Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

read it and find out

Economists question dominance of free-market ideas by Patricia Cohen

Ooh... The NYT picking up on the movement for a post-autistic economics. Not exactly a nail in the neoclassical school's coffin, but a sign that the coffin is being prepared.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wonder of the world? Does exploitation really provoke wonder in anyone?

Memories, Too, Can Desecrate - Does the Taj Mahal Deserve to be a Wonder of the World? by Farzana Versey

Sahir Ludhyanvi's "Taaj Mahal"
(translated from the Urdu by Annie Zaidi)

The Taaj might be, to you, a monument to Love
And you might be enamoured of this lovely place
But let us meet elsewhere, my love.

This is no place for the poor - this court of royalty
where marks of royal grandeur are etched into each lane;
This is no place for loving souls to walk.

My love, veiled by a curtain of exhibitionist loyalty (faithfulness),
this is but a display of grandeur - you should have noticed.
You, who are so pleased by the tombs of dead kings,
there is darkness in your own house! - You should have noticed.

Countless people, in this world, have fallen in love.
Do you think their feelings were worth less?

But they lacked the means to make an exhibition of love,
because they were poor - just like us.

These monuments, these tombs, this vast space, these forts -
They are but symbols of greatness, employed by arrogant kings.
They are but flowers embroidered on the face of the world,
in which mingles the colour of our ancestors' blood.

My love, those people too must have been in love,
whose skill gave to this place it's beautiful form.
But their beloved's graves lie nameless, unmarked,
where no one has ever lit any candles...

This garden, the Yamuna's riverbanks, this palace,
these beautiful carvings on walls and doors, these arches and niches -

A king has used his wealth to mock the loves of poor folk like us.
My love, let us meet elsewhere!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Improving on slavery by bringing it back to its Roots

WTO | NEWS - WTO Announces Formalized Slavery Model for Africa - The Yes Men

I was just checking out the Yes Men site to see what they've been up to... at Anyway, if you haven't heard of them, they're like the American version of the early Tupamaros with their guerilla theater. Just a lot less guerilla and a lot more theater. So, exactly the United Statesian version of the Tupamaros.

Anyway, you might have heard of their Dow Chemical impersonation on BBC, where they accepted full responsibility for Bhopal on behalf of Dow, and Dow stock dropped by about a billion dollars - unfortunately, it went right back up after the BBC issued a retraction, but anyway... One of their latest gigs was impersonating WTO spokesmen at a conference on African trade at UPenn's Wharton biz school, where they introduced a program of 'full private stewardry of labor' - i.e., slavery - as a means of improving the lives of Africans. Afterwards, the US trade rep for Africa, "Dr. Laurie Ann Agama (Director for African Affairs at the Office of the US Trade Representative), prefaced her remarks by thanking Schmidt for his macroscopic perspective, saying that the USTR view adds details to the WTO's general approach. Nigerian Central Bank Governor Soludo also acknowledged the WTO proposal, though he did not seem to appreciate it as much as did Agama." (from

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Morality is about right and left

Disgusting, isn't it by Massimo Pigliucci

A short comment on the science of morality, and an interesting difference investigations have found between leftist and rightist morality.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Schopenhauer lives on

Six Questions for Arthur Schopenhauer by Scott Horton

"In the totality of human history across all cultures and ages, the wise have always said generally the same thing, and the idiots, namely, the immeasurable majority, have always also done the same, namely just the opposite; and nothing we do will ever change this. And this is why Voltaire writes: nous laisserons ce monde-ci aussi sot et aussi méchant que nous l’avons trouvé en y arrivant (We will leave this world as stupid and as malicious as we found it when we arrived)." Arthur Schopenhauer, Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit (1850)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Constitutional games

Bong Hits 4 Jesus - The Game

Hey, who says the Supreme Court is good for absolutely nothing? Here's evidence to the contrary. A little flash game to help clear up any doubts you may be harboring about how the Founding Fathers would want the constitution to be interpreted nowadays.