May 31, 2013

I keep waiting for the derp to never does

Glenn Jacobs, the seven-foot-tall professional wrestler better known as Kane, just might be the next Republican senator from Tennessee.


Loose end resolved

I wondered if Tolkien knew Robert Graves, and wondered if he took seriously or assimilated any of Graves' brilliant speculations in the White Goddess (e.g., vis a vis Galadriel).  Sort of made sense to me, given that they were contemporaries, both creative literary types who came out of World War I engaged in the study of archaic poetic forms, thinking hard about what modernism had overwritten or obscured, and thinking about the elemental persistence of those things.

I think this anecdote answers my question, and several more that hadn't yet occurred to me:
I am neither disturbed (nor surprised) at the limitations of my 'fame'. There are lots of people in Oxford who have never heard of me, let alone of my books. But I can repay many of them with equal ignorance, neither wilful nor contemptuous, simply accidental. An amusing incident occurred in November, when I went as a courtesy to hear the last lecture of this series of his given by the Professor of Poetry: Robert Graves. (A remarkable creature, entertaining, likeable, odd, bonnet full of wild bees, half-German, half-Irish, very tall, must have looked like Siegfried/Sigurd in his youth, but an Ass.) It was the most ludicrously bad lecture I have ever heard. After it he introduced me to a pleasant young woman who had attended it: well but quietly dressed, easy and agreeable, and we got on quite well. But Graves started to laugh; and he said: 'it is obvious neither of you has ever heard of the other before'. Quite true. And I had not supposed that the lady would ever have heard of me. Her name was Ava Gardner, but it still meant nothing, till people more aware of the world informed me that she was a film-star of some magnitude, and that the press of pressmen and storm of flash-bulbs on the steps of the Schools were not directed at Graves (and cert. not at me) but at her.

Found here.

Further food for thought

A warning against colloquialism and false modernity has already been given by implication above. Personally you may not like an archaic vocabulary, and word-order, artificially maintained as an elevated and literary language. You may prefer the brand new, the lively and the snappy. But whatever may be the case with other poets of past ages (with Homer, for instance) the author of Beowulf did not share this preference. If you wish to translate, not re-write, Beowulf, your language must be literary and traditional: not because it is now a long while since the poem was made, or because it speaks of things that have since become ancient; but because the diction of Beowulf was poetical, archaic, artificial (if you will), in the day that the poem was made...

This sort of thing - the building up of a poetic language out of words and forms archaic and dialectal or used in special senses - may be regretted or disliked.  There is nonetheless a case for it: the development of a form of language familiar in meaning and yet freed from trivial associations, and filled with the memory of good and evil, is an achievement, and its possessors are richer than those who have no such tradition. It is an achievement possible to people of relatively small material wealth and power (such as the ancient English as compared with their descendants); but it is not necessarily to be despised on that account.

- J.R.R. Tolkien


May 30, 2013

EisenOnion #78

9 Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence That Will Make You Reassess The Scope Of The 1986 Vienna Convention On The Law Of Treaties Between States And International Organizations.

"In Soviet Microsoft, television watches YOU!"

Yes, Microsoft wants you to buy a gaming/streaming console that "collects data" through a camera placed in your living room.

May 29, 2013

I think this was an important moment

Matt Yglesias: Amy Klobuchar Asks Bernanke a Great Question and the Fed Chairman Has No Good Answer
Ben Bernanke's appearances before Congress are usually a parade of clueless questions, but Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota just asked him a great one. Noting that some members of Congress think the Fed should drop its dual mandate on inflation and unemployment and just focus on price stability, she asked Bernanke to explain what he would do differently if the mandate changed.
Bernanke hemmed and hawed a bit, but the crux of his answer was: nothing.
See also (from Yglesais) The Fast, the Furious, and the Long-Term Erosion of American Social and Economic Institutions. (The Other Front has been making these points for years, I think.)

Just to Remind You Why Thomas Friedman Exasperates You

"How to Get a Job," contains the following things:

1. The revelation that employers would like relevant skills, not just degrees. 
2. An amazing company run by twenty somethings that places 100 entire jobs for every 50,000 applicants.
2. An admonishment that spelling is important.
3. No information about how to get a job.

 The commenters appropriately savage this column. 

May 27, 2013

Old Economy Steve has Touched A Nerve; Or, A Review of The Contemporary Legacy of Ronald Reagan.

Old Economy Steve.

