Links 7/1/15

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Woman gives birth, fights off bees, starts wildfire in Northern California Los Angeles Times

Venus and Jupiter will appear to collide this week in a spectacular nighttime show Quartz

Academic publishers reap huge profits as libraries go broke CBC (reslic)

When does an interview become free consulting? Cathy O’Neil (David L)

FBI investigating 11 attacks on San Francisco-area Internet lines USA Today

How Ads Follow You from Phone to Desktop to Tablet MIT Technology Review (David L)

Safari is the new IE Read the Tea Leaves

Planetary Defense is a Public Good Marginal Revolution (reslic). More proof that economists need to get out more. Species loss is a vastly higher and rapidly escalating risk to humans than The Asteroid. See how long we last with no bees, for instance.

Asia giants quiet as migrant crisis worsens Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

Why China Wants a Strong Euro as Greece Teeters Bloomberg

Council blocks fracking application BBC

French Economy in Dire Straits Wikileaks (EM). Diplomatic cables from 2012. Recall that the lousy state of the economy and the fragility of the banks was the big excuse for not writing down Greek debts more (there was some debt relief in the restructuring via maturity extension and interest rate reduction, but when you are in a depression and subjected to austerity, you wind up chasing your tail. Debt to GDP rises in real terms as the economy contracts).


Tsipras backs down on many Greece bailout demands Financial Times.

The full truth about the breakdown of the negotiations Transform Network (Sid). Note that this is superceded by the Financial Times story, as in Tsipras has conceded on almost all of the contested issues.

Fresh talks due on new Greek bailout BBC

IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt Guardian

Greek debt crisis: Merkel rejects request for new talks ahead of Greece referendum Sydney Morning Herald

Europe rallies behind Merkel as Greeks hit breaking point Washington Post. Known to anyone who has been following the story. See this as messaging for the Beltway crowd.

Greek pension funds ration payouts Financial Times

EU confronts Greek legal puzzle Politico (guust). From mid-June, still germane.

Obama shrugs on Greece, while Wall Street frets Politico (MS)

Greece in chaos: will Syriza’s last desperate gamble pay off? Paul Mason, Guardian. Notice how stretched the government is.

Tsipras looks like he is crumbling ekathimerini. The sharks smell blood.

Germans are donating the most to this Londoner’s crowdfunded Greek bailout Business Insider

George Osborne spearheads assault to stop Greece ‘suicide’ Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Greece’s Empty ATMs Show the Surprising Power of Cash—Even in 2015 WIRED. Much of this is familiar to NC readers.

A German Journalist Blows His Stack! Observing Greece

Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated Independent. Good material, but I don’t like the androthromorphization of organizations (the use of “humiliated” in the title).

The difficult choices facing the Greeks Financial Times. Li: “Martin Wolf called both sides of Greek drama idiots.”

The Extreme Economic Outlier That Is Greece, In 7 Charts FiveThirtyEight (reslic)


Ukraine May Suspend Debt Payments If Creditors Don’t Take Haircut Moscow Times (Sid)


Iran’s nuclear program may have cost the country $500 billion or more Business Insider

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Surveillance Court Rules That N.S.A. Can Resume Bulk Data Collection New York Times

Coming soon to your St. Paul library: Data tracking Minnesota Public Radio News (Chuck L)

‘Did Jesus ride dinosaurs?’ : Bobby Jindal’s Twitter Q&A hilariously backfires Raw Story (furzy mouse). Only in America.

Jeb Bush Releases 33 Years of Tax Returns Wall Street Journal

No Labels stakes out a national agenda Washington Post

Gov. Brown Signs Law Ending Personal, Religious Exemptions to School Vaccine Requirements KTLA (EM)

Texas Board of Education to be headed by a homeschooler Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Freddie Gray & Baltimore Unrest Baltimore Sun

Normal Banks Are Helping Shadow Banks Grow a Lot Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Workers lunching outdoors decide to turn feral Daily Mash

Venture capital vs. community capital Nick Grossman

The Hard Work of Taking Apart Post-Work Fantasy Atlantic versus The Hard Work of Taking Apart Post-Work Fantasy Mike Konczal. Readers, score this cage match!

