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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 28 November

by ceebs Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:42:00 AM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1814 - The Times, First printed on steam powered presses

More here and here

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Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:27:46 PM EST
BBC News - Welfare-to-work: Official figures show job target missed

The government's flagship welfare-to-work programme has failed to hit its main target, official figures show.

Under the scheme, firms and charities are paid to help find jobs for the long-term unemployed.

But only 3.53% of people found a job for six months or more - missing the coalition's 5.5% target.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't get work for people when every policy you promote is about shedding jobs.

And making people work for Tesco for nothing simply convinces tesco they don't have to actually pay anybody anymore cos the govt gives them free labour

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:13:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but the report is an excellent example of all the dodgy statistical techniques
(cumulative columns on  graphs to hide months where figures have gone backwards, making years 14 months long, etc. etc.)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 06:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - France politics: UMP party splits in parliament

Francois Fillon has set up his own faction of the UMP party in the French parliament, demanding a repeat of the leadership ballot within three months.

The ex-prime minister said the faction, Rally for the UMP (R-UMP), would be dissolved if a new vote was announced.

He disputes the victory of Jean-Francois Cope, whose narrow win has been reconfirmed by party officials.

A compromise may be emerging under which the party would hold a referendum on the need for a new ballot.

Mr Fillon said he favoured the idea, floated by Mr Cope, of a party referendum in January, but stressed it must be held "in conditions of objectivity".

Of the 183 UMP deputies in the National Assembly, it is believed at least 60 will join Mr Fillon's faction.

The split was forced by a parliamentary deadline for all MPs to declare their party affiliation for next year's funds.

The ruling Socialist Party had refused to move the Friday deadline.

In practical terms, this means Mr Cope's supporters will lose crucial public funding at a time when the UMP is beset by debt, because the breakaway group will take some of the funding with them.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:54:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Outrage at Jewish list call in Hungary parliament | Reuters

A call in the Hungarian parliament for Jews to be registered on lists as threats to national security sparked international condemnation of Nazi-style policies and a protest outside the legislature in Budapest on Tuesday.

The lawmaker, from the far-right Jobbik party, dismissed demands he resign, however, and said his remarks during a debate on Monday had been misunderstood - he was, Marton Gyongyosi said, referring only to Hungarians with Israeli passports.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside parliament, many wearing the kind of yellow stars forced on Europe's Jews in the 1940s and some chanting "Nazis go home" at Jobbik members.

"I am a Holocaust survivor," local Jewish leader Gusztav Zoltai said by telephone. "For people like me, this generates raw fear." Though he dismissed the comments by Jobbik's foreign affairs spokesman as opportunistic politicking, the executive director of the Hungarian Jewish Congregations' Association, added: "This is the shame of Europe, the shame of the world."

The centre-right government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the remarks by Gyongyosi, whose party surged into parliament two years ago on a campaign drawing on suspicion of Roma and Jewish minorities and attracting support from voters frustrated by economic crisis.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:58:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
centre-right?

Honestly, what do you need?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:43:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
@economistmeg
.@stratosathens Commission says they won't comment bc rise of far right in Greece is an "internal affair". But fiscal policy isn't? Erm.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 04:04:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See, irresponsible fiscal policy in a member state may cause harm by making transfers necessary!!!

Whereas no one has ever seen the rise of extreme right movements in one European country cause any harm to another European country, have they?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 04:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The right like the far-right, and Gods know the entire fucking policy structure of the EU is now colonised by right-wingers.

Can you imagine the reaction to an equivalent call by a left-wing government?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 05:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascism is the main failure more of liberalism, today like 80 years ago.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 06:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, the is an inevitability to this story. Jobbik have been trending in this direction.

This needs wider circulation, letters to editors all across europe and america. Heck, AIPAC could be doing something useful in DC

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:19:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland to decide on abortion law by end of year | World news | guardian.co.uk

The Irish government will decide by the end of December whether to allow abortions in the republic and under which circumstances they will be permitted.

Ireland's health minister James Reilly promised that there would be a full debate on abortion in the Dáil before the coalition made a final decision.

"I'm confirming that the government decision will be made on this before the end of December and implemented in the early new year," Reilly said today.

The abortion issue has been thrown into sharp focus in Ireland following the death last month of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar in a Galway hospital. She had repeatedly asked for an emergency termination but was refused, according to her husband, because the medical team detected a foetal heart. She was 17 weeks pregnant when she died of blood poisoning.

A 58-page expert report, which recommends several options allowing for abortion in limited circumstances, was published today.

The report was drawn up after the European Court of Human Rights ordered Ireland to review its abortion ban following a legal challenge by three people known only as A, B and C. The report was also published in response to a court judgement 20 years ago on the so-called X case, in which Irish supreme court judges ruled that abortions could be carried out if the mother's life was in danger.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:59:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, for sure they'll decide on an abortion law....after they've asked permission of the Archhbishop of dublin

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:19:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Auditors flag farm subsidy fraud in new EU members | EurActiv

The European Court of Auditors has identified many cases of fraudulent agricultural payments for unutilised land among the new EU members of Central and Eastern Europe, and made recommendations to address the problem in an unprecedented report, published today (27 November).

In its first special report on income support paid to farmers in the new member countries, the European Court of Auditors called for reform to ensure funds were directed to active farmers who conducted regular agricultural activities.

In particular, public entities managing state land and not otherwise involved in farming should be excluded from EU farm aid. Equally, no payments should be made in relation to unutilised land, or land which is mainly devoted to non-agricultural activities, the Court of Auditors state.

