Working Papers

G20 Most Wanted

Do you recognise anyone in these photos?  If so, the Victorian Police would like to hear from you.

(via Andrew Norton)

posted on 19 January 2007 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Pink’s Ban Australia Bullshit (or Biting the Hand that Feeds Me)

Compare and contrast the Blog Ad at the right hand side bar with the following story:

US pop singer Pink has backed down from her call to boycott Australian wool over animal cruelty claims, admitting she failed to fully research the issue.

The singer, who has sold around 200,000 tickets for dozens of shows in her upcoming April tour of Australia, appeared in an animal rights group video last year branding the practice of sheep mulesing “sadistic”.

But today, Pink admitted she was misinformed about the issue and had failed to do enough research.

“I probably could have done a lot more research on my own,” she told the Nine Network.

“That’s the lesson I’m taking from this.

“My message was, in my mind, boycott animal cruelty - not an entire industry, not Australia, obviously, because it’s my favourite country.

“Then going back, I was speaking without thinking and I actually did say ban Australia, which is bullshit. It’s not something that I can agree with.”

Pink made the video as part of the US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) three-year campaign to end mulesing.

Sorry PETA, no refunds!

posted on 18 January 2007 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

‘The Most Important Novel of the 20th Century that was Never a Film’

The IHT on Atlas Shrugged - The Movie:

Randall Wallace, who wrote “Braveheart” and “We Were Soldiers,” is working on compressing the nearly 1,200-page book into a conventional two- hour screenplay. Howard and Karen Baldwin, the husband-and-wife producers of “Ray,” are overseeing the project, and Lions Gate Entertainment is footing the bill.

Whether Jolie, who has called herself something of a Rand fan, will bring the novel’s heroine, Dagny Taggart, to life on screen, or merely wind up on a list with other actresses who sought or were sought for the role remains to be seen. Until now, at least, no one in Hollywood has figured out a formula that promises both to sell popcorn and to do justice to the original text, let alone to the philosophy that it hammers home endlessly, at times in lengthy speeches. (The final one is 60 pages long.) But Baldwin said he believed that Wallace and the rest of their team were up to the task. “We all believe in the book, and will be true to the book,” he said…

As for how he is distilling Rand’s novel to a two-hour screenplay, Wallace insisted he had the material under control and was on course to deliver a draft this month.

“I can pretty much guarantee you that there won’t be a 30-page speech at the end of the movie,” he said. “I have two hours to try to express what Rand believed to an audience, and my responsibility is not only to Ayn Rand, but to the audience, that this be a compelling movie. More people will see the movie than will read ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ And the movie has to work.”

posted on 12 January 2007 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Exploited by the Australia Institute

Mullah Hamilton’s puritanical Australia Institute is fond of media stunts, but its latest report into what it calls ‘corporate paedophilia’ has clearly overstepped the mark:

Sydney mother Louise Greig was baffled and upset to be included in the “corporate pedophilia” report for photographing her daughter Georgina to promote her business, “tween” clothing label Frangipani Rose.

Ms Greig said the report said “much more about [the Australia Institute’s] Dr Emma Rush than it says about us”.

“The idea that you can look at a photograph that I’ve taken of my own daughter and think, that’s pornography - what goes though that woman’s mind?” she said.

“What kind of planet does she live on, that she would think such sick thoughts?”

Ms Greig said she felt ill whenever she thought about the way Dr Rush had described her nine-year-old daughter as “leaning forward, with legs astride. Both pose and angle are reminiscent of porn shots”.

“The more I think about how the authors have psychoanalysed and viewed my daughter’s photo in a pornographic sense makes me feel sick to the stomach,” Ms Greig said.

“I feel defamed and vilified but thankfully my daughter is too young and innocent to understand that she has been exploited by Emma Rush.”


posted on 11 October 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Apocalypse Now:  Doomsday Cultism as Generational Solipsism

While this blog likes to make fun of economists who perpetually forecast gloom and doom, at least most economists would generally concede that secular trend is up, whatever the cyclical ups and downs along the way. 

By contrast, Kurt Andersen notes an apocalyptic zeitgeist that seems to unite ‘Christian millenarians, jihadists, Ivy League professors, and baby-boomers:’

Not so long ago, it was only right-wingers and old crackpots making decline-and-fall-of-Rome claims about America. But Niall Ferguson is a young superstar Harvard professor, and he argues that we—undisciplined, overstretched, unable to pay our bills or enforce our imperial claims, giving ourselves over to decadent spectacle (NASCAR, pornography), and overwhelmed by immigrants—do indeed look very ancient Roman. He suggests, in fact, that Gibbon’s definitive vision—the “most awful scene in the history of mankind”—is about to be topped.

