Kevin's Links

December 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kevintodd @ 9:39 pm

Juan Cole on Wikileaks – “I suppose that as a contemporary historian, I feel about Wikileaks the way I feel about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as a perpetual dieter. I wish they wouldn’t make it, but when I have a bowl, I have to say I really enjoy it.”

Core vs Headline (for dummies)

Amazon v Netflix (I agree with Kid Dynamite’s edited comments)

Don Blankenship is “a man who pursues naked self-interest and calls it patriotism, who buys judges like cheap hookers, treats workers like dogs, blasts mountains to get at a few inches of coal and uses his money and influence to ensure that America remains enslaved to the 19th-century idea that burning coal equals progress. And for this, he earns $18 million a year — making him the highest-paid CEO in the coal industry — and flies off to vacations on the French Riviera.a man who pursues naked self-interest and calls it patriotism, who buys judges like cheap hookers, treats workers like dogs, blasts mountains to get at a few inches of coal and uses his money and influence to ensure that America remains enslaved to the 19th-century idea that burning coal equals progress. And for this, he earns $18 million a year — making him the highest-paid CEO in the coal industry — and flies off to vacations on the French Riviera.” Surprisingly not written by Matt Taibbi

The US economy’s escape velocity – “The behaviour of the US economy, more than many others, is characterised by tipping points, and the direction of the labour market is critical to the process of growth and contraction. In the past, whenever the economy has slowed sufficiently to raise the unemployment rate by more than half a percentage point, a cumulative process has been triggered, with consumers reducing their spending sufficiently to tip the economy into outright recession.”

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December 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kevintodd @ 1:32 am

Barry Eichengreen on Ireland – “The Irish programme solves exactly nothing – it simply kicks the can down the road. A public debt that will now top out at around 130% of GDP has not been reduced by a single cent. The interest payments that the Irish sovereign will have to make have not been reduced by a single cent, given the rate of 5.8% on the international loan.

The ideology of the press – “In political journalism there are almost always two sides, not two-and-a-half, three or four.”

A new theory of Obama’s failure – “I think we should discuss a fourth option:  President Obama thinks this is a really good idea and wants to spend political capital and energy to carry it out.  Rather than a piece of strategy to force concessions from the other side, this is instead something he wants his administration associated with and wants to take the lead in making it reality.”

Perception vs reality

The incomparable Shuggie Otis – “In 1974 Otis released Inspiration Information. The album had taken almost three years to finish, and all the songs were written and arranged by Otis, who played almost exclusively every instrument on the album. However, Inspiration Information was far from a commercial success. After the album’s release, Otis was approached by Billy Preston on behalf of The Rolling Stones, asking him to join the band for their upcoming world tour. He declined the offer, along with the chance to work with Quincy Jones in helping produce Otis’s next album, which was never recorded.”

Illusions of control – “They took 108 students and split them into two groups. Both groups were told about a fictional disease called ‘Lindsay Syndrome’, that could potentially be treated with something called “Batarim”.  Then they were told about 100 patients, slowly, one by one, each time hearing whether the patient got Batarim or not, and each time hearing whether they got better.”

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