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links for 2011-02-21


links for 2011-02-07


links for 2010-12-16


links for 2010-12-02


links for 2010-11-30


links for 2010-11-25

  • What’s going on here? In a nutshell, Ireland has been orthodox and responsible — guaranteeing all debts, engaging in savage austerity to try to pay for the cost of those guarantees, and, of course, staying on the euro. Iceland has been heterodox: capital controls, large devaluation, and a lot of debt restructuring — notice that wonderful line from the IMF, above, about how “private sector bankruptcies have led to a marked decline in external debt”. Bankrupting yourself to recovery! Seriously.

links for 2010-11-22


links for 2010-11-19

  • At we will release a new recording of a Beatles song* featuring a different artist every Tuesday. A short essay will coincide with every recording and each performance will include a ukulele. (via Mac Break Weekly)
  • 1. Ship Finder 2. Sylvan Archive 3. Pee Monkey Toilet Trainer 4. Hackboy
    (tags: itunes apple bugs)
  • Global neo-liberalism did, in fact, generate a global crisis that did Ireland no favours. Nevertheless, the Irish crisis is rooted in the Irish version of global neo-liberalism. The Celtic Tiger was founded on multinational investment, which was partially Global neo-liberalism may have been initially imported from abroad, but successive governments created an indigenous variety that deserved a guaranteed Irish label. Where the Irish crisis differed from the international crisis was in its particular low-tax regime and in the triumvirate of developers, bankers, and politicians that created our home-grown financial and fiscal crisis. Ireland’s golden circle cannot opt out of responsibility for this crisis: where they changed the global model, they, in the end, only intensified the local crisis.

links for 2010-11-08

  • People from polychronic and monochronic cultures have the same difficulties adjusting to one another as people from high-context and low-context cultures. In fact, polychronic time is characteristic of high-context people and monochronic time is characteristic of low-context people. Similarly, the first approach tends to characterize Southern cultures, while the second rules in the North (with some notable exceptions). Monochronic people tend to sequence communications as well as tasks. They would not be inclined, for instance, to interrupt a phone conversation in order to greet a third person. Polychronic people can carry on multiple conversations simultaneously - indeed, they would consider it rude not to do so.

links for 2010-11-06


links for 2010-11-02


links for 2010-10-28

  • All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. 5 Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. 6 Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase. 7

links for 2010-10-20

  • Despite the privacy watchdog and human rights groups preferring a more data-protection-friendly opt-in model, Undersecretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Adeline Wong Ching-man said the administration wanted the opt-out model. "Apart from considerations about the livelihood of people who work in the direct marketing industry, the government has to take into account the fact that some customers may want to accept calls from direct marketers," Wong told RTHK, adding that many countries favoured this option.

links for 2010-10-16

  • In the 1970s, the surviving Fianna Fáil ex-ministers were horrified at the prospect of the emergence of a very different kind of Fianna Fáil. It was only with great difficulty that Frank Aiken, because of his concerns for the party and the country, was persuaded to stand again for election in 1973. Later, President de Valera confided his deep fears for the country to a minister in whose integrity he had confidence. And when he was dying, Seán MacEntee asked to see me to confide his deep concern for the future of the State because of what had happened to his party, Fianna Fáil. The truth is that because of the widespread lack of a tradition of civic responsibility or a sense of civic morality, for which I fear the Catholic Church must bear some of the blame, the disappearance of the revolutionary generation from government in the 1960s removed the only barrier to the spread to politics of the socially inadequate value system that we, as a people, had inherited from our colonial past.
  • We cannot endure however, the sheer sense of injustice and the total loss of moral law at the filthy hands of these so-called rogues and sleeveens (it is equally disheartening to see we have had cause over the years to establish a colloquialism to best describe such recurrent characters in Irish society). An example has been set by the leaders of this country that their selfish and cynical behaviour is an acceptable discourse in modern Ireland. Our potential to act meaningfully and righteously in this society has been shrouded in this cynicism by the greedy, ignorant brutes that head our banks and by the lacklustre unimaginative politicians that sit in our Government offices.

links for 2010-10-08

  • “The M3 and Limerick Tunnel contracts are proof . . . that penalty clauses based on never-ending growth hang taxpayers out to dry,” PlanBetter said. “The contracts are naive in that there is no amendment or reset clause. The PPP [public private partnership] contracts highlight another failure by Government to regulate. This time, a public organisation got wrapped up in the myth of high, endless levels of growth.” It said the road authority’s reputation “has been holed below the waterline with these revelations” as it continued to ignore a 7 per cent fall in traffic over the last two years and still used a 2003 multiplier that assumes traffic growth of over 2 per cent every year. A roads authority spokesman said a “revenue guarantee arrangement” was a common feature of PPP contracts throughout Europe. Its purpose was to “enhance the fundability of these projects and attract more competitive funding terms”. He added that there had been no payments made to date to either consortium.
  • China devotes significant resources to building a world-class education system and pioneering research in competitive industries and sciences, and has had notable successes in network computing, clean energy, and military technology. But a lack of integrity among researchers is hindering China’s potential and harming collaboration between Chinese scholars and their international counterparts, scholars in China and abroad say.

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