, with these talks of the great American astronomer Alexei V. Filippenko, recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences of his country, due in great part for work done with this robotic telescope built and managed by the group of astronomers he directs.
I want also to report that Professor Manuel Peimbert Sierra, present at the UNAM talk this Friday, is a corresponding member of this scientific American society, and that he published the paper on which the astronomer Filippenko, based his Ph.D. thesis at Caltech, under the direction of Wallace Sargent.
I wish these efforts to promote Astronomy, serve as inspiration to Mexican young people to pursue this passionate way of life.
Go see him, his students say:
"Filippenko is the greatest professor you'll meet ... TAKE THIS CLASS!!!!!"
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
G. Gonzalez et al.
Guillermo deserves more recognition than he is getting. He has good guesses. I don't think it matters what is the source of his guesses. Here he reports the confirmation of his hunch that Li abundance in stars can be used to search for planets like ours. That is science; you have a hunch and you check it. If it is true you use it. It seems that the source of his insights is some belief in Intelligent Design.
You know, I do not believe in God, and I don't care where Guillermo gets his information, for all I care he may have a direct red telephone line to the big guy up there. I do not care. Is it true or not?, if it is, Guillermo is alright in my book.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
He has many cites of his work by other astronomers. By the way the Mexican Carlos S. Frenk was number 8 in that list. More on him later.
If this was the only contribution Filippenko made, he would deserve the Prize I refer to here. Nevertheless it happens that there are no easy ways to explain this.
His brother Julio is very famous in Mexico, since he was Secretary of Health, in the "great" Vicente Fox administration. Currently Julio is Dean of the Harvard Public Health School, in Boston Massachusetts, and Carlos is the Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics and Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University and Principal Investigator of the Virgo Consortium. Both studied at UNAM. It seems that UNAM, does not have the capacity to retain some of its stars.
Carlos Frenk then, was one of the first to use supercomputers for cosmological calculations, i.e., of the whole Universe with Einstein's Gravity. With his colleagues in several countries, he demonstrated that it is necessary to have two new types of matter and energy to explain the observations of HZT and SCP . Prior to this supercomputer work, one should recognize Fritz Zwicky in the 1930s , and Vera Rubin in the 1960... and many, many people in the 1980s and 1990s
The names given to these two unknowns are Dark Matter, and Dark Energy. Frenk's result, is that the matter we are made of, which was known up to the great discovery of Universal Acceleration by HZT and SCP, is minimal. This so-called baryonic matter, in Frenk's soup , is only the salt, something like 4% of the total. Even this small quantity is mainly dispersed as gas all over the known Unvierse. Only 10% of that 4%, is found in the form we know it, mainly stars and black holes, and very little as planets like Earth; by the way over 400 solar systems are known in our Galaxy, the Milky Way.
The great mystery for theoreticians like me, is to find out what is Dark Energy, and for that, I thank my friend Alex, for having given me the opportunity to search for an explanation for Dark Matter and Energy.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I don't understand this, because long ago, I studied Sakurai's Vector Meson Dominance (VMD) Model , at the energies then available, early 70s, it was doing fine. The model used the Lorentz character of photons and vector mesons to study processes with either of them with a unified approach. All one had to do was to factor out the different strengths of electromagnetic and hadron forces.
The results presented in the New Scientist article above, put this into question at high enough energies.
Phenomenologically though, one can definitely break Lorentz invariance; this being an old game for physicists, and see what happens.
Giovanni Amelino-Camelia et al. do just that in:
Threshold anomalies in Horava-Lifshitz-type theories
Once this breakdown is allowed, even Poincaré symmetry is broken, one can start to make sense on the High Energy Gamma Rays Transparent Universe (awful acronym I'm sure nobody will use, HEGRTU).
Maybe this phrase will be more memorable. Anti GZK for Photons. (AGZKP, I doubt it).
What I mean by that, is that protons are not allowed at high energies, but photons are. This is really unaesthetic, and unfair, but if true; the LAGO collaboration of which I am a member, may have a shot at fifteen minutes of fame.
LAGO, an upshot from AUGER, will benefit from this asymmetry, and both collaborations would be famous. One for showing that GZK is there for protons, and the other for showing that it is not there for photons. No wonder we didn't think of that before, that will be really ugly. It will prove that the heavens are really much less than perfect.
A tide of green ink.
Times are hard, but now NBC is inside Comcast. A new change is coming.
I fight wars without weapons
I fight battles without remorse
I punch and scrach
When I feel there is no way out
I have a twitch
i-----it makes me f---feel better
I wrote a theif a letter
He stole it, man I should have known better
I took a pill, thought it would make me better
I lost my mind, while I was too busy trying to find unlimited time
I fight wars without weapons
My mind helped me win
Down on my knees not sucking but contemplating his fate
I scream out his name, as the knife comes down
For I am the bringer of pain
A vampire through the mist
A fate for the men that can't resist my poison kiss
I fly through the night, the next victim in my sight.
