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13 February 2013

by afew Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:31:33 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:29:36 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Deal near on eurozone economic governance laws, says Rehn

BRUSSELS - MEPs and ministers are on the verge of agreement on far-reaching economic governance proposals for eurozone states, according to EU economic commissioner Olli Rehn.

The proposals give the commission more powers to scrutinise national budgets and demand changes to national debt and deficit reduction programmes.

Speaking with reporters after a meeting of euro finance ministers on Monday (11 February), Rehn said that "a positive conclusion ... is within reach."

He added that the files are "important in their own right, but also because they are an essential foundation for further progress in rebuilding our economic and monetary union."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:49:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / MEPs copy-pasting amendments from US lobbyists
BRUSSELS - A handful of MEPs have copy-pasted amendments made by giant US-based IT companies directly into the EU's new data protection law.

Among the names cited by the London-based NGO, Privacy International, in a report out on Monday (11 February) is British Conservative deputy Malcolm Harbour, who chairs the parliament's internal market committee and who acts as his group's shadow rapporteur on the data bill.

The advocacy group said that he "proposed amendments with over 25 percent of content copied directly from lobby papers."

In one instance, the American Chamber of Commerce, a pro-business advocate in Brussels, and the European Banking Federation (EBF), suggested that creating new data protection supervisors within companies should be optional and not mandatory, as in the original EU draft.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:50:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whistleblowers: Voluntary energy savings targets met by `tricks and abuse' | EurActiv

EXCLUSIVE / Non-binding energy efficiency goals are meant to be treated with reverence but are routinely ignored, ticked off, or met by using legislative scams, ex-government officials have told EurActiv.

As Brussels gears up to discuss binding energy efficiency targets for 2030 this week, two whistleblowers told EurActiv that the EU should learn from their experiences in implementing the 2006 energy services directive (ESD), which aimed to cut energy consumption.

`Malcolm', a former senior officer for a north European EU state's national energy agency, said that inconvenient energy savings measures were routinely skipped over when they were not legally enforceable.

"You just checked the directive article by article to see what the requirements were for member states," he told EurActiv. "Is it a binding requirement? `Ok, we need to do something'. Is it non-binding? `Ok, perhaps the policy we already have fits with that part of the directive.'"

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:51:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Water rights e-petition first to get 1 million signatures | EurActiv

Organisers of a European Citizens' Initiative that seeks to halt sales of public water utilities say they have gathered one million signatures from across Europe, becoming the first such group to do so since the grass-roots efforts were launched last spring.

The Water is a Human Right initiative calls for water supply and management to be exempt from European Commission liberalisation policies on the grounds that water is a public good.

The initiative also wants EU states to enact laws ensuring that everyone has a right to safe water and sanitation, and that the EU increase it development aid efforts to achieve universal water access and sanitation.

The initiative process, or ECI, was launched in 2012 under a provision of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty to encourage citizen action. ECI organisers are required to have one million signatures collected from at least seven EU states before they can submit the proposals to the European Commission for consideration as draft laws.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France isolated on countering euro's strength | EurActiv

French President François Hollande has raised the possibility of political interference in exchange rate policy when he called for a medium-term target for the euro's value, a move to counter its recent appreciation.

France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici reiterated Hollande's message to his eurozone peers in Brussels and urged "strong action", but appeared to win little support. Euro zone ministers said the issue should be discussed by finance ministers and central bankers from the world's 20 biggest economies in Moscow on Friday and Saturday.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:56:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / British jurists: independent Scotland would lose EU status

BRUSSELS - A legal opinion published by the British government says that if Scotland splits from the UK it would also lose its EU membership.

The 111-page paper, put out on Monday (11 February), also notes that if the EU accepted Scotland as a new member, it would probably be forced to join the euro, it would lose its part of the UK rebate in the EU budget, and if it joined the EU's passport-free Schengen area, the UK would impose passport controls on the new British-Scottish border.

It adds that Scotland would have to apply to join other multinational bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund, Nato and the UN, with no guarantee of a place.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:57:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
A legal opinion published by the British government says that if Scotland splits from the UK it would also lose its EU membership.

AFAIK this isn't new. Also, given that Scotland has already adapted the acquis communautaire, accession could progress rapidly (for diplomatic-scale values of rapid).

> It adds that Scotland would have to apply to join other multinational bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund, Nato and the UN, with no guarantee of a place.

Two out of three are pretty much automatic, and the third's a money sink.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would it "have" to apply to join NATO? Couldn't it simply not bother?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:10:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No guarantee of a place in Nato? Isn't Scotland basically the training ground for all UK pilots?

Forced to join the Euro?
The way things are going there will be a two step EU, and new members will start outside and work their way in.

The passport controls are the real threat.
Anyone who has passed through Heathrow knows what "professional inefficiency" looks like around here.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:16:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's one of the training grounds for British pilots.

But it's also the home of the Trident bases.

So technically Scotland would remain a nuclear power, while England wouldn't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:46:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rent for the airfields! Rent for the submarine bases!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting. I thought they were more spread out over all of Airstrip One.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 06:24:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
But it's also the home of the Trident bases.

Only reason I knew this was that it was a plot point in Morrison's Zenith.

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 Feb 13th, 2013 at 09:23:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Number 6:
Forced to join the Euro?
The way things are going there will be a two step EU, and new members will start outside and work their way in.

