Friday, 2 August 2013

Friday Morning Ramble: The ‘still being surveilled’ edition

Here’s a few things I found around the interweb:

Welcome, Leighton’s listeners. You can find all I’ve said about the #SurveillanceState here, starting with…
#SurveillanceState: When acts of honour are made illegal – NOT PC

In which The Double Standard is right about the effect of a Prime Minister disinterested in constitutional niceties. (But where were they when a former PM was using PM’s funds on electioneering?)
John Key trashes the Constitution – THE STANDARD

“There appears little plausible economic justification for Labour's proposed ban on foreigners' buying houses.”
Labour on Housing, RBNZ on LVR – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“What is it about housing policy that leads to people forgetting basic economic principles? … It would be nice if the main-stream media were to ask questions of politicians rather than just disseminating their press releases. Asking them to explain their policy proposals in light of these basic ECON-100 principles would be a good start.”
Affordable Housing: Five Basic Principles – Seamus Hogan, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“Have you ever wondered which countries have the best innovation ecosystems? We all know that innovation is important. But which countries are the best at it?” And where does New Zealand rank … ?
Who are the innovation leaders? – PATENT BUFF

Very sad. “Here's one OECD chart New Zealand is topping, Family Violence.”
Chart of the Day – LINDSAY MITCHELL

Aren’t hoarding and saving bad in a free market?

Photos from Detroit taken the summer of 2013.
Detroit Recon #2 - ARCHINECT

“The real story of Detroit is that its problems are entirely man-made, and can be summed up in seven words. Private enterprise built it, government destroyed it. That is the screaming headline that is unfortunately absent from the media coverage…  The good news is that the same forces that built Detroit could help turn it around, if only they were allowed to function.”
Why Motown Doesn't Need to Sing the Blues – Peter Schiff, EPJ
The Significance of Detroit’s Bankruptcy – KEITH WEINER ECONOMICS
Detroit Is Patient Zero In High-Tax, Sluggish America - Art Laffer & Nicholas Drinkwater, IBD

Small steps: “Once the fourth-largest metropolis in America—some have called it the Death of the American Dream. Today, the young people of the Motor City are making it their own DIY paradise where rules are second to passion and creativity. They are creating the new Detroit on their own terms, against real adversity. We put our boots on and went exploring.”
Detroit Lives: Part 1 – PALLADIUM BOOTS
Can Detroit's Architectural Past Inspire It to Claw Back to Greatness? - ARCHINECT

“Strange that so few people understand that hope is contingent upon
having the freedom to make your own value choices and make their
achievement your personal dream.  Without the dream, there is no
hope.  Without the value choice, there is no dream.”

- Charles Anderson, “Hope

Oh, well that’s alright then.
NSA Admits: 'We Do Store All Your Data But We Don't Look At It All' – ZERO HEDGE

“In Bradley Manning’s case, Judge Denise Lind did say ‘she would issue findings later that would explain her ruling on each of the charges.’ We don’t know how long ‘later’ may be. All we know now is that Judge Lind does not think Manning was aiding the enemy.
Which raises an interesting question: If you take classified documents, but you don’t do it to help some enemy, apparently you haven’t done any harm to the United States. So why is it a crime?”
Bradley Manning Meets Woodrow Wilson: The Secret of the Espionage Act Revealed – HISTORY NEWS NETWORK

“The US Federal Government may not have intended to stifle the role of the Internet as an economic value-creating commercial platform, but that consequence is almost certain.”
NSA surveillance imperils the Internet as an economic platform – Lynne Keisling, KNOWLEDGE PROBLEM

“‘It’s Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent.’ It always is, isn't it?”
- Kevin Drum, MOTHER JONES

The American Federal Reserve finds a new way to fake GDP, and the Japanese central bank finds the same old way to “fix” an economy.
The Great Central Bank Dream Comes to a Crashing Halt in Japan – Graham Summers, ZERO HEDGE

Writes an economist, “It is a serious error to suppose that those of us who oppose government intervention want all human relationships to be guided by impersonal monetary exchanges within commercial markets.”
Spontaneous Order Is More than Markets – Don Boudreaux, CAFE HAYEK

So what are the best market indices — of whatever nature — for tracking the extent of expected disruption due to climate change?
What are the major market indices for climate change? – Comments at MARGINAL REVOLUTION

PODCAST: “Financial markets are often vilified – and misunderstood. How do financial markets work? What impact do they have on the economy? Are they dangerous – or beneficial? What is the government's current versus proper role in financial markets?” Listen in and find out.
Jonathan Hoenig on The Workings of Financial Markets – Diana Hsieh, PHILOSOPHY IN ACTION

In a phrase, it’s “a global oil market distorted by the interventions of foreign governments.
What’s wrong with the global oil market. – Roger Meiners & Andy Morriss, PERC

