Monday, January 08, 2024

When Paris Sneezed - The cult of 1789

 When Paris Sneezed London Review of Books. “The cult of 1789.”

This reminds me of an old joke: A shepherd is tending his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a shiny red BMW appears. The driver is a young man in an Armani suit, Ferragamo shoes and Polarized sunglasses. He sticks his head out the window and asks the shepherd, “Hey! If I can tell you how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?” The shepherd looks at him, and agrees. The driver plugs his cell phone into a laptop and connects it to a GPS and starts a remote body-heat scan of the area. During the process he sends some e-mails. After receiving the answers, he prints a 100 page report on the portable printer in his glove compartment, and proudly announces to the shepherd: “You have exactly 1,478 sheep.” To which the shepherd answers: “Impressive. You can choose one sheep out of my flock”. He observes the man pick up an animal and load it into his car. Then the shepherd says: “If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my animal?” “You’re on.” the young man answers. “You are a Mckinsey consultant,” says the shepherd promptly. “You are right! How could you possibly guess?” says the man, visibly surprised. “It wasn’t a guess,” the shepherd replies. “You drive into my field uninvited. You want me to pay you for a piece of information I already know, you answer questions I haven’t asked, and you know nothing about my business. Now give me back my dog.”

McKinsey: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

The How and Why of Errors and Mistakes Times of India

English still rules the world, but that’s not necessarily OK. Is it time to curb its power?Guardian

Where does the river flow – 2024 (Google translation) Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Google settles $5 billion privacy lawsuit over tracking people using ‘incognito mode’ AP

The Internet Is About to Get Weird Again Rolling Stone

How AI-created fakes are taking business from online influencers FT

 Almost Half of British Teens Feel Addicted To Social Media Dragons, Study Says Guardian

Reclaim Your Brain Guardian 

DECOUPLING: Apple’s suppliers have so far spent $16 billion to move from China.

New research by investment bank TD Cowen seen by AppleInsider estimates that Apple’s loss of earnings because of China are considerable, and in part are behind its suppliers moving, or reshoring, to other countries.

“Over the last four years since the start of the pandemic, we estimate Apple’s revenues have been impacted by over $30 billion,” says TD Cowen in the note. This comes from “undersupplying the market due to production disruptions stemming from component supply, available labor pool, and/or government-mandated movement restrictions.”

TD Cowen’s analysts believe that because of this impact on its manufacturing chain, Apple and its 188 major suppliers are all investing to reshore as quickly as possible — and that they will continue to do so.

There’s been a lot of money exiting China with much more to come.

The culture that was East German

This paper studies important determinants of adult self-control using population-representative data and exploiting Germany’s division as quasi-experimental variation. We find that former East Germans have substantially more self-control than West Germans and provide evidence for government surveillance as a possible underlying mechanism. We thereby demonstrate that institutional factors can shape people’s self-control. Moreover, we find that self-control increases linearly with age. In contrast to previous findings for children, there is no gender gap in adult self-control and family background does not predict self-control.

That is from the Economic Journal by Deborah A Cobb-Clark, Sarah C Dahmann, Daniel A Kamhöfer, and Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.