Ofili’s Madonna Sets Record at Christie’s $150.3 Million Sale Bloomberg (reslic)

H1-B Primer for Reporters Center for Immigration Studies (Lawrence R)

The Sunny Side of Greed New York Times (reslic). Alternate title: “Why you should love your new corporate overlords.” I trust NC readers will carpet bomb this piece in the NYT comments section. You can make fun of it here too.

Antidote du jour. From ABC. I miss Sydney, although the Sydney I miss is the Sydney of 12 years ago:

roos in Queensland links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. MikeNY

    LOL on Bobby Jindal.

    He’s got a tall task if he’s gonna try to out-outrageous Cruz or The Donald, or out-bloviate Christie. Will be fun to watch, tho.

    1. ambrit

      One of my more cynical Louisiana acquaintances says that Lil Bobby is angling for a Cabinet post in the next Administration.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I don’t know if it’s cynicism when there is potential delusion involved. At least your acquaintance is giving Bobby credit for being bright enough to realize he can’t find a spot on the ticket.

        1. ambrit

          That idea has merit.
          He could advocate for making firearms training a mandatory part of Physical Education. That would have many benefits for the Nation: Nation of Islam, Aryan Nation, Neo-Algonquin Nation, etc.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      What in the world is that thing in the lower left corner of that photograph??????

        1. ambrit

          Don’t knock it. Louisiana is a hunters paradise. Why, we used that as the state motto! You can spend your mornings stalking white tail deer, your afternoons bagging quail, and your evenings with the other chickenhawks tailing and bagging ‘nasty chickens.’ Something for everyone!

      1. ambrit

        I believe that is two things. The foreground looks to be two quail(?) stuffed and mounted for display. (The shotgun he is holding might have ‘bagged’ them.) The background might be one of the many ‘cryptids’ to be found in the swamps and bottomlands of Louisiana. (Most of them would need something like a 45-70 or .300 WIN mag round.) The “thing” in Lil Bobbys office looks like a “Hard Head,” a quasi amphibious Louisiana Ankylosaur head. (There are jokes going the rounds that many such “Hard Heads” have served in the State Capitol Building over the years.)

      2. abynormal

        Lambert’s Finger.

        Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.
        Eugene O’Neill

    3. MLS

      .@BobbyJindal Who on your team thought a Twitter Q&A wouldn’t open your awful ideas to mockery, and when will you fire them? #AskBobby

      This tweet pretty much nails it. What did they think would happen when they did this? And yeah, that person probably deserves to be fired (although I suspect this stunt was probably Bobby’s brain child. Only someone so far out of touch as him would think this was a good idea).

  2. Swedish Lex

    “French economy in dire straits, Wikileaks”

    One of the few honest and intelligent things Sarkozy has ever said is that he completely misunderestimated the severity and the nature of the global economic crisis when it started in 2007-8. As a consequence, the French conservatives, then in power, were main architects and contributors to the generally flawed European response to the crisis. Once the crisis grew deeper and the European government debt crisis became reality, the French finally understood that something was wrong. That gave birth to Sarko’s and Merkel’s franken-baby; the European stability pact, which essentially is killing the European economy.

    In 2012, when we had 4-5 years of deep economic crisis behind us, with no improvement in sight, the socialist Hollande gets elected (narrowly) with a program as if he had spent the past 5 years on another planet. The had understood nothing of the nature of the crisis and obviously did not respond in any way that made any sense. Hollande thought that the crisis was the usual cycle and that the economy would pick up pretty much by itself. He was so completely ignorant of the situation that he “promised” that unemployment would go down starting at the end of 2013. It is still going up.

    Most measures the new French Government took during the first 18-24 months have now been reversed.

    To me, the Wikileaks thing is only a confirmation.

    As regards Pierre Moscovici himself, he has been promoted and is now the EU Commissioner in charge of supervising the economies of the euro states.