I fight battles without remorse
I ride on a pale horse
Hands in the air not giving up but contemplating the fate of the human race
I scream out, as fire scorches the earth
For I am the bringer of suffering
A god through the clouds
A fate for the sinners of the world
I puch through thee clouds, snuff out all life
I feel all the pain, all the suffering
I take it in and store it all in my congested mind
Just waiting for the right time
I will shine bright you will see
I have been everything that I can be
Everything you wanted me to be
You were nothing but the time
The time I needed to have
Time was all I needed from you
I refuse to admit, it was me
The total bitch
I'm not crazy
I do n----not have a tw-----twitch
I remember the hugs, the sweet words of love
The sweet sounds of a heart breaking
You were the sucker, the one I loved to hurt
I was mean to you, why do you still love me
Having you was just a game to me
A heartbreaker, that's me
A lover, could never be
A bitch, obsurd
Welcome to my life
My name i-----is
Written By (Disillusion) I mean (Hope Sanders)
Disillusion - Poetry
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Many years ago Maturana and Varela propsed a kind of self-regulation process, with this name to explain life. Now Guillermo González is using it to check how much alive inorganic matter is.
The abstract above is from:
Effects of the Planar Galactic Tides and Stellar Mass on Comet Cloud Dynamics
"Most astronomers today believe that one of the most plausible reasons we have yet to detect intelligent life in the universe is due to the deadly effects of local supernova explosions that wipe out all life in a given region of a galaxy.While there is, on average, only one supernova per galaxy per century, there is something on the order of 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe. Taking 10 billion years for the age of the Universe (it's actually 13.7 billion, but stars didn't form for the first few hundred million), Dr. Richard Mushotzky of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, derived a figure of 1 billion supernovae per year, or 30 supernovae per second in the observable Universe!"
"It isn't known if every hypernova is associated with a GRB. However, astronomers estimate only about one out of 100,000 supernovae produce a hypernova. This works out to about one gamma-ray burst per day, which is in fact what is observed."
"What is almost certain is that the core of the star involved in a given hypernova is massive enough to collapse into a black hole (rather than a neutron star). So every GRB detected is also the "birth cry" of a new black hole."
The Daily Galaxy
Now we know, their planets got sterilized.
Emeritus Professor Stephen Hawking was giving lectures, or at least telling journalists, about this answer to Fermi's question, a few weeks back.
It sounds good to me. We are alone, because we are lucky.
Actually the process Hawking was popularizing was about big rocks hitting us from out there, far in space.
How long will we be lucky? That is my question.
Here in Chilpancingo, a group of us are looking for evidence for an affirmative answer to Fermi's question. They are here.
Actually I do not believe they are, but I am not the one that is going to stop my friends from looking. Maybe they find Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and who knows what else.
This is fun. Until it isn't, and we see that ominous cosmic ray, or big rock, coming to get us, as very likely many other civilizations were taken down.
This is the biggest star explosion ever recorded. It was 200 solar masses. The light lasted several months.
56 Ni is formed, and radioactively disintegrates powering the explosion for months!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
This is my reaction to today's speech. I want to clarify the decision to myself, and hopefully for some readers.
Obama has never been at war, just like the past President. He didn't even have the chance. He was too young for Vietnam. He is a product of the US educational system, he believes the American narrative. A city upon a hill.
The number of weapons of mass destruction in the US is unprecedent in the History of Mankind. Nevertheless, those weapons cannot be used in Afghanistan.
I believe in the power of the mind, and the President has a good head over his shoulders. My conclusion nonetheless is this:
All people believe they are special; my people the Aztecs, believed that an eagle on a lake, on top of a cactus devouring a snake signaled them the right to settle and fight the other Mexicans living there, and so they did.
There are no such commandments to special people, we are all human beings and fight each other grouped in tribes to dominate. The US cannot dominate Afghanistan, nor any other place right now. I do not see the conditions for such a feat, what I see is a world in disarray about to face the abyss, we are at the brink of collapse, and the enemy is not the other, the enemy is us.
Paul Krugman has this to say today:
"The chances of a relapse into recession seem to be rising."
Sunday, November 29, 2009
No more. Let us do something.
Read Krugman's piece here.
"The Federal Reserve, for example, expects unemployment, currently 10.2 percent, to stay above 8 percent — a number that would have been considered disastrous not long ago — until sometime in 2012."
That year again.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Given that we are on the surface of the Earth, albeit at a high altitude, we can put tons of water there. This is someting Fermi LAT cannot do.
