Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Not the nine o-clock-ish news

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-06-24


A post in the Madame-la-Gillardine-and-faceless-men-free zone… a pot-pourri of links for those of you who want read something else.

Bonus funny over the fold: a photo I took (outside my place) of a kludge that could well end in a FAIL

  1. A Funny:
    xkcd on trumpets (and those vuvuwhatever thingies) Toot, and for those of you using a dain-bramaged web browser (yes, Redmond’s) that doesn’t show alt text when hovering over an image…. the bonus alt text is "This is also one of only five identified situations in which a vuvuzela is actually appropriate".  And the other four are….?
    The xkcd toot

    Toot


     
  2. Some Economics:
    Soros on the crash, the Euro, and Germany with the following snippets:
    The crash:

    The authorities had to do in the short-term the exact opposite of what was needed in the long-term: they had to pump in a lot of credit, to replace the credit that had disappeared, and thereby reinforce the excess credit and leverage that had caused the crisis in the first place.  Only in the longer term, when the crisis had subsided, could they drain the credit and reestablish macro-economic balance.

    The Euro and Germany:

    First, the current crisis is more a banking crisis than a fiscal one.

    Second, a tightening of fiscal policy must be offset by a loosening of monetary policy.

    Third, this is the time to put idle resources to work by investing in education and infrastructure.

     

  3. Musings about academia and science:
    "In which we stand on the shoulders of midgets" Jennifer Rohn, research scientist and novellist, makes a persuasive argument in favor of second-(or third)-tier papers (therefore journals and institutions) as being oft critical to the development of ideas behind blockbuster papers published in Nature and the like.  I reckon it’s a must read for those planning funding of education, industry development, and future human capital.  There might also be parallels in changes to law and judgements.
     
  4. On society/economics/politics:
    "The Hard Work of Measuring Social Impact" from Harvard Business School Working Knowledge. 
    While the focus is on how non-profits can measure mission success objectively, there are obvious parallels with assessing the success of governments and indeed political systems.  (See my ideas on measuring overall government performance easily in "Missing in Action: The Key KPI for Government").

    Donors are placing nonprofits on the hot seat to measure social performance.  Problem is, there is little agreement on what those metrics should be.  Professor Alnoor Ebrahim on how nonprofit managers should respond

And now your bonus funny (click to enlarge):

A sandshoe used instead of a bicycle seat

Sandshoe as bicycle seat kludge and forthcoming fail

This kludge – almost certain to end in a fail (if anybody in my lovely suburb of Malvern bothers to steal this unlocked bike – it’s been there, on a main road, for nearly a week and appears otherwise to be in good order), was noticed by my grandson who was yelling "Shoe!  Shoe!".  (Those shadows are my grandson and I, so you cannot tell just how cute he is and I’m not.)

Regular readers, who have noticed my decreased volume, can give blame/credit to the 3-yo boy who started living with me a couple of months ago.

I promise to put in a bit more effort into writing posts now that things political are getting a bit more "interesting" – in a Chinese Curse kind of way.

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