Links 8/24/09

Plastics break down fast in ocean BBC

Gigantic jets blast electricity into upper atmosphere New Sceintist

Humour is an act of aggression, claims German academic Telegraph

Common Sense 2009 Larry Flynt, Huffington Post (hat tip John Carney). Larry Flynt calls for a national strike, one of the few things that might get the powers that be to change course. This is a well written and pointed read.

Bank bail-outs weigh on some states Financial Times

The market-perceived monetary policy rule Jim Hamilton

All the President’s Zombies Paul Krugman

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Brad

    Hey Yves! Great to have your voice back in a more-than-passing way… I'm amused at the ZH craziness- it seems they really do have a fight club who seems to have posted to you in deliberately hurtful ways. I don't like that too much but more than anything it brings home the points you've made about the audience they're collecting or fuelling. Also, recently watched Citizen Kane and thought to remark to my lady about the perils of taking your own print too seriously directly in reference my disappointment with zero hedge. Kane had a "declaration of principles" too, and a similar self (dis)serving interpretation thereof. Enough about them. I'm back looking forward to NC! A book sale is assured FYI. Be well.

  2. aaron

    Did you actually read the Larry Flynt article? It's mostly full of misinformation and ignores the role "main street" had in supporting our former economic system. Even the "national strike" idea seems fairly useless–if we could get the nation to unite on the economy that easily, don't you think we could do something a little more useful than strike for a day?

    I'm also going to go out on a limb and say that the elites in power before the current gilded age of banking were in some ways as frustrating and obnoxious as the current elites. And repealing Glass-steagal and other acts contributed to the finance bubble, but didn't cause it.

  3. attempter

    The Flynt piece is one of many good ideas – one-day general strike, consumer strike, debt default, refusal to obey insurance "mandates" (if they actually do pass a feudal-exacerbating health bill) – which, put together and organized as a movement, could possibly change things.

    Not "change the minds" of the scum in government, of course, but perhaps force them to change their behavior.

    And that in turn could change the political atmosphere and open up space for real reformers to actually be elected to office.

    I think alot about this question: how can a new movement get started?

    These days I think mostly in terms of it starting around a single issue, or action, or action campaign, and then expanding from there.

  4. skippy


    Whew, who would have though such innate comments could stir such vitriol.

    I have spent some time cruising around the econoblogs and have witnessed nothing but wild, abstract and spray and pray theories to which the level of ones neurosis seems the gage of their effort (lasting power). In fact the effort to uncover YOUR real identity was amateurish at best with additional comment on what kinda gun they owned to protect them from the bogeyman or favorite car racing event. When in reality you have been on video pod casts, national TV, or with some basic search ability find your resent past (rumor control in over drive.

    This leads me to some disturbing conclusions:

    1. The effort to report out side the MSM is in some way being Hi-Jacked for popularity (see pissing contest) or disinformation. This state disturbs me the most because it is the weapon of the powerful over the weak.

    2. The public has lost sight of the real problem ie. their say in governance of their lives aka the facts and not the truth.

    3. The level of fear inherent in America today ie. loss of monies, social status, ranking in world order, ability to divulge in expected norms.

    4. The American public is totally delusional to the forces that would domesticate them for their needs.

    Skippy…hell whilst where casting dispersions why not ask the question of where is Rupert, in all of this, did he not start a cable company only to swing it 180 degrees for popularity/profit, ummm, the ultimate capitalist. Fool's die for nothing but their masters meal.

    PS. we are born human first, every thing else is second.

  5. Ryan

    Yes, a national strike with 10% unemployment, genius.

    Sorry, I know far too well if I struck that there'd be plenty of people willing to replace me. Not to mention what would I be striking for? What effect would it have? Why would government change its current direction for something as stupid as this? In order for it to be effective you'd have to have a significant amount of the population that will do it, and you won't.

  6. Peripheral Visionary

    Leave it to a German to assert that humor is all about power. At the risk of ethnocentrism, if there is one thing that Americans understand better and do better than just about anybody else, it is humor–the only serious competition is from the Canadians and the British.

    I completely disagree with his thesis–what he's talking about is sarcasm, which should not be confused with humor. Sarcasm is rarely entertaining to anybody but the perpetrator of it. Rather, much of the best humor is self-deprecating or situational, with no implications for the power structure.

    But the differences in humor between gender are an important point. My own view is that women's role in comedy has lagged, not because women are less funny, but because too often they've attempted to use a male approach to humor. Humor, like it or not, is gender-specific. Men tend to be funny when they are aspiring at power and failing (i.e. George Costanza's continual frustration at being belittled by society); women tend to be funny when they are attempting to keep up appearances and failing (i.e. Elaine Benes' dancing.) Women like Tina Fey have broken the gender barrier in comedy, not by doing traditional forms of comedy better than men, but by reinventing it and reshaping it in their own style.

  7. Anonymous Jones

    I read the piece from Leo this morning. I thought the most ironic thing about his piece at ZH was that it was more concise (and said more) than any post he ever had here. I hardly ever commented on any of his posts here (seriously? What was the point of commenting to Leo that his posts were too long and not focused enough? I never got that. He wasn't going to change.). That said, I actually got to the point that with each new post from him here, I would just skip down to the comments to see if there was an indication that there might be anything in Leo's post worth skimming. I never understood why Yves let him continue posting. It was clear from the number, and content, of the few comments to his posts that they were not very well received. Whatever, I'm glad I don't have to skip over his work anymore (or hear his theories about the current direction of the stock market).

    As for the whole identity mess, I'd like to base my judgments on content, not the identity of the content's creator. If I can't figure out that someone is trying pull the wool over my eyes from the content alone, then that's on me.

    Finally, the loony comments on this blog and at ZH about this issue are truly dispiriting. I learned long ago that I like to express myself, but never again will I be foolish enough to act as an evangelist for the truth. Humans are too smart to be divorced from their stupid opinions by facts and logic alone.

  8. clara


    FWIW, I liked Leo's posts. I think that had he posted exactly the same thing in multiple "serial" posts throughout the day, he would've been viewed as a detailed and prolific blogger.

    I think people have been unusually hard and abnoxious about his style, especially since they were getting his posts for free.


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