The argument has been simmering for some time because it has consequences for how we think of events in contemporary history. Nazism, it is generally agreed, cannot be rehabilitated in any way, because it was inextricable from Hitler’s crimes, but there are some on the left who believe communism can be rehabilitated despite the crimes of Stalin, and despite new evidence that the tactics of terror were innovations traceable to his predecessor Lenin.
There are those like the Postmodern sophist Slavoj Žižek who argue that Stalin’s crimes were his aberrational distortion of an otherwise admirably utopian Marxist-Leninism whose reputation still deserves respect and maybe a Lacanian tweak in light of the genocidal reality of Marxist/Leninist regimes. But can one really separate an ideology from the genocides repeatedly committed in its name?
Through our Open Data Partnership (ODP) Evidon enables you to manage the profiles that different companies have created about your interests and get more information about hundreds of companies across the online ecosystem.
Oh, lordy, what a rabbit-hole of preferences. Even the catch-all opt-out actions have caveats…per browser.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than hitting the open road with a gas station coffee in one hand and an old-fashioned paper map in another. (A hand on the steering wheel every once in a while works well too.) But in addition to blaring unfamiliar radio stations and trying to get trucks to…
We who care and write about games face a conundrum. We want to make the case for games to a mainstream culture with narrow, often misguided perceptions about what cames can be and do. But if we ring our bell too often, persistently demanding that games be taken seriously, our pleas smack of desperation.
If games should be mentioned in the same breath with other art forms - if they possess aesthetic qualities and communicate meaning - why don’t we just shut up and let the games do the talking? Is it possible that our collective effort to culturally elevate games is ultimately self-defeating?
Excellent review of Jane McGonigal’s new book, “Reality is Broken”.
[In this] podcast, we consider a plan to dramatically grow the U.S. economy. The plan has nothing to do with banks, stimulus, tax cuts or the Federal Reserve. Instead, the plan focuses entirely on — public school teachers.
Economist Eric Hanushek has been researching education and the economy for four decades. In a recent study, he tried to put a monetary value on good teaching. Hanushek says a good teacher’s contribution to the economy could be as much as a half a million dollars per year.
If you’re in the micro-finance business to make money, you should probably resign yourself (like those MBA students I described above) to making less money. You will have entered into a business where it is not OK to shift risk to those least able to bear it. You will have entered a business with dual objectives and one of them imposes an ethical contraint on your returns.
You get to charge higher interest rates because your clientele are high-risk, but you don’t get to lend to just anyone regardless of their ability to pay and then claim that you’re doing good by making credit available to more people. Nor do you get to charge any old interest rate you feel like charging. …
Spreads in excess of Yunus’ 15 percentage points for for-profit micro-financiers can only signal either too much risk or too much profit. Either way, it’s too much when the dual objective is profits and lifting people sustainably out of poverty.
Failure to recognize the above and to structure micro-finance responsibly to achieve the twin goals would put micro-financiers in the same ignominious company as sub-prime lenders, liar and interest-only loans, and all the wonderful, creative, entrepreneurial guys who gave us our current economic recession.
I put some of my inheritance from my grandmother’s death into microfinance-type situations, hoping to remember her better characteristics each time a woman in a developing country needs funds for a beauty salon (my late grandmother’s favorite indulgence).
The organizations between my (living?) donation have very different organizational and operational costs—learning about them has been more time-consuming than I meant to take on. But it’s interesting reading from an economics versus ethics perspective as Maxine illustrates, above.
“It is not only sad that such a productive atom smasher as the Tevatron in Illinois will be shut down but it may also not be wise. When, in 1993, Congress shut off funds for the superconducting supercollider being built underground in Texas, many of the newly unemployed physicists found jobs on Wall Street. Wouldn’t you rather have the nation’s physicists smashing protons than designing and smashing collateralized debt obligations?”—Physicists on Wall Street? - NYTimes.com via Planet Money
Ironically, the original owners of eHow had actually blocked Google’s search engine crawlers, because they wanted to try to monetize the site themselves through a landing page with offers from various advertisers. So Hannah and his partner opened up the site and optimized it for Google, and within two years, eHow had more than six million monthly uniques — without even creating any new content. Most of the articles were “evergreen” or “long tail” content about topics like how to tie a tie, or how to make guacamole. By 2006, when Demand Media bought it, the company had an annual revenue run-rate of about $4 million, up from virtually nothing.
Someone else posted this to Reader, Tumblr or Twitter but I can’t find the source, after searching them all. Apologies to whomever I’m not properly reblogging/citing. I think this is even the part pull-quoted by that other person.
It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that Dr. Alison Snow Jones, aka Maxine Udall, Girl Economist, passed away suddenly on Monday, January 17, 2011. “What Price Microfinance” was her last post.
I forgot to mention this earlier but I lost another female anonymous blogger hero to an untimely death. So very sad. One more and I’ll suspect a Crichton plot.
Self-encrypting devices instead pack the encryption process into a chip on the disc or drive. Everything on the disc - not just the operating system, but file directories and all of the files themselves - is automatically encrypted and can be accessed using a conventional password only the computer user knows. Anyone trying to access the disc without the password would have to contend with protection that rivals 128-bit or 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard keys, which are virtually unbreakable.
“Hardware is faster than software, more reliable and harder to hack,” says Simson Garfinkel at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Of course, if the password to a drive protected in this way is lost, the data is essentially locked forever, making it a very unforgiving system for everyday consumers. Still, manufacturers including Samsung, Fujitsu, Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi have all recently announced plans to begin producing self-encrypting media.
“It is ironic,” he said, “because I like these things — freedom, openness, egalitarian ideas — but I think to some extent they are compounding and hiding problems you might find in the real world.”
Adopting openness means being “open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists,” he said, “so you have to have a huge argument about whether there is the problem.” Mr. Reagle is also the author of “Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia.”
Ms. Gardner, citing an example that resonates with her personally, pointed to the Wikipedia entry for one of her favorite authors, Pat Barker, which was a mere three paragraphs when she came across it. Ms. Barker is an acclaimed writer of psychologically nuanced novels, many set during World War I. She is 67 and lives in England.
By contrast, Niko Bellic had an article about five times as long as Ms. Barker’s at the time. It’s a question of demographics: Mr. Bellic is a character in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV; he is 30 and a former soldier.
“You say that The Social Network only tells half the story. I think it tells less than that. The movie really isn’t about Facebook at all. We hardly see anyone use it. It’s about the exploitation of a groundbreaking technology for profit. And if that technology is invasive or isolating to friendships, screw it. Where’s the new social network that will make billions by invading our dreams? There’s another recent movie that attacked that issue brilliantly. It’s called Inception, and you’re in it.”—An Open Letter to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Re: ‘The Social Network’ | The Travers Take. I’m indifferent to the movie but I like this back-and-forth and not just because it involves Tumblr, not Facebook.