I really like what he did with his hair
Where I live that would be my neighbor 15 villages removed.
Joris Luyendijk - They're just like people (2006) " In People Like Us, which became a bestseller in Holland, Joris Luyendijk tells the story of his five years as a correspondent in the Middle East. Extremely young for a correspondent but fluent in Arabic, he spoke with stone throwers and terrorists, taxi drivers and professors, victims and aggressors, and all of their families. He chronicles first-hand experiences of dictatorship, occupation, terror, and war. His stories cast light on a number of major crises, from the Iraq War to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with less-reported issues such as underage orphan trash-collectors in Cairo. The more he witnessed, the less he understood, and he became increasingly aware of the yawning gap between what he saw on the ground and what was later reported in the media. As a correspondent, he was privy to a multitude of narratives with conflicting implications, and he saw over and over again that the media favored the stories that would be sure to confirm the popularly held, oversimplified beliefs of westerners. In People Like Us, Luyendijk deploys powerful examples, leavened with humor, to demonstrate the ways in which the media gives us a filtered, altered, and manipulated image of reality in the Middle East." -- amazon http://www.amazon.com/People-Like-Us-Misrepresenting-Middle/dp/1593762569 I have no affiliation with the book, except to say I've read it and its amazing. Its brilliant at describing both the Palestinian and Israeli media extravaganza and what both sides do to get on the cover of time magazine. You'll be ashamed of the way our media forms us about the conflict and about the entire region and how wrong we all are.
But why? Why does vibration create larger surface tension (assuming that surface tension is what keeps the bubbles bubbly)? You would expect the opposite. Oh, now I will not be able to sleep tonight.
Very cool. Lived there all my life and never knew it.
Interesting stuff, I wish this gentlemen would post links to the papers used. Without those, its hard to tell what is fact or believe.
Crap! Another totally awesome year of Burning Man without having had tickets.
The narrator is indeed strongly biased, but the pieces are nicely divided on all sides. You mention there are bigger names in economics. Which ones? Id be interested in reading them. In reply to this comment by renatojj: Interesting article, I wouldn't call it a good summary, but a biased assortment of opinions. Economics has, unfortunately, become a very convoluted subject permeated by politically motivated rationalizations and borrowed thinking. Not all of it is lost, though. Is there anything in particular that stood out for you that you wanted to show me, was it the alleged defender of free markets' expert opinion on its impracticality? : There are bigger names in economics that have stated the exact opposite, it doesn't mean anything. If you have doubts about free markets, bring them forward, try to understand at a basic level why they wouldn't (or would) work. I assure you it'd be more a fruitful exercise in understanding economics than to rely on foregone conclusions.In reply to this comment by rbar: http://www.wa shingtonpost.com/opinions/can-we-save-american-capitalism/2012/08/31/800de6be-f04e-11e1-ba17-c7bb037a1d5b_story.html Nice summary of some current thoughts on free markets ;-)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/can-we-save-american-capitalism/2012/08/31/800de6be-f04e-11e1-ba17-c7bb037a1d5b_story.html Nice summary of some current thoughts on free markets ;-)
@renatojj Apologies for the late reply, have been running for work and it doesnt look like that will stop True that some countries may have less cooperation, though is that dependent on the economic system used or something else? For instance, East Germany had 100% employment and a very active economy, more so then west Germany in some regards. It was ofc run top down with little choice and politically biased, but I am not sure if that lessons the amount of economic transactions, ie cooperation. I guess it comes down to what you define as cooperation. BTW "those criticisms of the depletion of finite natural resources consists of the economic Law of Diminishing Returns, opportunity cost, and scarcity in economics" -- I never understood what they mean with that. Even if the resource cost goes up strongly due to scarcity it doesnt mean that that resource can be replaced by something else, or that the higher cost (than the original cost of the scarce resource) of the replacement can be born by its consumers. Now you say something very interesting: I agree with you that capitalism isnt always about ever-increasing competitiveness, in practice. In cases where you have competition, you get ever-increasing competitiveness. (This is in theory what all capitalism strives for) In cases where you do not have competition you dont. That is exactly what we are talking about. Free market philosophy assumes there is always near perfect competition right? How else would the market balance itself if there is no competition? Would you agree that free markets only work where there is competition? Lets see when we have competition: "competition is proportional to the difference between supply and demand" That doesnt sound right. If there is large demand and little supply (the difference is big), there is little competition as all suppliers will overcharge like hell as they will be able to sell anything they can manufacturer anyway. If there is large supply and little demand there can be competition, though usually this results in companies leaving the market until you have: If the supply and demand are about equal, you SOMETIMES have competition that keeps things in balance. Or you can have a monopoly for