notes July 14
July 14, 2008 § Leave a comment
Lets’s start with Paul Krugman this morning.
And yes, there is a real political scandal here: there have been repeated warnings that Fannie’s and Freddie’s thin capitalization posed risks to taxpayers, but the companies’ management bought off the political process, systematically hiring influential figures from both parties. While they were ugly, however, Fannie’s and Freddie’s political machinations didn’t play a significant role in causing our current problems.
Still, isn’t it shocking that taxpayers may end up having to rescue these institutions? Not really. We’re going through a major financial crisis — and such crises almost always end with some kind of taxpayer bailout for the banking system.
And let’s be clear: Fannie and Freddie can’t be allowed to fail. With the collapse of subprime lending, they’re now more central than ever to the housing market, and the economy as a whole.
What he does not address is, who wins and who loses? To me the problem is that the whole financial sector is too big a piece of the economy. it is like the house in Roulette, only instead of just 0 and 00 it also has added 000 and 0000, thereby increasing even further its percentage of the take.
Richard Coyne, Ubiquitous technologies and the design of places for meaningful human encounter
Meetings are now less constrained to offices, shops and fixed points of service, and can take place in a range of environments, including branded places: coffee houses, transportation hubs, customised meeting places, and informal, locally-branded spaces. People are drawn to places that have particular meanings as loci of human encounter. Communications technologies are implicated in this move into the variegated brandscape.
We gather evidence for these assertions about the rise of branded meeting places, examine the suitability of branded spaces for human encounters (eg meetings amongst business associates, between service providers and clients), and develop strategies for improving the technologies that support them. In the process we will critically examine and analyse branded spaces, theories about their formation, and how they operate as loci of human encounter.
Which fits my use of the Cantor’s cafe at Stanford.
Is there a connection between the hyper-rationalism of the Renaissance and the absolutism of Calvinism? And then the absolutism of the counter reformation, and then of the enlightenment and of romanticism? And then of Positivism, and, in the exhaustion – the decline of humane culture and the rise of techno-culture?
Obama’s op-ed on Iraq will require revisiting, so here is the url