“Slavery is often portrayed by revisionist historians as somehow antithetical to market capitalism; in reality, slavery was a winning portfolio investment, the very incarnation of just how evil “free-market” capitalism can be. As the authors write:
“If slaves … were an investment included in the asset portfolio of the planter/entrepreneur, they helped satisfy the owner’s demand for wealth. But unlike most other forms of capital, which depreciate with time, the stock of slaves appreciated. Thus, the growth of the slave population continuously increased the stock of wealth.”
What makes this graph so disturbing for us in 2012 is what it suggests about today’s “1 percent” — and how they view the rest of us. It gives form to the brutal crackdown on the Occupy protests — and suggests darker things to come as we try to free ourselves from their vision of civilization, and our place in it.”
“Upon the close of the May 1 comment period, it is our intention to begin posting these 73 standards in HTML and begin the process of providing a unified, easy-to-use interface to all public safety standards in the Code of Federal Regulations. It is also our intention to continue this effort to include all standards specifically incorporated by reference in the 50 states. That the law must be available to citizens is a cardinal principle of law in countries such as India and the United Kingdom, and we will expand our efforts to include those jurisdictions as well.”
It is time to suppress this sort of research. If we’re not careful, people will start looking at contemporary dynamics. Please have your Posterity Docent initiate Elephant Protocol Mu now.
Also: I want the little bead-flow animations.
“The tension arises from the fact that it is often more profitable to rip a customer’s face off in the short term than to defer potentially larger profit opportunities with the same client in the long term. When bankers whose personal franchises, careers, and compensation depends on the former are evenly balanced with bankers whose interests are aligned with the latter, an investment bank perches profitably if precariously on the knife’s edge of sustainable profitability. Notwithstanding industry critics’ perception that all investment bankers are all looking for a quick and easy score, those of us who actually work in the relationship side of the business know that our best personal outcome depends on a sustained career success lasting over a decade or more. Unlike, perhaps, traders who transact daily with equally ruthless hedge fund counterparties on a no-regrets, no-grudges basis, bankers like me in corporate finance and M&A transact with the same limited universe of clients year-in and year-out. We simply cannot afford to screw them over, because they do hold a grudge.”
‘Even if you have the most up-to-date edition of the very latest textbook, I think it’s recognize that the textbook — as an object, as instructional practice — is still a relic. It is a relic of a time when information was scarce. It’s a relic of the way in which we manufactured and scaled the industrial model of education — a teacher at the front of the classroom, assigning the lessons and readings from an authoritative text. One that was bound by print. One that was distributed state and even nation-wide. One that was uniform. Somewhere along the way, “textbook” became “curriculum” — and under today’s testing regime, that all became wrapped up in “assessment.“‘
“NONE of the police officers invited us to disperse or gave any warning. We couldn’t have dispersed if we’d wanted to because the crowd behind us was pushing forward to see what was going on. The descriptor for what I tried to do is “remonstrate.” I screamed at the deputy who had knocked down my wife, “You just knocked down my wife, for Christ’s sake!” A couple of students had pushed forward in the excitement and the deputies grabbed them, pulled them to the ground and cudgeled them, raising the clubs above their heads and swinging. The line surged. I got whacked hard in the ribs twice and once across the forearm. Some of the deputies used their truncheons as bars and seemed to be trying to use minimum force to get people to move. And then, suddenly, they stopped, on some signal, and reformed their line. Apparently a group of deputies had beaten their way to the Occupy tents and taken them down. They stood, again immobile, clubs held across their chests, eyes carefully meeting no one’s eyes, faces impassive. I imagined that their adrenaline was surging as much as mine.”
“To attempt to draw a political map of the reconstituted North America is to confront these contradictions head-on. What counts as a nation? How to capture the overlapping spheres of responsibility? What about the areas all but abandoned to wilderness? Does membership confer citizen-hood?”
“So what? Above a certain count, do the numbers even matter? Well, yes. The difference between the two estimates is large enough to change the way we look at the war. The new estimate suggests that more men died as a result of the Civil War than from all other American wars combined. Approximately 1 in 10 white men of military age in 1860 died from the conflict, a substantial increase from the 1 in 13 implied by the traditional estimate. The death toll is also one of our most important measures of the war’s social and economic costs. A higher death toll, for example, implies that more women were widowed and more children were orphaned as a result of the war than has long been suspected.