As the energy of the GRBs increases, lucky for us, the number of them decreases, otherwise we wouldn't be here. Therefore a tiny surface in space, with little matter, won't collect the highest energy rays. We expect to get above 100 GeV GRBs.
The question now is: What does theory predict?. I believe that given the huge energies, and likely big distances from the sources, that we have a way to study the vacuum.
A new proposal for Quantum Gravity, may help our searches. Horava-Lifshitz Gravity does have implications for Dark Energy.
We are studying this.
Heather Levi says about him:
"There was no way to co-opt him because he didn't exist. He was incorruptible because he both existed but at the same time didn't exist."
He got a lot done for poor Mexicans after the devastating 1985 Mexico City earthquake.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Caminan despacio con las manos
metidas en los bolsillos
agachan la cabeza y parece que
meditan pero no lo hacen
ellos solo buscan encontrar esos ojos
que les devuelva la ilusión por la vida.
Los deprimidos suelen pensar en suicidios
de otros, y parecen motivarse por ello
y muchas veces escriben poemas
en sus noches de insomnio.
Los deprimidos son hombres solos
siempre solos, y su soledad
los aísla del mundo; la soledad
y el estrés, son dos enfermedades
del mundo moderno;
los hombres, cuando están solos
buscan en foros de Internet
alguna mujer que imaginan hermosa
para sentir compañía;
las mujeres solas, describen su pena y
dolor y también buscan amantes
o de menos algún amigo querido;
al caminar la ciudad, ambos
los hombres solos y mujeres solas
son las almas en pena
de la vida moderna.
Walk slowly with their hands
inside their pockets
bow their heads down and it seems that
they meditate but they do not
they are only looking to find those eyes
that give them back hope for life.
The depressed use to think in suicides
of others, and they seem to get motivated by it
and many times they write poems
in their nights of insomnia.
The depressed are lonely men
always lonely, and their solitude
isolate them from the world; solitude
and stress, are two diseases
of the modern world;
men, when they are alone
search in Internet sites
some woman they imagine beautiful
to feel company;
lonely women, describe their sorrow and
pain and also search lovers
or at least some dear friend;
walking the city, both
lonely men and lonely women
are haunted souls
of modern life.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
In this Note I write what I understand so far about it.
We have a change in the Idea of change, from Newton, to Einstein, to Hořava. With the last one similar to the first. Time and space separate, spacetime related, to time and space separate again. Newton ->Einstein->Hořava.
I don't know about you, but time mystifies me.
I am succinct here, Newton had to invent a metaphor. Time flows like a river, independently of everything, it is then absolute. All clocks are synchronized, maybe by a prime force at the moment of creation. All clocks, somehow know about all clocks, as if connecting with infinite velocity information signals.
Einstein thought that 299 792 458 m/s was a better number for this velocity. Now our current Natural Philosopher in residence at UC Berkeley has reasons to believe that in the beginning time was more like Newton thought.
Theoretical Physics is a mathematical game, whatever gives you the results of other games, you believe will appear more like the real thing. Here we are talking about a computer game. Ambjørn, Jurkiewicz and Loll invented Causal Dynamical Triangulation. They play it in a computer.
If they don't separate space and time, they get into a mess, so they do. For his own reasons the Berkeley Professor, Hořava. Had done the same trick, but he was more thorough. He fill in more details. When the computer model gave something close to what Hořava-Lifshitz got previously, he felt vindicated, and believes the computer discovered the same tricks independently.
I believe the new Idea of change is based on these elements. The problem of time, critical phenomena, and acceleration of the Universe. Somehow one must get rid of time at the beginning, otherwise the math gets non-sense. What is done in the H-L theory is to vanish it slowly, one goes from four dimensions, to a kind of two dimensional primeval soup. The heat must do something to time, in this sense is not at all like Newton's river that won't evaporate. It becomes fractal. He calculates a fractal dimension for time-space and gets the beautiful formula:
ds = 1 + D/z
When z = 3 and D = 3, ds = 2. When z= 1 we are back in our immediate neighborhood, the Earth, with ds =4.
"We’re going to show young people how cool science can be."
How could a one, be a meme? Meme could be anything, so it could be all, or infinity, or it could be one. What I mean by monad as meme, is that any monad is a member of a meme. Using Category Theory, one can see that the one and the infinite, are categorically related. There will be contradictions in my way of conceptualizing meme and monad, but already Bertrand Russell, many years ago, found them in Set Theory.
I am starting to study his Monadology, and I sense similarities with Memetics.
A meme is a cultural construct that remains, in the fight in Memespace.
It is hard to visualize an idea fighting for attention, but that is what I am talking about. This blog, Relevant Science is a meme, and I am doing poorly competing with all those great blogs out there.
