Tuesday, February 04, 2020

The Germany Shock: The Largest Economy Nobody Understands

Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.” Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time Continue... [read more]

But we are living in a sceptical and, if I may use the phrase, a thought-tormented age: and sometimes I fear that this new generation, educated or hyper-educated as it is, will lack those qualities of humanity, of hospitality, of kindly humour which belonged to an older day.
— James Joyce, born in 1882

If you like fancypants books, Taschen has a sale on through Sunday; books are "anywhere from 25% to 75% off".

Conrad Bastable – How Germany Is Able To Run The World’s Second Largest Export Economy In The Post-Industrial Era – “The Germany Shock” describes European growth & the efficiency-maximizing centralization of European manufacturing activity after the launch of the Single Market and the Euro. Two questions sparked this: 1) why did Europe only adopt the Euro & the Single Market after its Cold War-era existential challenge was over, and 2) how has Germany maintained an export-oriented Industrial Manufacturing Powerhouse while every other developed nation is going post-Industrial?…

Here’s some data most people never see. None of this essay makes sense if you aren’t familiar with it. It’s a bit academic at first, but you’ve got to understand it if you want to get to the entertaining stuff later. Given my focus on the Euro (as a mechanism of exchange and therefore Trade) and the Single Market (obviously about Trade) both being adopted post-German-reunification, the data I want to see is:

  1. Who is making money by Trading with other countries, and exactly how much?
  2. How important is that Trade to each nation?
  3. +some way to show the massive GDP differences between nations — some business models only work at a small scale…”

The Rise of the Video Surveillance Industrial Complex The Intercept

Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers EFF. Because of course it is.

New York Times Journalist Targeted by Saudi-linked Pegasus Spyware Operator Citizen Lab

Isaiah Berlin defined genius as the ability to turn a paradox into a platitude. By that standard, he proved his genius time and time again  

Scottish scientists use radioactive isotopes from old nuclear tests to find counterfeit whisky. More than 40 percent of what they tested is fake CNN

Parasite vs. Joker

A shared theme beyond deadly violence. …Joker and Parasite … Both films boil down to a similar argument: Wealthy people have too much, and the rest of society suffers because of it. … Parasite does a better job of illustrating the wealth problem as it exists in the world today. (more)
Parasite … has resonance due to its subject matter: the gap between the haves and the have-nots. … Joker … its real heritage is in earlier WB films. During the Depression, WB offered gangster movies about men who fought to rise above their poverty-stricken backgrounds. (more)
Both also invoke issues of class and the potential for class-related conflicts to escalate into violence. The universally acclaimed Parasite handles these themes with more sophistication and nuance than the divisive Joker. In fact, not only is Parasite a better film than Joker … (more)
Parasite and Joker are now #3,4 in betting odds to win the 2019 Oscar best picture award, and these movies are more “social commentary” than #1,2. That commentary is said to be about inequality and class conflict, and most critics see Parasite as more “sophisticated” than Joker. My take: Parasite is done in a setting and style designed to appeal to upper class folks, and it is about class conflict from a more upper class perspective. Joker is designed to appeal to lower class folks, and it is about class conflict from a more lower class perspective. Which is partly why upper class critics prefer Parasite.