Nerd Link of the Week: Round the Clock Outrage

I get lots of email. Most of it is stuff I want, and since switching to Gmail a few years ago, the spam issues I’d encountered with Hotmail and Yahoo! are a a thing of the past.

This is a welcome development.

However, with my desire to help elect Kenyan Prime Minister Barack Hussein Obama I signed up for all sorts of political action committees. Sure, most of them just want money, but most of the time I get their emails and feel better informed about the political landscape. And since I subscribe to lists for both parties, I think I get a pretty good idea of what’s really going on in American politics.

Here’s my takeaway: Everyone is really, really mad and outraged. Like, all of the time.
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Nerd Link of the Day: The Physical Limits of Economic Growth

¡Thank God it’s Viernes, pendejitos !

Your correspondent has a serious and growing addiction to Twitter (hey, at least it’s not crack!) and found yester-day that several of the economically literate journalists, policy wonks, and professors he follows were sharing a link to a blog post by Tom Murphy, an associate professor of physics at the fine University of California at San Diego (which as we all know is German for “a whale’s vagina”) called Exponential Economist Meets Finite Physicist.

Professor Murphy recounts a four-course dinner conversation with an unnamed economics professor about whether long run economic growth is really possible given binding resource constraints like the total amount of solar energy that reaches the earth, the total amount of energy released by the sun, and so on.

It’s a worthwhile read for anyone interested in earth science, physics, or economics. Or just anyone who thinks (as I do) that humanity is a cancer on the planet. Unfortunately, Mr. Murphy’s account of the discussion is rather slanted against the economist, although Professor Murphy acknowledges this right off the bat (he is recounting this conversation from memory so it is easier for him to remember his own arguments than those of someone outside his field).

HowEVAH, the good Professor gets one of his points terribly wrong. Incorrect in theory, incorrect in evidence, and somehow the alleged economist (who must either be emeritus or a macroeconomist and therefore useless) not only fails to call him out on it but actually agrees with him, which is unforgivable.

Your quest, fellow nerds, is to find this egregious error and send an email to publius1981 (at) gmail dot com. The first correct respondent will get MAD PROPz from yours truly and a special prize: sexual favors from Magic Sam!

Nerd Links of the Day: An End to Banksterism

Don’t just take your correspondent’s word that the American Colonies are a failed kleptocracy.

The MIT professor Simon Johnson, a former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund and editor of the brilliant Baseline Scenario weblog, articulated quite clearly in May 2009 that the U.S. and A. was morphing into a banana republic. When emerging markets take a nosedive and creditors run for the hills the IMF usually has to pick up the pieces, lending money at concessionary interest rates in return for painful but necessary policy adjustments. These nations, like the Ukraine in 1994, Indonesia in 1997, and Russia in 1998, all got in trouble not because they were developing countries per se, but because powerful special interests had taken on too much risk while assuming (usually correctly) that their cronies in the government would clean up the inevitable mess.

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Nerd Link of the Day: Obamunism at the Last Chance Saloon

God will heal the worthy. Amputees are not worthy.
(Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters)

If one is unsure as to whether or not one lives in a laughable banana republic, there are certain clues such as:

  • A large and growing concentration of wealth among a small minority of the populace;
  • Capture of the regulatory and legislative processes by corrupt special interests;
  • A disproportionate number of incarcerated persons; or
  • Mindless devotion to nationalistic symbols like flags, anthems, and the military. Sound familiar??

HowEVAH, the one tell-tale sign that you live in a Krony Kapitalist Kleptocracy is that you can only get reliable news from the British.

While the BeeBeeCee still beams its World Service to benighted corners of the earth (like Mississippi), another venerable member of Her Majesty’s press is stepping up its coverage of the American Colonies. The Guardian newspaper, a well-endowed nonprofit organization whose mission is journalism rather than attracting eyeballs for advertising needless crap, has for several years been devoting more and more of its online coverage to events Across The Pond, to all of our benefit.

Here is the full transcript of Tuesday’s discussion of the constitutionality of the “Individual Mandate”, the cornerstone of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as a full report from Chris McGreal and analysis from Jim Newell, formerly of Gawker and now back at the brilliant Wonkette.

3/21 Nerd Links of the Day

Oh to-day is a most heady day. Indeed, maybe the headiest of days!

Sir Timothy of Thiebaut has been commanded by God (John Elway) to preach His word in Noo Joisey, the armpit of America and a well-known Den of Vice.

Regular readers will already know that the editorial board of this celebrated web-zine holds Drew Magary in the highest regard, and his ongoing satire of the New York Jets now promises to become all the more brutal. Today’s reaction to the Tebow trade was instantaneous and magnificent.

In addition, for your daily laugh at Mittens Romney’s expense take a look at this:

Boom, roasted.

Nerd Link of the Day: ‘Merica’s National Job-Creation Fetish

Illustration by Amit Werber

Ezra Klein, the economics correspondent superstar for the Washington Post and Bloomberg, has a killer article today that sums up what I’ve been trying to say (albeit less eloquently) for years: presidents have no control over job creation and the economy, and voting as if they do is a recipe for stupidity and stagnation.

If politicians could reliably create durable private sector employment, there would never be unemployment. It’s as simple as that. Politicians who “focus on job creation” through tax code distortions and gubmint subsidies for politically en vogue industries are either cynical or are charlatans, full stop. If the Famous-for-DeeCee people actually cared about jobs they would fundamentally rewrite the tax code, create some semblance of a single-payer health insurance system, or both.

Read the article, and then vote for the candidate who insults your intelligence the least.

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