    The French political establishment remains behind the curve and generally pretty clueless about the French and European economy. The talk a lot though.

    Although I live in France, I am pleased that Sweden, while member of the EU, does not have the euro. Have we had the euro, Sweden would have been under the de facto leadership of the idiots in Berlin and in Paris.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Here in America, out of work Swedish-Americans in North Dakota can just get up and move to a German auto-factory in the South, even with all the not-so-smart guys at the Eccles Building in DC and in New York.

      Maybe they just need American-style unions (of all kinds, fiscal, monetary etc).

  3. Expat

    Gosh! Corporations are NOT 100% evil. They sometimes even give you goods and services in exchange for your money. Well, that changes my views on everything. Now, instead of wanting to crucify everyone on Wall Street and in the Fortune 500, I would like to invite them to tea and then crucify them.

    1. jrs

      Sadly that’s actually how I’ve begun to see it. Corporations main purpose is to be evil, giving you goods and services for your money are merely a secondary purpose somewhere down on the list (behind all the evil stuff). That sounds funny, but I’m serious in that it may be a much more accurate way to view corporations.

      And for the, “has never held a real job” award:
      “Ironically, a lot of corporations have to be far more democratic than democratically elected officials”

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      My critical comments for various NYT bullshit artists (e.g. David Brooks, Tom Friedman) rarely see the light of day.

    2. C. dentata

      Bruni, like Obama, thinks if he keeps kissing these people’s asses they’ll like him. Then he can get invited to foundation dinners and such. Bruni showed what a spineless suck up he was in the 2000 Bush campaign. It was one beat sweetener after another. Bruni turns the journalist’s role on its head. For him it’s comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

  4. tegnost

    Michael Klare correctly points out that the lived experience of those whose labor will be supplemented by a personal robotic assistant is at odds with this utopian dream. Do more for less is the mantra of the market. One only needs to look at greece to prove that banksters are not interested in how well the poor live (a fair number consider the poor rich believe it or not), see stories about lazy greeks drinking ouzo and espresso while their german counterparts slave away to pay their bills. He is also correct pointing out that cheap labor will hinder robotic advancements because duh, poor babies cost less than robots and you can pit them against each other as a bonus

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They won’t give up the fight easily.

      Beware of cheap, fake or intimation (clone-equivalent) robots…combing the best of two emerging high-technologies (cloning and robotics).

  5. tegnost

    Here is a song i wrote about childbirth that seems relevant,kind of on the freudian theme that men make machines out of envy. and any blood referred to is the blood of childbirth not killing, fyi…and the end is a post script where you’re supposed to picture the evil dick cheney: pardon, please, for the overexplaining…

    I’m waiting for the mountain to fall
    waiting for the vines to tear the tower down
    I’m waiting for the earth to complain
    waiting for mother nature to shake her mane

    I’m waiting for the mountain to fall
    the ripe fruits flesh tears through
    unravels a dream that you thought
    must’ve meant more…

    why do I scurry like prey?
    looking for an escape?
    never long in the open
    just trying to make it around the bend

    Don’t stand so close to those time bombs, { BoA, Chase, Citi etc…}
    don’t get lost in those vast shades of grey
    I’ve built a raft of delusion and I’m waiting
    for a tsunami to carry me away

    That volcano is gonna blow
    but I’m sure I’ll take another haircut
    before I finish my fire dance
    it’s an unrivaled dream

    the mountain will fall
    the fruit will tear
    cause blood will always find a field
    to flow on in the end…

    I want a pink pony
    want a mercedes benz
    I want an automatic heart
    and titanium limbs
    I want to own the moon
    trade for the options on june
    and sell them all back to you
    for a million billion or, or two!
    Ha Ha Ha

    1. JTMcPhee

      Want to look the jovial, “successful,” cancerous enemy of the people in the face? One of them, at least? How about the aptly named Bill Gross?

      Gross Gets Personal: ‘I Just Wanted to Run Money and Be Famous’

      At Pimco, Bill Gross built a reputation as the world’s best bond trader. Now, at Janus Capital, he’s managing a much smaller fund—all while being measured against his younger self.