whatever reason and that market has again little to no competition. In other words, in no single scenario is competition guaranteed. Actually, there is good reason to assume markets move to monopolies naturally in all cases. In a market that is turning from early adopters to mass market, there is always focus on economies of scale. Companies need to get bigger to make sure they have the lowest cost price (best competitive edge) and to keep their shareholders happy as they demand growth to make their investments worth more. Bigger companies means fewer companies on the long run, as the market is always limited. This means companies will take over other companies until only a handful remain. Voila. Actually, if it werent for (anti-free market) anti-monopoly rules lots of markets would only have 1 company left. That company would be so big it would be impossible for a new entry to push them out of the market or even get a foothold unless the market itself crumbles because a newer range of products exist that make the old one obsolete. Again, without rules governing economies, things just go bust. Which was what happened in the derivatives market. It was a completely deregulated market that was exploding itself as there were no rules governing it. When it did explode (ie when the free market failed) there were 2 options left: Let all banks fail or bail them out. Think of the consequences of following your recommendation: If 1 bank fails, it will pull the others down with it as they are all strongly interconnected. As banks are key in the economical world, the entire system would collapse. The amount of devastation would be huge, would probably kill the entire system. Now, you can argue that would be good for us, as we could build a fully new system. But before we would get there, there would be years if not decades of nightmares. I agree with you that the fall of the derivatives market should never have happened in the first place which is exactly the reason to not follow free markets. Above clarifies a bit my way of thinking: for many of these markets (be it banks or utilities or employment) the consequences of letting that market fail are just too big. If you have the guts to follow free markets to the end, it might work (isnt proven though) but you come to a point where you destabilize your country in such a manner that things like revolts and all kind of nastiness are highly possible and even likely. That is not progress, that is barbarianism. You mention yourself that there are practically no free markets anywhere. You say that is because they havent been tried. I say that they have been tried again and again but never last.
@renatojj Ah, its nice to be called a socialist for once. Where I come from, they call me a right wing capitalist Any economic system is as cooperative as the next. That is the definition of an economic system, a system where economic transactions take place, ie cooperation. So capitalism is NOT more (or less) cooperative than other isms. (And mercantilism and corporate capitalism (corporatism right?) are forms of capitalism ;-) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism) Definition of capitalism: "an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state" - oxford dictionary Emphasis is on "for profit". So yes, all capitalist are per definition profit seeking. Relentless is something that follows Darwin. Those who are more relentless get higher profits and have more money to grow, invest, invent, etc. They eventually push out less relentless profit seekers so the relentless ones are the only ones left. And remember you said them first, not me. I just said that capitalism tries to achieve profit and as competition drives prices down one way to do so is to minimize cost, ie become more efficient. So there is always a drive for efficiency in capitalism. I am not against profit seeking, I believe that capitalism is the system that pushes the most growth in most regions, be it economic growth, technological progress, etc. That also makes it a rat race, where you continually need to go faster to keep up. As I am getting older I see that running is not the only game in town. And in most cases it detracts from happiness more then other methods in the long run (though it brings more wealth). Given also the finite resource problem and it is a good discussion to have if capitalism is the best and only economic system we should have on this planet. Like I said, for another time. "The Libor and derivatives markets scandals, are not examples of free markets at all, they're abuses where the bad behavior was encouraged by policy" What? What policy? The entire idea of over-the-counter (OTT, the largest amount by far) derivatives was that they are traded without any supervision or visibility. Complete free market! That and the inability to value and understand the risk per unit made for instance the Credit Default Swaps so dangerous. These were perfectly legal, and are still in most cases. The market is still unregulated today. You can argue that in the end it wasnt a free market because they got bailed out. Bullshit. They got bailed out because the other option was to let the entire economic system collapse. Letting the system collapse is not free markets, its stupid. The damage would have been catastrophic. The markets wouldnt repair that, they wouldnt exist anymore. That is why people call the derivatives market an example of a free market that should have been more regulated, because they had the power to destroy everything and the incentive to take the risk (for profit). The way the bailout happened (and is still happening) is total and utter crap, but that is a different story all together. Which leads again to the same question: if not the (IMHO obvious) derivatives market, name me an example of a free market?
He I have an idea! Lets sit below the dude handling kerosine in the burning sun.
