28 April 2011

Marvin's Link Sausage Platter

I'm not angry. I'm just terribly, terribly sad.

  • An interesting profile of Paul Krugman and his "liberal" writings has a fascinating lacuna in it, similar to the one at the heart of virtually all contemporary (and economic) discourse: It uses the word "liberal" without ever adopting/maintaining a consistent definition, let alone stating it. That's bad thinking, bad writing, and bad rhetoric — and perhaps is more than a little bit at the heart of the problem...
  • ...with explaining (without too much excuse or excoriation) this nation's history of unconscious racism, which is also echoed in the preceding piece with the comment on the background of the economists at that Oval Office meeting...
  • ...or what characterizes "poverty" in the undeveloped world, where "boredom" appears to be more of an enemy than "hunger" (if one follows that article to its ultimate conclusion). <SARCASM> What? You mean even uneducated dark-skinned poor people have brains that demand to be used? How... uncouth! </SARCASM>
  • Speaking of "uncouth," sometimes labor activism seems futile. On the one hand, we've got the NFL dispute, in which a group of millionaire "laborers" playing an overgrown boys' game is locked in mortal venal combat with billionaire owners. It's hard to have a lot of sympathy for either side; I think they're too busy trying to see exactly how many wrongs it takes to make a right. Then, in other parts of the arts, one has unions that have been completely coopted by management and won't even challenge "Hollywood accounting." Meanwhile, Tea Party activists — most of whom wouldn't have an education or customer base for their entrepreneurial pardises but for the past and present efforts of unions in the US — try to destroy unions.

    Implicit comparisons to the relationship among Google, publishers, and the Authors Guild in the GBS litigation are intentional.

  • Inappropriate consolidation in publishing isn't limited to Big Six publishers gobbling up competitors. Slightly below the DoJ/FTC's radar, one finds equally disturbing consolidation, such as F+W's plan to purchase a crime imprint. Although F+W is primarily known for its periodicals and nontrade imprints, this isn't exactly inconsistent with its (mis)conduct over that past fifteen years.