Already is as far as the euro is concerned. As a new member Scotland will have to accept the EMU framework, but to be allowed to use the euro they need to fullfill additional criterias. Sweden is in that position with continuos and intentional failing on the criteria of fixing the currency value. Before the crisis the Commission had the position of "Ok, but no one else better try this" but considering the crisis I doubt the Commission is going to try and strong arm memberstates.

Number 6:

The passport controls are the real threat.
Anyone who has passed through Heathrow knows what "professional inefficiency" looks like around here.

England can institute pass controls against Scotland wheter it joins the Schengen or not, that is. But since England and Ireland are not in Schengen I doubt EU will insist on Scotland being in. Unless Spain wants to set a precedent of hard negotiations or soemthing.

Here I have used England for Former Non-Scotland Parts of the United Kingdom since FNPUK does not roll of the tongue. Is there any preparation in FNPUK on the name? Flag?

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 Feb 13th, 2013 at 09:43:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still "The UK," even if it's not of "Great Britain" and other things.
Have heard "The Rump State."

New country (minus 50 Labour MPs) will be more conservative, so will probably stick with the Union Jack.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 06:51:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the United Kingdom is a specific reference to the union of the two kingdoms of England and Scotland.

No union, no UK.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 07:24:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought the "United" part referred to Britain and Ireland (and the name remained even when most of Ireland didn't).
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 07:29:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term 'United Kingdom' became official in 1801 when the parliaments of Britain and Ireland each passed an Act of Union, uniting the two kingdoms and creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

But it would be more fun if it referred to the two kingdoms that existed before the 1707 Act of Union.

Especially with the monarchy. I bet Elizabeth would rather be Queen of Scotland than Queen of England.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 08:16:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the United Kingdom divides, Scotland needs a King.

The difficulty being that it was the king of Scotland became king of Ireland, confounding the two lines.

Is there a non-Stuart pretender who can be... dug up?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 07:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it was the king of Scotland who became king of Ire*Eng*land


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 07:54:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not a Stuart Pretender? United Kingdom of Scotland and Bavaria?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 07:57:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They can have Charlie, Wales doesn't need him. (I hesitate to call him Bonny).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 08:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about UKSB (United Kingdom of Southern Britain and Northern Ireland)? The flag will presumably be the existing one, with the blue removed.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 06:58:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ryanair says Aer Lingus bid blocked by regulator | Reuters

(Reuters) - Ryanair's bid to take over smaller Irish rival Aer Lingus is to be blocked by Europe's anti-monopoly watchdog, the low-cost giant said on Tuesday, a "political" decision it said it would challenge in court.

The rejection of what Ryanair has described as its third and final bid for its rival, likely marks the end of a long-held ambition of Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary to seize control of the country's 75-year-old former flag carrier.

The European Commission, which acts as the European Union's competition authority, told Ryanair executives at a meeting on Tuesday morning that it intends to block the bid, Ryanair said in a statement.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Schäuble proposes bank lending cap for ESM of between zero and €80bn (13.02.2013)
German finance ministers gets specific on his proposal of a lending cap, and named a range of figures; new eurogroup chief agrees, and says there will be a cap, to be negotiated by June; also says that the principal purpose of the ESM is not to lend to banks, but to stabilise governments; Schauble also said banking union is not related to ESM lending to banks; the European Commission's draft on the financial transactions tax is aiming at total revenues of €31bn-€35bn; tax will also believe on transaction between non-EU parties, as long as the security stems from one of the 11 participating countries; Germany says it is still not clear how that can be policed; the French Court of Auditors says the country will miss its deficit targets, due to low growth; report is more upbeat on the structural deficit; the Greek finance minister is using the IMF's fiscal multiplier research as ground for a reassessment of the austerity targets; Klaus Regling says Greece was in such a mess that the multipliers were secondary; the G7 issued a pledge not to engage in competitive devaluations, but this statement was immediately botched by conflicting statements among policymakers; the yen initially fell, but later bounced in response, rendering the entire exercise futile; Mario Draghi says his governing council will consider the impact of the euro's appreciation at its March meeting; Silvio Berlusconi says Angelino Alfano will be prime minister if the cenre-right wins; he left it open whether he would become finance minister; said it was Draghi, not Mario Monti, who managed to get the Italian spreads down; former PM Massimo D'Alema warns about the recent rise in Beppe Grillo's support; the number of the undecided has actually gone up during the Italian election campaign; Angelo Baglioni criticises the Monti bond bailout of Banca Monte dei Paschi , and says the Italian government should instead have bought shares; the Spanish parliament has a secret behind-closed-doors meeting with Draghi, but no longer so as it was taped by one of the participants; a U-turn by the PP allows for the introduction  of legislation to restrict foreclosures; proposal aims to stop evictions by allowing the repossession of a mortgaged property to count as full payment of the foreclosed debt; European corporates are bypassing banks and rushing into the market for corporate debt; an Irish study says that the banks are not lending to companies because they find it hard to assess the risks; Le Monde, meanwhile, compares the meat scandal to the subprime mortgages: they both became possible because of excessive complexity.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 03:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish mortgages are full-recourse loans under current law.

Apparently Spain is one of the few places in Europe where this is the case. Elsewhere mortgages are secured against the property, so eviction/repossession is the end of the debt.