@renatojj So you are saying you cant be threatened economically? Off course you can be. Damage can be economical or mental too. There is no reason to exclude those. Far from it, you can argue these are in the end physical too. Force is not required to be physical in this process. What you need is leverage, ie something that the other needs. If you are the giver of a job that that other person needs and it is difficult for him to find it elsewhere, you are in a position of power without any other need of force. If you own a well in a desert you are the most powerful man without any force. And you can coerce people to do your bidding for them to receive water. No force required, just threat. On right to have a job. The thousands of philosophers, lawyers, human rights activists, politicians, etc that worked on the UDHR just believe that without the job, people will starve, ie will die, ie will get a right offended. Hence, they need a job. And thats is were coercion comes in. The NEED (not the right) to have a job to survive (or at least live on a "decent" level in your society) Coercion isnt about having or not having a job. Its about the threat of not getting it / losing it and accepting things you would otherwise not. Discussing whether or not someone is suitable for a job is besides the point, as we are all unsuitable for the job we have in some form or other. So unskilled, incompetent, dispensable, these are all point of view based. In a world of geniuses you and me would be unsuitable for anything. But are we really? Off course not, just like every tree, flower, bacteria and animal has a role, so does every person. On coercion: by a child's psychological manipulation? For sure. (Check with any parent and they will readily agree ) What about a person you're in love with? Yes off course. What about a guy who is more qualified for a job than you are, is he coercing you out of that position? No. He nor you has the job to give. The coercion comes when your boss says to work 12 hours a day and get paid for 8 because someone else might be better and he might give that person the job. On justifying anything government does: you make assumptions I dont follow. Punish coercion -> using force -> more social injustice. If it is coercion and we define coercion is something bad, isnt it justified to do something against it? You can do something against it with or without force, but even if it is done with force (meaning someone somewhere gets his freedoms lessened) again, isnt that justified to stop him or her being able to coerce someone as that is bad? Its like saying government cant stop someone from shooting someone because that would lessen the freedom of the shooter. I would define social injustice not as the max rights of that individual but of the max rights of the whole population. So not "using force" would lead to social injustice. On laziness: You are right. If you are not careful, setting up rules that protect the weak can make them complacent. Its a balancing act. If you set no rules, ie free market, you open them up to abuse. If you set too many rules, they can become less eager to be the best they can be. BTW I dont call that lazy. There is a larger argument to make here, about the goals of capitalism (More and more efficiency, ever growing and ever improving) or about more soft lifestyles that would not be as efficient but might in the end bring more happiness. A topic for another time. On the UDHR: I guess we want to achieve the same, we just disagree on the way to get there. I structurally dont believe free markets will get us there, as in every real case free markets have proven to be unreliable because people will abuse their powers and create too much inequality. There are so many examples (LIBOR, the entire financial derivatives markets, basically all unregulated markets) that I can ask this: can you give me 1 example of a market that is run truly free that worked for a longer period of time?
@renatojj Whether or not everyone is entitled to a job or money is a question I never thought about. The universal declaration for human rights (UDHR) states it as follows: "The UDHR included both economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights because it was based on the principle that the different rights could only successfully exist in combination" -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights (parts classification and indivisibility) Its really interesting to read the declarations 22 to 28 of the UDHR. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights#Article_22) For instance: Article 23 (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. I havent thought this through, but all of the above seem to me to not be inline with free market policies as free market policies dictate against the above rules favoring the natural motion of the market to guide the market along. Natural motion meaning that if there are moments of superfluous workers (large unemployment like today), they dont have a job and dont get paid, which forces them to either start working for themselves or die out which in both cases balance the market again. A question inline with this: I just dont understand what your ideal is. Is there some country that comes close to your ideal or can you describe what you want to achieve? Just having less government IMHO isnt a goal, its a means. Is your goal to maximize individual freedom (Ayn Rand style)? Though she has some ideas I fully agree to (rationalism as the only mean to knowledge vs faith for instance) her objectivism has never had much success with academia and for good reason. Someone much more eloquent then me explained it this way (though he was talking about libertarian-ism, a close relative): http://videosift.com/video/Noam-Chomsky-on-Ron-Paul-Hes-a-nice-guy-but One reason democracy and capitalism have done so well for so long is because they keep each other in balance. Democracy is the rights of the majority over the minority. Capitalism (of which free market policy is a part) is the right of the individual, ie the minority over the majority. Both in and off themselves are disastrous. The balance is just where its at. Free market policies push in the direction of capitalism and away from balance. IMHO not what we want.
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