What You Can Get Away With » Links

The dark power of fraternities – It’s been doing the rounds because of an interesting opening, but the meat of this article on the influence of fraternities within the US higher education system is interesting.
The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda – “That is how libertarianism in America started: As an arm of big business lobbying.”
America: Not a small business country – “There is almost no measure on which America’s small business sector stands out from those of other advanced countries.”
The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle Columbia – It’s unlikely that it would have worked, but an interesting look at the work that would have been needed to launch an emergency rescue once it was realised Columbia couldn’t return to Earth.
The Luton Peace Riots (1919) – ‘Can you have a riot for peace?’ asks Jim Jepps. Probably not, but this is a bit of British history I’d never heard before.

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George Lakoff: ‘Conservatives don’t follow the polls, they want to change them … Liberals do everything wrong’ – Interesting perspective from a psychologist, which is in line with some of the comments Drew Westen made in The Political Brain.
Remarks on climate change – A speech by US Secretary of State John Kerry, where he appears to be committing the US to action.
Of wind farms, birds and global warming – Guess what’s mozt hazardous to birds: wind turbines or habitat destruction from climate change?
Recent developments in the United States vividly illustrate inequality’s threat to democracy – from Democratic Audit.
In World’s Best-Run Economy, House Prices Keep Falling — Because That’s What House Prices Are Supposed To Do – I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find this article isn’t about Britain.

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Oh look it’s a new year, so I must be trying to blog more and not leave this site fallow. Here’s some interesting things I’ve read recently:

Where will we live? – A long but fascinating and informative article on Britain’s housing issues from James Meek in the London Review of Books.
Seeming Female: Gender In Digital Spaces – Some interesting data on how men react to female characters in online gaming, regardless of whether or not their players are women.
Reds Under The Archive Table – “Charitably, the article can be put down to youthful hubris. But it is also complete bollocks.” Academic history is not a conspiracy of leftists, despite what certain Tory activists think.
Dear James Delingpole: You Are The Problem – I’m pretty sure we all knew that already, but this Foz Meadows piece shows why.
Sorry, I actually don’t want a “digital firepower onslaught”. I’d prefer better politics. – A short, but accurate, piece from Jon Worth on how doing more online isn’t changing politics.

And only taken me a month to gather these…

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What the Royal Parks is doing to a charity softball league should matter to us all – David Allen Green on public space.
Can you solve Slate‘s gerrymandering jigsaw puzzle? – The bizarre world of US political boundaries, and what happens when they’re set by politicians.
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs – “Why did Keynes’ promised utopia – still being eagerly awaited in the ‘60s – never materialise? The standard line today is that he didn’t figure in the massive increase in consumerism. Given the choice between less hours and more toys and pleasures, we’ve collectively chosen the latter. This presents a nice morality tale, but even a moment’s reflection shows it can’t really be true. Yes, we have witnessed the creation of an endless variety of new jobs and industries since the ‘20s, but very few have anything to do with the production and distribution of sushi, iPhones, or fancy sneakers.”
Branded to death – How marketing-speak is damaging higher education.
Myths Over Miami – Fascinating account of the stories homeless children in Miami tell of a war between God, the Devil and the Blue Lady.

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Have slipped in collecting links for a while, but here’s the latest smorgasbord from around the web.

Andrew Neil – these are your climate errors on BBC Sunday Politics – Once again, Andrew Neil lies about science to bolster his own beliefs and mislead viewers.
Free to schmooze – Interesting post by Alex Marsh on the aims of libertarians within the Liberal Democrats
State of the parties – Jason O’Mahony on the current state of Irish political parties. Includes the great description “(he) resembles a man plummeting to Earth strapped to an anvil, who’s getting angry with people for not appreciating the magnificent workmanship that went into fashioning the anvil.”
The need for “grown up” policy – Alex Marsh again, this time on the Social Liberal Forum website, writing about the people who claim Liberal Democrats need to ‘grow up’ in our policy making processes.
An Open Apology to All of My Weight Loss Clients – a former weight loss consultant apologises for the damage bad nutritional advice has caused.

