Google Reader Notes 8/24/08 – 9/1/08


A little delayed, yes, but the weeks have been busy. Here;s some of the picks of my notes for the previous week:

via Brazen Careerist on 8/29/08
“Here’s my problem line with the piece: “proven economic theories… are basically equivalent to our belief in gravity.”

We’ve had 3+ major shifts in economic thought in the last century alone: Classical, Keynesian, and Neoclassical (nevermind the splinter movements). To say that economic science is as settled as physics is like saying you’ve figured out once and for all what makes every person in the world tick. Our understanding of any social science is never going to be as sound as our understanding of a physical science, like physics (which includes gravity).”

Warning: you may want to read this first.

Tonight’s Twitter Relaxation Challenge was attending a nature photography seminar. Luckily, I was able to catch a bit of the Democratic National Convention afterwards.

The two events combined created some kind of synergistic force in my mind and I realized something: corporate profits are so evil and dirty. Screw my costly education and time wasted studying centuries of economic thought, I think there is a new economics on the horizon, because the world is just so different these days. I mean, so different that proven economic theories that are basically equivalent to our belief in gravity can be disproven just by saying so. What exciting times we live in!

My mind wandered back to the free seminar I had just attended at a local store. I realized they sucked me in! Promised and delivered me a free seminar on photography…it started on time…had a good speaker…and I never felt pressured to buy anything, but they did ask for volunteers for a local community fall river clean-up.

My mind reeled…that was the evil corporate maneuver! Suck you in by making promises and keeping them. How dare they. They even promised to hand out free t-shirts at the clean-up made of some kind of recycled material that wicks sweat to keep you cool and dry while saving the planet. Then they tried to brainwash me with the added benefit of refreshments served free from another dirty dirty corporation they partner with.


I was so coerced by their ingenuity and generosity that I’ve decided I’ll probably buy some of the products from the presentation, products that aren’t even offered in their store, but were highlighted because they would make my life better and make taking photographs more enjoyable.

But wait, what about the cost? I just quit my job and shouldn’t be buying things like tripods.

Dirty corporations! They tricked me. Now I want a tripod so bad I think I’m going to go crazy if I don’t get one. Plus, corporations don’t care if I can’t afford their products. What’s worse is that they can put me in an evil hypnotic trance that makes me purchase the products I want but can’t afford. I suppose the only good thing is that I don’t ever have to take responsibility for my own detrimental actions! Nice!

Corporations are so unfair. Unlike the government, whose revenue collection mechanism is so much more efficient and equitable. Not only do I get to pay for shit I don’t need, but may never see or even benefit from! Big Love for Big Gov! Let’s hear it!

I’m starting to take what liberals say to heart. Down with capitalism. All it’s ever done is make my life better and give me lots of choices. That shit needs to stop.

“Now there’s a thought I hadn’t considered before… people simply denying that they’re disadvantaged, thus rhetoric centered around that becomes ineffective. It makes sense, but I wouldn’t have guessed it.

It does remind me of a scene at the end of…. one of the movies I saw about consumer debt, where people were pawning off some of their things. The pawn shop owner heard them talking about how they were mad that other people couldn’t handle their finances and it was wrecking their family’s life. The pawn shop owner looks at the camera and says, “Don’t you understand? That’s you. You’re the one they’re talking about.”

Maybe it’s just always easier to see flaws in others than in ourselves.”

Reuters – By Andrew Stern – Aug. 28 (News Analysis) – But “you have a situation where most people in the country don’t see themselves as poor or disadvantaged, so if you’re pitching your message to them solely, you’ve got a problem,” Drake University political scientist Dennis Goldford said.

“I was not at all a fan of Jacoby’s book (the review’s on Amazon…. the only one I’ve written on a book thus far), but she talks about a topic I believe to be real and dangerous.

I’m inclined to believe the primary cause for anti-intellectualism is the ability to make people feel informed without having them think. If a pundit can tell you a story, an opinion, and reasons, without you having to do any mental heavy lifting, then it might be fine in small doses. But the 24 “news” cycle has submersed people in this stuff. Add to that increased news selection, and you may never have to hear an argument you don’t agree with, all presented with justifications that you never had to think through yourself.”

AlterNet – By Terrence McNally, Susan Jacoby – Aug. 18 (Interview) – “It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.” Barack Obama finally said it. Though a successful political and electoral strategy, the Right’s stand against intelligence has steered them far off course, leaving them — and us — unable to deal successfully with the complex and dynamic circumstances we face as a nation and a society.

via History News Network on 8/27/08
“This is probably one of the best analyses of The Dark Knight in terms of politics that I’ve seen.

Personally, I have a problem with equating Batman to Bush because Bush represents an institution whereas Batman is a single vigilante. Extralegal powers taken on by an institution will outlast any single person’s tenure. I’m not ready to cede that power to the President. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to.

Second, the idea that Batman level force is justified rests, in my eyes, on the villains. The Joker is completely irrational, a caricature. Most real terrorists, regardless of what officials say, can be negotiated with, do have material wants and desires, and have families to boot. They tend to have demands that conflict with America’s interests, or what the administration is willing to relent to, but that doesn’t mean that they’re beyond reason.”

As the news media prepares for its coverage of the political conventions and the selection of Vice-Presidential running mates, the conventional wisdom is that it is now time to replace such trivial concerns as the summer blockbuster at the local multiplex with a serious examination of Presidential and Congressional politics.  A closer scrutiny of this summer’s film viewing, however, may reveal some troubling undercurrents within the culture which are worthy of more intellectual contemplation.

via Policy on Polymeme on 8/25/08
“I think this guy, the one that was at the ground level of the microfinance movement, has his head on straight. He knows that actions speak louder than rhetoric. The quote that most moved me from this article?

“The Left didn’t like us either. They said this was an American conspiracy to spread capitalism at the grass-roots level. So we were squeezed from all sides. Let them all scream. The revolutionaries are all talk and do nothing.”

All talk and do nothing… even though I think it’s a great observation, it makes me sad that that’s what it’s come to as well. Have we really entered a world where revolutionaries can be all talk? I would call Yunus the real revolutionary… not just those with extreme beliefs.”

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH : As banker to the world’s most destitute people, Mohammad Yunus has been watching the moral collapse of western finance over the last year with a mixture of amazement and scientific curiosity. “Our banking is sub-sub-sub-sub-prime: you can’t get any lower than us. We have no collateral, no insurance, no taxpayer guarantees, and no lawyers in our system,” he said. “Yet we have a loan repayment rate of over 98pc. Our model has never faltered over the years… READ MORE

That’s all for this week. Tune in next week for the best of, or check the Notes live at their own page.


One Response to “Google Reader Notes 8/24/08 – 9/1/08”

  1. I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

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