Is this correct? And statistics on how common this is?


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not correct for Germany, as you might have guessed. If repossession doesn't pay for your loan, the bank will find other ways.
by Katrin on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 06:11:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the Texas of Europe.

No bubble burst in Texas either. For probably similar banking related reasons.

A lot of the same labour laws too.

by redstar on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 09:51:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh horror. And our education system is going downhill too.
by Katrin on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:16:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checked for Sweden, the bottom loan (maximum 85% of purchase cost for new loans) is secured against the property but if you have additional (top) loans they in general are not.

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 Feb 13th, 2013 at 11:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bruxelles demande à ArcelorMittal de suspendre les fermetures de sites Brussels asks ArcelorMittal to suspend site closures
C'est une petite bombe qui a surpris tout le monde à Bruxelles. Mardi 12 septembre, le vice-président à l'industrie de la Commission européenne, Antonio Tajani, a demandé au groupe ArcelorMittal de "suspendre" ses fermetures de sites en Europe.It is a small bomb that surprised everyone in Brussels. Tuesday, September 12, the Vice-President for Industry of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani, asked the group ArcelorMittal "suspend" its closures in Europe.
"Nous demandons solennellement à ArcelorMittal de suspendre toute fermeture de site et de renoncer à toute autre mesure irrémédiable avant l'adoption d'un plan d'action pour l'acier par la Commission", a-t-il indiqué, en introduction d'une "table ronde de haut niveau" sur l'avenir de l'industrie européenne, à laquelle participaient les industriels du secteur, des syndicalistes, mais aussi plusieurs ministres. Arnaud Montebourg, le ministre du redressement productif, et ses homologues belge, Jean-Claude Marcourt, et luxembourgeois, Etienne Schneider, étaient notamment présents. "We solemnly ask ArcelorMittal to suspend any site closure and to renounce any other irrecoverable prior to the adoption of an action plan for steel by the Commission" , he said by introducing a "high-level round table" on future of European industry, which was attended by industrialists, trade unionists, as well as several ministers. Arnaud Montebourg, the Minister of productive recovery, and his Belgian, Jean-Claude Marcourt , and Luxembourg Stephen Schneider, were present.
"Ce n'est pas une demande exagérée, nous invitons juste ArcelorMittal à attendre deux ou trois mois, le temps que nous finalisions un plan de soutien à l'acier, afin de voir si cela ne peut pas l'aider à sauver des usines", a argumenté M. Tajani. "This is not an exaggerated claim, we invite just ArcelorMittal wait two or three months, the time we were finalizing a plan to support the steel to see if it can not the to help save plants ", argued Mr Tajani.
Plusieurs pistes ont été évoquées lors de cette table ronde, comme un relèvement des taxes douanières sur les importations d'acier extra-communautaire, un plan de soutien à la recherche et développement, un allégement des contraintes législatives et réglementaires, ainsi que l'instauration d'une taxe carbone aux frontières de l'Europe. Ce plan pourrait être finalisé lors d'un sommet compétitivité prévu à la fin du mois de mai à Bruxelles, au plus tard en juin, affirmait-on dans l'entourage du commissaire européen à l'industrie.Several possibilities were discussed at the roundtable as an increase in tariffs on steel imports from outside the EU, a plan to support research and development, reduction of legal and regulatory constraints, and the establishment a carbon tax at the borders of Europe. This plan could be finalized at a summit planned competitiveness at the end of May in Brussels, later in June, it was claimed in the entourage of the European Commissioner for industry.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 04:18:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:29:58 PM EST
Home Prices Rise in 88% of U.S. Cities as Recovery Gains - Bloomberg
Prices for single-family homes climbed in almost 88 percent of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter as the housing recovery broadened.

The median sales price rose from a year earlier in 133 of 152 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report yesterday. In the third quarter, 120 areas had gains.

An improving job market and low interest rates are driving up prices by fueling demand for a tightening supply of listings. The national median price for an existing single-family home was $178,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10 percent from the same period last year. That was the biggest gain since 2005, according to the Realtors group.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hooray, a new bubble!
Krugman had a graph recently:

Are we assuming the 2001 price is "correct", i.e. not a bubble?

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:25:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yen Gains as G-7 Officials Offer Conflicting Views on Volatility - Bloomberg

The yen gained versus the dollar and euro after unnamed Group of Seven officials gave conflicting signals over whether member nations are concerned that excess moves in the Asian currency will endanger trade relations.

Japan's currency gained against all of its 16 most-traded peers as an official in Washington, who requested not to be further identified, said the nations are concerned about excessive moves in the yen and that Japan will be discussed at the Group of 20 meeting this weekend. It later pared some of the advance after a U.K. official who requested anonymity said the G-7 was not singling out an individual country or currency. The pound fell to a six-month low on bets the Bank of England will lower its growth forecast tomorrow.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:02:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barclays vows fresh course, axes 3,700 jobs | Reuters

(Reuters) - Barclays' new chief executive pledged a fresh course for the British lender on Tuesday, axing at least 3,700 jobs and pruning its investment bank as he seeks to rebuild its reputation and boost profitability after a series of scandals.

In an attempt to distance Britain's third biggest bank from the aggressive, high-risk culture championed by his predecessor, Antony Jenkins said Barclays would put ethics above earnings at the bank, which has become a focus for public anger at the excesses of the financial sector.