In other words, the war touched more lives and communities more deeply than we thought, and thus shaped the course of the ensuing decades of American history in ways we have not yet fully grasped. True, the war was terrible in either case. But just how terrible, and just how extensive its consequences, can only be known when we have a better count of the Civil War dead.”
‘While Adam Smith may be known as the philosopher who first promoted the idea that “greed is good,” his earlier work suggests we are not condemned to exploit others for the benefit of a few. In his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, written in 1759, Smith proposed that sympathy for the plight of those who suffer is an inherent part of human nature.
“When we see one man oppressed or injured by another,” he wrote, “the sympathy which we feel with the distress of the sufferer seems to serve only to animate our fellow-feeling with his resentment against the offender.”
With the current occupation of Wall Street and the international condemnation of an economic model that would take advantage of those most in need, we are witnessing Smith’s prediction in action. It is only when the reality of people’s suffering is hidden that greed is allowed to dictate policy. While our current system has chosen the greed of the few over the needs of the many, the intellectual founder of modern capitalism suggests it doesn’t need to be this way. “When we think of the anguish of the sufferers, we take part with them more earnestly against their oppressors.”’
“So who was responsible and when is it from? Since the sheet is neither signed nor dated, we can only make this assertion thanks to the sleuthing done by earlier scholars, most importantly by John Dreyfus for his collection of type specimen facsimiles, and the source of much of the information I give here.1 This sheet can be connected to its type caster thanks to the detailed records kept by the Dutch printer Christophe Plantin and the remarkable longevity of his press, now the home of the Plantin-Moretus Museum. Plantin’s 1575 inventory of fonts includes the double pica italic typeface shown on this sheet (it’s the largest size of the italic face, on the right-hand column), with a note on the facing page identifying it as “Ascendonica Cursive de Guiot.” François Guyot was a type caster in Antwerp who worked from the 1540s until his death in 1570, and who was the main caster for Plantin from 1555 onwards; he also seems to have worked briefly for John Day in London.”
In other words, a standard Open Space:
“Essentially, it’ll be Wurman and 100 of his pals (and as he so eloquently put it, “I know fucking everybody”) talking about a particular topic for a certain amount of time. The “intellectual jazz” will be filmed in black and white, and then later released as an interactive app. ”I’m terrified,” said a coy Wurman, looking absolutely nothing of the sort. ”I don’t know if I can pull it off.” And while a gathering of 100 bigwigs in some ways sounds like the worst kind of elitist horror show, I actually found myself rooting for him. I mean, the world needs contrarians, and Wurman sure is one of them.”
“We Can’t Afford to Just Be Consumers Anymore
In the classical model of economics, a self-interested consumer like Josh would readily accept Interstate’s offer, seeing no downside.
But Josh is part of a new class of consumers who understand the idea of “voting with your dollar”, and it goes well beyond which brand of toilet paper you bring to the checkout line. There are several immediate downsides to the “resolution” Interstate brought to the table:
Firestone would be rewarded for their ridiculous 2-hour-minimum policy to change the battery.
Interstate would continue to be unable to enforce their warranty.
The customer (Josh) would have no reason to believe he’d be able to get a new battery in the future without all of the nonsense implied by the resolution — namely, paying for the 2 hours of labor himself and then securing reimbursement from Interstate.
Josh looked at the options and decided not to enable the vendors in their bullying of Interstate, and not to encourage Interstate to bend over for them. And he realized his time in chasing down his due was worth more than the value of the product in question.”
“This newspaper has a strong dislike of big government; we have long argued that the main way to right America’s finances is through spending cuts. But you cannot get there without any tax rises. In Britain, for instance, the coalition government aims to tame its deficit with a 3:1 ratio of cuts to hikes. America’s tax take is at its lowest level for decades: even Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he needed to do so.
And the closer you look, the more unprincipled the Republicans look. Earlier this year House Republicans produced a report noting that an 85%-15% split between spending cuts and tax rises was the average for successful fiscal consolidations, according to historical evidence. The White House is offering an 83%-17% split (hardly a huge distance) and a promise that none of the revenue increase will come from higher marginal rates, only from eliminating loopholes. If the Republicans were real tax reformers, they would seize this offer.
Both parties have in recent months been guilty of fiscal recklessness. Right now, though, the blame falls clearly on the Republicans. Independent voters should take note.”