15 November 2010

Don't Make My Link Sausages Decaf on a Monday

Too late...

  • The Economist offers some thoughts on where science gets done that bring a new twist to "outsourcing to cheap-labor nations." After acknowledging that artistic progress leads to scientific progress, perhaps someone will wonder why — in the wake of Arundati Roy, Salman Rushdie, et al. — this hasn't happened sooner... or maybe Harlequin is going to open an office in India to start sharecropping generic romances among the English-speaking author population there
  • And now, the dark underbelly of the long-overdue (if imperfect) financial reform legislation: The struggle over regulations to implement it. I was particularly amused by Ford's claim that automobile loans should explicitly be exempted from rules designed to deal with overly risky lending... because I used to litigate in that area. Extensively. And Ford was/is a bad actor, and not just by offering secured loans at 25.9% APR that, due to the high interest rates, were impossible to repay.
  • The Beast is back. Hasn't anyone figured out — from the disasters at The New Yorker and Talk under her direction — that Tina Brown can't actually implement all of her soundbites as a successful periodical?
  • The Perfesser makes a perfectly appropriate suggestion regarding TSA's Security Theater (which is Mystery Science Theater 3000 without the credibility or amusement value).

    Shoe, 15 Nov 2010

    This sort of thing makes me wonder if Murphy was one of the primary sponsors of the TRAITOR PATRIOT Act.

  • Professor Crawford notes that the proposed NBCU/Comcast merger will raise consumer prices. She doesn't note the other half of the famous (to nerds like me) antitrust standard, though: It will also reduce output, or at least has a substantial chance of doing so. Imagine, for a moment, that some group of upstarts from, say, MGM — a studio that has a lot of fantasy and science fiction films in its inventories — decides to start a non-premium channel devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Just what do you think the chances are of Comcast including such an upstart channel in its unlawfully-tied-but-nobody-is-paying-attention-to-that "basic cable" packages when it owns the ridiculous SyFy as a result of the merger? Yeah, about the same as me being named to the next vacancy on the Supreme Court.
  • An interesting discussion on the ethical dilemmas raised by a tire-slashing incident over at Pharyngula points out that more Americans need to pay attention to what happens elsewhere in the world. Belfast and Jerusalem pretty well cover it...