Worth Reading 179: Abgar the Great

Why I support pretty much any strike by pretty much anyone, anywhere, about anything – “If the real world sucks, we shouldn’t get over it. We should fight it. That’s what you do when something sucks. That’s what you’re meant to do.”
Osborne’s living wage won’t spare low-income families from cuts – I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you! – to discover that the Tories’ new ‘living wage’ is anything but.
Post-Youth – Tom Ewing wonders if the Budget signals the beginning of the end for the concept of ‘youth’ as we know it.
Labour’s failure – The difference between being a party for workers and a party of workers may seem small, but it has big consequences.
City cycling in London is a joke – A Dutch cyclist visited London and was pretty unimpressed with our haphazard cycling infrastructure.

, , , , ,

Managerialism vs Innovation – “Does management’s pursuit of efficiency crowd out innovation?” asks Chris Dillow, wondering if creating small productivity gains through managerialist efficiency is driving out bigger gains that can be made through innovation.
On politics and the ‘common’ – Alex Marsh on the changing style of political rhetoric and what it shows about our political culture.
A world without work – How might we adapt to an automated future?
I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery. – People really don’t understand the past, part 94.
London 2025 – How the city is becoming just another meaningless point for the globetrotting hyper rich, content to live from the spoils of corruption elsewhere.

, , , , , , , ,

Worth Reading 174: Gavaskar’s first World Cup innings

The Inside Story Of “The Crystal Maze”, The Most Epic Game Show Ever Made – Another of BuzzFeed’s looks behind the scenes at a classic TV show.
Pro-growth, anti-business – Being good for the economy and being good for business are not the same thing, argues Chris Dillow.
If David Miliband had won… – An interesting bit of counterfactual history to ponder on.
Marketing the Liberal Democrats should mean setting us free – Ewan Hoyle has some good points on how to approach the future of the party without messages being set down from on high.
If Michael Gove Listens To Daniel Hannan’s Honeyed Polemic On Human Rights He Really Will Get Into A Muddle – Barrister Blogger carefully dissects a pair of arguments to abolish the HRA, and shows they’re completely wrong.

, , , , ,

Some of the more interesting takes on the election:

My traumatised Liberal Democrat party must rediscover its radical heart – David Boyle on the way forward for the party
Random thoughts on the election – James Graham has a few of them
Three more years of Cameron – but it will be a rocky road ahead – Very interesting analysis and prediction from the LSE’s Patrick Dunleavy
The vision thing – “is it possible to combine both popularity and intellectual coherence?” asks Chris Dillow
Back from the election – Anthony Wells looks at what the polls might have got wrong
And that’s that – “The trouble with lefties, and I say this out of love, is that we give a shit about integrity. Do you think the Right care about lies? They couldn’t give a shit if their leaders kicked you in the face and set fire to the rabbit hutch; they’re born to rule and that’s their place. Know your place, peasant. Nice one centurion. They lead and we vote for them, and that’s the way it will always be. If their leaders somehow forget to deliver something they promise or – it happens – completely lie about something, they just keep on plodding on. So what? They’re born to rule.”

I’ll add more as I see them.

, , , , ,

Worth Reading 170: The highest checkout

UK election spells the end for the biggest ‘law’ in political science – Patrick Dunleavy on the end of the two-party system (partly saved as it’ll be useful for my dissertation)
Economics for politicians – Chris Dillow on seven principles of economics that aren’t grasped by politicians.
Game of Fear – The real story behind ‘Gamergate’: one man’s obsession with ruining his ex-girlfriend’s life.
“Serious” politics – Chris Dillow again, this time on how politics insists certain ideas are sensible and others aren’t, regardless of whether it’s justified.
A letter from the hearse chasers – A personal tale from Jamie at Blood and Treasure, showing what effect cuts have on the social context of public services.

, , , , ,

Worth Reading 160: Text message

The ‘cost’ bias – Chris Dillow explains how a lot of our understanding of how much something might cost the economy is completely wrong.
The robots are coming – John Lanchester in the LRB on how automation is changing everything around us.
Die Another Eh: What Does It Mean Now That James Bond Is In The Public Domain In Canada? – It’s almost as though copyright law has been set up to be as confusing and stifling of creativity as possible.
American democracy is doomed – Slightly incendiary title for a piece that’s arguing the current structure of American democracy needs to change, but sums up a lot of the problems with how American democracy (doesn’t) work. The problem isn’t having a constitution, it’s having that constitution seen as a near-sacred text that can’t be jettisoned and replaced.
A mayor for all seasons? – Professor Colin Talbot argues that devolution to Greater Manchester and the imposition of an elected Mayor is following the model of previous British government blunders.

, , , , , ,

Worth Reading 156: Gongs per day

Anti-Business – Chris Dillow on why being ‘anti-business’ isn’t a bad thing, and the difference between business and markets.
Universal Basic Income as the Social Vaccine of the 21st Century – An interesting new way of thinking about the idea of basic income.
The narrow politics of slogans and symptoms – Alex Marsh follows on from one of my posts and looks at the lack of content behind the slogans.
The tyranny of the short-term: why democracy struggles with issues like climate change – Not sure how much of this I agree with, but an interesting look at some of the problems with our current mode of democracy.
The mystery of Mingering Mike: the soul legend who never existed – Fascinating tale of a made up musical career that’s now an art exhibition.

And as a visual bonus, take a look at this graphic of exploration in the Solar System.

, , , , , , ,