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May 2010
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September 2010

Economics and desire

Yesterday's NYTimes was rich with articles of the type that spurred me to want to blog here. Pieces that profiled people's passions, visions, and obsessions that end up inspiring particular economics and/or generating their own economies. Here's one, a piece on marriage and immigration from the standpoint of people waiting to prove their courtships are valid, not just an excuse to slip into the United States for a better chance at work. Note how it creates an economy of regulators to play vigilance over romance. Another colorful story profiles the "singularity movement," a group of people (led formally and informally... Read more →

Expanding what gets printed

Digital Self-Publishing Shakes Up Traditional Book Industry -' A good piece on the way vanity presses (for people who pay to get their own work published) are changing the entire book industry. At one point looked at as a repository of third-rate creativity, this sector has been fueled by digital technology. In the mid-1990s, my brother-in-law, Philip Simmons, who was fighting Lou Gehrig's disease, ended up publishing one of his books in one of these presses. He'd tried unsuccessfully to solicit New York publishers for two years, not easy for a man quickly losing his ability to move, nevermind... Read more →

Israel today

A few articles by Israelis today captured my sense of a nation that is dangerously lost, caught in a defensive stupor. Below is David Grossman's response to the flotilla violence. A Puppet on a String - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News. No explanation can justify or whitewash the crime that was committed here, and no excuse can explain away the stupid actions of the government and the army. Israel did not send it soldiers to kill civilians in cold blood; indeed, this is the last thing it wanted. And yet, a small Turkish organization, fanatical in its religious views... Read more →