" /> Stylized Facts: March 2010 Archives

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March 23, 2010

The most important economic competition is actually between you and your own imagination -- Tom Friedman

This isn't complicated. In today's wired world, the most important economic competition is no longer between countries or companies. The most important economic competition is actually between you and your own imagination.

-- Tom Friedman

March 21, 2010

The years from 1989 to 2009 were consumed by locusts.

What caused this dire loss of faith in our government and leaders? Mr. Judt spreads the blame around. He criticizes the narcissistic left of the 1960s, which was largely uninterested in social justice. "What united the '60s generation was not the interest of all, but the needs and rights of each," he writes. He blames that generation's political leaders too. What the baby-boomer politicians have in common, he notes, is "the enthusiasm that they fail to inspire in the electors of their respective countries."

He surveys an earlier and "superior class of statesmen," who, regardless of its members' political leanings, "represented a political class deeply sensitive to its moral and social responsibilities." Politically speaking, he declares, "ours is an age of the pygmies."

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the West missed an opportunity to reshape the world. "Instead," Mr. Judt writes, "we sat back and congratulated ourselves upon having won the cold war: a sure way to lose the peace." Here is his historical judgment: "The years from 1989 to 2009 were consumed by locusts."

-- Tony Judt

March 15, 2010

Following through on the metaphor

Raising social issues, the movement's leaders say, risks fracturing the strength it has built. "Every social issue you bring in, you're adding planks to your mission," said Frank Anderson, a founder of the Independence Caucus, based in Utah. "And planks become splinters."

Tea Party Avoids Divisive Social Issues
Published: March 12, 2010
God, life and family get little mention in the party's statements, with the focus instead on fiscal responsibility.

March 10, 2010

the dark, half- crippled, doughnut-gobbling man-apes of the literary world

So let's read Lipsyte and rejoice; let's celebrate the laugh-producing Milo Burkes who are all too rarely brought to us by brave and bitter men -- let's celebrate the canny, well-educated yet perpetually failing furtive Internet onanists, the dark, half- crippled, doughnut-gobbling man-apes of the literary world, who cast their lumpen shadows across the rest of us.

These are the kind of unlikable, lovable protagonists we miss; these are the self-loathing, mediocre secret geniuses who can set our people free.

Lydia Millet's

March 7, 2010

Enquiring Press needed -- Douthat

It's remarkable, in a way, that the Enquirer still exists at all, let alone that it's enjoying a moment in the journalistic sun. In the age of Gawker, Twitter, and TMZ.com, a weekly scandal sheet seems quaint, if not archaic. And in an era when newspapers are fighting desperately for readers, you would think that the mainstream media -- hemorrhaging subscribers and hungry for online eyeballs -- would uncover all the really interesting scandals first.

But you'd be wrong. The Internet is very good at generating gossip, but lousy at the dogged work of transforming rumor into news. And the national press almost seems more uncertain about when and whether to probe into politicians' private lives

Enquiring Minds
Published: February 21, 2010
Not all affairs produce corruption, but the media should be willing to go digging for those private acts that should be publicly disqualifying.