"Barclays is changing. There will be no going back to the old way of doing things. We are changing the way we do business. We are changing the type of business we do," Jenkins said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:14:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See, what I take away is
  • bosses behaved irresponsibly
  • 3700 people lost their jobs

The Barclays "brand"? Couldn't care less.

(As I'm fond of saying, I switched a few years ago before hating Barclays became cool.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Barclays is changing. There will be no going back to the old way of doing things. We are changing the way we do business. We are changing the type of business we do," Jenkins said.

We're coming up with whole new ways to rip off the public. Just watch!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 03:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MMT, THE EURO, AND THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
And the bankers continue to lie, cheat, and steal without any fear of prosecution. [...] Banks are partying like it was 2006 all over again, with no constraints from regulators and supervisors.

There's no relief in sight. It will crash. Only a soothsayer can predict when.



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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 04:50:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters TV | Jim Rogers: Wall Street is doomed
Massive competition, increased regulation and staggering leverage make a career in Wall Street the wrong choice, says Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings and author of "Street Smarts." Rogers tells Reuters Consumer News Editor Chrystia Freeland that aspiring MBAs should dump their degrees and go into farming.

VIDEO

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:18:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ergodicity -(see article for links)- the biggest mistake ever made in economics   Lars Syll  Real-World Economics Review Blog

Paul Samuelson claimed that the "ergodic hypothesis" is essential for advancing economics from the realm of history to the realm of science.

But is it really tenable to assume - as Samuelson and most other neoclassical economists - that ergodicity is essential to economics?

The answer can only be - as I have argued - NO WAY!

Samuelson said that we should accept the ergodic hypothesis because if a system is not ergodic you cannot treat it scientifically. First of all, that's incorrect, although I think I understand how he ended up with this impression: ergodicity means that a system is very insensitive to initial conditions or perturbations and details of the dynamics, and that makes it easy to make universal statements about such systems ...

Another problem with Samuelson's statement is the logic:  we should accept this hypothesis because then we can make universal statements. But before we make any hypothesis--even one that makes our lives easier--we should check whether we know it to be wrong. In this case, there's nothing to hypothesize. Financial and economic systems are non-ergodic. And if that means we can't say anything meaningful, then perhaps we shouldn't try to make meaningful claims. Well, perhaps we can speak for entertainment, but we cannot claim that it's meaningful.


Pardon me if I suspect that Samuelson, explicitly or implicitly, understood very well what his target audience wanted to hear, and that telling them what they wanted to hear was made much easier by assuming ergodicity. From wiki:
In mathematics, the term ergodic is used to describe a dynamical system which, broadly speaking, has the same behavior averaged over time as averaged over the space of all the system's states (phase space). In physics the term is used to imply that a system satisfies the ergodic hypothesis of thermodynamics.

Neo-classical economists have been misapplying physics, especially thermodynamics, for their convenience since the 19th century.

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 Feb 13th, 2013 at 01:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ergo - Thus, therefore
Dico - to speak or tell
Ergodic - told you so.

Or is it something to do with dice?
They should have gone with chaotics.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:36:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or, "whatever I say it is".

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:37:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Closer to the mark, but they probably would not want to be so explicit.

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 Feb 13th, 2013 at 08:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Mitchell: I wonder what the hell I have been writing all these years (February 12, 2013)
I have spent almost the entire time I have been in academic life - from the time I was a fourth-year student, onto Masters, then PhD and subsequently as an teaching and research academic - studying, writing, publishing, and teaching about the Phillips curve and the link between labour markets and inflation. I have published many articles on how full employment was abandoned and how it can be restored taking care to consider how an economy that approaches high pressure might cope with the increasing nominal demands on real output. I have advanced various policy options to resolve the problem of incompatible nominal demands on such output and provided the pro and con of each. I have published some very detailed papers on those questions and my recent book - Full Employment abandoned - went into all the tedious detail of how inflation occurs and what can be done about it. But, apparently, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) ignores "the dilemmas posed by Phillips curve analysis" as one of its many alleged sins. I wonder what the hell I have been writing all these years

Further, as well as my work on Phillips curves I also live in a small, open economy which means I have a different experience to say Americans who live in a relatively closed and very large economy. The interactions between the external and domestic sectors are different and sometimes the things Americans say about economics need to be recast when considering what will happen in a small, open economy.

I have published lots of papers on the dynamics of such economies and placed my analysis within what we are now calling Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). But apparently MMT ignores the "dilemmas confronting open economies".




I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 03:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn that's good. I'll refrain from quoting the whole thing.
De Bono said the most used and most powerful way to kill a new idea is to say "oh, that's the same as ..."


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand Bill's frustration, but I suspect that the MMT guys feel that they have quite enough on their plate trying to get very basic concepts across and are trying to simplify rather than elaborate their ideas. But this may be unwise, as enabling a move towards full employment is the goal that MMT is using to popularize their views. Bill Mitchell's work seems an excellent compliment to what the MMT guys are trying to do. There is a similar situation with Steve Keen.

