Tuesday assorted links


Re: #3 The golden era of Chinese punk was 2005-2010, when Pettis' first club D-22 was around and the first recordings of PK 14, Hedgehog, Carsick Cars, Re-Tros were released.

Generally Asian culture is derivative of Western culture when it comes to modern 'culture' (sic) like pop music. K-pop and J-pop is but one small exception to this rule, and a small exception at that (synthesized music involving girls who dance in synch for you old timers like me; I don't think they have this in the USA yet, though you could point to the Spice Girls of the UK as a precursor).

Actually pretty much everything (goods, tech, entertainment, cultural trends like gay marriage, human rights, animal rights, etc) now arises first in the USA, on one of the coasts, or for entertainment include the UK, and is exported and adopted by the rest of the world. For goods, the people who get rich in the Rest of the World are the leading families and corporations (sometimes branches of western corporations, but more often local corporations) who import and slightly modify the new goods for local consumption (typically just packaging and labeling in the local language). An arguably sad but true byproduct of globalization.

#4: Eh, I just donate to the ballet now, because screw meaningfulness.

The telephone was demonstrated at the 1876 Centennial fair in Philadelphia. That's the kind of mistake (Gordon) that casts doubt on the argument against techno-optimism. Perhaps unfair but still....

In fact, Brazilian Emperor Peter II almost single-handedly saved the telephone from the ash hep of History:

I like this new Brazil nut troll...thank god for Brazil, or we'd still be using smoke signals.

"thank god for Brazil, or we’d still be using smoke signals."
"Thou sayest", brother. Brazil invented the radiocommunications https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landell_de_Moura .
By the way, Brazil also invented the airplane ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Santos-Dumont#Heavier_than_air_aircraft ) and the typewriter ( https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_João_de_Azevedo ). And the Walkman ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Pavel ) . And Barack Obama (at least according to the author of "Se Nao Fosse o Brasil Jamais Barack Obama Teria Nascido"-If weren't for Brazil, Obama wouldn't have been born). You are welcome. There are books about how the Shakespeare, the Scotts, the Catholic Church, my dog, etc. built/invented/aved modern/Western/Classic world. Is there at least one book telling the tale of how Brazilians invented the modern world, but never managed to get the royalties ("The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights. --J. Paul Getty")? Shouldn't there be one?

Is Wikipedia the final authority for knowledge in Brazil?

Brazilians can invent the modern world but haven't got around to writing a book about it yet?

Yes, for Brazil invented Wikipedia, too. In fact, the Soviets invented the basic concept. In Stalin's times, when the Great Soviet Encyclopedia were in contradiction with the dy's party line, Stalin used to order the destruction of the deviant edition. Under Khruschev's more liberal rule, the subscriber would receive the pages with the corrections and was trusted and empowered to replace the defective pages himself). This was history's first encyclopedia anyone could edit.You can read John Gunther's "Inside Russia" if you doubt me.
Anyway, answering your question, Wikipedia is just a practical, fast way of pointing someone towards some specific information in English. I can provide you with the names of many books proving Brazil invented all the things I said it did and much more (it also discovered the pion and penned a much better version of "Happy Birthday to you").

Brazilians can invent the modern world but haven’t got around to writing a book about it yet?
We are the humblest people.
" 'Umble we are, 'umble we have been, 'umble we shall ever be."

Surprising history of innovation considering the place is kind of a dump.

"Surprising history of innovation considering the place is kind of a dump." We are no Mississippi or West Virginia, thanks Almighty God ( http://mapscroll.blogspot.com.br/2009/05/human-development-index-by-state.html ), but, yeah, we "have been found wanting" in some ways. What can I say? "And he said unto them, 'Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country'. And he said, 'Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country'". It is our fate, to enlight the world, to eat ashes and to burn in the flames. Well, "better burn out than fade away". As sure as there was a time when Dr. Topsius, a German character from Portuguese writer Eça de Queirós' novel "The Relic", was justified in saying, "the gleam which comes from the German helmet, Dom Raposo, is the guiding light of humanity", nowadys the eyes of every nation, in a holy quest for light, turn to Brazil (as one Brazilian anthem aptly phrases this truth, "Among the Universe's nations
Shines brightly that of Brazil."). Today, in the world of Civilization, the proudest boast is, "Ich bin ein Brasilianer".

Drugs are bad, m'kay?

So don't do them, m' kay? I don't know why Americans keep doing them. "Just say no".

You realize that when your country is a dump compared to the worst parts of the US, that doesn't make you look good, right?

IOW, you're not even trolling properly.

