teisipäev, detsember 04, 2007

Huvitavat siit ja sealt - I

Mul on NetNewsWire'is liiga palju tab'e lahti, mis sisaldavad huvitavaid artikleid, mida ma ise hiljem võib-olla uuesti leida soovin. Et nad igaveseks kuskile interneti avarustesse kaduma ei läheks kogun nad järgmiste päevade jooksul mõnda postitusse.

Alustuseks.

Mõnusalt hariv artikkel Robert Barro loomingust, mis käsitleb peamiselt majanduskasvu ning selle võimalike põhjuseid nagu ka avaliku sektori rolli majanduskasvu stimuleerimisel:
He writes that he used to be a liberal during his undergraduate years at Caltech: "For any social problem that came up, I had no doubt that the cure involved government intervention." But now he feels quite the opposite; he describes his present philosophy as "libertarian (or classical liberal) rather than conservative or Republican."

In keeping with libertarian views, Barro thinks the key function of government is "to define and protect property rights." Other activities for government could consist of "ensuring (but not producing) a baseline level of education, providing a minimal welfare net, and participating in a narrow range of infrastructure investments, such as highways and airports." Expanding government control of the economy beyond these functions is detrimental to growth, he says.
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Septembri alguses ilmus Washington Postis artikkel müütidest ja sellest, kuidas katsed neid müüte kummutada võivad hoopis müütidele hoogu juurde anda. Minu jaoks huvitav just selle tõttu, et olen Vabalogis ikka ja jälle üritanud erinevaid müüte kummutada, kuid pean sageli tunnistama, et kasu sellest eriti polnud. Nüüd on siis põhjus natuke selgem:
The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths.
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Geoffrey Nunberg on mõned aastad tagasi kirja pannud õpetliku ja sama ajal ropu essee ropendamisest HBO seriaali Deadwood autorite õigustamiseks:
As a lot of people have noted, the show is positively swilling in obscenity -- the characters use "fuck" and "fucking" with a frequency that would make Tony Soprano blush.

But "fuck" wasn't actually a swear-word back then. It was indecent, of course, but people only used it for the sexual act itself. Whereas swear-words are the ones that become detached from their literal meanings and float free as mere intensifiers. Swearing isn't using "fucking" when you're referring to sex, it's using it when you're talking about the weather.
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Kenneth Rogoff selgitas mõni aeg tagasi enda 11-aastasele pojale sissetulekute erinevusi ja seda, kuidas väheste rikkusest võivad paljud osa saada ning kuidas rikastelt võtmine ja vaestele andmine lootuses, et sellest sissetulekute erinevused vähenevad, on tegelikult üpriski naiivne:
Are massive income and wealth differences an inevitable outcome of fast growth? By and large, the answer from history is “yes.” China, whose growth performance since 1970 has now broken every record, is well on its way to having the world’s most unequal income distribution. Indeed, China has passed the US and is nearing Latin American levels of inequality.

Policy solutions are not easy. Many super-earners are also super-creative and bring enormous value. Places like the United Kingdom actively court wealthy foreign nationals through extraordinary preferential treatment of their investment income. The ultra-rich are an ultra-mobile group, too. If you are earning $540,000 an hour, it does not take too long to save up to buy an apartment, even in London.
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New York Times'is ilmus hiljuti lugu bagazist, mis väärib lugemist kõigi poolt, kes end mitmeid kordi aastas teavalaotustest leiavad. Pean tunnistama, et minul on siiani vedanud ja ma pole pidanud enda kohvrit kuskil unistava pilguga ootama, kuid seda murelikumaks teeb tõsiasi, et olukord ainult halveneb ja otsuseid tehakse lähtuvalt statistikast:
American and other domestic airlines have resisted investing in radio frequency identification tags, which are used by big retailers to track inventory and are far more accurate. The tags cost about 20 cents each so it would cost $50,000 a day for American’s 250,000 bags, plus the cost of hardware to read them at each step in the process.

“We don’t lose enough bags to justify that investment,” said Mark Mitchell, American’s managing director of customer experience.

American’s workers also stopped unloading entire planes in some instances in the last year, instead hauling off only bags that need to be rushed to connecting flights and then returning for the rest, Ms. Wilewski said. Bags failing to make connections account for 60 percent of mishandled bags, American said.
...aitab küll tänaseks.

Sildid:

2 Comments:

Blogger Roland said...

Steven Pinker vängematest sõnadest
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=246c0071-a9cd-46e2-a665-c6e61a45377

5. detsember 2007 18:25  
Blogger Jüri Saar said...

Tänud. Huvitav ja asjakohane viide.

7. detsember 2007 20:24  

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