Waves, Cuts and Victory

New posts on art topics at The Amplitude of Time, Essays, Notes, and Commentary By Jamie Bollenbach.

3) A passionate letter defending arts education, which is about to be eliminated in the Kitsap county school district, by a young guy now raising his family in Seattle  "Math didn't get me out of poverty. Art did."

May 26, 2013

Some how...some way...I'm going to read that book

Almost a decade ago I became utterly obsessed, for a time, with a book by the estimable John Keay, a two-volume masterpiece on central Asia called Explorers of the Western Himalayas.  If you're ever going on a long train ride, or must spend a months at a research station in the Antarctic, you ought to toss that one into your rucksack.  If you're gainfully employed and productive, however, think twice.  It devours days like bonbons.

Now I see that while I was busy saving the world (or at least my clients) from economic disaster, he was writing a fine popular history of China, focusing especially on the early dynasties.

Need to find a week or three...somewhere...

May 25, 2013

Hope for humanity

There are good cartoons again.  Good cartoons.  Pre-eminent among them:  Phineas and Ferb, which is...

  • So dense in allusion and getting crap past the radar, even TVTropes can barely keep up with it;
  • The longest-running Disney Channel Original Series;
  • The only show I have ever seen with a "B" plot that never fails, thanks to Perry the Platypus;
  • The only show with a Super-Villain who has his own jingle and a lot of backstories.
The episode that took it 11, however, was "The Chronicles of Meap", which is, probably not for long, partially viewable on The Internet:
  • Part 1
  • Part 2 has already been shut down by Disney
Anyway, it goes to 12 with the astonishing "Meapless in Seattle", the unblocked trailer for which is here.

The movie, Phineas and Ferb Across the Second Dimension is very good, too, with a counter-Doofenshmirtz that bears more than a passing resemblance to The Sum of All Monkeys.

It's all on Netflix, and will not waste a second of your time.

If you have a choice between suicide and a supporting role in a low-budget movie...

Take the role

(Alternate title: How Tony Kendra Almost Wrecked This Is Spinal Tap)

Well, you could knock me over with a feather

Brady is Irish?  Well you can rock me to sleep tonight.  I didn't think the name was English or Scottish, so I have no idea what I thought it was.  Los Angelean, perhaps.  Wikipedia says:

Brady is a surname derived from the Irish surname Mac Brádaigh.  In a listing by the U.S. Census Bureau of the Most Common U.S. Surnames Brady is ranked at #411.

The bastard even has a cool coat of arms.

If this were Jeopardy I would have picked Jim Kelly, which gives me an excuse to link to this.

May 23, 2013

Wounds for good or ill

From our book of daily devotions, as we have now finished reading, aloud, the first of the six books of The Lord of the Rings:

To tell you the truth, I had very little hope; for I suspected that there was some fragment of the blade still in the closed wound. But it could not be found until last night. Then Elrond removed a splinter. It was deeply buried, and it was working inwards.’ 
Frodo shuddered, remembering the cruel knife with notched blade that had vanished in Strider’s hands. ‘Don’t be alarmed!’ said Gandalf. ‘It is gone now. It has been melted. And it seems that Hobbits fade very reluctantly. I have known strong warriors of the Big People who would quickly have been overcome by that splinter, which you bore for seventeen days.’ 
‘What would they have done to me?’ asked Frodo. ‘What were the Riders trying to do?’
‘They tried to pierce your heart with a Morgul-knife which remains in the wound. If they had succeeded, you would have become like they are, only weaker and under their command. You would have become a wraith under the dominion of the Dark Lord; and he would have tormented you for trying to keep his Ring, if any greater torment were possible than being robbed of it and seeing it on his hand.’ 
‘Thank goodness I did not realize the horrible danger!’ said Frodo faintly. ‘I was mortally afraid, of course; but if I had known more, I should not have dared even to move. It is a marvel that I escaped!’ 
‘Yes, fortune or fate have helped you,’ said Gandalf, ‘not to mention courage. For your heart was not touched, and only your shoulder was pierced; and that was because you resisted to the last.

This passage stayed with me for several days, and the idea of evil as an introduced infection crept even into my dreams.  Gradually, I realized there was a strong parallelism with a book I read at about the same time I first went through Lord of the Rings, the near-contemporary (1955) Hinds' Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard.  In Hurnard's book - a kind of modernized Pilgrim's Progress - the dynamic is reversed, with the heroine reluctantly, but willingly implanted:
She bent forward to look, then gave a startled little cry and drew back. There was indeed a seed lying in the palm of his hand, but it was shaped exactly like a long, sharply-pointed thorn… ‘The seed looks very sharp,’ she said shrinkingly. ’Won’t it hurt if you put it into my heart? 
He answered gently, ‘It is so sharp that it slips in very quickly. But, Much-Afraid, I have already warned you that Love and Pain go together, for a time at least. If you would know Love, you must know pain too.’ 
Much-Afraid looked at the thorn and shrank from it. Then she looked at the Shepherd’s face and repeated his words to herself. ’When the seed of Love in your heart is ready to bloom, you will be loved in return,’ and a strange new courage entered her. She suddenly stepped forward, bared her heart, and said, ‘Please plant the seed here in my heart.’ 
His face lit up with a glad smile and he said with a note of joy in his voice, ‘Now you will be able to go with me to the High Places and be a citizen in the Kingdom of my Father.’

Knowing Tolkien and CS Lewis were friends, I've looked for Christian themes a la Narnia in Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien is playing a much deeper game.  His idea that evil can be introduced and overcome free will is deeply at odds with Christian thinking, and hated allegories in any case.  But it is not hard to see how someone witnessing the propaganda-fuelled hatred of the 30s and 40s might find considerable explanatory power in the notion.

What I am getting from Tolkien so far is an almost rapturous love of the English countryside, with passages like this, full of music and innocence, suggestive of Eden:
It was now as clear and far-seen as it had been veiled and misty when they stood upon the knoll in the Forest, which could now be seen rising pale and green out of the dark trees in the West. In that direction the land rose in wooded ridges, green, yellow, russet under the sun, beyond which lay hidden the valley of the Brandywine. To the South, over the line of the Withywindle, there was a distant glint like pale glass where the Brandywine River made a great loop in the lowlands and flowed away out of the knowledge of the hobbits. Northward beyond the dwindling downs the land ran away in flats and swellings of grey and green and pale earth-colours, until it faded into a featureless and shadowy distance.
Evil is introduced - unnatural, but malignant.  As Elrond says:
[N]othing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so. 

I did not know that

Still looking for the Irish Immortal QB...along the way I stopped short:  what the hell kind of name is Unitas?

Wikipedia says:

His unusual surname was a result of a phonetic transliteration of [the] common Lithuanian last name Jonaitis. 


May 22, 2013

Al Davis came to me in a dream and said "sign him for the Raiders"

Mark Sanchez picked off 3 times in practice, Rex Ryan calls it ‘unacceptable’


May 20, 2013

Will Brinson of ranks the quarterbacks incorrectly

The erroneous article is here, and is an affront to all right-thinking people everywhere.  For one thing it ignores park effects and...oops, wrong sport.

I may have mentioned at one time or another, that football teams tend to win more games when their quarterbacks throw the ball successfully down the field.  Bookies and stat geeks noticed the relationship between yards-per-attempt and winning percentage long ago. After incorporating a 50-yard penalty for each interception thrown we get IAYPA, the Interception-Adjusted Yards per Attempt measure (the truth of the invention of this recedes into the mists of history, but I think Alan Barra and I invented it independently at about the same time in the mid-80s).

IAYPA has its virtues.  It is simple to compute, yet contains tons of relevant information.  In fact, I believe it is the single best metric for assessing quarterback performance.  We must recognize, however,  that it is very difficult to disentangle quarterback performance from wide receiver performance, offensive line performance, or offensive coordinator performance.  Joe Montana and Steve Young are both all-time IAYPA leaders - I have no doubt that they're deserving, as they were both accurate passers and good decisionmakers, but some credit probably also ought to go to Mr. Walsh, and some also to the greatest football player who ever lived.

There are other imperfections.  For one thing, there's no allowance for touchdowns.  This is an architectural problem - IAYPA is expressed in yards, so you'd have to decide how many yards equals a touchdown.  But even then you'd have problems.  Imagine you have two similarly-skilled quarterbacks, except one is an absolute master of Red Zone dynamics - throwing to the corners, throwing to the back of the end zone, etc.  That guy would have a comparable IAYPA, but would likely throw for many more touchdowns.  Andy Dalton, for example, has an IAYPA of 5.4 vs. Ryan Tannehill's 5.5.  But Dalton threw for 27 touchdowns last year (one every 19 attempts), while Tannehill threw for just 12 (one every 40 attempts).  Now this may mean Dalton is a superior quarterback.  But it could also mean that Tannehill's team has a better running game, or runs a lot of Wildcat in the Red Zone, or any number of other things.

So touchdowns are important, but not easily incorporated into IAYPA.  The simplest thing to do is just notice them and adjust quarterbacks upward or downward as appropriate.

Anyway, and this really can't be disputed by any sane person, the most valuable quarterbacks in the NFL last year were Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III.  It's not just that their IAYPAs were higher everyone else's - although they were - but both were also exceptional runners, adding a positive dimension to their game not covered by IAYPA.  This only increases their value relative to the Matt Schaubs and Tony Romos of the world.

Super Elite

  • Kaepernick - 7.6 Alex Smith was also very good, with a 6.8 IAYPA before being replaced.
  • RG III - 7.5
Premier Elite
  • Rodgers - 7.1
  • Manning, P - 7.0
  • Brady - 6.9
  • Newton - 6.7
  • Russell Wilson - 6.7  Ready to challenge for Super Elite status next season.
  • Ryan - 6.5
  • Roethlisberger - 6.4
  • Brees - 6.3
  • Schaub - 6.3
  • Flacco - 6.2
  • Romo - 6.1  But shows great promise.
  • Manning, E - 6.0
  • Palmer - 5.9  This is what is wrong with Oakland.  Average quarterback?  Dump him!
  • Freeman - 5.8
  • Stafford - 5.7  The median NFL quarterback.
  • Luck - 5.5  The erroneous article above rates him ahead of Kaepernick and Griffin.
  • Bradford - 5.5  No disrespect to Luck and Bradford - playing average is great for a rookie.
  • Foles - 5.5  Ditto.
  • Tannehill - 5.5 Ditto.
  • Dalton - 5.4
  • Rivers - 5.4  Slip-sliding away.
  • Cutler - 5.4
  • Vick - 5.3
  • Locker - 5.2
  • Fitzpatrick - 5.1  Has there ever been a great Irish quarterback?  Neil O'Donnell?
  • Henne - 5.0
Not Quite Elite
  • Weeden - 4.9
  • Gabbert - 4.9
  • Ponder - 4.8
  • Sanchez - 4.4  Steve Smith:  "He sucks." (link)
  • Cassell - 4.3  Now backing up Ponder for the Vikings.

May 19, 2013 was perfect!

May 18, 2013

Rex Kramer approves

Last night, the pilot of US Airways Express Flight 4560 was having some bad luck. The landing gear on his turboprop twin-engine plane just wouldn't go all the way down. So with some quick thinking and righteous piloting skills, he went in for a wheelless, sparky touchdown, and pulled it off without a hitch.


May 16, 2013

I'm not a fan of takedowns

They're negative and WHOA Kinsley's going to have to have his head sewn back on!  Did you see THAT?


May 15, 2013

Like crack, only free

Guess where you are.  Never sleep again...


WTF I don't even...

Disney World is looking into reports that some wealthy visitors are hiring disabled people to pretend to be family members so that they can skip lines. 


The Dambusters raid wasn't as awesome as you thought...

It was awesomer:

Experts such as Sir Charles Webster and Noble Frankland - the official historians of the Strategic Air Offensive - believed that it was oversold, its achievements exaggerated and other Bomber Command raids unfairly ignored...

[But] in James Holland's recent book, Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams...he points out that every bridge for 30 miles below the breached Mohne dam was destroyed, and buildings were damaged 40 miles away. Twelve war production factories were destroyed, and around 100 more were damaged. Thousands of acres of farmland were ruined.

Germans instantly referred to it after the raid as the "Mohne catastrophe". Even the cool Speer admitted that it was "a disaster for us for a number of months". German sources attribute a 400,000-tonne drop in coal production in May 1943 to the damage caused.


May 14, 2013

The greatest?

Chuck Muncie passed today.  (link)

I talked once with a guy who played against him in both college and the pros.  He said: reputation and numbers aside, Muncie was the best back he ever played against.

May 13, 2013

How About Human?

 A rise in multiracial births is confusing the Census, as children are beginning to check more than one box as they no longer identify with one particular race


May 12, 2013

U.S. Government's Advice for Arists. It's all Good.

Clarity from the U.S. Government on "How to Become an Artist." U.S. Employment for craft and fine artists is 56,900 (2010), 12,480 of these are painters and sculptors. Projected growth is 5% in 10 years. The map locates where the painters and sculptors actually reside - interesting in itself.  Advice for artists: live in the dark green zones.

According to the Department of Labor, "Artists create objects that are beautiful or thought-provoking. They often strive to communicate ideas or feelings through their art." Nice.

Training:" Long-Term on the Job...Formal schooling is rarely required for craft and fine artists. However, it is difficult to gain adequate artistic skills without some formal education in the fine arts." Quite.

There are now over 2 million people employed in the Arts and Entertainment sector of the U.S. Economy, including 66,500 Multimedia/Animation Artists, 66,500 Photographers, 176,200 musicians and singers, 279,000 Graphic Designers, and for comparison, 342,000 Sales Managers, 754,000 Attorneys, and 2.5 Million People in Prison. There are only 3,100 Mathematicians. And a mere 754,000 in Agricultural Labor, which is truly amazing, considering that 120 years, ago, that's what 90 percent of people in America did.

May 11, 2013

How do I say this politely, Melanie...?

We have more free time than ever before, but why do feel like we never have enough? Melanie Rudd explains...


Well, for one thing, enforced idleness, combined with poverty and no reasonable hope for the future, is bound to negatively affect your mood...

 photo LTE_zps8cd650cd.png
Those who are employed typically have little true leisure because men and women both work, and so "free" time is often dedicated to catching up on household chores, childcare, etc.  Even with two people working, most families still have trouble making ends meet because incomes are falling:

You know what these people are doing in their leisure time?  Working the third job.  Playing the lottery.  Begging.  That's why they feel busy, helpless, stressed.  Watching a nice sunset is not going to change these basic realities in their lives, however affecting it might be.

So, please, shut up about all the free time Americans have and how sad it is that they don't properly appreciate it.  Your argument is an ignorant disgrace.

Pitching (poorly) in a pinch

History is not always written by the winners.  Take, for example, the climactic one-game playoff between the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs that decided the 1908 National League Pennant race - regarded by many as the greatest ever.  Was it a big game?  Well, says Bill James in his New Historical Baseball Abstract:

To give a modern fan the sense of it, the National League pennant race in 1908 was like the American League race in 1967, only with one of the teams being in New York and the other in Los Angeles, and with Kerry Wood or Livan Hernandez being called up by another team in September so he could make four starts against one of the teams that was trying to win the thing, and with one of the key games suddenly erupting into a major controversy which would necessitate the New York team making a special trip to Los Angeles for their 162nd game, which Roger Clemens is to pitch against Pedro Martinez, with a few odd death threats, riots, attempts to fix the game, fights between players and fans, and some loose talk about a strike thrown in for good measure. The world has never seen the like of it.

The estimable Christy Mathewson was the losing pitcher, and dedicates a full chapter to the game in his fine Pitching in a Pinch.  James calls it "as fine a 5,000-word piece about baseball as has ever been written."  James can be a bit hyperbolic, but after reviewing the claim...yeah, this is right up there.
It was hard for us to play that game with the crowd which was there, but harder for the Cubs. In one place, the fence was broken down, and some employees were playing a stream of water from a fire hose on the cavity to keep the crowd back. Many preferred a ducking to missing the game and ran through the stream to the lines around the field. A string of fans recklessly straddled the roof of the old grand-stand. 
Every once in a while some group would break through the restraining ropes and scurry across the diamond to what appeared to be a better point of vantage. This would let a throng loose which hurried one way and another and mixed in with the players. More police had to be summoned. As I watched that half-wild multitude before the contest, I could think of three or four things I would rather do than umpire the game.

Pitching in a Pinch is unusually well-written for a sports autobiography, and well above the level of the typical sports journalism of that era, or any era.  I wondered if Mathewson had written it himself, as he was one of the few college men in the game back then.  But no, James and John Thorn say a fellow named John Wheeler (must be this one?) ghosted the book.  Thorn comments:
Could Mathewson write? No, probably reporter wrote [of a Mathewson journalistic effort]: "For a college man, Mathewson . . . uses about as poor language in his review of the Giants' games as any respectable newspaper will stand." 

It is Wheeler's craftsmanship we observe, then, so accomplished that Mathewson's voice comes through as if over a microphone, real as life, 101 years later.


Kate Upton, liberator

Putting Upton on [Vogue's] June cover is a two-pronged victory: It's symbolic of the high fashion world adopting more of a men's magazine mentality (which, for better or worse is geared toward fleshier, more realistic-looking models), and a step toward fulfilling a promise the magazine made in 2012 to promote images of healthier looking models.


May 10, 2013

When I was a kid I had a stick I pretended was my friend

One of the few certainties in life

No matter where I go, or how long I live, I know I will never meet a person with a cooler name than Strobe Talbott.


Justice, delayed

A court in Guatemala has found former military leader Efrain Rios Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

A three-judge tribunal sentenced the 86-year-old to 80 years in prison.

Rios Montt was convicted of ordering the deaths of 1,771 people of the Ixil Maya ethnic group during his time in office in 1982 and 1983.


It is the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide by a court in his or her own country.


"Flying Magazine" or "Crashing Magazine"?

May 09, 2013

He was saving the last three feet of runway for an emergency


I wouldn't read too much into this...

...except that we are obviously living in the twilight of empire, doomed by our own decadence to failure as a civilization; and deserving of only a slight nod from history, which will surely note with approval the idealism and boldness of our forefathers, but equally hold in contempt the cynicism and selfishness of those who came after, and, weighing up the balance, find that in our era we fell far short of greatness, and tragically short of what we could have been.

Infographic: Is Your State's Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably)

May 06, 2013

Dr. Kapital Question Time: Re The Magic Freigeld

Dear Doctor Kapital,

This seems right up your alley, and it has all the marks- get it?- of great economic anecdotes.

Great Depression.
Subversion of Monetarist Norms.
Keynes quote.
Arcane German Names.
Romantic Crushing by External Forces of Successful Radical Social Experiments.
A Mysterious and Compelling Document with Gothic Lettering.

The question is: why not the Freigeld, a currency which loses its value over time in a controlled manner?  The incident in question was in Worgl, Austria in 1933, when as a desperate measure in the Depression and collapsing national currency, the Mayor by the unimpeachable name of Michael Unterguggenberger, issued the Freigeld. Legend has it that everything got better. Everything.

From the wiki on demurrage..

This led some such as German-Argentine economist Silvio Gesell to propose demurrage as a means of increasing both the velocity of money and overall economic activity. On the other hand, influential British economist John Maynard Keynes contended that Gesell's proposed demurrage fees could be evaded by the use of more liquid competing forms of money and that therefore inflation was a preferable method to achieve economic stimulation.[2]


So, was Keynes right or wrong?

May 04, 2013

Another 'Major Mental Disease'

Orwell used the phrase to describe a "thinker" whose modus operandi was to...oh right, this is the Internet, so I'll copy, paste, and link:
It will be seen that at each point Burnham is predicting a continuation of the thing that is happening. Now the tendency to do this is not simply a bad habit, like inaccuracy or exaggeration, which one can correct by taking thought. It is a major mental disease, and its roots lie partly in cowardice and partly in the worship of power, which is not fully separable from cowardice.

So I'd like to propose another one.  This one happens when you're discussing something, like, say, macroeconomic policy, and (when losing) go "yeah, but he was gay."  That happened just now.  Twice.

There is no there there.  These guys have lost, badly, the argument about future generations.  Krugman re-re-re-addresses the substantive material here.  He is right, they are wrong.  But nevermind because Keynes = gay.

In our civilized society, these people are still employed and even "eminent".  People pay to go to Harvard to learn from them.  Can anyone tell me why?

On a more positive note, Krugman (appropriately) says some kind things about Rogoff here.

May 02, 2013

This is the legacy of the Bush administration

May 01, 2013

Best game trailer, ever, from my favorite publisher, Paradox Interactive.

$10 for Mac or PC, $5 for iPad or Android tablet, cross-platform multi-player. I'mma get it.

Yglesias on Marxism

Read the whole thing here.
In summary, I'm not a Marxist. But I worry that political conservatives are going to turn me into one. My view is that full employment and robust systems of redistribution from the more fortunate to the less fortunate are possible. I see real evidence for this in the world. The Obama administration has actually enacted a lot of redistribution programs, and the government of Australia has maintained consistent full employment policies for a long time now. But the collapse of the Soviet Union, a good thing on its own terms, has had the bad consequence of breeding massive complacency among the upper classes in the West. It used to seem important to people in the rich countries to prove that market economies not only could but in fact would lead to broadly rising living standards. But today we're living in a 401(k) world.

See also It's a 401(k) world and It Basically Sucks.