The 58-page report is available in all the EU's 22 languages. Its overall conclusion is that implementation of the Single Area Payment Scheme or SAPS (see background) resulted in a number of questionable features:  

  • The definition of the scheme's beneficiaries is inadequate, as it permits payments to be made to those not engaged in agricultural activity, or only marginally so. Cases in point include real estate companies, airports, hunting associations, fishing and ski clubs.
  • In addition, in some of the countries concerned, aid was legally paid to (and supported the income of) public entities managing state land but not otherwise involved in farming. The state is the largest beneficiary of SAPS payments in Hungary (€14 million in 2010 for 82000 ha of land).  
  • The total agricultural area in relation to which SAPS should be paid was not reliably determined by the member countries, but accepted by the Commission. This influenced the amount of aid per hectare paid to farmers. Some countries revised the total agricultural areas without proper justification. This allowed them to fully use their respective financial envelopes.  
  • In spite of efforts made by the various countries, aid was paid for parcels where no agricultural activity was carried out.  
  • There is an inherent contradiction in the design of SAPS aid: It is, on the one hand, intended to support the individual income of farmers, but the aid is also distributed to farms based on the total area of parcels of land at their disposal. SAPS primarily benefits large farms: overall, 0.2% of the beneficiaries receive more than €100.000 representing 24% of the total value of payments.  
  • Finally, even though SAPS was designed as a transitional scheme, most member countries have not prepared for the introduction (foreseen in 2014) of the system (based on payment entitlements) which is already in place in EU-15 Member States. This may result in significant delays in payments in the future.

The report is illustrated with photos depicting abandoned land which received agricultural subsidies in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Hungary.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 06:08:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that probably explains why that abandoned land is so expensive in Bulgaria. I could never understand how that was

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Disability / Disability and EU austerity: a Portuguese case study
BRUSSELS - Cristina Silva believes the worst is over. But she cannot be sure. As executive director of a recuperation centre for disabled people in central Portugal, Silva has seen first hand how the economic crisis in Portugal is affecting society's most vulnerable.

Arcil (Associacao para a Recuperacao de Cidadaos Inadaptados da Lousa) located in the town of Lousa, about 180km from the capital Lisbon, provides a centre for care, learning, rehabilitation for disabled children, adolescents and adults.

It is one of the many organisations which sprung up following the fall of Portugal's dictatorship in 1974. Before then, setting up such an association was forbidden.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:47:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / EU budget summit exposes weak Franco-German relations

Relations between Chancellor Merkel, a conservative, and France's President Francois Hollande, a socialist, are not particularly warm. Their views how to get out of the economic crisis are very different.

Meanwhile, France has still to undertake serious structural reforms - reforms its large neighbour already undertook by 2005. Consequently, Germany views France as one of the sick men of Europe. Earlier this month, given an opportunity to do so, its finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble could not bring himself to praise France's economy and reform efforts.

The discrepancies have put the relations out of kilter. And this has had a knock-on effect. EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy's initial budget proposal was an anathema to France. It cut both farm and regional subsidies and kept the British rebate.

Paris was said to be alarmed at the way the pre-summit negotiations were conducted and particularly the fact that Berlin worked closely with London.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:50:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Report says hate crime is a 'reality' in the EU: theparliament.com
A new report by an EU agency says that 'hate crime' has become a 'reality' in the EU.

The European Union agency for fundamental rights (FRA) says violence and offences motivated by racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance are commonplace.

It says such offences "strike at the heart" of EU commitments to democracy and fundamental rights.

The agency says that in order to combat hate crime, the EU and member states need to make these crimes "more visible and hold perpetrators to account".

The report says, "Greater political will is needed on the part of decision makers to counter pervasive prejudice against certain groups and compensate for the damage.

"Victims and witnesses should therefore be encouraged to report such crimes, and legislation should be adopted at the EU and national levels, obliging member states to collect and publish hate crime data."

The agency says this would "serve to acknowledge" victims of hate crime.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:52:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Ministers misled public with the 124% debt-to-GDP claim (28.11.2012)
An official document obtained by the FT shows that the agreement will only lower the Greek-to-GDP to 126.6% of GDP by 2020; discussion on further debt relief to plug the gap have been postponed until after Greece reaches a primary surplus - in other words beyond the German elections; an official is quoted as saying that the agreement constitutes debt relief, but that Angela Merkel could not be pinned down to it; the German opposition says it wants more time, and separate votes; SPD parliamentary leader Frank Walter Steinmeier says he cannot rule out a No vote; Jens Weidmann says the decision to pass on central bank profits to the rescue programme rests with the German parliament; Stefan Kornelius marvels at the cleverness of politicians whose rescue strategy consists of buying time (really, no irony); Holger Steltzner is outraged, says we have now crossed the Rubicon to debt structuring and debt monetisation; he doubts whether Angela Merkel can keep up the pretence that this is no restructuring; the Greek government expressed relief, while Syriza says deal will not solve Greece's problems; the OECD is getting really, really pessimistic about the global economy; revised its 2013 forecasts down, including for the eurozone; also warns about the impact of higher than normal fiscal multipliers; Vittorio Grilli insists that Italy does not need any further fiscal measures; OECD also says Germany's current account surpluses are likely to widen again; Antonio Polito says that Pierluigi Bersani is likely to win the PD primary vote - a victory of conservatism over reform; Italian household savings reach a new record; Bank of Spain approves restructuring measures of four nationalised banks; Caixa will buy Bank of Valencia for a nominal amount; unions encourage bank workers to be laid off to act as whistleblowers in cases where retail customers were defrauded in preference share sales; the European Court of Justice says the ESM complies with the Treaty; the General Court, meanwhile, is set to rule on the release of two ECB documents showing how Greece has used derivatives to hide its debt.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:54:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Union press releases: A Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union: Launching a European debate

  • In the short term (within 6 to 18 months), immediate priority should be given to implementing the governance reforms already agreed (six pack) or about to be agreed (two pack). Member States should also strive for an agreement on a Single Supervisory Mechanism for banks by the end of the year. An effective banking union would not only require the setting up of a Single Supervisory Mechanism, but after its adoption also a Single Resolution Mechanism to deal with banks in difficulties. Once an agreement on the MFF has been reached, the economic governance framework should be strengthened further by creating a "convergence and competitiveness instrument" within the EU budget, separate from the Multiannual Financial Framework, to support the timely implementation of structural reforms that are important for the Member States and for the smooth functioning of the EMU. This support would be based on commitments set out in "contractual arrangements" concluded between Member States and the Commission.

  • In the medium term (18 months to 5 years), further strengthening of the collective conduct of budgetary and economic policy - including tax and employment policy - would go hand-in-hand with an enhanced fiscal capacity. A dedicated fiscal capacity for the Euro Area should rely on own resources and provide sufficient support for important structural reforms in large economies under stress. This could be developed on the basis of the convergence and competitiveness instrument, but would benefit from new and specific Treaty bases. A redemption fund subject to strict conditionality and eurobills could be also be considered to help with debt reduction and stabilise financial markets. The monitoring and managing function for the fiscal capacity and other instruments should be provided by an EMU Treasury within the Commission.

