Random Links II

Why foreclosures are a good thing:





So long as housing remains overvalued, foreclosures serve a valuable social function by bringing house prices down to affordable levels.

 Financial Crisis Overview: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4240

There’s more to it, of course, but he does hit on many of the high points.

 Nascent Warriors: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/08/AR2008040802044_pf.html

I wonder how they’d fare in real combat.

 Euro Demise?:

Pro: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0421/034_print.html

Con: http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/729

Sprawl Done Right: http://real-estate-and-urban.blogspot.com/2008/04/chinese-think-they-can-learn-from-us.html

I tend to agree; hence my support for oil tariffs (to raise gas prices) & toll roads, as ways of internalizing commuting externalities.

 High food prices vs. biotech taboos: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/business/21crop.html

Civilizations have the morality & ethics that they can afford.

 Postmodern Dating File, Male Hearing Impairment Edition: http://www.physorg.com/news128095723.html

 Teller and Classification:



I’m indebted to David Brin for pointing this out. IIRC, he, too, was surprised to discover this.

 Criminalization of Policy Differences: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Barack_on_torture.html

I wonder how the Republic would have fared if Dewey had won in ’48, and promptly prosecuted Truman for ordering & condoning war crimes (perhaps employing the Yameshita “command responsibility” doctrine). If a public official is prosecuted for policy decisions that, while perhaps technically illegal, nevertheless enjoy considerable popular support (of a plurality, if not necessarily a majority), then the effect is the same as criminalizing policy differences. There may be instances where it may be prudent to forbear prosecuting certain criminal offenses for the sake of social peace. Post-Civil-War amnesties come to mind.

 Fehrenbach on Religion & Assimilation: http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/columnists/trfehrenbach/stories/MYSA040608.03O.Fehrenbach.1cf5b37.html

 Economic Warfare: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/08spring/chang.htm

 Urban Futures: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/23/AR2008042302930.html

For whatever “Near Future” scenarios (and science-fiction set therein) tend to catch my interest.

 Day care & misbehavior: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/econ-childcare-0502.html

 Postmodern Dating File, Friend Zone Edition: http://www.trueu.org/dorms/womenshall/A000000890.cfm

 Murray on Education (Again): http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-age-of-educational-romanticism-3835

I would find an IQ-based meritocracy much easier to swallow if it was well understood, at all levels of society, that socioeconomic success did not necessarily make one a better man. I.e., that attainment of such success was the result, not only of (praise-worthy) striving on the part of an individual, but also of how our society & economy is structured.


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