      Bill Gross is here for his favorite doughnut, the cake one with coconut frosting, but he’s not going to get it, not today. Jacketless under the Southern California sun, Gross ducks beneath the black umbrellas outside Rose Bakery Café, south of Malibu, looking every bit the merry old bond king. A royal-blue tie, with a cheerful pattern of white birds, is draped around his open collar like a Renaissance chain of office. His Mercedes sits hard by.

      But make no mistake: This Bill Gross, the one eying the French crullers, isn’t that Bill Gross, the one who bent markets to his will at Pacific Investment Management Co., who built one of the most enduring track records in bond management history, who moved markets with his pronouncements. That old Gross wanted fame more than power and riches, and he wanted it with a hot eagerness that made enemies. By the time Pimco cast him out, he was considered by colleagues—there’s no way to sugarcoat this—to be a world-class jerk who’d lost his touch.
      This story appears in the July/August Rivalry Issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine.

      The Bill Gross at this bustling cafe off the Pacific Coast Highway, it must be said, is a lot like that other one. He, too, has more money than he knows what to do with. (He’s vowed to give away his entire $2 billion fortune.) He, too, has an enviable job managing money, this time at Janus Capital Group. And he remains a rock star, one who makes ears prick up when he chirps on anything from the German bund to U.S. Federal Reserve interest rates.

      But this Gross is searching for something even more elusive than fame and fortune. He’s looking for redemption, even a kind of love. At 71, he feels the weight of time. He figures he has a few good years left to prove the new Bill Gross is every bit as good as the old one. Maybe even better.

      The best investors, Gross says, are “people that are so needy, it’s never enough.” He’s talking about himself, too: “It’s a neurotic quest for love.”

      In this milieu, what Gross means by love is about as romantic as a bond table. He means investment performance and the acclaim it brings. He was Pimco’s brightest star—until September, when he suddenly found himself looking in from the outside of the firm he co-founded in 1971.

      These many months later, Gross is still coming to grips with what happened. He feels better than he did in December, which was a real low point, he says. But he misses the love. His wife, Sue, keeps telling him to get over himself.

      But Bill Gross refuses to bow to anyone—least of all Bill Gross. These days, he spends a lot of time looking over his shoulder. Every day at 3 p.m. California time, he checks the daily performance of Pimco’s bond funds—the funds he used to manage—to see how he’s stacking up. “I have a happy night if I’m doing better and a not-so-happy night if I’m not doing better,” Gross says.

      His nights have been rough of late. The Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund lost 0.2 percent since Gross took it over Oct. 6, trailing 58 percent of comparable funds, according to data from research firm Morningstar Inc. The $9 billion Pimco Unconstrained Bond Fund gained 0.9 percent, better than 72 percent of rivals.

      Most mornings, as he has for years, he comes to the cafe for his favorite doughnut and a coffee. But on this particular May afternoon, his favorite coconut variety is sold out. Figures. The bond king settles for a cinnamon twist and a carrot juice.Nowadays, Gross’s flyspeck empire pales next to the $1.6 trillion Pimco. He manages $1.5 billion—less than 1 percent of what he used to—and much of that money is his own. He works out of a sparsely populated building in Newport Beach, not far from his former headquarters. His entire operation—Gross and four support staff—could fit into a conference room at Pimco.

      Gross insists he’s not trying to build another Pimco. He doubts anyone could. And he readily admits he never had much interest in the day-to-day grind of managing people. “I just wanted to run money and be famous,” he says. That no one could replicate Pimco—and Gross’s decades there—is what makes what he did so extraordinary, he says. “I was always that way; I will go to the extreme to be special,” Gross says…

      Yaasss… Like Dana Carvey’s Church Lady says, “Now isn’t that special.”

      1. cnchal

        The best investors, Gross says, are “people that are so needy greedy, it’s never enough.” He’s talking about himself, too: “It’s a neurotic quest for love.”