  • In the longer term (beyond 5 years), based on the adequate pooling of sovereignty, responsibility and solidarity at the European level, it should be possible to establish an autonomous euro area budget providing for a fiscal capacity for the EMU to support Member States affected by economic shocks. A deeply integrated economic and fiscal governance framework could allow for the common issuance of public debt, which would enhance the functioning of the markets and the conduct of monetary policy. This would be the final stage in EMU.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 10:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I searched the PR in vain for details of the debate that is being launched.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 11:21:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"here's our blueprint, where's your popcorn? We have ours waiting backstage"

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 11:23:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence (see the Salon) comments:
(It is hard to find an original idea in any of this. The main issue for the Commission seems to the be the inter-institutional question of who does what - whether the new Treasury is to be located inside the Commission, or whether it should be a separate agency. This is hardly inspiring stuff.)


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 03:53:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:28:11 PM EST
BBC News - US says China not a currency manipulator

The US has decided not to declare China as having manipulated its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage.

But the Treasury did say that China's currency, the yuan, remains "significantly undervalued" and urged China to make further progress.

In its semi-annual report, it said Beijing did not meet the criteria to be called a currency manipulator, which could have sparked US trade sanctions.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:30:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's U.S. Debt Buying Seen Limited, Former Adviser Says - Bloomberg

China may limit its purchases of U.S. Treasuries because the central bank has reduced its buying of dollars at home, according to a Chinese academic who has served as a government adviser.

The People's Bank of China has "noticeably" reduced its purchases of dollars from local banks to allow commercial banks to trade among themselves, Ding Zhijie, dean of finance at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, said in a Nov. 23 interview. That may cap the nation's foreign- exchange reserves and consequently its demand for U.S. government debt, he said.

The scaled-back intervention is part of a shift toward managing the currency through the daily price fixing, Ding said. A reduction in China's U.S. debt holdings may help defuse criticism by some American politicians that their country is becoming too dependent on the world's second-largest economy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Hidden Story About Income Inequality - Business Insider

Saez and co-author Wojciech Kopczuk: "Our series show that there has been a sharp reduction in wealth concentration over the 20th century: the top 1 percent wealth share was close to 40 percent in the early decades of the century but has fluctuated between 20 and 25 percent over the last three decades."

Saez and Kropczuk cite a number of possible reasons for the big decline: a) the democratization of stock ownership, b) the emergence of a large middle class in the post-World War II period, c) higher income and estate taxes, and d) the equalization of wealth across genders.

Now, I am not saying there hasn't been a rise in US income inequality, something that has happened across advanced economies in recent decades. But this is a multifactor issue, according to economist Daren Acemoglu:

One is that technology has become even more biased towards more skilled, higher earning workers than before. So, all else being equal, that will tend to increase inequality. Secondly, we've been going through a phase of globalisation. Things such as trading with China - where low-skill labour is much cheaper - are putting pressure on low wages. Third, and possibly most important, is that the US education system has been failing terribly at some level.

We haven't been able to increase the share of our youth that completes college or high school. It's really remarkable, and most people wouldn't actually guess this, but in the US, the cohorts that had the highest high-school graduation rates were the ones that were graduating in the middle of the 1960s. Our high-school graduation rate has actually been declining since then. If you look at college, it's the same thing. This is hugely important, and it's really quite shocking. It has a major effect on inequality, because it is making skills much more scarce then they should be.

Wealth inequality data shows the entire inequality issue is much more complicated than saying the rich have been getting richer, the poor poorer -- and it's because the 1% stole all the money.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
article:

Wealth inequality data shows the entire inequality issue is much more complicated than saying the rich have been getting richer, the poor poorer -- and it's because the 1% stole all the money.

Because of bullshit about higher earning workers earning more then before after you have shown that it is the 1% that has increased its incomes?

Apparently measured wealth of the 1% has not increased in sync with measured incomes. This can have a number of explanations, one of he easiest being that the wealth is not accurately estimated. But since the article does not dwell on that we have no information about whatever he means.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 12:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the last 5 years and likely the next 5 years at least, when an economist cites "technology bias towards skilled workers" in discussions about the top 1% wealth share, you should worry very much that they are dealing in bromides and not evidence. And further that they are ideologically committed to pretending the system is a "free market" in areas where it is not.

Reason being that the big gains for skilled workers haven't propelled them into the 1%. Rather, the 1% is and remains an ownership and management class - and IPOs, pay deals in shares and general investment wealth are all much more significant in that 1% than "salary rises for skilled workers..."

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 06:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'The Multiplier is at Least Two' Economist's View Mark Thoma  (H/T Migeru Shimbun)

For infrastructure spending, in particular spending on roads and highways, Sylvain Leduc and Daniel Wilson "find that the multiplier is at least two"

Thoma cites new work quantifying the multiplier effect for US highway infrastructure spending. It is good to get some formal analysis of this, as there has been a tendency to underestimate the effect of such spending on boosting economic activity. But the low estimates may be justified for military spending.

My question would be: "What is the likely multiplier for investment in wind power generation and distribution and Bruce's upgraded, electrically powered rail infrastructure in the USA?"

Given how fundamental energy is to all economic activity and that wind provides very low cost energy after the initial investment is repaid, it would seem that, if highway infrastructure investment produces a multiplier of 2 then wind energy infrasturcture should provide a multiplier of at least 3. I would think that the same multiplier would also apply to upgraded electric powered rail system for both passenger and freight.

Any solid evidence or better arguments to use for or against such a WAG?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:40:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That should be a diary.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 04:24:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Real World Economics Review: Finding a framework for a New Economics (Geoff Davies, November 28, 2012)
Coming from outside the profession, and having spent nearly fifteen years exploring economies and economics, my own assessment is that there are multiple, independent, fundamental problems. The mainstream theory of markets is pre-scientific, and its application is pseudo-science (see more below). Economic accounting, via the GDP, is misguided, misleading, and seriously distorts economies. The special nature of land is ignored (as Henry George argued). The endogenous creation of debt is ignored (as Steve Keen argues). The feedback between credit and land prices, which regularly creates booms and busts, is therefore overlooked. The many possible forms of ownership, and their potentially profound influence on the economy, are hardly noticed, except in the extreme forms of absolute private ownership versus socialist government ownership. Even the nature of money, as a social contract, is widely misunderstood, witness regular calls for a return to the so-called gold standard.

