Daily Office:
Thursday, 11 November 2010


¶ We begin and end the day with Felix Salmon’s insights, first on Medicare, then on Ireland. What both entries have in common is a stubborn refusal on the part of conservative, “property-owner” officials and business leaders to learn a new way of thinking about oversized liabilities. With respect to Medicare, which liberals acknowledge to be disastrously over-extended going into the future, Kevin Drum’s analysis has been discredited simply because it is liberal. That’s because there isn’t anything more cogent to argue.


¶ The brouhaha about Cathy Black’s appointment as New York’s schools chancellor, we hasten to note, may be premature, because Mayor Bloomberg’s choice is subject to approval by Albany officials. All the more reason, then, to ask questions about the mayor’s fundamental premise, summed up (mockingly) by Alex Pareene. (Salon; via GOOD)


¶ At Abnormal Returns, a thought experiment about ETFs, lately alleged to cause market pricing distortions. What if the performance of ETFs during the financial crisis were a better measure of their market effects than that during the “flash crash”?


¶ What a fun story to read, just a week before we take off for vacation: “Advanced jets hitting technological turbulence.” (Short Sharp Science)


¶ Regular readers know that we like to check in with the raucous outlook of Awl columnist Mary H K Choi from time to time. She can be one sharp-tongued lady! Now we know why: she’s making up for all the repression of her Korean background. In a sweet piece at the Times (you’d never know…), she describes a recent pedicure.


¶ Timothy Garton Ash calls upon EU members to respond en bloc to Chinese tempations to “splittism.” The Nobel Peace Prize controversy is a fine occasion for showing firmness, but already there are signs of wavering from France. (Guardian; via Real Clear World)


¶ Maria Bustillos is crazy about her new Kindle, but, if anything, it has determined her to keep on buying books — because she’d rather own physical objects than license digital ones. The latter leaves the door open to fascist abuse. We advise all purchasers of ebooks to read the fine print.


¶ One of the most noxious developments in international finance has been the growth of big banks in small countries. It’s a kind of “globalization” that doesn’t make sense, as the good people of Iceland found out to their cost. Now it’s the turn of the Irish. (Felix Salmon)

Have A Look

¶ Tom Meglioranza sings Rückblick, from Schubert’s Winterreise.

¶ Manhattan: the underlying wilderness. (BLDGBLOB)


¶ Tyler Cowen: “Which works ought to be read in their original language?

“How the Gas Tax is Like Keyser Soze.” (The Infrastructurist)

¶ Choire Sicha on corpses in public. (The Awl)

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