@Careless: I grew up being told that one's name is one's fate, but I had never expected to have a good reason to think so until I read your ridiculous reply... I really love how lightly you write off entire American states and tens of millions of American citizens as damaged goods (it is so American!). About one-sixth of the states comprising the wealthiest country mankind has ever seen are less developed or barely more developed than Brazil (a country which, when America was already free, among the wealthiest nations and educated, was still banned from founding universities, publishing books and newspapers and building industries by its Portuguese masters). So what? It seems Reverend Martin Luther King was right: some Americans were given a bad check, the bank of justice is said to be bankrupt. Unfortunately, in those states and in many cities in many other states, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners must sit down together not at the table of brotherhood, but at the table of misery and despair, sharing empty dishes or handouts. One in six Americans struggles with food insecurity, one in five Americans is on the dole ( http://nypost.com/2012/02/13/on-the-dole-a-fifth-of-all-americans/). Since the end of the US-backed military rule, most Brazilian states' HDIs have gone from barely better than the Subsaharan ones to "high development status", one of the fastest transformations recorded in history. In seven Brazilian federative unities, the ones where most of the Brazilian inventions I mentioned (and you chose to disregard, for facts are of no use for your ilk) were created, Brazilians live longer than the denizens of one-fourth of Americans states (who cares about those dumps and the chumps living there, right?).
Meanwhile, in the land of opportunity, real wages and living standards are stagnated, educational standards went into a free fall and American universities and corporations must rely on ever increasing transfusions of high skilled immigrants; the world's biggest creditor became the world's biggest debtor, its children's future was exchanged for a mess of pottage; American cities burn before a terrorized citizenry and the sounds of the bitter bickerings of the overseers of America's broken political system replace Nero's fiddle; the so-called American Dream has gone sour.

I don't block ads because I want to "steal." I block them because ad networks, even on otherwise reputable sites, can and have been used to install malware on computers.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malvertising for a summary of this problem.

The trouble I have with this argument is that people usually haven't otherwise arranged their computing lives to protect themselves against malware.

White-listed javascript, for example, is much better at protecting you from malware. It protects you from hostile javascript from your host, too.

Isn't all this techno-optimism stuff just looking at the US?

In some African countries, the problem is that the technology has become almost too useful.

And doesn't the statement: "the information revolution shows up everywhere except in the statistics" at least suggest that it is perhaps the statistics that are flawed?

#2 - I don't see how Facebook or Twitter can have any revenue. I haven't seen an ad on either in over a year. #bubble

#2: Regarding paying for news content:

"Most of those not paying in the United States said they never would or that they could be persuaded for less than $1 per month, which is a lot less than they probably pay for coffee."

True, but the coffee helps me get through the day better, entertains me more, and makes me more productive and relevant than the news does. I should be paying more for my coffee.

(Also, I brew my own at home. Starbucks is a waste.)

I think most people just aren't willing to put the effort of having their news as a line item consumption expense, especially when there are apparently a lot of sources for it. Now if the news was part of a packaged expense, perhaps with their sports and entertainment they might find additional value in it or, as I suspect is more likely people just don't place value on the news. They figure they'll find out what they care to know from someone else.

We once payed for newspapers. Once we payed to know that Dewey defeated Truman, we payed to be the first ones to know that Dewey defeated Truman (this is why to be the first newspper to give the news was important), we didn't wait to be told by our colleages that Dewey defeated Truman. We thought life was meaningless without knowing as soon as possible that Dewey defeated Truman. Will president Romney just let newspapers die?

That Brooks piece is such tired, warmed-over blather. I'm stunned Tyler, even though he's pro-TPP, would link to it. Even if you set aside Brooks' absurd, unsubstantiated assertion that not signing this treaty will "imperil world peace," the whole piece is utterly out of touch with the way trade agreements have evolved. We're not talking about GATT or even NAFTA here, so citing the benefits of those deals tells us roughly nothing about what TPP will and won't do. And his discussion of ISDS is, if anything, worse.

"It’s mostly about establishing rules for a postindustrial global economy, rules having to do with intellectual property, investment, antitrust and environmental protection."

OK, so it's not a trade treaty. It's a treaty meant to protect the incomes of Hollywood movie companies, music distributors, banks and NGO tree-huggers. How does that improve the lives of Southeast Asian peasants and the urban poor?

If TPP is as good as Brooks and Rao say -- I'm prepared to think it is -- why would business supporters not just up the offer on trade assistance (or maybe call off the dogs on repealing ACA)?

6. Here's the condensed version of the five-year retrospective: "In our view, appropriate capital requirements are a more efficient tool for managing systemic risk arising from speculative trading positions." It's the speculation, stupid!

I would condense #6 as: first, federal regulators have done a bad job
implementing Dodd-Frank; second, the feds should have expanded their mandate by regulating money market funds and insurance. IOW, the food is terrible and the portions are too small.