...

Some seem to have interpreted this as though I am proposing to establish a new school of thought, rather as one might start a new art movement or religion. Perhaps because it is not their preferred school of thought they are not interested. Others see complexity mentioned and refer me to the people who are using complexity concepts and models to understand various aspects of market behaviour (for example). That is excellent work but I am not doing that either. I am inferring a comprehensive framework for understanding economies and societies, and drawing immediate fundamental conclusions.

...

I argue that a broad framework for a new theory of market economies can be arrived at rather readily by combining modern ideas of systems with well-known observations of modern economies. Briefly, there are some readily identifiable sources of instability that are at work all of the time, not just during market crashes when their presence ought to be undeniable. (Examples are given at the end.) There are also stabilising forces, of the kind described by the invisible hand metaphor, though they are far from dominant. Thus the economy has both invisible hands (stabilising) and invisible feet (destabilising) driving its behaviour from the inside.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 07:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Paul Krugman In Germany: An Audience That Loves To Hate Him | The New Republic
The relationship between the popular Times columnist and the dominant European economy has thus settled into a stable, if neurotic, pattern: Krugman attacks Germans for their economic habits and trashes their most beloved public officials; in response, Germans wince, complain, and then ask for more. Irwin Collier, professor of economics at the Free University of Berlin (and a friend of Krugman's from their graduate-school days at MIT), admitted that it was unlikely that any of those students who line up to hear Krugman speak at universities actually change their minds after engaging with him.

According to David Marsh, chairman of the advisory board of London & Oxford Capital Markets, it's not a surprise that Germans would volunteer for such punishment. "Krugman is part of the ritual of self-criticism in Germany," he tells me. "There is a tendency in the culture of self-flagellation." But that doesn't explain how a Nobel Prize-winning economist got involved.
But Marsh points to the narcissistic strain in this putative openness. "The German establishment, they find it reassuring when an outsider comes and tells them they are doing everything wrong," he says. "It allows them to tell themselves they are misunderstood by the rest of the world." As for the broader German public, Storbeck tells me that they simply see Krugman as a tragic celebrity. "He is an exhibit from a cabinet of curiosities," he says. "It is a freak show."
by Bernard on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whip me hard to confirm I can't be wrong.

Sheesh.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 11:19:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to hear some German point of view on this: most of the people interviewed in this article are 'Anglos'...
by Bernard on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:28:35 PM EST
Egyptians stage mass anti-Morsi rally - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Tens of thousands of people are staging a protest in the Egyptian capital against President Mohamed Morsi, who last week granted himself sweeping new powers.

"The people want the regime to fall," the crowds chanted.

Protesters and riot police clashed in Cairo on Tuesday near Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak nearly two years ago.

Lawyers left their syndicate chanting, "The people want the downfall of the regime," - the signature chant of the protests that toppled Mubarak in February, 2011.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Tahrir Square, said "well over 10,000 Egyptians had gathered themselves in the square, with thousands more on their way".

"This is a weekday, so a lot more people would be coming in after work, so the climax of the demonstration may yet be in a few hours time. And they are from all walks of life - young, old male female. and if you ask them why they're here, the specific demand was for this decree to be annulled," she said.

Several other marches were preparing to set off from around the capital to join thousands of protesters already in the square to denounce Morsi's decree.

In the city of Alexandria, several hundred gathered in Qaitbay Square, with two large marches expected to join them later.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:39:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is great news. They have to make elections a pre-condition, with no participation by the armed forces

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:24:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.:Middle East Online::Palestinians to go to ICC if Arafat poisoning proved :.

The Palestinian leadership is to petition the International Criminal Court in The Hague if it finds proof that the late Yasser Arafat was poisoned, an official said Tuesday.

"If it is proved that Arafat was poisoned, we will go to the international court," said Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian commission investigating Arafat's death, referring to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

His remarks were made at a press conference which took place several hours after the veteran leader's remains were exhumed for testing by a team of international experts.

"We will wait for the results of the investigation," he said. "We are not accusing anyone so far but regardless of the result, we will continue looking for the truth" about how he died.

Arafat died at a French military hospital near Paris in November 2004, with experts unable to say what killed him, although many Palestinians believe he was poisoned by Israel.

Experts on Tuesday took samples from his remains to examine them for traces of polonium after an investigation earlier this year found abnormal quantities of the radioactive substance on his personal effects.

The results are not expected to be made public for several months.

The ICC can only open an investigation if it is asked to do so by the UN Security Council or by a recognised state.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - France to back Palestinian bid for UN status

France has confirmed it intends to vote for Palestinian non-member status at the United Nations later this week.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France had long backed Palestinian ambitions for statehood and would vote yes "out of a concern for coherency".

The Palestinians are asking the UN General Assembly to upgrade their status from permanent observer to a "non-member observer state".

Israel and the US oppose the move, due to be voted on later this week.

They are concerned that the Palestinians are trying to seek full statehood via the UN, rather than through negotiation as set out in the 1993 Oslo peace accords under which the Palestinian Authority was established.

Washington has warned that it could hinder rather than help future dialogue.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha'aretz (English behind paywall) reports that Israel has given up on stopping it, and is now claiming the move is insignificant. They are currently talking about retaliation only if the Palestinians go to the ICC.

It looks right now as though only Germany and the Czech Republic (among EU countries) will support Israel.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congo rebels surround central bank in Goma | World news | guardian.co.uk

Congo rebels appeared to be looting the central bank in Goma after refusing to withdraw from the city they captured last week.

M23 fighters surrounded the bank early this afternoon and were seen loading white bags into cars. The armed rebels looked nervous and ordered the Guardian to leave the area.

"They're looting the bank," a UN source said. Later another UN source denied that there had been money in the bags, insisting they were full of beans.

In a press conference in the morning on Tuesday the rebel leader Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga said M23 would refuse to obey a call by regional leaders of the International Conference of the Great Lakes to leave the capital of North Kivu province to pave the way for peace talks.

