Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finance through the eyes of Jezebel

This morning:
New York risks losing as many as 20,000 finance jobs. I would be sad, but it's also sort of a "And at long freaking last they came for the bankers, and I didn't say anything because I had already spend much of my twenties unemployed kthanxbai" situation.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Anyone who ever listened to the "Today" programme will appreciate this

British blamed for Basra badgers

British forces have denied rumours that they released a plague of ferocious badgers into the Iraqi city of Basra.

Word spread among the populace that UK troops had introduced strange man-eating, bear-like beasts into the area to sow panic.

But several of the creatures, caught and killed by local farmers, have been identified by experts as honey badgers.

The rumours spread because the animals had appeared near the British base at Basra airport.

UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer said: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area.

"We have been told these are indigenous nocturnal carnivores that don't attack humans unless cornered."

Friday, May 25, 2007

The poverty of philosophy, the richness of blogs

You should go read this comment thread at Crooked Timber, where various contributors are imagining the life of the young Marx a la Hollywood. For example:

SOUNDTRACK: Jim Morrison sings “The Internationale”. Fade into overhead shot of Karl lying flat on his back on his desk.

MARX: (V/O) Bloomsbury. Shit. Two weeks and I was still in the British Museum Reading Room. Every time I looked around, the political philosophy shelves moved in a little closer.
Everyone gets what he wants. I wanted an overarching critique of the modern politico-economic system. And for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service.

ENGELS: (puts down dog-eared copy of “Elements of the Philosophy of Right”) It is clear to me that Herr Hegel has gone insane.

MARX: Yes, sir. Obviously insane.

ENGELS: And he is still out there, still discussing the nature of existence. We want you to go to Germany, and terminate his tenure.

PROUDHON: Terminate with extreme prejudice.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Life is short, the list of books long ...

... but this article in the Guardian is worth reading. Topic: the representation of work (or lack thereof) in fiction.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Kandy-Kolored ... huh? Oh, I'm back.

Tom Wolfe tries to understand hedge funds, loses it:
...General Electric, which is part of the business world’s wholly rock-solid trinity, along with Otis Elevator and the Federal Reserve...
WTF? OK, I buy Wolfe's general argument that the hedgies are rude, crude, and socially ambitions; and yes, "two-and-twenty" is the "greatest business plan of all time." But GE, Otis, and the Fed? Huh? Oh, and Tom, the really interesting story, which you failed to report, but someone should: why are managers of big pools of money (pension funds, etc.) so willing to fork over the big bucks to the hedge funds, when not all of them are generating above-market returns at reasonable risk?

Anyway, I'm back. Sort of. For now. Still struggling with those commitment issues, as you can see. Baby Hart was born in Eleventh-Month and is still not sleeping well. Toddler Whit is two and is delightful when not mischievous. Work is a struggle. More soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"Equalizing contributions"

From the WSJ:
General Motors Corp. is prepared to tell Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA today its price for a three-way alliance: A multibillion-dollar payment from Renault and Nissan to compensate for the greater value the Detroit auto maker believes it would bring to any partnership.

The planned demand for an "equalizing contribution" is the latest sign that talks among the three auto giants are in trouble and could blow up./
You know, that has happened to me so many times? Like when I wanted to date Brad Pitt, but he wouldn't fork over the money to compensate for the fact that I am so much more famous and good-looking than he is. And when Tiger Woods wouldn't pay me for golf lessons. Damn.

Actually, if you want to feel Rick Wagoner's pain, follow
this link at Nancy Nall's to read about GM's healthcare costs. But don't think too much about GM's "greater value" thereafter.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

In which I read the New York Times front page

OK, herewith my parsing of today's New York Times, all for your benefit.
  • Top left column: "For Now, Pluto Holds Its Place in Solar System." The lede: "Pluto dodged a bullet today." Dude, that would make a much better picture than the gloomy Lebanon pic you have featured.
  • Next: "New Lieberman Retooling Race as Independent." Heh. You said "tool."
  • Next: "Corzine's Attorney General Out in Ethics Breach." This is about the former NJ AG, Zulima V. Farber, and her boyfriend, Hamlet E. Goore. Both these people sound like they have made up spam-sender names, not real human being names.
  • In the interest of taste, I will skip the Lebanon a-hed....
  • "State Fairs, Sagging, Arrive at County Crossroads." Is it a coincidence that the second graf ends with the phrase, the "nation's midsection"? Just what is sagging here?

Google explains modern German literature

I decided to search for Gunther Grass, and the first site that came up was "Brainy Quote." The second of the seven quotes listed:

Believing: it means believing in our own lies. And I can say that I am grateful that I got this lesson very early.

Early, as in before or after your stint in the Waffen-SS?