Wednesday, November 07, 2012

What I'm reading these days - 3-7 November

Random articles I've found interesting over the last days or so, posted in each section from the oldest to the newest. Mostly for my own reminder, but if you feel like commenting, I'm always up for an interesting discussion in the comments! Stars indicate articles I found more interesting than the average.

Top Spot:
☆☆☆☆ Empire of the In-Between (and this is awfully, terribly, completely sad...)
☆☆☆☆ Political Europe, with rockets (really, really fascinating)
☆☆☆☆ British have invaded nine out of ten countries - so look out Luxembourg (Funny fact.. or not)
☆☆☆☆ Why we can't solve big problems (I don't think I will ever see a colony on mars, much less visit it, as I dreamed 3 decades ago watching Star Trek...)
☆☆☆☆ An Alternative to Democracy? (Interesting, but I still would go for the one person one vote system with the restriction of allowing to vote only individuals who pay at least 5.000 euros in taxes per year -no matter how much you get back in subsidies-. No representation without taxation!)

On the Euro Crisis:
☆☆☆ The Eurozone breakup debate: Uncertainty still reigns (interesting, mostly for the bibliography really)
Angela Merkel: Euro Crisis Will Last Another 5 Years (I'd bet on popular uprisings...)
What Caused the Eurozone Crisis, & Does it Matter? (Quote to keep "The current impasse bears comparison to the ’sinners should pay’ response to WW 1"... agree or disagree, it's true.)

☆☆☆ The peripheral threat to France (All fine and well, but if the EU would get out of the WTO and raise anti-dumping levies on Chinese good, it would be easier...)

Athens grinds to a halt ( here, for now relatively subdued, but...)

On the US Economy:
☆☆ The Forgotten Long-Term Unemployed (and if you think it's only an US problem, think twice...)
Inequality and the US election: The elephant in the room (possibly happening at a faster and faster rate in Europe as well)
Going over the fiscal cliff (And yet, for how bad it looks and probably will be, it will probably happen)
☆☆☆ Million-Dollar Traders Replaced With Machines Amid Cuts (There something both gratifying and horrifying in seeing people who helped a big deal in causing the huge financial crash substituted...but by programs potentially even more pernicious)

World Economy and Economics in general:
Sticker shock: Why are glasses so expensive? (and they are NOT prescription lenses we are talking about)
Academic Research Destroys Stock Values (More correctly, destroy stock investment strategies' value.. big difference.. arguably, they in fact bring the stocks in line with real market value rather than speculative one.)
Is Facebook “broken on purpose” to sell promoted posts? (A rhetorical question if I've seen one....)
☆☆☆ It's the Machines, Stupid (And that applies to all advanced economies)

Rating Agencies
☆☆☆ AAA ratings, alternative universes, and hindsight (And here, FINALLY, S&P starts getting a beating...)
☆☆☆ Hero of the day, CPDO edition (...and rightly so And note that we are having our whole countries financial situations on the lines these people write down. Personally, I think the rating Agencies heads of the last 10 years should be summarily executed by firing squads)

China Diabetes Triples Creating $3.2 Billion Drug Market (I guess, better economic conditions too quickly have their downsides...)

How not to criticize Japan (And once again... China...)

The global e-voting disaster: Why the US and the world shouldn’t try to make elections too high tech (true... keep it on paper and please, a photo ID check while you are at it. And vote on a saturday, when people don't have to go to work)

Italian politics: All roads lead to Monti? (A good summary of Italian politics nowadays...however, I should perhaps add that Monti represents the first non democratically elected - not even in the parliament, to which Mussolini was - leader of Italy and that he's killing the country's economy and middle class.. but I suppose that is nothing of importance, is it?)

☆ The Scapegoats of Racism and Immigration (Interesting for the comments section)
Pundit accountability: The official 2012 election prediction thread (And by now we know... still, it's interesting to keep note of who was wrong and who was right)
America Has Already Lost Tuesday's Election (Maybe a bit overboard, but not by much)
☆☆☆ Want to fix Congress? Let's institute pay for performance (might not be a bad idea in Italy as well...)

Goggles that let you read emails as you ski down the slopes (And hopefully, when they crash and die, the users of this won't hurt anyone else)
☆☆ Alien Life May Require Rare 'Just-Right' Asteroid Belts (And yet, despite the lower and lower probabilities of life, and intelligent one at that, coming up on a planet... there was no God involved, right?)
Colonial conquests: who reached Australia first? (Ok, I admit I didn't know about the Portuguese angle)
Netherlands Highways Will Glow in the Dark Starting Mid-2013 (Pretty interesting concept indeed)
☆ Internal Time: The Science of Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired (I must try this)

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