        A cancerous enemy of the people indeed.

        Here is Keynes idea of what should be done with these people.

        There are changes in other spheres too which we must expect to come. When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession – as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life – will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.

        Over the last 85 years, we have been going in the wrong direction, and getting further away from solving Keynes “economic problem”.

  6. petal

    Agreed about missing Sydney, Yves-for me it was the Sydney of 15 years ago. Not so sure about the one today. Cheers.

  7. Paul Tioxon

    NYT writer throws his body on the gears of the mindless hippie hate machine. Mr. Bruni, in a noble act of compassion for sentient beings that do not look like us humans, salvages what few shreds of human decency are left in the face of fevered calls for corporate genocide. The unspeakable has happened, according to Mr. Bruni, and he will lend language if not voice to the voiceless. The Uniform Commercial Code was seen tearing up, sobbing in relief through the pain that some one , some where has mercy!! With the logical precision of a Medieval Theologian, holed up in the last humble outpost of a once educated civilization, Mr. Bruni keeps the light of civic minded altruism alive.

    A once mighty nation, now held in bondage by a rotten ideology of crazed voters whose only care is some bizarre narrow minded litmus test that spineless politicians must supplicate themselves to: re-election!

    The noble corporate doctrine of share holder value rests upon the vast platform of a sprawling middle class, not just rich or super wealthy stock holders seeking unending profits. For where do the profits of the corporate provider come from other than the countless customers of BMW, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany’s! Lest we forget the billions and billions of sold hamburgers! Can Congress honestly say they have serve so many at so little a price point? Dollar Menus Anyone? Corporate America hears the voice of the consumer as enshrined in the sacred text of market research! Think of all of the freedom that has been harvested by the widespread fulfilling of handgun orders and assault rifles! Today, pistol packing mamas proudly holster their pink color coordinated revolvers inside of their diaper bags. Concealed carrying College Coeds have gone wild for personal safety from rapes by arming themselves up to their Victoria Secrets underwear! Yeah scumbags invading our now protected campuses, our little angel Victoria has a secret and it’s not a thong!

    The pathetically hypocritical politicians preen in victory dances over Gay Marriage and Civil War flag surrendering when in fact it was the likes of Walmart and ATT that manned the barricades of civil rights before the poll driven politics stuck a finger in the wind to see which way the popular tide was turning. Corporations never needed a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, because we have our customers sale totals everyday to tells us the bottom line, at the end of everyday.

  8. Lambert Strether

    Hey, Bruni’s right. Corporations should just rule openly. I mean, Bruni was a restaurant reviewer, so he knows it’s reputational damage alone that prevents chefs from serving their customers rat turds and insect parts, not some antiquated system of big gummint licensing and inspection. It’s the same with banks!

    The only fly in the soup is that, gosh darn it, there’s no … Gee, what’s the word for it… no supranational institution where corporations can conspire against the public cut deals be “the agents of what’s practical, wise and even right.” I wonder if anything like that is being negotiated?

    * * *

    As a window into the elite thought process, this column is a gem.

  9. Lambert Strether

    But on the literally bright side, I’m watching the Venus and Jupiter show, and in an area with bright street lights, it’s impressive. I wonder what people who believe in signs and portents make of it?

    1. Jim S

      Increased probability of earthquakes… Oh, that’s a different crowd than signs-and-portents, sorry. Nice writeup on The Sleepwalkers by the way.

    2. ambrit

      Well, the Age of Pisces is done and the Age of Aquarius is begun.
      For all you Eretz Israel types, the close conjunction of Jupiter and Venus was, and is, considered to be the “Star” of the House of David, aka the Star of Bethlehem. It portends the birth of a Messianic King for the Hebrews. So, all you American expats; if you are firing up the grill for the Fourth and some Fundamentalist Hebrews drop in for a visit and beat you up for tending to a Shrine of Mammon, do not be surprised. The stars have given them aid and succor.
      Of course, it didn’t end up the way anyone expected back then. Why should today be any different?