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Me, elsewhere

You can see my summer reading choices at Liberal England.

What’s missing from the Lib Dem Million Jobs campaign – “People are not grateful to political parties. They don’t vote for them because they had some clever ideas in the past. They vote for them because they believe they have the answer to the future, and have the capacity and will to make it happen.”
Canon and sheep shit: why we fight – “I hate the Doctor Who canon like Dawkins hates God. Like him, I’m convinced the target of my animus doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t stop me spending half my life writing about how dreadful it is.”
Academics may not be celebrities, but their careful research is improving public policy – Philip Blond thinks that academics don’t impact on public policy. In this post on the LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin explain why he’s wrong again.
Goodbye, Miami – How sea level rises will destroy Miami, if insurance costs don’t do it first.
Regulation at a glance – Flip Chart Fairy Tales shows how the UK has some of the least market and employment regulation in the world.

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Covering a wide range of time, mainly because I went on holiday in the middle of collecting them.

We Are All Princes, Paupers and Part of the Human Family – “anyone who was alive 2,000-3,000 years ago is either the ancestor of everyone who’s now alive, or no one at all.”
Mindscapes: First interview with a dead man – New Scientist interviews someone suffering from Cotard’s Syndrome, in which people believe themselves or parts of their body to be dead.
Why the world faces climate chaos – “In brief, humanity is conducting a huge, uncontrolled and almost certainly irreversible climate experiment with the only home it is likely to have.”
Hanging on to Mutti – Neal Ascherson in the LRB on the current political situation in Germany
Speech by Rory Stewart MP on the Iraq War – “The starting point for any discussion of Iraq has to be an acknowledgment that it was a failure and a scandal. However we look at the costs and benefits of what happened there, it was probably the worst British foreign policy decision since the Boer war or the first Anglo-Afghan war of 1839. Never have the British Government made a worse decision.”

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24 Hours In Any City In The World – “The perfect, meticulously-searched guide to Any City In The World for people who, for some bizarre reason, have only allocated 24 hours to explore it.”
4 Things We Should Remember When Arguing About Politics – Useful perspective from Cracked.
As Millenials Shun Cars, Boston Rethinks Its Transportation System – “when I was learning to drive, the idea of driving out in the country and even driving around town and not spending a lot of time sitting in traffic was actually something of a reality. As Americans started driving more and more over the years, there’s no more open road in the United States. Almost everyone who’s driving is driving places that are pretty darn congested.”
A short history of swivel-eyed loons – Chris Brooke delves into Lexis and finds the moment when the swivel-eyed and the loon were first bound together in political commentary.
What Nigel Farage told British expats in Spain – Jon Danzig picks apart a succession of UKIP arguments.

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The memory of my daughter Amy Houston has been dishonoured – The Human Rights Act isn’t why her killer wasn’t deported, it’s the fault of the Home Office not using the powers they have.
Don’t make fun of renowned Dan Brown – Humorous columnist Michael Deacon has used the digits on the end of his hands to compose a humorous column about renowned author Dan Brown, which renowned newspaper the Telegraph has transferred into a pattern of ones and zeroes using arcane knowledge created by occult-influenced genius Berners-Lee that allows it to be displayed on its digital website for everyone in the world to read. Thus, many more people can read the humorous column composed by humorous columnist Michael Deacon.
Boris’ Bus Is A Criminal Waste Of Money – According to Tim Fenton, the ‘New Bus For London’ will cost £500m more over its lifetime than a regular alternative.
Fixing A&E – Flip Chart Fairy Tales on why ‘sacking middle managers’ doesn’t always bring cost savings.
Lies, damned lies and Iain Duncan Smith – Finally, Nick Cohen looks at a politician lacking evidence for the outlandish claims he makes.

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