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Writing Worth Reading
Yang's Stove Fires World Copper Market
Fan Wenxin | Bloomberg | 3 November 2010
Smart, colourful piece on Chinese growth. Copper consumption has tripled in
a decade. Will go on rising, as millions of rural families move to urban
apartments, each containing 45 kilos of copper wiring
2010: What Happened
Andrew Gelman | Statistical Modeling | 5 November 2010
Obama's stimulus was prudent. He didn't want to inflate yet another bubble.
But he did a bad job of levelling with the American public. He let hopes
rise, and paid the price of voters' disappointment
Shape Of The Beast
Shoma Chaudhury | Tehelka | 5 November 2010
Why middle-class India hates Arundhati Roy. She challenges their narrative
of modernity, prosperity. "If you are underclass, tribal or Muslim, your
continent is much darker. Roy crossed over to the dark side"
Does Britain Really Need The Military?
Simon Jenkins | Guardian | 5 November 2010
"Our defence spending is misdirected and extravagantly out of date. To guard
me from unreal foreign attack the government spends £45bn, but to guard my
home and hearth from crime it spends just £6.4bn"
A Painful Remedy
Editorial | Nature | 4 November 2010
Top science journal notes that more published papers are being retracted:
four so far this year, versus one last year. No single cause. But sloppiness
at least as much to blame as malfeasance
George And Sparky
Joe Posnanski | Sports Illustrated | 4 November 2010
Remembering George "Sparky" Anderson, irascible, mediocre baseball player
turned youngest manager, three-time World Series winner. Ruthless with
pitchers, not always liked, great at coaxing best out of players
Lift-Off For Geoengineering
Anonymous | Economist | 4 November 2010
Early signs of political traction for big-science schemes to get greenhouse
gases out of atmosphere, cool earth. Some favoured options: inject sulphuric
acid into stratosphere; dump quicklime into oceans
Futile Attempt To Save Eurozone
Samuel Brittan | FT | 4 November 2010
Disintegration inevitable. "Likely to be a messy process, and it will take
time to clarify whether there will be a reversion to national currencies, or
whether two or three successor zones will emerge"
News Corp And The Times Paywall
Seamus McCauley | Virtual Economics | 3 November 2010
Paywall at London Times doesn't makes economic sense viewed in isolation. It
makes much more sense if you see Times subscription as marginal attraction
that News Corp can bundle into cable/broadband packages
Stephen Fry | New Adventures | 4 November 2010
For fans of Stephen Fry. In which he explains why he didn't say that women
don't like sex. Or did say it but didn't mean it. Or didn't mean to say it.
Or something. Anyhow, a lovely, long, from-the-heart piece.
How Political Was Picasso?
John Richardson | NYRB | 4 November 2010
Skip the opening two or three paragraphs, cut to Richardson's compelling
account of Picasso's shallow and shifting political views. More than
anything else, artist wanted to be honoured in Spain, by any government
Zadie Smith | NYRB | 4 November 2010
Thoughtful essay criticising reductivist world-view of Mark Zuckerberg and
Facebook, as portrayed in "The Social Network"; praising Jaron Lanier's
arguments for individualism, in "You Are Not A Gadget"
Necessity And Competence In Government
Al Martinich | Philosophers' Magazine | 5 November 2010
Interesting short discussion of what makes government rational, legitimate.
Boils down to fact that we need government for reasonably comfortable life,
and usually there's only one government to choose from
Philip Gourevitch | New Yorker | 11 October 2010
For all its intrinsic virtue, humanitarian aid can worsen underlying
conflicts by rewarding violence, driving up cost of peace, prolonging war
(as in Biafra). Much-discussed piece, just now ungated
TOPIC: 2010 MID-TERMS
Obama rebuffed. What happened, why it happened, what happens
next. Continue reading...
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