Andersen suggests that this preoccupation with apocalyptic scenarios may partly come down to baby-boomer pathology:

It’s also a function of the baby-boomers’ becoming elderly. For half a century, they have dominated the culture, and now, as they enter the glide path to death, I think their generational solipsism unconsciously extrapolates approaching personal doom: When I go, everything goes with me, my end will be the end.

It should be said that economists are not entirely off the hook in terms of being excessively pessimistic, as this paper by Robert Fogel notes:

At the close of World War II, there were wide-ranging debates about the future of economic developments. Historical experience has since shown that these forecasts were uniformly too pessimistic. Expectations for the American economy focused on the likelihood of secular stagnation; this topic continued to be debated throughout the post-World War II expansion. Concerns raised during the late 1960s and early 1970s about rapid population growth smothering the potential for economic growth in less developed countries were contradicted when during the mid- and late-1970s, fertility rates in third world countries began to decline very rapidly. Predictions that food production would not be able to keep up with population growth have also been proven wrong, as between 1961 and 2000 calories per capita worldwide have increased by 24 percent, despite the doubling of the global population. The extraordinary economic growth in Southeast and East Asia had also been unforeseen by economists…

One of the points [Kuznets] made was that if you wanted to find accurate forecasts of the past, don’t look at what the economists said. The economists in 1850 wrote that the progress of the last decade had been so great that it could not possibly continue. And economists at the end of the nineteenth century wrote that the progress of the last half century has been so great that it could not possibly continue during the twentieth century. He said you would come closest to an accurate forecast if you read the writers of science fiction.

posted on 01 October 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society, Economics

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Objectivist Origins of Wikipedia

More on Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, from the Atlantic Monthly:

Wales is of a thoughtful cast of mind. He was a frequent contributor to the philosophical “discussion lists” (the first popular online discussion forums) that emerged in the late ’80s as e-mail spread through the humanities. His particular passion was objectivism, the philosophical system developed by Ayn Rand. In 1989, he initiated the Ayn Rand Philosophy Discussion List and served as moderator…

Openness fit not only Wales’s idea of objectivism, with its emphasis on reason and rejection of force, but also his mild personality.

posted on 02 August 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

More on Atlas Shrugged: The Movie

Julian Sanchez, on the trilogy that will have moviegoers checking their premises:

to accommodate the epic scope of Atlas Shrugged, it will be filmed as a trilogy. Given the way Rand broke the book up, that raises the intriguing possibility that audiences will be queued up for summer blockbusters titled Non-Contradiction, Either-Or, and A is A. I will gladly pay cash money—and possibly even gold bullion—to hear a trailer with Peter Cullen growling, basso profundo, “This summer… the movie event you’ve been waiting for… Non-Contradiction!

Angelina Jolie is said to be sold on playing Dagny.


posted on 15 July 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Entertainment This Week

A Colombia GSB student, with a striking resemblance to Glenn Hubbard, sending-up Hubbard’s supposed tilt at the Fed Chairmanship, to the tune of ‘Every Breath You Take.’

(via John Mauldin)

And coming soon to a cinema near you, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as John Galt and Dagny Taggart.

posted on 29 April 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Guilt Trip

Lonely Planet makes its readers feel good about air travel:

the founders of the Rough Guides and the Lonely Planet books, troubled that they have helped spread a casual attitude to air travel that could trigger devastating climate change, are uniting to urge tourists to fly less…

From next month warnings will appear in all new editions of their guides about the impact of flying on global warming alongside alternative ways of reaching certain destinations.

In fact, aircraft contrails may contribute to ‘global dimming,’ thought to be a significant offset to global warming.

posted on 06 March 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(1) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Self-Censorship at SBS

The supposedly fearless SBS ‘defers’ an episode of South Park.  As Cartman would say, weeeak!

UPDATE: Matt Stone’s father, Gerald Stone is an economist and U of Kentucky graduate students (such as Hypothetical Bias creator, Whitehead) from the mid to late 80s know him from the principles text, Byrns and Stone.

posted on 25 February 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(1) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Wonkette as Hayekian

P J O’Rourke on Ana Marie Cox’s Dog Days:

Dog Days is comparable to Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. Albeit the prose makes Hayek’s seem elegant and pellucid. But Hayek’s first language was German. Cox’s first language is blog.


posted on 12 January 2006 by skirchner in Culture & Society

(0) Comments | Permalink | Main

| More

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

Follow insteconomics on Twitter