• Biz,  Blogging,  Mapping

    Sunday link smorgasbord

    • ChicagoCrime.org – a wonderful marriage of Google Maps and publicly available crime stats. Now one can see where the bad neighborhoods really are. Hat Tip: Defense Tech
    • Arnold Kling on starting a business instead of going to college.
    • From one of the Jane Galt Commenters:

      “Warning: the author of this piece is completely absent in any training in mathematics, science, or any other discipline involving rigorous thought that might qualify them to form a decent critical opinion. Read with caution.”

    • Very good thoughts over at the Belmont Club, particularly “We live in a strange world where the Beslan story vanishes in weeks while Abu Ghraib lives on for years.”
    • The Daily Pundit’s has come up with a very good blogger’s kit.
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  • Economics

    Perfectly put

    From Will Wilkinson’s blog

    Should we expect less bottom to top, number one with a bullet, mobility as an economy grows wealthier overall?

    Yes. People are constantly confused by the growing gap between the rich and poor. This is good thing, not a bad thing. If the bottom is fixed, at zero income, and the top keeps going higher, you’ve got a bigger gap. But lots of people are better off and nobody is worse off. Similarly, if the lowest quintile is anchored by a fixed bottom, and the top is untethered and rising, the distance from the bottom to the top will increase. The distance from the bottom to the middle will increase. So it will take longer to get there. If today’s middle is equivalent in real terms to yesteryear’s top, people who are going from the bottom to the middle are doing no worse than people of yore who went from the bottom to the top (even if we assume, counterfactually, that there has been no change in quality of life for people at the bottom.)

    We should be AIMING at a system where the middle of the middle is, say $500,000 per annum, and so the trip from the bottom of the bottom to the top of the bottom, much less to the middle of middle, is a VERY BIG trip indeed.

    The original post is here. I wonder why I’ve never heard that arguement put that way before. It’s the standard economic reasoning for a positive sum game, but that line is the best you’re going to see in terms of delivery.

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  • Boxing

    Saturday fights

    I just saw Lamon Brewster knock out Andrew Golota. After the fight he offers condolences to Larry Merchant on a death in the family. A class act all the way, in the ring and the interview.

    Oddly enough, then I go to his website, and while he does have a flash intro (bad in my opinion) it’s done in a comic book style, which is good. He also has an “Ask Lamon” feature to the site which more athlete/celebrity sites should have.

  • Movies

    Just got Team America

    I just picked up the DVD, only the 5th non-instructional DVD I’ve ever purchased,and I have to say, it was as good as I remembered. It was as vulgar as I remembered too. Actually it was the most vulgar movie I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen Bad Lieutenant. There were only about 5 minutes of deleted scenes, and I’m not sure why they deleted some of them (though many were understandable to get the R rating).

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  • Weirdness

    Post Secret

    Post Secret just freaked me yesterday, it’s clean, weird and creepy. From their description:

    PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.

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  • Media

    It’s odd

    That no one has discussed the similarities and differences between the current Newsweek fiasco and the Valerie Plame affair. Both were anonymous sources, both were damaging and both were very political.

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  • Bumper Stickers,  Movies

    Saw Revenge of the Sith

    Mark and I saw Revenge of the Sith, and unlike many of the reviewers I liked it quite a bit, I hadn’t seen the previous two but this one stood on it’s own quite well. Eric was supposed to meet us but had car problems.

    While walking back to the car Mark and I saw this bumper sticker (which was pretty good)

    And this car, which is hilarious, inspired by the Napoleon Dynamite movie evidently.

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  • Israel

    The worst job ever

    The worst job of all time is dead body smell tester. In Israel the IDF is training their search and rescue people to do their jobs in the presence of dead body scent.

    Could you imagine the product testing for this? The article says that they

    Rescue and medical professionals, who are familiar with the stench from personal experience, tested several chemical and organic substances before finding the exact “smell of death

    That must have been awful couple of days. “How about this one? Too alive This one? Too dead. This one, that’s perfect, its smells just like death!”

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  • Islam,  Media

    While I’m waiting

    For the hosting data center to “reboot to fix latency they call it”, I’ll share this link on media self-absobrtion by Claudia Rosette. It’s the best article I’ve read so far about the Newsweek debacle. Money grafs”

    But the chief victims to date have been the rioters themselves, some of whom died as the violence escalated. A Washington Post report Monday quoted an Afghan dry-goods salesman, Del Agha, who joined one of the riots, as saying: “We wanted to have a peaceful demonstration, but the demonstration was like a car and some people who are the enemies of Afghanistan took the steering wheel and turned it in the wrong direction.”

    As recounted in the Arab News, an English-language newspaper based in Saudi Arabia, Afghans angered by the Newsweek story “have lashed out in fury in all directions. The fact that not only government and UN buildings were burned, but even mosques shows the depths of their rage. The same level of public anger has been reported from Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt and many other Muslim countries.”

    Let’s pause right there. We are hearing that Muslims, infuriated by a report of blasphemy, went on violent rampages that resulted in . . . dead Muslims and burned mosques. Meanwhile, not only is Newsweek apologizing and retracting, but the U.S. government is regretting the loss of life.

    What’s really going on here is two stories. One involves Newsweek and the ups and downs of U.S. journalism. The other involves a swath of the Islamic world in which anger, fueled by years of gross political misrule, is a chronic feature of life–seeking to acquire a target. What produced these particular riots was the intersection of Islamic-world furies and that brand of U.S. self-absorption in which no subject is more fascinating to the American media than any possible misdeeds of the U.S. itself.

    One media flaw that this (and every other article I’ve read) misses is that the media will not acknowledge that there are large parts of the world that are unreachable to them, yet it acts like it’s giving you the whole picture. It will not admit ignorance.

    While we’re awash in celebrity stories, and the white house press pool will devote considerable time to getting their affectations right, we hear very little about the hundreds dead in Uzbekistan, and next to nothing about Darfour. Yet one never sees Peter Jennings saying “we have no Central Asian news tonight because the government won’t allow us in. Now J-Lo and P Diddy are back together….”

    The two points are not entirely related but I thought I should get them on paper.

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