Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
“The difference with Twitter, I think, is that it’s a conversation: there’s always the chance that you can have a rational discussion, which seems often to be almost impossible in comments. If someone’s hell-bent on annoying and insulting you on Twitter, you can just ignore them or block them. If they’re hell-bent on the same in a comment thread, there’s not much you can do, especially since being rational and quoting facts brings no benefit.
‘At their worst, comments are like toxic waste buried under the foundations of an article and irradiating all rational debate with ignorance and aggression. And, like radiation, the effect of the internet commenting culture is spreading. The degradation of discourse online is mirrored in real-world dialogue. Adults who would balk at bullying in school playgrounds are happy to fling snide and often extremely aggressive comments around.’
In the meantime, the comments are going off all over the internet, tiny bit by tiny bit. The radioactive nature, the abuse, the lack of broader engagement, and the fact that lots of the writers are actually on social media, not trawling those comments, all points towards Gresham’s Law taking its inexorable toll. Comments on news sites are broken. Until and unless there’s a fix, the number of established sites that drop them will keep growing.”
Friday, November 21, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
“The surge in Iraq did not “win” anything. It bought time. It allowed us to kill some more bad guys and feel better about ourselves. But in the end, shackled to a corrupt, sectarian government in Baghdad and hobbled by our fellow Americans’ unwillingness to commit to a fight lasting decades, the surge just forestalled today’s stalemate.”
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
“Funds have poured into private equity and other so-called alternative investments. They have assembled portfolios that are way too complex, way too dependent on supposedly sophisticated (and high fee) investment vehicles. They have chased what is fashionable, they have overly diversified, and they have abandoned what should be their true calling: patient long-term investing in American corporations.”
Monday, November 17, 2014
“Under such circumstances, therefore, it is well to remember that we are in the middle of the greatest central bank fueled inflation in recorded history, and that this insidious inflation has been channeled into financial assets owing to the arrival of peak debt everywhere around the world.
Stated differently, households are saturated with debt and cannot borrow any more to spend on goods and services that have not been earned with prior production. So the massive tide of liquidity generated by the central banks never leaves the financial markets; it just cycles there, fueling the carry trades and every manner of speculation that modern technology-enabled bankers can concoct.”
Thursday, November 13, 2014
“The internet has disrupted media in much the same way it has manufacturing of smartphones or the IT business, says Ben Thompson — value has moved to the edges, to specialized creators and to discovery platforms, leaving media companies in the middle.
So what does the future look like for those media companies in the middle of the “smiling curve?” Thompson doesn’t say, but it probably isn’t going to involve a lot of smiling — instead, it presumably involves trying to squeeze less and less revenue out of a market where they are rapidly losing control, and trying to form relationships with platforms like Facebook without losing even more. How that will ultimately play out is anyone’s guess at this point.”
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
“In my experience, the single most important intervention is to eliminate late eating.
Many of my patients find that eating earlier alleviates their allergies, sinusitis, asthma, sleep apnea and diabetes symptoms. Although these conditions may not seem linked, postnasal drip and a cough are typical reflux symptoms that can easily be mistaken for something else.”
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
“Madondo did have an edgy point to make: so Pistorius didn’t intend to kill his lovely blonde girlfriend? So what. He did intend to kill the black man he thought was hiding behind that toilet door.
White South Africans often perceive violent crime as an almost genocidal threat to their survival. In truth, crime against whites is an insignificant part of the overall picture, and Steenkamp’s shooting was little more than a sideshow.
Mob killings were fairly common in the apartheid era, when Africans had little faith in white policemen and no mercy for those who collaborated with them.
Against this backdrop, all that can really be said about the Pistorius trial is that it distracted South Africa from its real problems. Those problems are deep and possibly intractable.
In the end, Pistorius was a parable about celebrity, not South Africa.”
Friday, November 07, 2014
“A senior Google vice president, Alan Eustace, has broken the world altitude record for a parachute jump set in 2012 by Austrian Felix Baumgartner.”