I've always thought the "GDP increase doesn't capture the full increase in well-being/happiness from technology this time around!" to be one of *the* most idiotic arguments made by otherwise apparently intelligent people. Do these people think technology was static prior to 1990? Any individual at any point in history *ever* could make that argument. It's one of the most bizarrely moronic applications of the "this time is different" fallacy I've ever heard.

Maybe, but are recent well-being advances more difficult to see in the GDP than older ones? Maybe not, but are you sure? Are some well-being advances less docile to the GDP treatment than others?

"Maybe, but are recent well-being advances more difficult to see in the GDP than older ones?"

Again, given the fact that this could have been uttered by any individual at any point in modern history, I find it hard to take this argument seriously.

Also, putting aside the absurdity of the argument per the above, given the laws of economics and supply/demand have not changed, I would say, no, they are not more difficult to see in GDP.

So the idea of consumer surplus is false, right?

I don't think Anon is saying that consumer surplus isn't important, but that it isn't obvious that consumer surplus is increasing more now than it did when, for instance, a horse and cart was replaced with a Model T.

"It is not obvious" is different from "it is not true". For the record, I, too, doubt "this time is different". The fact (mentioned by someone here some days ago) that most of us-most of us who have had children anyway- can manage to die of old age surrounded by fat, healthy grandchildren, who are expect to lead long and prosperous lives themselves is my favorite economic transformation we don't see so well in GDP. But it took a long time and was concomitant with and mightly influenced by the GDP growth-it just doesn't do this transformation justice to quote the GDP numbers.

plot technological advance against gdp growth, begin in 1100 AD.

tell me what you see for about 700 years.

Good luck coming up with a good definition of "technological advancement".

#7 "techno-optimists" - I've learned a new word today, which will help shape my thinking process. Thank you, Technology ;-)

If I were to postulate a "secular guilt" out of my "secular faith" it would be the guilt of understanding why one gets trapped into one's own biases. Again and again. Even if I'm more in "camp optimist" than "camp pessimist", I feel like both camps are traps and I'd rather be looking out for "camp obvious".

#1 Last I heard, Hari was fired for plagiarism ... I guess he thinks he has stood in the corner long enough, now?

At least he got fired. American media corporations are more forgiving. Just ask Fareed Zakaria.

But it is interesting to see the media's priorities - plagiarism is not career ending. But something that might be interpreted as racism is.

The problem with Hari is that he has nothing new to say. The Sixties' Hippy claim that the problem is not the drugs, it is The Man is about as mainstream as you can get these days.


Sick of this incessant argument that has been beaten into the ground. There's plenty of people complaining about the future but comparatively very few people doing anything about it, because hey that's actually hard.

"Building for Future Generations", the motto of McGough Construction Company. Future generations might not want what they build. In fact, future generations will happily build their own stuff. The company is getting paid now, not in the future, as well.

Why aren't more Americans embracing globalization?

"M-I-C, K-E-Y ... "
Why why why

I can't keep Johann Hari and Jeet Heer straight in my head.

Once you learn that Hari, a Stephen Glass type, once claimed to have gone undercover for journalistic assignments and seduced both a homophobic neo-nazi and a fundamentalist muslim, it might be harder to confuse him with the more sedate Jeet Heer.

Ad Blockers should be viewed as an advertising opportunity. Just as poor grammar in a Nigerian scam email filters for suckers, not being wise enough to use an Ad Blocker signals the web surfer as being just the sort of person most apt to purchase the junk found in the ads. Ad networks should welcome the self-selection being made; it saves them bandwidth.

#2: The purpose of AdBlockPlus is not to kill advertising revenues. There's an advertising whitelist. Sites that want to be on AdBlock whitelist need to make sure that ads do not autoplay video, music, no fluorescent eye-straining colors or flashing windows, and of course no pop-up windows.

I don't understand why content generators leave Google the job of selecting which ads they display. If content generators still did the job of selecting/curing which ads they display on their online versions, there would be no necessity of ad blockers.

It seems to me that if media companies were more powerful, ad blockers would be illegal (think "circumvention technology".)

I am one of the 47% of US internet users who use software that blocks advertising. I agree that when a company or organization produces content that I enjoy very much, I should pay to show my support. I use ad-block only because I am exhausted from the constant advertisements that create sound or "pop up". The public should be given a choice to pay the media producer after a certain amount of time, and if they do pay, the ads would disappear. If they do not pay, the ads should continue to show. We could also ban any ad-blocking services or programs to ensure that businesses hold up.

Re #2 - "No ads, no journalism, and the world becomes a far less interesting place."

While the marketers can make that statement I question it's validity. I doubt journalism dries up and the world remains a very interesting place regardless.

I think ultimately different solutions are needed for the various related "problems" the link is talking about.

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