A withdrawal would be the result, not a precondition, of negotiation, Runiga said.

"I demand the following of [the Congolese president] Joseph Kabila, if M23 is to withdraw [from Goma]," he said, before outlining a series of conditions. Notably, he demanded freedom for the opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi and other political prisoners, the dissolution of the electoral commission, and an investigation into the attempted murder of Dr Denis Mukwege.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:49:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sibel Edmonds' Boiling Frogs Post | Home of the Irate Minority

In the sphere of tight hierarchical organizations, like the military or the CIA, where the activity and behavior of subordinate functionaries is centrally directed and any investigation is subject to authorization by senior officials (most especially regarding prying into the private correspondences of the heads of the CIA and of strategic military operations), the idea that a lone agent might operate free-lance is preposterous. A `cowboy' agent could not simply initiate investigation into such `sensitive' targets as the head of the CIA and a General in an active combat zone without the highest level authorization or a network of political operatives with a much bigger agenda. This has much deeper political implications than uncovering a banal sexual affair between two consenting security-cleared adults despite the agent's claim that fornication constitutes a threat to the United States.

Clearly we are in deep waters here: This involves political intrigue at the highest level and has profound national security implications, involving the directorship of the CIA and clandestine operations, intelligence reports, multi-billion dollar expenditures and US efforts to stabilize client regimes and destabilize target regimes. CIA intelligence reports identifying allies and enemies are critical to shaping global US foreign policy. Any shift at the top of the US empire's operational command can and does have strategic importance.

The `outing' of General Allen, the military commander in charge of Afghanistan, the US main zone of military operations occurs at a crucial time, with the scheduled forced withdrawal of US combat troops and when the Afghan `sepoys', the soldiers and officers of the puppet Karzai regime, are showing major signs of disaffection, is clearly a political move of the highest order.




"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting viewpoint, nice catch melo.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally, proof that Iran really is working on the bomb

I hope you are all convinced now.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:53:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Soon us physicists will be rounded up as a threat to national security just because we can doodle.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:04:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. I'm no longer in denial.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:19:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I had to guess I'd say the graph comes from an English language publication. Has Farsi no words for energy and power?

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:37:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they are copyright criminals too!

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 08:29:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program Israel to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon. The officials provided the diagram only on condition that they and their country Israel not be named.

But The Public wants to know : Are they using Iranium-238 or Iranium-235?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 06:04:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the use of either of those number in any Iranian publication would be the final proof we need.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 06:22:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:29:02 PM EST
Siberia's pesticide dumps may prove a bigger hazard than nuclear waste | Environment | Guardian Weekly

At Tegul'det (population 3,000), a village in the south-east corner of Tomsk oblast, it takes a lot to upset the residents, busy hunting, fishing and preening their vegetable patches, except during the six long winter months, when their only distraction is cutting holes in the ice on the river and fishing.

Nothing really bothers Alexei, a retired FSB (former KGB secret police) major. Not even the mound of earth that looms just next to his home. Yet 20 tonnes of DDT are buried there, between the settlement and the river Chulym.

In the 1970s, when no one lived here, the local authorities thought that Tegul'det was an ideal spot to bury unwanted pesticide. DDT was produced in large quantities in the 1950s and 60s, until growing awareness of the hazards led to a ban on further use.

This left the question of what was to be done with the huge stockpile that had accumulated. Burying the stuff was cheap and easy. Furthermore Siberia was big. Tomsk oblast alone (316,000 sq km) is almost as large as the whole of Germany. The woodland, with its peat bogs and oil reserves, was sparsely populated.

Time passed and several families settled near the Tegul'det mound. It was an attractive spot, close to the river and not far from the main village. The newcomers built little wooden houses with corrugated iron roofs, each with an adjoining plot of land for growing potatoes and cabbages.

That was when the trouble started.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:53:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thawing of permafrost expected to cause significant additional global warming, not yet accounted for in climate predictions

Permafrost covering almost a quarter of the northern hemisphere contains 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon, twice that currently in the atmosphere, and could significantly amplify global warming should thawing accelerate as expected, according to a new report released November 27 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Warming permafrost can also radically change ecosystems and cause costly infrastructural damage due to increasingly unstable ground, the report says.

Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost seeks to highlight the potential hazards of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from warming permafrost, which have not thus far been included in climate-prediction modelling. The science on the potential impacts of warming permafrost has only begun to enter the mainstream in the last few years, and as a truly "emerging issue" could not have been included in climate change modelling to date.

The report recommends a special IPCC assessment on permafrost and the creation of national monitoring networks and adaptation plans as key steps to deal with potential impacts of this significant source of emissions, which may become a major factor in global warming.

Report here.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 06:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well duh !!! Methane........ It's the methane runaway that is gonna do for us and we're sitting right on the cusp. Now

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:26:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chernobyl shelter construction reaches key landmark

Work to build a permanent shelter to secure the exploded reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine reached a key milestone on Tuesday when workers raised the arched section that will cover the destroyed unit.

The explosion at reactor number four at the Chernobyl power plant in the early hours of April 26, 1986 sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread from the Soviet Union across Europe. It remains the world's worst nuclear accident.

The structure raised to its full height on Tuesday will be part of the so-called New Safe Confinement, a colossal arch-shaped structure which when completed will be slid on rails over the existing sarcophagus covering the reactor.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ocean acidification affecting live marine creatures in the Southern Ocean

The shells of marine snails - known as pteropods - living in the seas around Antarctica are being dissolved by ocean acidification according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. These tiny animals are a valuable food source for fish and birds and play an important role in the oceanic carbon cycle.

During a science cruise in 2008, researchers from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the University of East Anglia (UEA), in collaboration with colleagues from the US Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), discovered severe dissolution of the shells of living pteropods in Southern Ocean waters.

The team examined an area of upwelling, where winds cause cold water to be pushed upwards from the deep to the surface of the ocean. Upwelled water is usually more corrosive to a particular type of calcium carbonate (aragonite) that pteropods use to build their shells. The team found that as a result of the additional influence of ocean acidification, this corrosive water severely dissolved the shells of pteropods.