      1. hunkerdown

        According to Charles E. O. Carter, a British mundane astrologer writing in 1940, the Age of Aquarius has not arrived yet. If one considers the 26200-solar-year Great Year in an equal-house/equal-sign system, the Great Year divides into twelve Ages of equal length. Carter divides each into twelve sub-ages, about 182 years each, and observes broad strokes where the symbol of the sub-age can be clearly seen in history. I don’t have the book to hand, but comparisons in the Age of Pisces that come immediately to mind are the sub-age of Libra including the Norman conquest, elimination of slavery in England, and culminating in the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest; Scorpio and the Black Death and the first Inquisitions (presumably as politically oriented moral panics); Sagittarius and the emphasis on wide hips in clothing (and the continuing prosecution of the Inquisitions, presumably now pursuing “legitimate” doctrinal aims); the sub-age of Capricorn aligning very closely with the Age of Reason (and culminating in Jean bloody Calvin, who is still not wearing an ankle bracelet), and the sub-age of Aquarius and the commercialization of the steam engine, with the age of machinery to follow.

        By his measure, round about 1980 we’ve entered the sub-age of Pisces in the Age of Pisces. He expected it to rhyme with the last sub-age of Pisces in the Age of Aries, which coincided with the decline and fall of Rome. With Pisces representing such as the hidden realms, institutions, prisons, secret enemies, dissolution and corruption of society (hi Maggie), spirituality, intuition and “feels”, we seem to be in for a solid 180 years of bad road.

        1. ambrit

          This is a book to be read, if only to see what old fashioned Astrology thought.
          Not only was Ronnie Reagan elected in this sub age alluded to, but Nancy Reagan consulted heavily with an ‘astrologer’ about national policy during this time! Now that we know that Reagan was functionally impaired for his second term at least, the function of astrology in the nations governance is of more than a passing interest.
          It has been “officially” relegated to the ‘junk’ science bin at your local university, but Bauvals work on the astronomical and mathematical alignments of the Giza complex, Sphinx and Pyramids etc., is very interesting. I bring this up because it suggests that the early Egyptians knew all about the Great Year, precession of the zodiac, etc. We constantly underestimate the capabilities of the ancients, and overestimate the capabilities of our elites.
          No matter when or where you are; Stupid is Stupid.

  10. rosen1

    Hello everybody!( I’m new to the NC comment section) Bruni’s article is ridiculous. Just because Corpns are kinda progressive socially makes them a force for good? And one doesn’t even know what to say about the ‘corporations being more democratic’ bit….What this op-ed basically does is show that how blatantly fascistic and elitist NYT is.

  11. fresno dan

    The Hard Work of Taking Apart Post-Work Fantasy Atlantic versus The Hard Work of Taking Apart Post-Work Fantasy Mike Konczal. Readers, score this cage match!

    I think a good deal of whatever “problem” there is with working less is far, far, FAR overshadowed by the problem of society’s income being more and more redistributed upward. Just as the article in today’s links notes how rents are going up, there are just ever more ways income is being redirected to the top. These are political decisions – when Mickey Mouse’s copyright gets extended again, and again, and again….well, that just shows a Mickey Mouse patent, copyright, and trademark system completely corrupted. Whether its trade, visa’s where the tech giants were shown to be using the B1 program as scabs, there are a million ways every law, rule, and regulation is biased to advantage the haves. Theres your problem right there.

    Now with regard to technology – Arrrggggghhhhhhh! I am moving. Long story short, Every single utility I called to end service, it basically took an hour of my time (for each utility) because the automated voice systems just did not work correctly. Going through the phone tree was the big time sink, and waiting, waiting, waiting……for a human. Something that REALLY should have taken perhaps at most 5 minutes, took an inordinate amount of my time. I wonder if these systems ever work for anyone, and are just an illusion that is put in to placate shareholders/management that the firm is “automating”.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think in some places, one can divorce one’s spouse faster than one’s utilities.

      ‘Until death severs your from your ethernet cord.”

      “Mary and I have since gone our separate ways, but I am still stuck with her favorite cable shows.”