“Yes, there is a magic bullet to reduce petrol prices. Lower taxes on fuel.”
- Sinclair Davidson, CATALLAXY FILES, Quite the contrary

It explains so much of late-twentieth century history. So how much do you know about the Presidential Doctrine that launched (what seemed like) a hundred wars?
A DIM History of American Foreign Policy, Part 2: The Truman Doctrine – Scott Powell, POWELL HISTORY RECOMMENDS

“Do many environmentalists hold anti-scientific positions?”
Science vs environment – KIWIBLOG

From the never-underestimate-the-incompetence-of-government-agents file: “"India's army reportedly spent six months watching 'Chinese spy drones' violating its air space, only to find out they were actually Jupiter and Venus." 
India: Army 'mistook planets for spy drones' – BBC

Military salaries measured in ounces of gold haven't changed much between the Roman Empire and today. “The annual cost of one Roman legionary plus one Roman centurion was 40.9 ounces of gold. The annual cost of one United States Army private plus one Army captain has recently been 38.9 ounces of gold.” Measured in paper however…
Budging (Just a Little) on Investing in Gold – Greg Mankiw, NY TIMES

Q: How do you become a famous, much name-dropped French philosopher? A1: Make stuff up. A2: Talk bollocks.

Sometimes you have to rethink thinks by turning your existing ideas upside down.
A Portable, Upside-Down Shower That Shoots Water Up From The Bottom – DESIGN TAXI

Yes, I might have the affliction too …
Why everyone and your mother started using ellipses ... everywhere. – Matthew X. Malady – SLATE

And the winner, in terms of cost-per-calorie, is …
The greatest food in human history – Kyle Smith, NEW YORK POST

Now this is hilarious. No, really.
If Facebook existed during World War 2 – 9GAG

“After attending the opening of the new Tracey Emin retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, I'm finally ready to come out and say it: I just don't think I ‘get’ art.” Or maybe what you think is ‘art’ is not art?
I'm Sick Of Pretending: I Don't "Get" Art – Glen Coco, VICE

Let this be a warning to lovers of bad music:
American's Love of "Hotel California" Gets Him Killed at a Thai Karaoke Bar – INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
John Denver karaoke sparks Thai killing spree – TELEGRAPH

“Music can affect a person’s thoughts, feelings and behavior and has been shown to assist with managing stress, expressing emotion and improving communication.” So…
Can Music Tame Your Inner Beast? Music Therapy for Mental Health – PSYCH CENTRAL

Best comment I’ve seen about the worst third-umpiring decision ever (see below): “Dharmasena has reviewed footage of 9/11 and has said the planes missed the twin towers.” And: “Dharmasena was late replacement for #HelenKeller.”  Dharmasena’s bio is here. (And was it the worst sporting decision of all time? How about these clangers.?)

“’I can see all of the devices in your home and I think I can control them,’ I said to Thomas Hatley, a complete stranger in Oregon who I had rudely awoken.”
When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet – ARCHINECT

Public service advertising done right:
How To Properly Pee In A Pool – BLISSTREE

Reddit recently asked their users, "What's the best horror story you can come up with in two sentences?" And their responses were terrifying!
Two-Sentence Horror Stories are actually pretty chilling – io9

So maybe not everyone needs one.
Why This Apple Lover Sold His iPad – CONSUMER AFFAIRS

A new study shows that families can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by making their own household items with a 3-D printer.
Make it yourself with a 3-D printer and save big time – SCIENCE DAILY

This short review by Graham Reid reminded me how damned good Tom Verlaine’s first solo album still is. Like this “cousin to the track ‘Marquee Moon’”:

Once again, the APO did brilliantly last night in the Rach 2 at the Town Hall last night with soloist Nikolai Demidenko.  Here’s a recording with Rachmaninov himself as  soloist:

You want brunch music? Invite Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan.

[Hat tips Nelson Brackin, Seven2521, Political Humor, Andrea Vance, IBDeditorials, tylercowen, Despina P, WFMU ‏, Montessori Homeschol, Geek Press]

Thanks for reading,
and have a great week.


  1. Fucking hate the Australian cricket team, but that has to be the worst 3rd umpire call in the history of the universe.

  2. Can music tame the inner beast?
    Article in "Headlines", Neurological Foundation of NZ [ellipses]Music benefits both mental and physical health. A 2011 study suggests that thrilling music is similar to food and sex - more pleasure and anticipation means more dopamine. Author Professor Daniel Joseph Levitan once played with Blue Oyster Cult [anagram of Cully Stout Beer]amongst other musical landmarks.
    I reckon the accent should be on "thrilling"; which rules out rap, RnB,commercial radio

  3. "I Call For Immediate Termination Of Dir Of National Intelligence James Clapper And AG Eric Holder!"


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