Ocean acidification is caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere emitted as a result of fossil fuel burning. A number of laboratory experiments have demonstrated the potential effect of ocean acidification on marine organisms.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:56:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Engineering plants for biofuels
With increasing demands for sustainable energy, being able to cost-efficiently produce biofuels from plant biomass is more important than ever. However, lignin and hemicelluloses present in certain plants mean that they cannot be easily converted into biofuels. A study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Biotechnology for Biofuels appears to have solved this problem, using gene manipulation techniques to engineer plants that can be more easily broken down into biofuels.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:00:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:29:32 PM EST
Anger as Albania marks 100th birthday with mass slaughter of lambs | World news | guardian.co.uk

Barring an unlikely, last-minute reprieve, 1,000 lambs are to be slaughtered on Wednesday at the high point of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Albanian independence.

The mass slaughter, organised by the government of Albania's prime minister, Sali Berisha, has stirred controversy and protest, with one opponent describing it as a "grotesque embarrassment". On Monday, members of the youth wing of the opposition Socialist party protested outside the prime minister's office, carrying banners and large photographs of lambs.

Three heads of state and at least five government leaders are expected in the capital, Tirana, to attend the celebrations at which the cooked lamb will be served to guests on two 200 metre-long tables. Albania proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman empire on 28 November 1912, when the red-and-black standard of its national hero, Skanderbeg, was raised in the town of Vlore.

The body of Albania's pre-war ruler, King Zog, has been returned to his homeland to mark the anniversary. Festivities have included concerts, parades and the construction of a centennial monument. But it is the slaughter of the lambs that has galvanised Berisha's opponents.

"This is a country that is traditionally not very vegetarian - let's put it that way," said the Socialists' youth spokesman, Erjon Veliaj. "The issues of animal rights and cruelty are not pre-eminent. But to glorify this process gives this society a reputation it doesn't deserve."

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many lambs are slaughtered a day in the UK (for example)?

OK, almost no one sees it happen and people buy prepacked meat in supermarkets.

Over to Sven... ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:08:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
England and Wales: just over 1.2 million last month, so, on average, over 40.000 per day (details here).
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:37:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Notes From Earth: Our Ancestors, the Acoustical Engineers | Prehistoric Culture | DISCOVER Magazine

When priests at the temple complex of Chavín de Huántar in central Peru sounded their conch-shell trumpets 2,500 years ago, tones magnified and echoed by stone surfaces seemed to come from everywhere, yet nowhere. The effect must have seemed otherworldly, but there was nothing mysterious about its production. According to archaeologists at Stanford University, the temple's builders created galleries, ducts, and ventilation shafts to channel sound. In short, the temple's designers may have been not only expert architects but also skilled acoustical engineers.

The findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that sound meant more to our ancestors than archaeologists once realized. We live in a sound-saturated society, full of iPods, thunderous special effects in movies, and thousand-watt car stereos. New discoveries in the young field of acoustic archaeology hint that just as we create elaborate sonic environments with our electronics, the ancients may have sculpted their soundscapes as well. Like many artistic endeavors, their efforts may have been rooted in an attempt to reach the divine.

Portals to the Spirit Worlds

Some of the first research on the importance of acoustics to prehistoric peoples was done by Iegor Reznikoff, an anthropologist of sound at Université Paris Ouest, who in the 1980s visited cave paintings and carvings in southern France that are about 25,000 years old, among the oldest known human art. A number of them are so far underground that scientists were puzzled as to why anyone would have gone there. Reznikoff, who has a habit of humming whenever he enters a space, noticed that in parts of the caves, his voice resonated as effectively as in any cathedral.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:05:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors? : Deceptive Cadence : NPR

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

A new study aims to answer this question. Yiannis Aloimonos, of the University of Maryland, and several colleagues recruited the help of orchestral players from Ferrara, Italy.

They installed a tiny infrared light at the tip of an (unnamed) conductor's baton. They also placed similar lights on the bows of the violinists in the orchestra. The scientists then surrounded the orchestra with infrared cameras.

When the conductor waved the baton, and the violinists moved their bows, the moving lights created patterns in space, which the cameras captured.

a bit 'duh' as experiment, but the methodology is promising.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:27:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recalling...
flocks are ultimately democratic. If any one bird turns or changes speed, so will all the others. Such changes radiate outwards in a wave from the individual to affect the flock. Statistically speaking, every individual bird is interconnected within the same dynamic web of interactions.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but that's not what's happening in an orchestra...

As for "democratic", anthropomorphism some?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:46:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Er - these people know that most of the conducting happens in rehearsal, when the conductor stops every few bars and says 'Let's do that bit again louder/softer/faster/slower/with more animation/less animation/different phrasing from the strings/etc', right?

It's amazing that so many people still think it's all about waving a stick around.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:01:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
plus the obvious that that only the conductor hears the whole panorama that the audience hears milliseconds later, if you are sitting in the violin or brass you only hear those around you.

it would be interesting to give an in-ear monitor to the players to see if hearing the sum helped them to play more sensitively.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:32:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would take them a while to learn the new system. If you sit in the third row of violins, right in front of the trumpets, you never hear what is going on at all. That's what they're used to, starting in 4th grade band.
by asdf on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:54:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, centenary traditions don't break easy unless results are significantly better.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That (among others) was what I meant by "not what is happening in an orchestra" -- ie, it is definitely not a flock of starlings.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 10:44:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens in a jazz ensemble when they improvise?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 11:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Within limits laid down by some of the musicians (the beat provided by the drummer, the notes played by the leader, because there generally is one) and by a common musical culture (improvisations are most often based on "standards" of which the musicians know the melody by heart), each one listens and responds to the others as freely as possible while attempting to create with them an original overall offering.

Starlings just copy the behaviour of a subgroup within the flock.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 11:37:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All true, but the simple answer is also 'they take turns.'

Band leaders/conductors can be ridiculously influential. I was at a summer school one year watching a big band play two sections - one with one leader whose name I've forgotten, and one who's a famous-ish British jazz improviser.

The band were mostly students. The solos in the first section were plodding, incoherent, and lacking presence and confidence.

The solos in the second section sounded like music played by people who were enjoying themselves and felt relaxed and confident enough to show it.

It was the same band, with the same soloists. They'd had a similar amount of time to learn both sections.

