Assorted links

by on November 16, 2010 at 11:57 am in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. The missing equation (cartoon).

2. Very bad science fiction and fantasy covers.

3. What will happen, and here is the book to come.

4. On the Fed's new monetary policy, and the surrounding political debates, it's worth rereading…me.

5. Science cheerleaders.

6. How the idea of data is revolutionizing the humanities.

1 Jim November 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

It's incredible to me that anyone believes that our current economic problems exist because everyone is sitting on vast fortunes in their bank account, and simply refusing to spend it.

2 Ted Craig November 16, 2010 at 8:47 am

2. First off, looks like some artist could sue James Cameron (Hidden Echoes, No. 2).
Second, these covers are merely reflective of marketing at the time. "The Still, Small Voice of Trumpets" looks fairly typical of the genre. Do a Google Images search of Harlan Ellison book covers and you'll find similar illustrations from that era.
I recently read a book on girls' YA from the late '70s/early '80s. I marveled at how the covers differed from those of my 14-year-old daughter's books and thought, "That's what they are supposed to look like." I showed her and said, "Would you read these books based on the covers?" "No. They look boring," she replied.

3 dirk November 16, 2010 at 9:09 am

"It's incredible to me that anyone believes that our current economic problems exist because everyone is sitting on vast fortunes in their bank account, and simply refusing to spend it."

People are putting their money into gold and refusing to spend or invest it. Gold hoarding is deflationary, despite the conventional wisdom.

4 Steve R November 16, 2010 at 9:15 am

When someone creates a website devoted to good sci-fi/fantasy covers, the internet will be complete.

5 Andrew November 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

3. So, basically a "fiat standard" doesn't work either, eh? What are we back to wildcat banking?

6 dirk November 16, 2010 at 10:11 am

@Cliff,

I would say the gold craze is indicative of cash hoarding. e.g., the demand for gold is greater than the demand for cars and other stuff.

Gold is becoming a partial replacement currency. In as much as it is acting as a currency, as goods and services go down in value relative to that currency we have deflation. Too much demand for gold is indicative of too little demand for everything else. This may seem counter-intuitive since actual "inflation" (whatever that is exactly) would also lead to a rise in the price of gold, but what we have here is something else.

You are correct that there remain as many dollars in circulation, but they aren't circulating so much.

7 boris November 16, 2010 at 10:58 am

"very bad"? Very awesome I say. Especially 'Clash of the Star Kings'

8 Philo November 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Matthew Lynn's column on the Euro is pretty feeble. He writes: "The economies [of the European Union] are just too different to allow a single central bank to manage all of them." Hawaii, Alaska, New York, Mississippi–how different are they?

9 BPO November 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm

"Matthew Lynn's column on the Euro is pretty feeble. He writes: "The economies [of the European Union] are just too different to allow a single central bank to manage all of them." Hawaii, Alaska, New York, Mississippi–how different are they?"

I just don't understand how it is that so many EU-philes truly seem to believe that the US and EU are comparable entities, as though America is a loose collection of loosely-tied countries. It's not just in economies, and it's a surprisingly widespread ignorance.

10 Vic Sarjoo November 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I think I'll stick with non-science cheerleaders after looking at that video, thank you.

11 Tom Grey November 16, 2010 at 11:07 pm

#4 more and more people, including top economists, are asking the Fed to promise a credible commitment to a more expansionary monetary policy.
If this means there is a consensus of economists, its wrong.
WSJ has an open letter by economists against QE 2:
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/11/15/open-le

This pretty much echoes Sarah Palin.

While I agree with you that an inflation target now would be good, your NYT article (behind a paywall yesterday?) talking about Bernanke being too hesitant was, itself, far too hesitant. If I didn't already agree with QE 2, more inflation, and the continuing need to fight deflation, the article wouldn't give me much in ammo to support it, or against the non-QE 2 actions (or against the "no inflation" target).

The inflation-hawks claim, also correctly:
we think improvements in tax, spending and regulatory policies must take precedence in a national growth program, not further monetary stimulus.

The Fed problem is that Congress is failing on taxing, spending, and regulatory policies. Congressional failure makes the Fed's job impossible. Bernanke, as well as the hawks, should be more clearly specifying what correct policies to use now.

I disagree with Krugman & DeLong on more gov't spending. But they clearly state their case.
I'd support more tax cuts, tax holidays, and especially tax loans (taxpayers keep their cash now in a loan to the IRS to be repaid, later).
Peaceful, voluntary spending by those who earned it, not force-based gov't spending.
Also a freeze on new regulations, and an automatic regulation holiday for any company that wants to increase employment (maybe all companies).

Two huge problems: 1) Americans are globally overpaid. (Gov't workers grossly so).
2) The loss of the millions of illegals (going back to Mexico) has resulted in a huge reduction of Ag Demand, not only for overbuilt housing, but all other services. The visible problems with illegals were more than compensated for by the almost invisible benefits. (And most charts of wage labor & hours don't handle pay to illegals consistently. The macro statistics are unreliable.)

12 Candadai Tirumalai November 17, 2010 at 5:38 am

The digital (or digitized) humanities: When interpretation gets lost in the sands of over-interpretation, stubborn and unexpected facts rise up in revolt. The tyranny of Fact may follow, until we need to imagine all over again.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: