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The Chinese Emperor's New Economic Clothes

All economic data contain errors, but China’s are a work of art. Like its numbers on COVID-19 infections and deaths, its official economic statistics are political artifacts, carefully devised to cloak the failings and trumpet the superiority of China’s one-party Silvrback blog imagepolitical capitalist system over our liberal-democratic . . .

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April 24, 2020

"My folks sell me and yo' folks buy me." (Shorter version)

Some History of African Slavery

Here is an earlier post on the history of African slavery, but leaving out a long preface about the rapper Kanye West that seemed compelling at the time, but quite forgettable now. The subject is the role of African elites in the management of theSilvrback blog image global slave trade. Most African slaves were sold into slavery by other Africans, by African . . .

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April 13, 2020

Lock Down Links

April 2020

PlagueLit Anyone?

My Facebook literary group is keen to read about plagues. Albert Camus’ “The Plague” is popular.  I like a more indirect approach to PlagueLit, though.

Silvrback blog imageThe classic Chinese novel “Outlaws of the Marsh” is hardly at all about plagues, but the action does get kickstarted by one, as I . . .

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April 11, 2020

Two Epidemics in Three Chinas

Emperor Renzong, Xi Jinping’s ‘Party-State,’ and democratic Taiwan

As the coronavirus pandemic that began in China makes its way among us, with a modest cough and a friendly handshake,  it brings to my bookish mind another epidemic in that Silvrback blog imagecountry, the one that sets in motion the classic Chinese novel “The Outlaws of the Marsh.” That was in the reign of Emperor Renzong (AD 1022-1063), the . . .

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April 05, 2020

Freeman Dyson: Great Minds Around the Billiard Table

"In the end I won the game"

The Guardian’s obituary for the British-born mathematician, physicist, and general genius Freeman Dyson, who died on February 28, aged 96, says that:

Silvrback blog image“his happiest ever school holiday – from Winchester college – was spent working his way, from 6 am to 10 pm, through 700 problems in Piaggio’s Differential . . .

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March 05, 2020

What’s Different About This Impeachment?

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof offers to explain “What’s Different About This Impeachment” compared to Watergate:  

“The essential difference between Nixon and Trump lies not in their misconduct or in their unsuitability for office, but in the grim refusal of today’s Republican Party to notice . . .

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Posted in: lawtrumpusa

December 15, 2019

“Along Hurricane Dorian’s Tortured Path”

Disaster Journalism High and Low

Silvrback blog imageThe New York Times has a human interest story, “Along Hurricane Dorian’s Tortured Path, Millions are United in Fear,”  a fine example of quality upper-crust American journalism, against which it is interesting to contrast “’Waffle House Index’ is a real thing during disasters. How does the restaurant . . .

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September 05, 2019

Archive

All Categories: trump(10) democracy(8) clintons(7) usa(7) film(7) internet(7) american history(7) fiction(7) immigration(7) china(7) elites(6) nation(6) globalization(6) conservatism(6) identity politics(6) india(5) style(5) poetry(5) britain(5) race(5) historicism(5) religion(5) media(4) big tech(4) globalism(4) communism(4) europe(4) development(4) revolution(4) africa(4) politics(4) music(4) photographs(3) scientific method(3) slavery(3) e-commerce(3) sanskrit(3) silicon valley(3) free speech(3) liberalism(3) nation state(3) markets(3) political philosophy(3) populism(3) african americans(3) military(3) racism(3) sports(3) marx(3) international trade(3) ethnicity(3) charles dickens(3) essays(2) culture(2) multiculturalism(2) feminism(2) monopoly(2) law(2) macroeconomics(2) innovation(2) comedy(2) epic(2) women(2) disasters(2) statistics(2) pandemics(2) world economy(2) stock market(2) homer(2) evolutionary psychology(2) iran(2) institutions(2) edmund burke(2) economics(2) national liberation(2) james joyce(2) diplomacy(2) karl popper(2) fdi(1) probability(1) language(1) switzerland(1) art(1) science(1) social media(1) genetics(1) obama(1) game theory(1) united nations(1) journalism(1) russia(1) dance(1) tradition(1) political correctness(1) marriage(1) buddhism(1) taiwan(1) nihilism(1) emotions(1) lincoln(1) afghanistan(1) rural(1) urban(1) blockchain(1) bitcoin(1) working class(1) borges(1) mexico(1) mahabharata(1) nafta(1) family(1) zimbabwe(1) state(1) bubbles(1) manias(1) adam smith(1) charles darwin(1) theater(1) monetary policy(1) logic(1) cliodynamics(1) alt-right(1) regressive left(1) guns(1) antitrust(1) churchill(1) foreign policy(1) j.m. keynes(1) epistemology(1) william hazlitt(1) oligarchy(1) anti-semitism(1) islam(1) moral philosophy(1) machiavelli(1) caste(1) nationalism(1) tom wolfe(1) new journalism(1) philosophical history(1) hegel(1) industrial policy(1) libertarianism(1) mathematics(1) home

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