The only difference was the leader.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:26:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A conductor is the HUD of orchestral music.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:36:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
parameters are set and them pushed up against! a bit like multilevel 3D chess with multiple partners.

as dalai lama said, 'learn the rules, so to break them correctly.'

it's the tension between form and chaos that makes any improvisation exciting, it plays with our pattern recog skills. can you hear the original beat in a drum solo as the drummer explores orthogonal polyrhythms before returning to the pulse? it's fucking hard often! the pulse has been internalised so strongly that the improviser can wander very far while still remaining mentally engaged with the meter.

i do think there is a connection to how starlings fly.

maybe randomness is (merely?) perceptual, reflecting patterns yet unrecognised.

i think it has someting to do with this

Sympathetic resonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lewcock et al.(2006) states that:

The property of sympathetic vibration is encountered in its direct form in room acoustics in the rattling of window panes, light shades and movable panels in the presence of very loud sounds, such as may occasionally be produced by a full organ. As these things rattle (or even if they do not audibly rattle) sound energy is being converted into mechanical energy, and so the sound is absorbed. Wood paneling and anything else that is lightweight and relatively unrestrained have the same effect. Absorptivity is at its highest at the resonance frequency, usually near or below 100 Hz.

Arden Wilken on his website provides a significant example of the power of resonance:

An example of proper sympathetic resonance is a windowpane rattling steadily at the very low powerful sound of a bus or truck engine going stationary. The rattling will usually occur at a higher harmonic of the sound made by the engine. As soon as the driver changes into gear the rattling will stop, often changing its rhythm before it stops altogether. Powerful sopranos bursting wineglasses fits in to the same category - sympathetic resonance at a distance.

as the sound waves travel through us they excite our hormonal system to secrete adrenalin, and when buffeted from many directions at once, the ability to navigate one's own contribution through the waves becomes a very delicate, one might say chancy proposition.

like a surfer navigates the power of the water to use its trajectory for locomotion, similar with soundwaves, which convey emotion, in ways we barely understand perhaps, but certainly respond to very deeply. i think we enjoy seeing and hearing great improv because there is no net, and presence of mind is the mark of a good improvisor is as stan getz so aptly said a mixture of 'courage, taste, individuality and irreverence'. :)

ewo cooks take the same ingredients and come up wit radically different results, that's where the individuality comes in. too original and it's often perceived as not respecting the parameters enough, too little and it's muzak.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
conductor as 'aide-memoire' then...

as well as kinetic galvaniser through body language, which i think the goal of the experiment was.

what intrigues me is the limitations of only hering one section of the whole at a time, and if through tech one could help the overall sound by removong or tweaking that limitation.

it may conceivably lead to a much more coherent, nuanced orchestral offering, not necessarily obviating the need for a conductor, -a separate, though clearly connected- aspect. when i watch conductors i am often mystified by their movements' apparent dislocation from tempo, as they swerve and swoop in their search for synchrony and stimulative or calming dynamics.

this already happens in pop shows i think, where each muso can ask for her own mix fed to personal requirements, or aural frequency sensitivity.

some might be more inspired with a bigger bass sound, or lowering the cymbals levels etc.

one could always go back to the old way if quality were lost, just like playing in A432 or using medieval-design instruments continues to fascinate folks...

i really appreciate how many ET'ers are extremely knowledgeable about different realms of music.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 12:34:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
melo:
when i watch conductors i am often mystified by their movements' apparent dislocation from tempo, as they swerve and swoop in their search for synchrony and stimulative or calming dynamics.

Reconnecting to TBG's point about rehersals, the orchestra can also influence the conductor by sections or indidual players asking for specific guidance in sections that are arder to for one reason or another. So the orchestra knows (hopefully) who the conductor is waiving to and what it means. Then some conductors also like the showmanship/cheerleading aspect of the task and does some extra flashy moves when it is showtime.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 12:54:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The basic four-beat and three-beat baton movements are quite stylised and difficult to follow unless you've seen them a few times.

The rest is showmanship and memory jogging.

The Science Museum in the UK had - possibly still has - a big exhibition about orchestras and conduction. You can hear all the sections, have a go at waving a baton around, and listen to verbalised internal conversations the various players and the conductor are having with themselves as they work - which pretty much boil down to the conductor thinking 'I love how this section sounds so much like Mendelssohn so I'm going to make it sound more like that' while everyone else is thinking 'Crap, I'd better get this bit right.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:37:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Er - these people know that most of the conducting happens in rehearsal, when the conductor stops every few bars and says 'Let's do that bit again louder/softer/faster/slower/with more animation/less animation/different phrasing from the strings/etc', right?"

You're thinking amateur orchestras.
Professional ones will usually have two rehearsals of a particular program before they play it. Maybe only one if the conductor is a guest conductor rather than the usual one.

If they are touring then they'll have more, but the season of weekly concerts will tend to follow that pattern. So catching what the conductor means instantly is really important.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So far as I can tell it's usually about a day of rehearsal for most programs - occasionally two days if there's the budget for it.

But it would be really, really unusual for a conductor to demand something new and completely unexpected during a performance.

Opera has a longer rehearsal schedule with early interpretive sessions, then a non-dress rehearsal, occasionally a separate sitzprobe, then a dress rehearsal.

(My gf works in opera so I've learned far more about the rehearsal process than I really wanted to know. :) )

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A day is more or less two rehearsals.

As for Opera, yes there is more time, but most of them are without the conductor, and what you describe is for the singers (who are in only one or two productions at any given time).
The instrumentists are not so lucky -being in all the productions. A lot of the initial opera rehearsals are just with a piano.

There is a lot of homework to do before the rehearsals, of course.

Still, you're talking, even for the singers, of about two weeks to be ready for a new production (at least that's what you get with Opera Australia). It's a good idea to start learning roles before you are cast.


Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:32:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If anyone's interested, according to my gf - who's the one playing the piano in the rehearsal room, and is working at the Royal Opera House this week - it's 3-5 weeks of singer time with piano in the UK for a new opera production, then 2 or 3 stage rehearsals with orchestra.

The conductor will be around for some of the piano rehearsals and all of the stage rehearsals. He (it's usually a he) will also be running separate orchestral rehearsals for the production at the same time (and possibly for other productions in other venues.)

Series concerts get an afternoon rehearsal, but the pieces are usually standard repertoire so everyone knows the basics. Conducting there is about fine-tuning a few elements and fixing small problems. The bigger orchestras seem to spend slightly more time, but the whole thing is surprisingly ad hoc.

