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Writing Worth Reading
Don't Bring A Knife to A Gunfight
Tim Worstall | Foreign Policy | 29 September 2010
China's supposed monopoly over rare earths is illusory. If China restricts
exports, rare earths can be mined elsewhere, mainly in California and
Australia. But costs will be higher, and it's a dirty business
Politics Of Chinese Adjustment
Michael Pettis | China Financial Markets | 29 September 2010
Smart backgrounder on biggest macro story of coming five years. If world
cannot absorb China's trade surplus, China will have to raise consumption as
share of GDP. Who will be the gainers and losers?
Preacher On A Tank
David Runciman | LRB | 29 September 2010
Superb essay on Tony Blair's record in office, through the prism of his
memoirs. Too rich to summarise adequately. Main thread of argument is that
Blair was great at quick fixes, bad at big, messy calculations
V.S. Naipaul Comes To Supper
Gillian Schutte | Book SA | 28 September 2010
South African family accepts last-minute request to entertain great writer,
who is researching book, wants to meet "real people". Naipaul silent
throughout. "Mom, does the Indian guy not speak English?"
On German Reunification
Condoleezza Rice | Spiegel | 29 September 2010
Terrific interview. History behind the scenes. Plausible, ruthless, concise.
"Hans-Dietrich Genscher seemed to think of the unification process as more
of a merger. I preferred to see it as an acquisition"
My Favourite Footballer, Lucas Radebe
James Appell | Equaliser | 30 September 2010
From teenage car thief in Soweto to captain of his country in two World Cups
and symbol of sport's battle with racism. Brief appreciation of the man whom
Nelson Mandela told: "You are my hero"
Oliver Morton | Economist | 21 September 2010
Diary of a week on a thinly populated island in mid-Atlantic. Discovered by
Portuguese, used by British to exile Napoleon. Now a colony of the BBC, for
World Service transmitters. Interesting throughout
Ryder Cup: Hell Of The 1st Tee
Lawrence Donegan | Guardian | 30 September 2010
Former players describe their 1st tee nerves. "I had the first shot. When
you are standing there, trust me, it is not good," says one. "At least you
got it in the air, mate," said caddie of another
Tea & Crackers
Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone | 28 September 2010
Portrait of the Tea Party as a tribe of disoriented white people on
Medicare, against government spending except on themselves. By Taibbi's
standards a restrained piece of writing. Simple points, well expressed.
New Planet May Have Life
Dennis Overbye | NYT | 29 September 2010
Quirky filler, or most important story of our lifetimes. Distant planet
discovered with right conditions for harbouring surface water, thus plants
and animals which could be similar to those on Earth
Weak Ties And Revolution
Jonah Lehrer | Frontal Cortex | 29 September 2010
Knocks down Malcolm Gladwell's argument that "weak ties"—Twitter et al—don't
nurture activism. Weak ties are vital for building trust across wide groups.
Close ties bind narrow groups, inhibit mobilisation
Topic: Mexican drug wars
The battling cartels control cities, provinces, police and prisons. How long
before they control...Continue reading...
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