    2. Benedict@Large

      I generally don’t much like Mike Konczal’s work, but he’s miles ahead here, although (as he admits) he left miles to go. The fact of the matter is that we cannot be post-work until we are also post-capital (or post-ownership, if you prefer). In a world where the ownership of the fruits of labor, even machine labor, match the ownership of the means of production, work (or violence) is the only way to separate the two, and provision yourself and loved ones.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s unfortunate, isn’t it – that work is the only way to provision oneself and one’s loved ones.

        In a sense, that’s very libertarian – that it’s all about oneself, to rely only on oneself, when the alternative is together sharing what we have, whatever work, in whatever amount, you have put in.

        “You have to have a job. You have to work. No basic income. Work is the only way to provision oneself and one’s loved ones.”

  12. grizziz

    RE: Thompson vs. Konczal

    Thompson specifically abjures the topic of the distribution of property and continues with his post work fiction for another 9000 words. Konczal reintroduces the notion that the distribution of property has to be answered first, lest property will be ever concentrated in the hands of the few.
    I would agree with Konczal because the creation of new property is limited. To borrow from John Locke, property is created by the mixing of one’s labor with material. In his imagination all the material in the new world was unowned and the colonists could create new property continuously. Today, most of the “material” is owned and needs to be bought before new property can be created. This puts artisans in a bind unless they are also merchants who are able to harness credit and marketing to create ‘value added’ products to reimburse for their labor. (My model here would be Jeff Koons.) Even in the realm of intellectual property which appears to be an infinite realm, the costs for legal advice and protection become onerous. Anecdotely ,even 3-D printing seems to have hit a wall of property rights. Without an abundance of marginally free material for labor to mix and create new property, Thompson’s world will never flourish.

  13. rich

    Central Bank Humor! Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer Claims That US Near Full Employment!

    After sweating through several days of the expected Greek default, it is nice when the Central Bankers provide us with humor to help keep our sanity.

    Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer claims that the USA is finally near full employment!

    Well, the number of people NOT in the labor force is greater than 37% of the labor force + those NOT in the labor force.


    37+% NOT in labor force is near full employment? Stan, you crack me up!

  14. Garrett Pace

    Art auction Ofili

    The pieces may have gone for $150 million, but this is priceless:

    “Christie’s guaranteed the seller an undisclosed minimum price for the work and ensured it will sell by securing financing by a third party.”

    Now even art is TBTF.

  15. Anon

    A few minutes ago, I came across this:

    F-35 gets beaten by F-16. And a choice piece of the article:

    In the report, which Axe had obtained but did not publish in full, the F-35 pilot reported that his aircraft was in a “clean” configuration for the test, carrying nothing under its wings or in its internal weapons bays. The F-16, on the other hand, was flying with under-wing external fuel drop-tanks, which in theory would have put the aircraft at an aerodynamic disadvantage.

    Apparently, it didn’t. “Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement,” the F-35 pilot reported. That means the F-35 constantly found itself flying slower and more sluggishly, unable to effectively maneuver to get the F-16 in its sights.

    Yet, people are still gonna want to replace it. Hell, why even make a new model when barely anyone AFAIK fights aerial battles anymore?

    Just as I was about to submit this, I saw this other gem from the same site here:

    Dogfight Report Does Not Tell Whole Story

    The amount of saving face in that article is incredible. Thankfully, the Ars community is doing a pretty solid job of tearing that apart.

  16. prostratedragon

    Ofili “Madonna:” Coincidentally, just a day or two ago I was thinking that if I decided to use a gravatar, that might be what I’d prefer (though bet it’s too heavily copyrighted and I’d have to settle for something else). Had no idea it was up for auction.

  17. Oregoncharles

    From “the Greek legal puzzle”: “EU treaties describe the eurozone as “irrevocable.””

    Were they really that stupid? In this regard, as has sometimes been mentioned, Greece has many opportunities for revenge.

