Best of the Moment
Mark Steyn | National Review | 15th November 2013
On the health-care fiasco. Ferocious and funny. "So, if I follow correctly, the smartest president ever is not smart enough to ensure that his website works; he’s not smart enough to inquire of others as to whether his website works; he’s not smart enough to check that his website works before he goes out and tells people what a great website experience they’re in for. The country’s in the very best of hands"
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan | Cricinfo | 16th November 2013
"He was a one-man entertainment package, high art for the masses, technical perfection meshed with popcorn-bursting verve ... He leaves behind an immense emptiness. Vladimir Nabokov once said that every time he completed a novel he felt like a house that was emptied of its grand piano. And so it is with Indian cricket. After 24 years of dedicated service, the grand piano has left the building"
John Quiggin | Jacobin | 14th November 2013
Bank-bashing is popular and justified. The Left should do more of it. "Society as a whole would be better off if the financial sector were smaller, and received much smaller returns ... A thirty-year experiment with financial liberalisation has proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the growth of Wall Street has come at the expense of society as a whole, and that the earnings it generates are not justified by a contribution to social value"
Steven Broadberry | Vox | 16th November 2013
A study of national accounts going back to the 13th century shows that the economic ascendancy of Europe, and the relative decline of Asia, began in the late middle ages, and was due to two main shocks: First, the Black Death of 1348, which wiped out one-third of Europe’s population and drove up wages for the survivors; Second, the opening of new trade routes between Europe, Asia and the Americas around 1500
Thought for the day:
"A sign is anything that can be used to tell a lie" — Umberto Eco