The vanity of American power
Politico magazine has a long interview with Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in 2013-16, and Ben Rhodes, a speechwriter and adviser to President Obama. The occasion is a forthcoming HBO documentary on ‘The Final Year’ of the Obama administration, seen through the doings of these two functionaries.
The interviewer, . . .
Personal explorations in price discrimination - 'that's how they getcha!'
The other day I had a post on the growing ability of online businesses to charge customers different prices according to their ability to pay – perfect price discrimination in economists’ jargon. Which led naturally to the question: am I being screwed, and, if so, how badly?
Here are the results of a small . . .
Writing well to get ahead in politics
In his biographical essay ‘Asquith,’ Winston Churchill describes how an ability to write well helped him win swift political advancement in the reforming British Liberal government headed by H.H. Asquith from 1908 to 1915. Churchill entered Asquith’s cabinet as President of the Board of Trade in 1908, at the age of 34; . . .
“Plutocratic Insurgency Note No. 7 – Profit Optimization Beyond ‘the Invisible Hand’”
There is an enjoyably agitated article in the online ‘Small Wars Journal,’ with the title “Plutocratic Insurgency Note No. 7: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Pricing Software - Profit Optimization Beyond ‘the Invisible Hand.’” The subject is the growing ability of corporations to squeeze more profit out . . .
'Laughing in shy confusion'
This selection of ‘Poems from the Sanskrit’ was a favorite among a group of friends, well, a while ago. On hot summer afternoons, after lectures, we would sit in one of the cool stone alcoves that ran on one side of the college courtyard, boys and girls, and read aloud these poems, with many a smile and warm glance exchanged, . . .
Two angles on why we need the nation state
The two angles are from the English conservative writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, and from the economist Dani Rodrik, who, outside his technical economic writings, appears to be a conventional American liberal – horrified by Trump and so forth. Yet both, in sometimes overlapping, sometimes complementary ways, make a persuasive case . . .
Fifth Avenue at Twilight
Fifth Avenue at Twilight
Lowell Birge Harrison - circa 1910
Detroit Institute of the Arts (United States)
Painting - oil on canvas
Height: 76.2 cm (30 in.), Width: 58.42 cm (23 in.)
(More paintings of L.Birge Harrison here)
Cover image credit: http://Pinterest