    Overall, this is the reason I suspect the legalities are irrelevant: the laws are a mess, a lot of them have probably already been broken, and the Eurogroup are (to quote Yves) “thugs.” Thugs don’t worry about laws, especially laws with no enforcement mechanism.

    At the same time, in the larger picture, this is the reason a Grexit – already underway, really – is likely to metastasize. If, for instance, they can’t leave the Euro without leaving the EU, but they’ve already left the Euro, the EU is already broken. They would have to write new treaties (somebody else went into this) – but Greece is still legally a member, with a veto power! And a really, really angry member, a viper in their bosom.

    Whew. From this angle, the Eurogroup’s behavior is almost as reckless as the US’s in Ukraine, though they probably aren’t risking nuclear Armageddon. Which is one reason I suspect they’ll just ignore the “law” and do what they have to. The aftermath of that should be pretty exciting.

  18. Vatch

    A few thoughts on Frank Bruni’s love letter to our corporate masters. Bruni says:

    They’ve been great on the issue of the Confederate flag. Almost immediately after the fatal shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., several prominent corporate leaders, including the heads of Walmart and Sears, took steps to retire the banner as a public symbol of the South; others made impassioned calls for that.

    If they were so great on this issue, why did they wait until 9 people were murdered by a terrorist? Why weren’t the corporations out in front on this issue?

    Bruni also says:

    And if it were up to corporations, we’d have the immigration reform we sorely need. Early last year, the United States Chamber of Commerce publicized a letter that urged Congress to act on “modernizing our immigration system.” It was signed by 246 enterprises large and small, including Apple, AT&T, Caterpillar, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Google, McDonald’s, Marriott and Microsoft.

    Well yes, these corporations all want cheaper labor, so of course they want to allow more people to enter the country. See the “H1-B Primer for Reporters” link elsewhere on this page today.

    More from Mr. Bruni:

    Corporations aren’t paralyzed by partisan bickering. They’re not hostage to a few big donors, a few loud interest groups or some unyielding ideology.

    Actually, they are often held hostage by venture capitalists and private equity sharks. It’s farcical to even think that Koch Industries isn’t imbued with ideology.

    I could go on, but that’s enough for now.

    1. jrs

      The things people criticize corporations (or alternatively the existing economic system/capitalism – but regardless it is usually manifested in the form of corporations in the actual world) for are more important in my view than any of the pluses listed.

      Yea I know to actually take a stand on that instead of identity politics and all that but. Poisoning the gulf of Mexico versus a confederate flag (that I am sure can be a symbol of a whole host of bad historical things to many mind you) – no contest.

      Much is just silly:
      ” They’re not hostage to a few big donors, a few loud interest groups or some unyielding ideology.”

      They aren’t held hostage to the big donors because they ARE the big donors. And maybe shareholder value and profit at all costs IS an unyielding ideology, it sure seems so.

      And then the conclusion that peters out: “I’m just saying corporations aren’t always bad”. Yea maybe, but trite, now how did we get here from an column starting with “I for one, welcome our new corporate overlords”.

  19. alex morfesis

    mathbabe / interview free consulting

    RUN don’t walk…RUN

    Megalo OXI

    lawyers are notorious for this…

    how does that work…how might you handle that…I have never heard that before, do you have some case law on that in this district


    when confronted by sharks like this (homework ?) I usually explain I don’t work for tips, and if I wanted to, I have dated my share of bartenders and waitresses, so I know where to apply…

    they might also be testing to see if you are willing to be a slave in waiting…

    if you want to contribute work to some new enterprise, go dig up newly funded start ups…or get your cv/name in front of the detail handlers (lawyers/accountants) who might know that a new deal is about to close with some funding and might see that you might contribute to helping everyone get to the endgame

    a 60 plus friend finally listened and after five plus years of complaining about life, recently landed back in tech field with a funded start up in florida as a mature worker fits the current reality of a start up with a four to seven year endgame profile…he started getting response when he directly stated what he brought to table…experienced, trained, reliable, not looking for pension, soon to be covered by medicare…available for travel and flexible work schedule…

    but back to free consulting and homework…wow


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