The increasing impotence of the nation state

Tom Business, Government, Hong Kong / China, Reading Leave a Comment

Silly news from Canada (you can’t wear masks at protests) in the midst of some terrible flooding. Canada Makes the Automation of Tyranny Easier – Global Guerrillas. I found the thoughts on the increasing impotence of the nation state interesting and I wonder if HK and Singapore are good exemplars of how society could work? Also: does the hukou system create a …

UK economy: Let’s call it failure

Tom Government, Reading Leave a Comment

This John Lanchester article is a must-read, but a wearing one as it bears no route to salvation. Summary: the coalition’s austerity programme has failed and the cuts promised are impossible to deliver. What I really don’t understand is why I don’t hear of any UK journalist or any campaigning organisation going after the coalition using the facts set out. …

US election maps

Tom Government, View Leave a Comment

Election maps has helped me understand a little more about the US election and why the standard map doesn’t “feel” right. As an example, here’s one with states altered to indicate population sizes.

Fiscal cliff? Fiscal schmiff.

Tom Government Leave a Comment

Must-read article discussing the options for Romney (clearly no longer valid in defeat) and Obama in dealing with the “fiscal cliff”. Main take-out: if Obama does nothing, the world does not end in Jan 2013 and he ends up with a much stronger hand against the Republicans (e.g. how can they campaign on ‘lower taxes to raise defence spending’?). With …

Pirates, music and publishing

Tom Business, Government, Reading 1 Comment

People who download music for free purchase more music than people who don’t download music for free, say a survey in where do Music Collections Come From? Sounds right to me, and looks right for books as well. It seems that all those people reading Kindles or other e-readers on the way to work are actually consuming more books than …

Patently absurd

Tom Business, Government Leave a Comment

That’s pretty hard-hitting (PDF) from the St Louis Fed: The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity, unless the latter is identified with the number of patents awarded – which, as evidence shows, has no correlation with measured productivity. Their solution is just as clear: Both theoretically …

“The Clothesline Paradox” – value creation and capture are not the same

Tom Business, Government, Reading Leave a Comment

You think about how much value Tim Berners-Lee created and how he didnt actually capture very much of it. It was captured by companies like Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook. You also think about the other extreme, where companies like Goldman Sachs managed to extract a great deal of value from the economy, but as the 2008 financial crisis demonstrated, …

US elections: how will the smart people vote?

Tom Government, Reading 3 Comments

Fabulous quote from Rick Santorum: We will never have the elite, smart people on our side. Two contrasting essays which are well worth reading: Michael Lewis with Obama. How the Romney campaign stumbled. Also interesting is Obama’s sword shaking at China, which should undercut one of Romney’s key campaign tactics.