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 Feb 13th, 2013 at 09:13:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Fed's Plan B » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The Fed is going to keep waving that "$45 billion per month" carrot in front of the banks until they rev-up the credit flywheel and create a new regime of toxic mortgages. (The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule on "Qualified Mortgage", which requires neither a down payment nor credit scores, makes this prospect even more likely.) Bernanke is playing the role that the repo market played before the Crash of '08, that is, the Fed is promising to buy all the complex bonds (MBS) the banks produce off balance sheet to keep money flowing to the banks. It's just like the free market, except there's nothing free about it. It's all fake and Bernanke doesn't care if you know it.

$45 billion per month isn't chump change. It's enough to inflate housing prices, to employ more out-of-work construction workers, to grow the economy, and to save bank balance sheets that are deep in the red. At the same time, the Fed's ballooning balance sheet will put downward pressure on the dollar which will increase exports while lowering real-inflation adjusted wages. Like the man said, "We're going to kill the dollar."

This is the Fed's plan: Bail out the banks, transfer the banks bad bets onto its own balance sheet, hammer the greenback, slash wages (via inflation), boost exports, and pump as much money as possible into the unproductive, overbuilt black hole we call the US housing market.

Of course, President Obama could avoid all this nonsense and just launch a government-funded jobs program that would snap the economy out of its coma, increase demand, and turbo-charge GDP, but that would be way too easy.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:12:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerityland
Austerityland by Leigh Phillips Super-Secret Secret Squirrel

Posted by Leigh Phillips in ECB, EU, Spain, transparency on February 13, 2013

Mariano Rajoy (L) and Mario Draghi (R) in fancy dress at the Transparency International Winter Gala

 

The European Central Bank's Darth Draghi descended upon Madrid on Tuesday for a pep talk, saying that Spain had successfully stabilised its banking system and that borrowers with top-notch credit ratings should be seeing an easing of the credit drought by the end of the year. He saluted new laws making it easier to fire workers and did his best Bill Clinton impression, feeling the pain of the almost 60% unemployed youth.

After a closed hearing before a select group of MPs in the Chamber of Deputies, he told reporters that "Spain is on the right track," while darkly warning that all EU countries still had far to go and called on PM Rajoy to put together a "credible, detailed plan" on further spending cuts.

Nothing really new here. Typical `Good work, now cut more' generalities.

So why was the meeting held as a closed session?

It was reported ahead of the meeting by El Pais that according to parliamentary sources, the central bank had requested the secrecy as Draghi had wanted a similarly restricted format to that which he used when he spoke to Germany's Bundestag.

The decision to keep the meeting closed to the public, with proceedings to be issued in none of the normal formats, provoked an angry response from left-wing deputies, who announced that they would just "retransmit" Draghi's comments by Twitter.

All opposition parties, including the Socialists, denounced the move (although one has to ask if PSOE would really have done any different). The Socialists' spokesman, Valeriano Gómez filed a formal protest, while the Plural Left (United Left and Greens) described the efforts at a closed session as a "failure of democracy".

Shockingly, in response, the Speaker of the House installed mobile-phone jammers to prevent deputies from live-tweeting. So left-wing deputies Alberto Garzón and Joan Coscubiela just sneakily filmed the session on their iPhones and later uploaded the videos to YouTube.

The kerfuffle prompted Draghi to subsequently deny that he had ever wanted a closed session and that he would have been perfectly happy for it to happen in the open, adding that no harm had been done by it being posted on YouTube. See, look, I'll even post my speech up on the ECB website.

On the one hand, the Sith Lord's speech was so full of austerian banalities that it makes you wonder why whoever it was requested the meeting be held in secret in the first place.

On the other hand, if Draghi's comments really were going to be incendiary and have such import for the Spanish political economy, then such words - if Spain is still a sovereign democracy - need to be said publicly.

Particularly as the ECB has such form since the crisis with secret letters to governments ordering them to liberalise their economies or commanding them to take a bail-out, or quiet phone calls to domestic banking bosses directing them to turn off the taps, citizens have every reason to be frightened of Frankfurt's preference for the shadows.

In 2011, when former Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker was at a small Brussels think-tank function, forgetting that reporters were present, he for once spoke quite frankly about the need for secrecy, saying: "I'm ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious."

Economic policy discussions were simply too sensitive, he said, potentially putting "millions of people at risk", to have them in public. "I am for secret, dark debates," he joked at the time, adding that despite his Catholic upbringing, he had often "had to lie."

the current state of 'transparency' in our glorious union.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:28:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ouch, shoulda previewed... meant to clip the bottom 3 paras, sorry

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:30:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:30:19 PM EST
Rising power Qatar stirs unease among some Mideast neighbors | Reuters

(Reuters) - In the center of Cairo, young men hold up a burning flag for the cameras to show their fury at a nation they believe is meddling in their country and the wider Middle East.

It's a familiar image. But it's not the U.S. flag they are waving, it is that of Qatar, the Gulf state that has used its billions to spread its influence in the wake of the Arab Spring.

For most Western governments and officials, the influence of Qatar emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani's government is seen as broadly positive.

Qatar's neighbors are uneasy, however.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:11:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See below : Al Jazeera loses Arab audience

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:48:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
North Korean nuclear test draws anger, including from China | Reuters

(Reuters) - North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday in defiance of U.N. resolutions, drawing condemnation from around the world, including from its only major ally, China, which summoned the North Korean ambassador to protest.

Pyongyang said the test was an act of self-defence against "U.S. hostility" and threatened stronger steps if necessary.

