In the current Twitter era, link-blogging has become something of a lost art. But damn do I ever have a lot of tabs open, dating back months. This first instalment mostly full of anger and negativity, sorry ’bout that. But we’ll start out with a beautiful must-read on human genetics.
Who Are We? · I strongly recommend you drop whatever you’re doing and go read J.M. Ledgard’s We Are All Africans Now. It’s beautifully written and, while you may already know this stuff, taught me a whole bunch about the list of ingredients that went into the various modern flavors of Homo sapiens.
Swinging Left · Like many, I was a left-wing radical student who swung toward the center as I aged and had a pretty good business career. But for the last decade or so, I find myself pushed further and further to the left just by what I observe as I look at the world.
To start with, in the context of the modern U.S. political spectrum, conservatives are liars.
Then there’s the fact that the decade or three up to 2005 or so saw an astounding explosion in the productivity of the developed world’s economies. By any objective measure, the increased wealth was gobbled up, almost in its entirety, by those in the top few percentage points of the income scale. You can read all about it in that hotbed of wild-eyed commie radicals, the Financial Times, specifically Ben Funnell’s Debt is capitalism’s dirty little secret.
Not mad enough yet?
Get your anger going with
The Great American Bubble Machine.
One hates to focus in too sharply on one company, but based on what I’ve read
in recent months, it would probably be extremely beneficial if the
legislatures of the developed world were to adopt a program of passing laws
aimed specifically at forbidding whatever it is Goldman Sachs is up to at any
[Update:] Michael Lewis responds wih Bashing Goldman Sachs Is Simply a Game for Fools.
Farm Evil · While I’m raising issues that it’s smart to be mad about, let’s talk about agricultural protectionism, hardly a sexy label but arguably one of the most evil practices in the world today. Back in 2003 I published The Hunger Barrier, which looking back I think is one of my best. It’s not going away, check out Kevin Drum’s Slaves to Farming which says, essentially, just give up.
Barack and Bibi · You might’ve read that the US and Israel are having a little tension-among-friends over Israeli settlements. Such a gentle word “settlement”, and yet such a nasty thing; a project designed to make long-term peace impossible. My favorite Middle East coverage comes from Israel’s Ha’aretz, where the writing is good but the Web site is awful; you can expect to find them hacked or their feeds broken or their Ajax nonfunctional on any given day. Check out Bradley Burston (he has an only-partly-broken RSS feed) and his “Outpost Project”, the first two postings are Obama’s future minefield - and Netanyahu’s and Slapping Obama, or Please God, keep Israel from making peace.
Along these lines, Alun Benn, who’s the editor at large of Ha’aretz, published Why Won’t Obama Talk to Israel? which, while educational about the Israeli zeitgeist, is frankly weird; Mr. Obama could hardly be any clearer or more direct.