Gideon Rachman, GigaOm, Fatherhood, My Lai, Smurf Economics, Multiple Sclerosis, Lee Kuan Yew


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Europe Loses The Race Against Extremism

Gideon Rachman | Financial Times | 24th March 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Recession has strengthened extremist and populist political parties across Europe, and their rise may already be irreversible even if things get better. History shows that collapse of the political centre can be a delayed reaction to economic trouble. The Nazis took power in 1933 after the worst of the German depression was over. "The election of Ms Le Pen as French president would in effect spell the end of the EU" (850 words)

Internet Media And The Fall Of GigaOm (Internet Media and the Fall of GigaOm)

J. Bradford DeLong | Grasping Reality | 23rd March 2015

Deliciously funny fake Socratic symposium, with guest appearances by Hypatia, Phryne, Aristokles and Felix Salmon, debating the failure of GigaOm and the future of online media-business models. Impossible to summarise, and for my money the best thing Brad DeLong has ever written, a life's work in economics included. "Is not the publisher correct? Are not Jim Tankersley and Ezra Klein close substitutes?" (2,380 words)

Seven Things About Becoming A Parent

Matt Yglesias | Vox | 24th March 2015

Almost every journalist who becomes a parent writes a column saying the experience has changed their view of the world. But Yglesias finds his views confirmed. "The hospital is a place of profit-seeking and exploitation, but not of competition and bargaining. The doctors are salespeople and entrepreneurs, but the patients aren't customers. The Affordable Care Act is making things better. But the system is still completely absurd" (1,590 words)

The Scene Of The Crime

Seymour Hersh | New Yorker | 23rd March 2015 | Metered paywall

Reflections on the massacre at My Lai and its part in the Vietnam War. American troops under Lieutenant William Calley murdered 407 civilians, including 73 children. Calley was jailed for three months. No other soldier was punished. Hersh caused a sensation when he broke the story in 1969. Returning decades later to Vietnam, he is told that the massacre was by no means a one-off horror; "many" went unreported (7,200 words)

Secular Stagnation In Smurf Village

Daniel Davies | The Long And Short | 23rd March 2015

Why has global economic growth slowed quite so stubbornly? Here is a very simplified exploration of the possibilities, using the Smurf village as a model. The most plausible answer is that traditional manufacturers over-invested in capital goods before 2008, so that there is nothing much they still need to buy; and though the digital economy thrives, it returns more to consumers than to investors (2,750 words)

Hardy Animal

M.J. Hyland | Granta | 22nd August 2012

On receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the relatively late age of 40. "The neurologist showed me the MRI scan and the lesions in my brain; the scars, the permanent neuronal damage which means I’ve got spasticity and weakness in my right foot, and my right hand (my writing hand)." But it wasn't all bad news: "On average, it’s at least ten to fifteen years before you need a wheelchair" (5,650 words)

Obituary: Lee Kuan Yew

Telegraph | 23rd March 2015 | Metered paywall

"I never saw anyone so lacking in joviality", said Anthony Lawrence of the BBC when Lee took office as Singapore's first prime minister in 1959. Lee may well have been the most effective political leader of the late 20th century. Hard to say how his micro-management and hectoring style might have played out in a much larger country, but in Singapore it worked wonders. He raised the city-state from poverty to riches in less than 30 years (2,850 words)

Video of the day: Akira Kurosawa — Composing Movement

What to expect: Tony Zhou analyses the use of movement in some of Kurosawa's greatest scenes (8'24")

Thought for the day

A lie is a poor substitute for the truth, but the only one known to date
Ambrose Bierce

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