Orchestras used to spend a lot more time rehearsing and being conducted, so what's left is really a vestigial nub weathered down by economics.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 04:20:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Orchestras used to spend a lot more time rehearsing and being conducted, so what's left is really a vestigial nub weathered down by economics.

The fat lady is singing "we've been conducting above our means".

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 04:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I lived in Munich, the local orchestra would have weeks of rehearsals  with their permanent conductor, Sergiu Celibidache.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:51:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They rehearse throughout the year. But the program changes each week.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:27:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not with Celi.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 03:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:56:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you advocating a more general line of research in which we test the hypothesis that the words/gestures/acts of a putative leader of a particular group (boss, politician, etc) is having a beneficial effect on outcomes?

Interesting.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 08:58:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, now that you suggest it... :)

an orchestra is as good a metaphor for a society as any, though the thought of a parliament of conductors is daunting.

the benign dictator is the present model. maybe in-ear monitors would allow democracy, even possible controlled anarchy, modulated by the players themselves, or self-organising, like a rock band, although usually there is one leader to those..

i liked the methods of using photography and leds attached to the instruments.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:41:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A classical orchestra is a good metaphor for a society set up to be dependent primarily on the decisions of one single individual. So yes, perhaps it is a good metaphor for the societies we are stuck with.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 12:42:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, it is anachronistic as organisations go, newtonian even.

every section doing its own thing, insignificant in itself, but key to forming a whole.

a group of technically proficient functionaries like clock parts, subservient to the Grand Design.

all seeing their bodypart of the elephant, trusting (through the conductor's skill) the whole will be more than the sum of its parts.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:20:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Terry Riley's In C should be part of this section of the discussion.



You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, that ending was abrupt, I was just getting in a groove.

I used to have this on a double album that I'd bought cheap cos they'd lost the cover. Top stuff. Miles better than "rainbow in curved air" that everybody else was raving about at the time (ooh I've discovered the pentatonic scale, I must be a genius)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 04:26:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the NPR piece
But the study found more: The scientists had two conductors lead the same orchestra. One was a veteran who exercised an iron grip over the violinists. The other was an amateur.
I see no mention of one being an amateur in the article.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:00:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:29:52 PM EST
Janos Soltesz Suing For Wife's Death - Business Insider
A 425-pound woman died last month in Hungary after three airlines allegedly told her she was too fat to fly back to America.

Janos Soltesz plans to sue Delta, KLM, and Lufthansa next month, claiming the airlines are responsible for his wife Vilma Soltesz's death after all three refused to fly her back to America -- even though Delta and KLM flew her to Hungary without complaint, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

The Solteszs spent three weeks in their native Hungary before Vilma needed to come back for treatment for diabetes and renal disease.

"Very rarely do you have discrimination causing much more than humiliation and psychological damages, but in this instance, the discriminatory actions of the airlines led to something much more serious -- Vilma's death," Soltesz's lawyer Holly Ronai told the Post.

Soltesz is seeking a total of $6 million from the three airlines.

by Nomad on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 05:44:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs is suffering from severe toothache. Thanks to Nomad for stepping in!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 01:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hobbit Has Red-Carpet Welcome as New Zealand Eyes Dwarf Gold - Bloomberg

Twenty-year-old Washington D.C. resident Elvish Scheible flew to New Zealand for today's film premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," hoping her elven-queen costume will catch the eye of star Cate Blanchett.

Scheible, who changed her first name, is among thousands of fans and locals lining half a kilometer of red carpet in the capital's Courtenay Place to celebrate the return of a film franchise that's already brought more than $580 million in movie business and tourism to New Zealand. Nine years after director Peter Jackson unveiled the final movie in his three-part "Lord of the Rings" saga here, actors including Blanchett and Elijah Wood are adding glitz to the start of a new trilogy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 02:14:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a trilogy as well? I thought they were stopping at two this time?
They'll need to add more that Xenarwen to pad this one out.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 06:47:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they're spending much more time on Gandalf's quests than Tolkien did.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 06:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 06:57:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMDB:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The Dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf have successfully escaped the misty mountains, but BIlbo has gained the one ring. They all continue their journey to get their gold back off the Dragon, Smaug.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again (2014)

Bilbo, Gandalf and the Dwarfs are in Smaug's lair, but will they get their Gold and return home safely?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 06:56:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh. Thanks.

(Hey, Bret McKenzie's character has a name this time!)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 07:29:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ZZ Top: Dalís of the Delta | Music | The Guardian

Gibbons is an odd thinker, darting off on tangents in his easy drawl, speaking softly and so slowly that his words appear weighted with import. It's only when reading them back that one realises quite how bonkers some of what he says sounds. For instance, a question about whether hip-hop is the modern blues sees him asserting the world will undergo a fundamental change in 2024. "There will be scientifically acknowledgeable events comparable to the appearance of language or the appearance of life," he says. "We're already starting to see it: chemical control of ageing, artificial eyesight for the blind. We're racing toward this moment when all that is knowable becomes known. The delivery mechanism? What will it be? A blinding flash of lightning? Or does everyone drink a sip of water at the same time? Does everybody hit the return key? But I'm getting a little esoteric here. Back to the blues, please."

I have no idea if he believe this. He conveys it with absolute solemnity, but maybe he's having me on, testing my credulity. A couple of times he brings up emails on his Macbook to show me pictures - a photo Jeff Beck has sent over of a vintage car he has rebuilt; the Rolling Stones' 1972 lightshow, an inspiration to the current Top stage set - and asks that I pause my recorder, as if it might somehow be able to absorb the contents of his computer by digital osmosis.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:35:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That doesn't sound too crazy to me; he's making some generalized comments about what technology might be available in a decade or so.

Crazy is building a spaceport.

Spaceport Colorado is a step closer to becoming a reality after securing funding commitments of more than $660,000 from public partners, backers said Monday. The money will allow Front Range Airport, the proposed location for the spaceport 6 miles east of Denver, to run feasibility studies before applying for a Federal Aviation Administration license.

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22067874/spaceport-colorado-receives-660-000-funding-commi tments

by asdf on Wed Nov 28th, 2012 at 09:50:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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