Commonplace books that survive from the Tudor period contain a huge variety of texts, including letters, poems, medical remedies, prose, jokes, ciphers, riddles, quotations and drawings. Sonnets, ballads and epigrams jostle with diary entries, recipes, lists of ships or Cambridge colleges and transcriptions of speeches. Collecting useful snippets of information so that they could be easily retrieved when needed, or re-read to spark new ideas and connections, was one of the functions of a commonplace book. But the practice of maintaining a commonplace book and exchanging texts with others also served as a form of self-definition: which poems or aphorisms you chose to copy into your book or to pass on to your correspondents said a lot about you, and the book as a whole was a reflection of your character and personality.
The Iliad may have been written by one man. It may have been written by a hundred men. But let us remember that there was more unity in those times in a hundred men than there is unity now in one man. Then a city was like one man. Now one man is like a city in civil war.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s king and the world’s longest-serving head of state, turns 85 years old today. King Bhumibol, also known as Rama IX, has ruled Thailand for more than 66 years, and is a popular figure throughout the country.
Well, yes, I suppose it does look that way, given if you get caught sending text messages that don’t approve of the king, you can get twenty years in prison. Still, good to see Instagram covering corrupt regimes. I’m looking forward to their highlights of photos from North Korea and Bahrain.
I'm not a fan of monarchy, but the king is extraordinarily well-loved in Thailand, and implying otherwise is silly. I can't even imagine where the North Korea comparison came from.
I have some .htaccess rules that are supposed to prevent hotlinking images on the site. Unfortunately, they also (I think) broke images when my RSS feed was viewed in Google Reader. If I'm right, this should now be fixed. Let's see:
"In this essay, we outline a cognitive approach to democracy. Specifically, we argue that democracy has unique benefits as a form of collective problem solving in that it potentially allows people with highly diverse perspectives to come together in order collectively to solve problems. Democracy can do this better than either markets and hierarchies, because it brings these diverse perceptions into direct contact with each other, allowing forms of learning that are unlikely either through the price mechanism of markets or the hierarchical arrangements of bureaucracy. Furthermore, democracy can, by experimenting, take advantage of novel forms of collective cognition that are facilitated by new media."
I should start out by saying I can't deliver on the post title, but it's crazy to me that I can't find a page addressing this question on the Google. So:
The free Kindle edition is free, has the most reviews by far, but is apparently missing text (The Ballad of Joking Jesus and any other verse printed centered on the page.) Might be badly scanned. No idea what printed edition this is based on.
Ulysses Unabridged (Illustrated) has the text the other version lacks. It's $2.99. Has only has one review, which makes me a little uneasy. No idea what printed edition this is based on. (Update: I ended up buying this one. It doesn't have chapter breaks. Despite what the one review says, it is actually illustrated. "Proteus" has a modern-day photo of Sandymount strand.)
Strava is a tool I use to track my bike rides: mileage, route, speed. I record rides with GPS, upload them to Strava, comment on friends' rides - cycling is already addictive, Strava makes it more so. And I love the way they visualize your rides for the year to date.
Each black bar is a ride, the height corresponds to the mileage for the ride.
Google+ doesn't have permalinks for comments so you'll have to search to find Tom Coates's epic rant vs the idea of federated social networks. It's compelling in many ways but I disagree with his minimization of the achievements of email and IM. It's true that they're not a cash cow for many companies, but from a user perspective I think we're clearly better off with open email rather than stuck in a walled garden.
His rip on standardization also misses the mark for me. What's wrong with having some layers of the app stack stabilize?
On this topic, it would be really interested to understand what happened to Usenet.
Let's say the Los Angeles city government has an empty lot they want to get rid of. They want something that will maximize economic return, in order to provide jobs and tax revenue (it might be worthwhile to dive into what measure of economic return they should use, but we'll ignore that for now.) Additionally, they're risk-averse and need to be able to generate public support for the plan in order to make it happen.
Now, which one of these plans will they choose?
Engaging a large, well-known real estate developer who provides a nice 3D rendering of the shiny, multi-million dollar mixed retail/residential development he'll build
Selling off subdivided lots piecemeal to smaller developers or individual owners
They'll always choose the first. The additional administrative complexity and risk involved in the second make it a non-starter. And, in this understandable way, they make the rich richer.
The government makes a ton of decisions beyond selling land that similarly impact the concentration of wealth, and an analogous process usually holds - if we need to regulate banks, for example, who should we turn to for advice? A million small players, or a few big bankers?
So, on average, government decisions will tend to be made in concert with large existing interests, and will tend to increase the concentration of wealth. I think this problem is structurally unfixable, and provides some of the justification for redistributing wealth.
"Some theories consider that the balance of good and evil, created in church design to remind worshippers of the narrow path they tread, was present in everything. This meant that for every good and benign creature such as a saint or an animal to signify purity, there had to be an opposite to bring out the fear of evil. In York Minster, for example, the carvings in the Chapter house, which are particularly disgusting and obscene and which were supposedly created as caricatures of the then Dean and Chapter, were put there above the seats to create an opposite to each occupant, who we might like to assume was not in fact the foul person their carvings made them out to be."
"I have never understood why Financial Stability should be an objective of public policy. Desirable, measurable outcomes of benefit to the public should be the objectives of public policy. Stability is a silly and impractical goal in a capitalist economy ... One strength of the US banking system from the 1930s to the 1980s was that failures were dealt with quickly and certainly. Foreclosed properties had to be sold by banks within two years of repossession, leading to a quick and certain reallocation of assets from failed borrowers to new owners. The FDIC swiftly and mercilessly shut down failed banks ... with forbearance now institutionalised at all levels of the US economy, we are seeing Japanification instead of recovery. And it is even worse just about everywhere else where dominant banks are much more influential."
I've been simmering on this point for ages, waiting for someone to speak my mind for me. Regulations are not just an imposition on markets - the choice is not between free markets and regulated markets. Markets are constructed by multiple sets of regulations, beginning with property rights. The regulations we choose have consequences for who can enter markets, how those businesses can operate, and on what market outcomes are.
Whenever someone argues for de-regulation, they argue for removing a small piece of this whole edifice. They aren't arguing for truly free markets, they're arguing for a specific rule change that will have (usually clearly identifiable) winners and losers. These same people will often later be found to be advocating for greater regulation in some other area, in the name of punishing wrongdoers.
My first economics class made the simple point that rent control artificially limits the supply of housing, creating shortages. What was never mentioned in that class was that that in many cities regulations make building houses, especially low-income housing, nearly impossible. Ending rent control without making it possible to build more housing means that we are choosing to make housing more expensive, period.
That's why it's so laughable when banks kindly request the government to stay out of their business. Financial markets above all grow out of the regulations that define them.
"... half the workers of the world -- close to 1.8 billion people -- [are] working in System D: off the books, in jobs that were neither registered nor regulated, getting paid in cash, and, most often, avoiding income taxes."
"... people in the European countries with the largest portions of their economies that were unlicensed and unregulated -- in other words, citizens of the countries with the most robust System D -- fared better in the economic meltdown of 2008 than folks living in centrally planned and tightly regulated nations."
I wanted to share this in Google Reader, but that's gone now. Anyway:
PBA Official 1: Okay, we've sent text messages to at least 400 delegates, and they're all going to come to court tomorrow to protest the arraignment of our brother officers. We've called this meeting to decide what signs they should hold up for the myriad news cameras that we expect to be there. I'll open this up to the floor - any ideas?
PBA Official 2: How about 'Just Following Orders'?