Sausage-making has been insanely irregular due to both travel schedules (it seems I'm the only one who isn't) and the irregular nature of news around the end-of-the-year holidays. And the lack of internet prunes, which probably wouldn't go too well with link sausages anyway.
- One of the best predictors of unfair contract negotiation results that inefficiently transfer wealth to those who already have it (without, one might add, adequate incentivization of transferors) is the combination of information asymmetry with monopsony. Now throw in the longstanding myths and culture of secrecy, and you've got the publishing segment of the entertainment industry. At least it's not quite as bad elsewhere in intellectual property licensing, as illustrated by this new edition of a rather useful book. Unfortunately, there's no equivalent in publishing — and the US equivalent is less helpful. That said, the accompanying picture marks the only damned thing that authors can — or should — be doing about it.
- For as long as there is a US publishing industry, that is; the demise of the print edition of Newsleak would be a canary if it was a bird. And yellow.
- Here's an import that we desperately need: A chief government auditor unafraid to expose corruption. I'd love to let him loose in the Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and/or DC city governments as a way to teach him about divided government before turning him loose on the states and the feds... and based on his comments about foregoing revenue from cell-phone spectrum allocation, it would be really interesting to see him tackle tax-incentive districts, ranchers' grazing fees, and so on!
- Some dude in Edinburgh proposes a flame war honoring England's most respected alchemist. Because Roger Bacon just doesn't get the respect he deserves.