Now what is a monad?
This idea was invented in the seventeenth century. I believe that Leibniz, didn't visualize Memespace, as I do. Maybe he thought his memes were material, like atoms, or something. I believe that memes can be ideas that stay. A good tune, or song is a meme. This Note you are reading, is a meme. Will any of the readers remember it?, If one does, it will start populating that person thinking space, some actual blood and nutrients will go to maintain the idea in her brain.
If my analogy, metaphor, or whatever you want to call it, remains; memes as monads will be part of culture. In that case Leibniz will be appreciated as the visionary that he was.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I believe something like that is happening. Here in Guerrero, the Rector of the University said Saturday in his yearly State of the University Report, that more money came here from the Federal Government than never before. I believe it is still not enough, but I agree with his assessment. Ours, one of the poorest universities in Mexico has been "discovered" by the powers that be.
We do need a Marshall Plan, the time is Now.
From the Rolling Stone Magazine
"If we are to curb emissions in the next decade, we need a massive mobilization larger than any in history," Navarro declared at the end of her talk. "We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth. This plan must mobilize financing and technology transfer on scales never seen before. It must get technology onto the ground in every country to ensure we reduce emissions while raising people's quality of life. We have only a decade."
Sunday, November 22, 2009
18.06 Linear Algebra
Is there anything wrong with MIT?
I'd expect a full house for such a great course. But, no. There are empty seats. Good that the material is online now, for the whole world to appreciate.
He gave Lecture 5 to Nobody in the first rows!
Other primates, lacking our symbolic brains, take thousands of trials to learn a new rule."
Friday, November 20, 2009
Taken from the NYT .
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I feel more like an American than like a Chinese. Even though, at that level, one could also envisioned a shift. I feel more individualistic than a clog in a machine for the common good. I do not believe that the Chinese are better, or the Americans. Each people has its own history and culture. There is no apex of progress towards which all of us move.
If I am going to leave my mark on this earth, it will have to be as an individual, like Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs, or Sergey Brin.
How does one do that?
AOL to Cut Its Work Force by One-Third
On Thursday, AOL announced it would cut its work force by one-third by eliminating close to 2,500 workers. The move comes as the company prepares to be spun off from its parent company, Time Warner, into an independent, publicly traded company.
AOL said in a regulatory filing that the job cuts were meant to save about $300 million a year. It will take a $200 million restructuring charge to account for the severance costs. The company said it would ask for volunteers first, and then resort to layoffs if it didn’t get roughly 2,500 people to accept a buyout package.
Tim Armstrong, who became AOL’s chairman and chief executive in March after a successful and lucrative stint at Google, told employees in an e-mail message that he would not accept a bonus this year. In the message, he wrote, “as a member of our team and the person who takes accountability for the results of the company, I am making the decision to forgo my 2009 bonus. That decision is a personal one and is not a sign for the future payout of the overall bonus plan for employees.”
Mr. Armstrong, 38, was guaranteed a bonus of at least $1.5 million this year, according to a regulatory filing. His minimum base salary, according to his employment contract, is $1 million.
At its biggest, AOL had more than 20,000 employees in 2004. It currently has about 6,900 and after the latest round of layoffs will be left with about 4,400 workers, making it roughly a fifth of the size it once was.
In terms of what was once its core business — selling dial-up Internet access — AOL had the most subscribers in the third quarter of 2002, when it counted 26.7 million of them. At the end of the most recent quarter, it had 5.4 million. Through the first nine months of 2009, AOL lost 1.9 million subscribers, or more than 200,000 a month.
This business is still profitable for AOL, although it is declining rapidly. Mr. Armstrong, in the face of continuing declines in the access business, has singled out several areas for growth, including premium content, online mapping and local services, communications like instant messaging, and online advertising.
In an interview with The New York Times in July, Mr. Armstrong said of the company’s challenges: “AOL has a choice to make. We either lose slowly or win quickly. We are choosing to win quickly.”
Time Warner, whose merger with AOL in 2000 was disastrous for both companies, decided earlier this year to spin off its struggling Internet unit. The spinoff is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 9.
In the most recent quarter, AOL’s revenue was down 23 percent, or $235 million, to $777 million. Of this decline, $138 million was ascribed to a decline in subscriptions, while $92 million resulted from a drop in advertising.
AOL became a force on the Internet in the 1990s by offering its ubiquitous dial-up service, but fell behind as high-speed service became widespread and the access business became commoditized.
It used its high-flying status and its stratospheric stock price to essentially buy Time Warner in a deal announced in January 2000. The balance of power shifted in the ensuing years, and Time Warner dropped “AOL” from its name.
Its formal spinoff in the coming weeks will be the closing chapter of the ill-fated deal.