The test puts pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama on the day of his State of the Union speech and also puts China in a tight spot, since it comes in defiance of Beijing's admonishments to North Korea to avoid escalating tensions.

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting at which its members, including China, "strongly condemned" the test and vowed to start work on appropriate measures in response, the president of the council said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can believe the reports, they've increased the yield to around 6kt from around 1kt.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:50:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN warns of reprisal attacks in Mali - Africa - Al Jazeera English
Mali risks descending into "catastrophic" violence, the UN rights chief warns, as tensions rise across the country after a string of attacks by rebels on French-led forces.

UN rights chief Navi Pillay on Tuesday warned of a second kind of violence threatening the country - reprisal attacks by the army on Tuaregs and Arabs accused of supporting the rebel groups that have plunged Mali into crisis.

"As the situation evolves, attacks and reprisals risk driving Mali into a catastrophic spiral of violence," Pillay told the UN Security Council.

"Protection of human rights is key to stabilising the situation."

Pillay said human rights investigators from her department had started arriving in the Malian capital last week, and called on all sides in the conflict to refrain from revenge attacks.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Gaza Gags Civil Liberties | Inter Press Service

GAZA CITY, Feb 12 2013 (IPS) - Gaza is becoming increasingly radicalised as Hamas continues its crackdown on civil liberties, press freedom and the rights of women. In the last few weeks a number of journalists have been arrested and accused of being involved in "suspicious activities", several detainees shot dead by police during arrest attempts, and female students asked to abide by a strict Islamic dress code.

"Hamas is on a gradual track of the Islamisation of Gazan society, which goes against their early promises," Dr Samir Awad from Birzeit University near Ramallah tells IPS. "Most people in Gaza, even the most conservative, oppose this. Gazans are already very conservative and they don't need Hamas dictating their religion to them."

Women have borne the brunt of the crackdown. Gaza's Al Aqsa University has announced that female students will be required to wear full traditional Muslim garb, from head to toe.

Some female students have expressed outrage, claiming that the new demands are in violation of their public freedom. They say that already female students are modestly dressed but that some prefer wearing pants and a long overcoat rather than a burka, abaya or hijab.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:20:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Khamenei Looks Off-Balance After Dramatic Week | Inter Press Service
TEHRAN, Feb 12 2013 (IPS) - Last week's dramatic and very public display of deep fissures among the leading politicians of Iran has left many here wondering if the conflict will escalate into an all-out war among various political factions in the run-up to the presidential election in June.

While everyone considers Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to be the only official powerful enough to prevent such infighting from getting out of hand, confidence that he will indeed do so has been shaken.

Politics in the Islamic Republic has always been raucous and full of surprises, but what happened last week was in many ways unprecedented.

The spark was the parliament's decision to impeach the minister of cooperatives, labour, and social welfare, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, for his failure to dismiss former judge and Tehran prosecutor-general Saeed Mortazavi from his post as the director of the Social Security Organisation (SSO), an agency under the ministry's authority.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:21:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:30:45 PM EST
Time to eat the ugly ones........ - The Ecologist

Simply put - we need to eat different fish. Over 80% of what we eat comprises the `big five': cod, haddock, tuna, salmon, and prawns. We now need to diversify, to eat those "ugly fish", which although previously discarded, are of good quality but just don't feature on UK dinner tables. Such fish (including cuttlefish, mullet and herring) represent about 17% of the total English catch, but are an untapped source of fresh, local fish, often caught by small-scale fishermen using responsible methods. 

But, with consumer choice limited by what's on supermarket shelves, how can we change our shopping habits to include these under-utilised gems?   

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:39:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
next up: eating tasty nettle soup and purslane salad will save grocery bills-

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 10:59:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Herring! Whooo!

(That's all I had to say, really.)
Oh, and article states what I'd hoped was the case but which wasn't clear previously: "502 MEPs voted to ban discards". Good.

The coop is of course in the affluent, hippie, fresh-vegetable eating south. Well, I'll just have to wait a bit for when the boat comes in.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:55:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, because the supply of ugly fish is infinite.
by asdf on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 11:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My favourite!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Climate change risks to U.S. security seen

Extreme weather and climate change present a potential threat to U.S. national security for which "we are not prepared," a study says.

The study, prepared by Harvard University, was conducted to explore the forces driving extreme weather events, their impacts over the next decade and their implications for national security planning.

Such events will affect water and food availability, energy decisions, the design of critical infrastructure and critical ecosystem resources, the report's authors said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Survey reveals fault lines in views on climate change

Climate change is a hotly debated issue among many scientists, but a new study published by a University of Alberta researcher notes that geoscientists and engineers also become embroiled in the issue-and for some, it can get surprisingly personal.

Lianne Lefsrud, a PhD student in the Alberta School of Business, surveyed the membership of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta regarding their beliefs on climate change and its causes, and on where responsibility for change rests. The responses reflected the rational, logical debates that would be expected of their professions. But when it came to being able to expand on their beliefs, the tone changed quite unexpectedly.

"Our findings show over 99 per cent agree that the climate is changing. They're pretty much split on the cause," she said. "But what was most interesting was the emotion, the metaphor, the very colourful language that they used in the open-ended responses."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was in the Colorado School of Mines bookstore recently. "Mines" is one of the premier geoscience schools in the U.S., with a huge petroleum engineering department and graduates who populate all of the oil/gas/coal and other mineral extraction industries. It is a tough school, hard to get into and hard to graduate from, and the students are serious, smart, and fully engaged.

