March 3, 2009 Leave a comment
- Unexpectedly fascinating article on the rise of “netbooks”.
- Colby Cosh looks at the financial crisis and vents his anti-Baby Boomer scadenfreude. The problem I see here is that the Baby Boomers mostly have had it pretty nice; it’s Gen-X and beyond who are gonna get the shaft. (HT: Arts & Letters Daily)
- Also from Arts & Letters Daily: Finding the lost city of the Amazon jungle. Especially interested in the theories (which I’ve encountered before) that much of what some people consider the “pristine”, natural, untouched, unspoiled “rain forest” was actually heavily engineered by early human societies.
- Always-fascinating Whiskey on the failure of Joss Whedon’s new TV show Dollhouse:
Clearly, Hollywood’s attempt to “square the PC circle” with women kicking ass, and men angst-ridden and disagreeable, has passed. These shows found some success and advertiser dollars in the go-go status-obsessed 1990′s, where the only problem was where to put all the money people were making, but far less in the recessionary and terrorist-threat (of the nuclear kind) decade of the 2000′s, ten years later. Niche cultures just are not making money.
Being a fan of his earlier Firefly, I DVR’ed & have watched about 1.5-2 episodes of Dollhouse. Not impressed. And the premise is shockingly sick when you think about it. Joss Whedon’s apparent fascination with a certain type of angular, boney, kicking, sexualized supergirl was an overlookable fetish when it was just one character in a strong ensemble. Having a whole show built around her is something else entirely. Not surprisingly, I never was into Buffy either, and indeed, I have always seen this type of character as essentially a “90s” phenomenon, without quite being able to articular why/how – as Whiskey does.
- Classical Values notes that Japanese scientists don’t agree with the global warming “consensus”. Never fear, I’m sure Global Warming believers will decide they “don’t count” one way or another, though.
- Happens once in a blue moon – I agree with Matthew Yglesias, there would be justice in confiscating the wealth of AIG executives. The whole AIG phenomenon is infuriating if you even think about it only a little: they sold insurance they weren’t good for, everyone on earth became their counterparty (thus inflating their own wealth because they could pretend/assume that their AIG trades were good), thus AIG became “too big to fail”, justifying neverending infusions of taxpayer cash. A cynic looking at all this might have viewed AIG as an off-balance-sheet secret branch of the US Government with the mission to inflate a world financial bubble by essentially Ponzi methods. Well, it worked. And AIG’s execs got rich along the way. But we don’t let people get rich off Ponzi schemes. Not if we can help it.
- Bryan Caplan makes a pithy point about modern political-economic debate.