Friday, June 06, 2008

Get ready for lazy economic theory was down today for anywhere from one to three hours, depending on who you ask.

I love Amazon, and I'm making an early prediction here: some journalist or blogger is going to look at their financials and blusteringly announce that the outage cost so many thousands of dollars per minute.

Their math? Take quarterly revenues. Divide by time. Done.

The problem?

I'm John Q. Internet Shopper. I want to buy a book on Amazon.

Oh, rats, Amazon is down. That's rare.

Do I decide I no longer want a book and never shop at Amazon again?

Or do I wait a few hours and try again later?

Then spend the money I was planning on spending anyway.

Net loss to Amazon? $0.

They might have lost a few impatient types that hopped over to Barnes and Noble or something, but I bet Amazon is going to come out of this ok.

You see this same logical fallacy in those chain letters about not buying gas on whatever day. That'll show the dastardly oil companies! ... until the next day when everybody buys the gas they would have bought anyway. Whoops.

Update 7:50 6/6/08: The Consumerist bit. They're saying about $17,000 per minute "lost." In fairness, the 120th or so commenter calls shennanigans on their math.

Update 7:52 6/6/08: I'm going to call this sort of thing 'retardnomics,' in honor of the chain letter analogy. I slay me.

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