And the bookstore has a LOT of books about climate change. Everything from technical analyses to political backgrounders to sociology and psychology texts explaining "why we disagree." It is obviously a huge issue for the school, and they are confronting it.

Unfortunately, those "older, male" geoscientists undoubtedly graduated a couple of decades ago, when schools like this talked around some of the sensitive issues. But even in the old texts, global warming is discussed. Any time I get into it with these guys, I tell them to get out their Geology 101 book and re-read it--the technical info was in there even in the 1960s...

by asdf on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 11:41:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Purification on the cheap

Increased natural gas production is seen as a crucial step away from the greenhouse gas emissions of coal plants and toward U.S. energy independence. But natural gas wells have problems: Large volumes of deep water, often heavily laden with salts and minerals, flow out along with the gas. That so-called "produced water" must be disposed of, or cleaned.

Now, a process developed by engineers at MIT could solve the problem and produce clean water at relatively low cost. After further development, the process could also lead to inexpensive, efficient desalination plants for communities in the developing world, the researchers say.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:42:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Manuka Honey v Streptococcus

My understanding is manuka honey kills the bacteria (in wounds) and prevents it connecting to human tissue. Works on bacteria that are resistent to antibiotics.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 07:49:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinical applications eh? Damn. That'll probably put the price up even more.

I wonder, did growing up in a manuka-saturated environment (bushland) confer any health benefits on me? At the time, or lifelong?

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 09:30:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait and see.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:06:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:31:09 PM EST
Fallacy of the creative class: Why Richard Florida's `urban renaissance' won't save U.S. cities | Grist
It was an urbanist's nightmare. On Feb. 1, a teenager was shot dead in the middle of a popular art gallery walk and street fair in Oakland, Calif. -- a town that highlights exactly what a city wins and loses when it attracts a huge influx of the vaunted "creative class."

The shooting highlighted a stark reality: The creative class is remaking Oakland in its own image, but the "urban renaissance" isn't benefitting everyone. The neighborhood where Campbell was killed has new condos and galleries -- and a median household income of less than $22,000.

By the urbanist creative-class metric, Oakland is winning. It's a top city for urban farmers, local organic gourmet food snobs (love you, food snobs!), cyclists, and art-lovers. It's home to a growing number of imported young makers, tech start-ups, and rising artists, in large part because of its close proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. At the same time, about 13 percent of Oakland residents are unemployed, and the city still has one of the highest murder rates in the nation, especially for teens.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:37:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Florida discusses income disparities, the causes and the problems it presents The Rise of the Creative Class and the Flight of the Creative Class.  As the author grudging admits.

The Creative Class thesis isn't a panacea.  It's an analysis and a report.  I'm not even going to try to condense 800+ pages of text into a blog comment.  Need to read the books.  Then we can discuss it.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Florida describes the Creative Class as comprising 40 million workers--30 percent of the U.S. workforce--and breaks the class into two broad sections, derived from Standard Occupational Classification System codes:

Super-Creative Core: This group comprises about 12 percent of all U.S. jobs. It includes a wide range of occupations (e.g. science, engineering, education, computer programming, research), with arts, design, and media workers forming a small subset. Florida considers those belonging to this group to "fully engage in the creative process" (2002, p. 69). The Super-Creative Core is considered innovative, creating commercial products and consumer goods. The primary job function of its members is to be creative and innovative. "Along with problem solving, their work may entail problem finding" (Florida, 2002, p. 69).

Creative Professionals: These professionals are the classic knowledge-based workers and include those working in healthcare, business and finance, the legal sector, and education. They "draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems" using higher degrees of education to do so (Florida, 2002).

In addition to these two main groups of creative people, the usually much smaller group of Bohemians is also included in the Creative Class.

...But only as a footnote. So basically 'creative class' is a synonym for 'engineers, executives and a few others, sometimes, but certainly not bohemians, much.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:56:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Intellectual work, academic education. Basically Galbraith's New Class then.

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 Feb 13th, 2013 at 11:39:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quickly - too quickly - the definition of the Creative Class is spread across Florida's writings.  It also has shifted as the dialog has continued from initial publication in 2002, on research conducted from the mid-90s to 2001, to his revision in 2012.  This is unfortunate.  This is also wholly understandable (See the ongoing evolution of Searle's Chinese Room critique of Artificial Intelligence and "Paradox and Paraconsistency" by Woods and infra for an epistemological analysis.)

And, like anything else, analysis of the Creative Class depends on the analyzer's definition of key terms.  A good example is "education."  "Education" can be used, deployed, semantically as "going to a college, what happens there, and being granted a certificate upon completion of a set group of instruction."  It can also be used as "the process of acquiring knowledge and/or skills of various sorts."  The broader definition is inclusive of the first while the the first is exclusive of the second and, for me, woefully limited wrt the phenomena.

