Assorted links


The culture that is Japan commercializes the culture that is MIT (You're in Control from 2002):

Not sure about the video game thing, but tell me more about this female-to-male standup conversion device?

4) I have lots of respect for crows as social creatures. Not going to happen for cockroaches, however!

Know your enemy is what I say. Exterminators have long known that the cockroach's sociability is the key to their extermination, that it is so central to roach existence just emphasizes the folk wisdom that if you see one you have many more to kill.

Cockroaches are very close relatives to the extremely social termites, they are so similar that termites are often taught as "wingless cockroaches" to students. Unlike other social insects they are not haplodipoid so their complex social systems are much more interesting because they are not so genetically driven to cooperation. E.O Wilson to the contrary, he is a hymenopteran expert and roaches and termites are extremely distantly related neoptera, in fact they are more distantly related to each other than we are to hagfish. The neoptera are known to have more complex neurology and seem more capable of independent decision making than other insects. Combine this with termite and roach ability to digest cellulose and they are far more destructive. In addition the look especially loathsome so I say kill them all.

The eurozone thing is a conscious design, implemented by guys who were confident that they knew what they were doing. Now it's blowing up and of course more genius is needed for the reboot. Where do these pseudo-experts get the authority to decide how everyone else is going to make their transactions? Particularly when none of them will miss a meal? Krugman talks about euro-wide alternatives. Why not let every one look out for their own interests as they see fit?

"For in the end, Spain and others do have an alternative to endless austerity, one that may be forced on them by events: exit the euro, with all the financial and political fallout that follows. And on the current course, that’s what’s coming."

Krugman is exactlly right, but inadvertantly illustrates why this debate getting derailed into macroeconomics and a replay of the U.S. stimulus debate has been unproductive.

The single currency failed, the only choices are leaving the euro, or turning the EU into a real, single country (this is the implication of Germany making massive fiscal transfers to the periphery). The is a purely political choice and doesn't have much to do with economic theory.

Talking about Spain as if it can choose a non-austere fiscal policy, and then blaming its death spiral on a stubborn refusal to accept Keynesian cyclical spending recommendations, is distracting. Talking about Germany as if its hesitance to construct a trans-European federal state turns on its attitude towards Keynesianism is also a distraction.

I'm sorry, but can someone explain to me how exit from the eurozone is an alternative to austerity? For any of these nations? I mean I understand that in the short term they can just inflate and depreciate away their government liquidity/solvency and trade deficit problems, but...none of those things are the actual problem.

Those are simply the symptoms of their horrible governance, political, and economic systems. And changing currencies not only doesn't solve them, but indeed postpones solving them indefinitely. The politicians will be able to pretend everything is fine again. Is an endless series of near-crises followed by intense inflation and depreciation a serious long-term solution? What are the long-term expected growth rates under austerity vs. leaving the euro?

This is a unique opportunity to impose proper institutions on these countries, against the will not only of their politicians but their uneducated populaces as well. Why waste it?

#3: the witch- burner's.........mmmmm, sorry environmentalist's site:

And the response to scientist's pledge:

"I’m sorry, but can someone explain to me how exit from the eurozone is an alternative to austerity?...Those are simply the symptoms of their horrible governance, political, and economic systems. ... This is a unique opportunity to impose proper institutions on these countries"

I don't think Spain or Italy really have horrible systems. They are certainly better than almost all of the third world. So maybe a better description would be that they have Second world systems. (Not Communist, but of similar efficiencies to Eastern Europe during the Communist era).

And as to how the exit from the Eurozone is an alternate to austerity, it's an alternate in that it may not 'fix' their economies, but an independent floating currency will make them more competitive on a wage scale and will keep them from distorting the rest of the Eurozone. It's not a home run, but it's a definite improvement on the current situation.

#6. Paul Krugman: "Nobody — certainly not me — believes that, say, Spain or even France can simply go back to Keynesian policies unilaterally."

I'm a little surprised by this statement. Kudos to Krugman for a balanced point of view.

I would like to know why these scientists are reduced to *begging* filthy, unwashed savages not to destroy their lawful property. I'm sure a whiff of grapeshot would be rather more effective than a prissy webpage at deterring the barbarian hordes.

The stupid morons may kill some research at small companies but they won't make a difference in the big picture: GM work at Monsanto and the likes has tripled in recent years.

I think the protesters may get away with it. Previously in the U.K some activists disrupted a coal plant and a judge dismissed charges against them because it was on behalf of the good cause of preventing global warming.

Google the EDO decomissioners case and you will see that the UK is incapable of respecting the property rights of the enemies of the so called enlightened. The whole problem with the Islamofascism argument and the UK is that it assumes craveness in Britain is a unique reaction to muslims, while the truth is that the UK is a morally bankrupt shell of an already dying state, and that began a long time ago.

Huh!!, The U.K. is by far the most advanced developed nation in making amends for it's colonial history. Taking responsibility for it's history, as well as exhibiting a far more principled stand on Global political governance then any other developed state. As a child of an ex colony, I spent the majority of my life as anti-British, but i've come to begrudgingly respect them now. On the other hand, calling them a "morally bankrupt shell of an already dying state" based upon a couple of property rights cases, is classic western egotism at it's grandest.

Krugman of course never mentions holes in his platonic idea. the success story of austerity, Germany.

The first time around didn't go so well.

And I'm not really sure a labor devaluation is austerity per se. But I suppose that depends on perspective

I work in the Starrett-Lehigh building, and those food trucks are a lifesaver -- in the winter months, they were the only alternative to ($10 minimum delivery)

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