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Friday, April 18, 2014

Game of Thrones, Agency, and the Arrogance of the Present Day

Peter Campbell argues that Game of Thrones represents a major break in literature because the characters have agency. Um, seriously?

Gaius Publius: Climate Scientist Michael Mann – If We Don’t Stop Now, We’ll Surpass 2°C Global Warming

When will the global warming process, and all the damage it does, get out of control?

Reminder: NYC Meetup on April 25

We have a meetup set for April 25 but we need reader help with a venue.

Cathy O’Neil: Let’s Stop Talking About HFT for a Little While

Why the brouhaha about HFT distracts attention from much bigger Wall Street abuses.

Links 4/11/14

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Wolf Richter: Biggest Credit Bubble in History Flashes Warning – ‘Seek Cover’

Wolf Richter and Gillian Tett worry about evidence of credit mania in the US.

Obamacare’s Surrealpolitik

Welcome to the world of surrealpolitik, where anything you assert to be true is true, notwithstanding the factual evidence.

Matt Stoller: How Uber Creates an Algorithmic Monopoly to Extract Rents

We are not setting the price. The market is setting the price. We have algorithms to determine what that market is.<

Edward Snowden Testimony at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Snowden’s big messages were familiar: the lack of effective supervision of the US surveillance state, the scope and methods of surveillance, and the ability of citizens to protect themselves if they use strong enough encryption of their data and their communications. But it was striking to see, even in such a formal setting, how seriously European officials took his remarks.

Links 4/10/14


Wolf Richter: America’s Structural Unemployment Crisis in Two Charts

The enormous number of people who work only part-time for economic reasons is one the tragedies of the unemployment crisis in this country. And that started before the financial crisis.

All in the Family: Tunisia as a Case Study in State Capture, aka Kleptocracy

If kleptocracy is a disease, Tunisia is in Stage 4. Its ruling family that controlled an impressive swathe of the economy. But what is sobering about the Tunisian case study is that an overthrow of the government has done little to reverse the concentration of wealth and power. Is that because Tunisia was so far gone, or is this native to kleptocracy, that once it becomes established, it is difficult to extirpate?

Mirable Dictu! US Regulators Impose Tougher Rules on Bank Capital

It’s easy to be cynical about the state of bank regulations, since the regulators themselves have for the most part been badly captured by the industry. So it’s important to give them credit when they take a meaningful step in the right direction.

Heartbleed Bug a Catastrophic Hole in Web Security; Webusers Told to Change Passwords

I remember the days when people were worried about using the Internet for purchases because they weren’t convinced their credit card information would be transmitted securely. It now turns out that a version of Open SSL that has been in production for two years, and on which https and other services like instant messaging, e-mail, and other web applications use has a gaping security hole called the Heartbleed bug.

Links 4/9/14