Using the second definition jobs such as hair stylists, cobblers, tailors, chefs, & etc. are all potential members of the Creative Class while programmers, electrical engineers, and artists are not ipso facto.  In other words, the job classification is a necessary but not sufficient, for being included in the Creative Class.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 03:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the comments to this article (in Grist) are worth reading. While it's true that having the "creative class" move in doesn't solve all your city's problems, they do make things better. Other actions like better school policies and social assistance programs are also important, but if you have a nasty slum full of unemployed people with no prospects beyond drugs and murder, you're at a dead end.
by asdf on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oakland has been a disaster for decades.  It's going to take more than a couple years to turn the city around and it's going to take both Top/Down and Bottom/Up strategies, structures, and efforts to achieve non-suckitude.

 

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 03:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biological circuits with memory created

U.S. researchers say they've created synthetic biological circuits from bacterial cells that not only perform logic functions but also remember the results.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say the results of the functions are encoded in the cell's DNA and passed on for dozens of generations.

Synthetic biologists said they use interchangeable genetic parts to design circuits that perform a specific function, and such circuits could be used as long-term environmental sensors, in biomanufacturing or to program stem cells to differentiate into other cell types.

In most of the previously engineered cellular logic circuits, the MIT researchers said, the end product is generated only as long as the original stimuli are present; once they disappear, the circuit shuts off until another stimulus comes along.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:46:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they are using bacteria DNA then the circuits aren't stable.  It's been remarked there's really only one species of bacteria since they can all exchange genes during reproduction.  

Bacteria also seem able to exchange and/or absorb the "DNA" (sic) from viruses.  Which is weird.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:30:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Pope Benedict has a pacemaker, the Vatican confirms

A day after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, the Vatican has acknowledged that the pontiff has had a pacemaker for years.

But Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that he was not stepping down because of any specific illness.

His last public appearance will be his final mass in Saint Peter's Square on 27 February, Fr Lombardi said.

The pontiff would have no role in the running of the church after his resignation, he added.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:53:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Kumbh Mela aerial photographer held

Police in the northern Indian city of Allahabad have detained a photographer from France for flying "dangerously low" in a helicopter over the Kumbh Mela festival.

The incident took place on the main day of bathing on Sunday when 30 million pilgrims took a dip at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.

Police said the photographer was being questioned and his papers checked.

The festival expects 100 million bathers in total across its 55 days.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:54:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Project Syndicate: Life after Capitalism (Robert Skidelsky, January 20, 2011)
In 1995, I published a book called The World After Communism. Today, I wonder whether there will be a world after capitalism.

That question is not prompted by the worst economic slump since the 1930's. Capitalism has always had crises, and will go on having them. Rather, it comes from the feeling that Western civilization is increasingly unsatisfying, saddled with a system of incentives that are essential for accumulating wealth, but that undermine our capacity to enjoy it. Capitalism may be close to exhausting its potential to create a better life - at least in the world's rich countries.

By "better," I mean better ethically, not materially. Material gains may continue, though evidence shows that they no longer make people happier. My discontent is with the quality of a civilization in which the production and consumption of unnecessary goods has become most people's main occupation.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 05:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera de 43 millions de téléspectateurs à 6 millionsAl Jazeera falls from 43 million to 6 million viewers
Une enquête d'audience, commandée par la chaîne qatarie Al Jazeera, à un cabinet américain spécialisé, a révélé que le nombre de téléspectateurs au quotidien, de la chaîne du régime qatarie, a chuté significativement de 43 millions à 6 millions dans tout le monde arabe.An audience survey commissioned by Al Jazeera from a specialist U.S. firm revealed that the number of daily viewers of the Qatari regime's channel dropped significantly from 43 million to 6 million throughout the Arab world.
Les mesures d'audiences opérées par le cabinet américain, ont été assorties, d'analyses des causes, ayant conduit à cette déflation.Measures of audience made by the American firm, were accompanied by analysis of the causes that led to the deflation.
Il fut citée en premier lieu, l'éclosion, dans les pays du printemps arabe, de nouveaux médias locaux, au ton libre et moins stigmatisant qu'Al Jazeera.It was first mentioned, the blossoming in the Arab Spring countries of new local media, with a free tone and less stigmatizing than Al Jazeera .
En deuxième lieu, l'alignement d`Al Jazeera sur les positions des partis islamistes dans les pays ayant connu des révolutions, a jeté dans la suspicion, les publics dont le principal trait après les révolutions, est la diversité politique et idéologique.Second, the alignment of Al Jazeera on the positions of Islamist parties in countries that have experienced revolutions, threw into suspicion , audiences whose main characteristic after the revolution, is political and ideological diversity .
Et en 3ème point, la couverture propagandiste de la guerre civile en Syrie, a sérieusement détérioré l'image de marque de la chaîne auprès du public.And the third point, the propagandist coverage of the civil war in Syria , has seriously damaged the image of the chain to the public.
A noter que l'émir du Qatar dont la chaîne dépend financièrement de ses largesses, a ordonné une augmentation de budget d'Al Jazeera d'un milliard 300 millions de dollars, pour, reconquérir les parts de marché dans le monde arabe, en lançant rapporte des sources médiatiques, un plan de restructurationNote that the Emir of Qatar, whose channel is financially dependent on his largesse, ordered a budget increase for Al Jazeera of one billion 300 million dollars in order to recover market share in the Arab world, by launching a restructuring plan, media sources reported.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:21:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:31:32 PM EST
It's Darwin's birthday.

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you.
You're out of the gene pool
but for your great-great grandkids
.

(And many more.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:35:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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