01 December 2009

Post-Turkey Internet Link Sausages

I emerged from my tryptophan-induced coma to a pile of dishes that closely resembled the Bush Administration's "plan" for invading Iraq. Thus the silence for the past couple of days... coupled with muttering at the lack of a dishwasher...

  • In another instance of "follow the money," the WSJ has a story on ghostwriters for celebrities. Let's see, now... the WSJ is a unit of the Evil Empire NewsCorp (Rupert Murdoch's plaything), which in turn owns HarperCollins in both the US and the UK... which in the last year has published some truly execreble celebrity book-like products — one imprint of which is notorious for acquiring celebrity-based book-like products and then farming the actual writing out to independent "contractors" largely kept busy by that same imprint. That is, they're employees in all but name — a union-busting tactic, which is not much of a surprise coming from a corporate affiliate of the WSJ.
  • GE has agreed to buy the 20% of NBC Universal that it doesn't own from Vivendi, in preparation for selling a significant part of NBC Universal to Comcast. Hello, DoJ Antitrust Division? In the academic work that purportedly supports the use of the HHI as a measure of industry concentration, don't the authors explicitly say (although I'm paraphrasing so that it's in English) that the HHI substantially understates potential and actual anticompetitive effects if there is a natural monopoly or other government-granted monopoly anywhere in the market definition? So why so silent? (More on this in Part 2 of my summary of antitrust tangent on the GBS, coming soon.)
  • Harmony and tuning aren't universal constants of physics, as one gets taught in the "heat, sound, and light" portion of first-year calculus-based physics; they are, instead, cultural constructs often expressed in physics and enshrined in the construction of musical instruments.
  • "Don't be evil," for some value of evil, doesn't begin to cover amorality from just being big... let alone evil side-effects from even the most well-intentioned expansions. After all, the sun is not "evil" when it destroys things sucked into its gravity well, but it's still immensely destructive and dangerous!
  • Tactical Nuclear Penguin beer: 64 proof.