Saturday, April 3, 2010


Witold Rybczynski on urban planning.

Life among the displaced by South Africa’s World Cup planning.

Why we need a consumer finance protection agency: credit card companies are garnishing wages to get their money back, often adding on exorbitant interest rates and fees. A lot of people don’t contest the amount they’re owed and just try and move on; apparently the right thing to do is go to court. This quotation, I think, sums up a lot, ““If the consumers were armed with more education about how to defend against these debts, they’d be successful,” said Jeffrey Lipman, a civil magistrate in Des Moines.” Well, I mean, sure, maybe…and it’s fair to expect consumers to be expected about the basics. But I consider myself pretty well informed, and I’d probably do the same as in this article.

Clay Shirky on the collapse of complicated business models.

Justin Fox on why the economic debate is too important to leave to the economists.

Scary charts on unemployment.

McSweeney’s sums up my feelings on The Wire. Watch out, you might be next.

Bubblicious wine buying among the Chinese:
Sam Yip, 36, a Hong Kong investor tasting at Chateau Mouton Rothschild, which along with Lafite-Rothschild has been dubbed by one merchant the "tipple of choice for your thrusting Chinese industrialist", said he was planning to spend $250,000 (£163,000) across the 2009 vintage for his private collection.

"Everyone in China is thinking Lafite," he said. "It is seen in the same light as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci."
Thrusting Chinese industrialist. What a phrase. I do wish someone was around to scream, “That’s what she said,” after that. That I wanted to be there to shout it is also why I’ll never be around to shout it.

GQ on ESPN’s local expansion. I am, of course, a fan. The newspapermen quoted in here manage to sound, well…clueless. Here’s my favorite:
"Sports journalism is dead," says New York Post sports columnist Phil Mushnick. "The games have become props; the sports have become props. I think at the start of every day, ESPN's motives are pure, but before it's put on the air, on the Web, or in the magazine, it's all been ESPN-ized: It's there to self-promote, cross-promote. I'm frightened for whistle-blowers. It'll be a good time for bad guys when newspapers go down."
The noble sports journalist, bravely exposing wrongs and righting rights. Truly, society’s greatest wrongs have been solved by these noble knights-errant with naught but pen and ink. Newspapers aren’t Camelot, they get caught up in the same fads and manias as everyone else…and it’s especially rich coming from a sports journalist. You won’t find a bunch more devoted to clich├ęs and stenography with occasional crabby lashings-out at approved enemies who in no way threaten the status quo than sports journalists. Save it, Mushnick. (It’s also pretty rich that he writes for the Post. Come on, dude, you work for a Murdoch paper.)

Taxicab allocation from Marginal Revolution.

Journalists and politicians. Some good history here.

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