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Monthly Archive: April 2009

Apr 30 2009

Possible models for newspapers

As a result of the financial pressures that all papers face, my local newspaper, the Plain Dealer has adopted the cost-saving strategy of cutting back on national and international coverage and op-eds, focusing more on local news and sports. The paper is now a lot thinner with the sports section now the largest, and sports …

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Apr 29 2009

Skyhooks and cranes-2: Replacing skyhooks with cranes

(For other posts in this series, see here.) Darwin’s big idea of natural selection essentially removed the necessity for skyhooks. According to natural selection, complex things could and did emerge from simpler things and hence we no longer need to invoke skyhooks to explain how they came about. Instead we now have ‘cranes’ that can …

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Apr 28 2009

Newspapers in crisis

As someone who grew up in Sri Lanka, a country that has a strong newspaper-reading ethos, I feel a sense of regret at what seems to be an irreversible decline in the fortunes of daily newspapers. Growing up, my family subscribed to two morning newspapers and two evening newspapers each weekday, and three papers on …

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Apr 27 2009

Skyhooks and cranes-1: Why skyhooks are appealing

I occasionally meet people who, knowing something about my interests with science and religion, say something like “I am not religious but I am skeptical of the theory of evolution.” These people are often well-educated but not biologists or archeologists or paleontologists or anthropologists, so it is unlikely that they have done any kind of …

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Apr 24 2009

American oligarchy-7: What needs to be done

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) So where does Barack Obama fit into this picture? We saw him strike various populist themes during the campaign. But it should be clear from the people he has surrounded himself with on economic policy that he too is completely subservient to Wall Street interests. In fact, …

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Apr 23 2009

American oligarchy-6: The victories of the oligarchy

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In his article in the May 2009 issue of The Atlantic magazine titled The Quiet Coup, Former chief economist of the IMF Simon Johnson lists the fruits of the collusion between both political parties and Wall Street interests. From this confluence of campaign finance, personal connections, and …

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Apr 22 2009

American oligarchy-5: How Wall Street builds its power

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In the previous posts, we saw how people with connections to big Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs are everywhere in government, especially in key economic policy-making positions, so that whichever party wins, their interests are protected and advanced. In his article in the May 2009 issue …

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Apr 21 2009

American oligarchy-4: How oligarchies work

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He used to be the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and in that role had to deal with many countries in financial crisis and had plenty of experience with oligarchies. He is hardly an …

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Apr 20 2009

American oligarchy-3: Welcome to the club

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) It is not just Geithner who is a slave to Wall Street interests. Key economic advisor in the Obama administration Lawrence Summers, although he comes from academia, is also enmeshed in that world. In just 2008 alone, Summers received $5.2 million from the hedge fund firm D. …

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Apr 18 2009

Comment deletion

For some reason that I cannot figure, the last half-dozen or so comments disappeared, including some of my own. My apologies.

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