Links for the Week: December 13, 2008

BLOG Links for the Week: December 13, 2008

new yorker coop victoria roberts
Victoria’s New Yorker cartoons are available for sale here.

US Dollar to Be Devalued 90%?: Gerald Celente, an economic futurist with a remarkable track record, foresees a 90% devaluation of the US dollar, leading to food riots and tax rebellions by 2012. I think what he’s saying is right, but I don’t think it will happen nearly this quickly. Thanks to EJ for the link.

Pump & Dump Enterprise: Economic reformer Catherine Austin Fitts explains how cynical businesspeople created businesses designed solely to exploit government systems weaknesses and public ignorance for personal profit, and corrupt other businesses into the same exploitative model. For those who believe the current financial crisis was the result of simple human error, good intentions and bad judgements, this analysis is a powerful counter-argument. You won’t feel the same about bailouts after you read it. You’ll understand how “enterprise” has come, in some people’s minds, to be a dirty word. Thanks to Andrew Campbell for the link.

“This is Really, Really Scary”: Nobel economist Paul Krugman talks to HTWW about the economy: The consequences of excessive leverage, the limits to what government interventions can do, double-digit unemployment rates, economic fragility, and why this is going to get “awful”.

Carbon Tax, not Cap & Trade, Mr Obama: Michael Le Page urges Obama to steer clear of unworkable cap-and-trade solutions and make polluters pay now.

Canada’s Next PM Admits He Was Wrong on Iraq: The new leader of the progressive majority coalition in Canada, which will be taking power as soon as the minority Conservatives re-convene parliament, is Michael Ignatieff. He’s best knows for admitting he was wrong about the wisdom of the Iraq War, and for condoning (or at least understanding) the use of torture in cases where there is an immediate large-scale threat to human life. Both positions have been misstated and misconstrued. This guy’s complex, and the biggest concern about him is that he’s still largely an unknown.

Just for Fun: Autoantonyms are words that also mean their opposites. Their existence tells us something about the imprecision of language and how it evolves. Yes means no. My favourites: fast, fine, literal, sanction, sanguine, table and temper. Thanks to my colleagues Richard Livesley and Greg Turko for the link.

Thoughts for the Week: A repost from last August, because these quotes were so good:

  • From Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” (thanks to William Tozier for the quote
  • From Esther Dyson: “Always make new mistakes” (thanks to Natalie Shell for the quote)
  • From JP Rangaswami: “More and more, knowledge management is going to be about reducing the cost of, and simplifying the process for, letting someone watch what you do. Nonintrusively. Time-shifted. Place-shifted. Searchable. Archivable. Retrievable.” (thanks to Nancy White for the quote)
  • From Charles Bowden in Blood Orchid: “We are an exceptional model of the human race. We no longer know how to produce food. We no longer can heal ourselves. We no longer raise our young. We have forgotten the names of the stars, fail to notice the phases of the moon. We do not know the plants and they no longer protect us. We tell ourselves we are the most powerful specimens of our kind who have ever lived. But when the lights are off we are helpless. We cannot move without traffic signals. We must attend classes in order to learn by rote numbered steps toward love or how to breast-feed our baby. We justify anything, anything at all by the need to maintain our way of life. And then we go to the doctor and tell the professionals we have no life. We have a simple test for making decisions: our way of life, which we cleverly call our standard of living, must not change except to grow yet more grand. We have a simple reality we live with each and every day: our way of life is killing us.” (thanks to Beth Taggard for the quote)

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4 Responses to Links for the Week: December 13, 2008

  1. Christian Faucher says:

    I don’t share your outlook about the coalition taking over power right away in January. It is in Ignatieff’s political advantadge to let Harper come up with a reasonable, appropriate budget (which the liberals will be able to claim it was put together under their influence) and then give the Cons just enough rope so they hang themselves around spring while the Liberals raise funds for their next campaign.

  2. Dale Asberry says:

    Re: US Dollar to Be Devalued 90%?You are being much too conservative. It will happen by 2012, and much more likely by 2010. It is all related to being on the hockey stick side of exponential growth in money supply. Which in fact, we’ve just been blessed with more intense “growth” in the September – October than all previous history due to the bailout. Currency collapse happens fast and unexpectedly.

  3. Sarah Thring says:

    Re: Iggy on TortureThe New Press published a book some years ago which was a collection of essayg, including 1 by Ignatief. The book was called ON TORTURE. He isn’t being misunderstood. He clearly stated his position.

  4. steve black says:

    autoantonym: Life (‘human way of’ vs ‘natural’)

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