Monday, January 6, 2014

Quote of the Day - Econ Edition

From a Benjamin Bratton Critique of TED:

Communism in theory is an egalitarian utopia. 
Actually existing communism meant ecological devastation, government spying, crappy cars and gulags. 
Capitalism in theory is rocket ships, nanomedicine, and Bono saving Africa. 
Actually existing capitalism means Walmart jobs, McMansions, people living in the sewers under Las Vegas, Ryan Seacrest … plus – ecological devastation, government spying, crappy public transportation and for-profit prisons. 
Our options for change range from basically what we have plus a little more Hayek, to what we have plus a little more Keynes. Why?
An excellent question...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Best Albums of 2013

Wasn't sure if this was a great year for music or not. But when I started working through everything I listened to, I actually had a really hard time paring it down to 10. I persevered and here are the top 10.

10. Talon of the Hawk – The Front Bottoms
9. The Features – The Features
8. We the Common – Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
7. Willy Mason – Carry On
6. Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action – Franz Ferdinand
5. Untamed Beast – Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
4. Trouble Will Find Me – The National
3. Pushin’ Against a Stone – Valerie June
2. Modern Vampires of the City – Vampire Weekend
1. Love has Come For You – Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

And my rather extensive list of runners up (in no particular order):
Foreverly – Billie Joe and Norah
Idle No More – King Khan and the Shrines
Hearts and Minds – Son Volt
Wakin on a Pretty Daze - Kurt Vile
VII – Blitzen Trapper
Southeastern – Jason Isbell
AM – Arctic Monkeys
Lightning Bolt – Pearl Jam
Isles – Wild Belle
Pythons - Surfer Blood
Gone Away Backward – Robbie Fulks
Muchacho - Phosphorescent
Carrier – The Dodos
Magpie and the Dandelion – The Avett Brothers
Shangri La – Jake Bugg
Country Mile – Johnny Flynn

From the Hills Below the City - Houndmouth

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Huh?

So Sarah Palin said this in response to Martin Bashir's comments about her and the rather nasty treatment she should receive for her comments comparing the debt to slavery:
"But I just hope that unprovoked attacks like that don't result in people being hesitant to jump in the arena anyway, to get out there and serve the public or start a business or really commit themselves to changing within their family, their community, their world, doing whatever that they can, despite the fact that in this world, you are gonna be hurt and attacks will come your way. I just hope an attack like that doesn't make people hesitate."
Some people paint. Some people play music. Sarah Palin talks nonsense. That is her art, and she is a master.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October

I am down to one blog post a month this year, and I almost missed this month altogether. I still hope to get back at it at some point. I have been trying to decide whether Twitter, apathy, Words With Friends, less political outrage, or less Kansas City sports outrage have sapped my blog will. Probably a combination of all of the above, but I also have been able to get quite a bit more reading in recently. A bit of a paradox, since I could probably write more thoughtful posts about the interesting things I have been reading, and yet I find myself wanting to read more instead of write.

Anyway, I should at least mention that after all of my bitching about Kansas City sports, we sit here with a winning Royals season, an 8-0 Chiefs team, and the MLS playoffs are beginning with Sporting as the 2 seed. These are the salad days I suppose. It is an unfortunate Kansas City fan phenomenon that I still can't shake the feeling that the bottom is about to drop out. I am, however, cautiously optimistic.

Politics are in a state that I can hardly write another incredulous post. I think we live in a post-incredulity world.

Other than that, all is well. Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Only the Laws You Agree With

Missouri's Lieutenant Governor believes you should only follow laws he supports:
Kinder, a Republican who is Missouri's second-ranking executive, sought Monday to discourage participation in the health insurance exchanges that form the centerpiece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama. 
"I would hope there would be active resistance to this law — that people would not sign up," Kinder said Monday.
 This state continues to drift slowly towards becoming a place that would be unrecognizable to my ancestors, and mystifying to my offspring, and shameful to me.




Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/09/23/4503629/kinder-mo-residents-should-skip.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ugghhh...

Took a break from Missouri news and political news for a few weeks... I poke my head back into it for a second and get this:
A clown wearing a President Barack Obama mask appeared at a Missouri State Fair rodeo this weekend and the announcer asked the enthusiastic spectators if they wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull.”

I think maybe my hiatus needs to be a bit longer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

KC, 1907

The Library of Congress has some great photos of cities around the turn of the century. Here is Kansas City in 1907.

[Kansas City, Missouri, business section]

Via Open Culture.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Congratulations Galveston!

To the good people of Galveston and surrounding coastal Texas, well done on electing to the actual U.S. Congress a person who would say this:
"The Supreme Court seems to be in collusion with the president and his injustice department."   - Representative Randy Weber
Texas!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Royals Futility Becoming Unfathomable

Sam Mellinger puts up a few random facts about the Royals current awfulness. Here are a couple of my favorites:
  • The Royals last hit two home runs in the same game on May 10. Forty-three players have done it since. 
  • Royals are now 2-5 (.285) when allowing exactly three runs. The rest of baseball, entering last night, was 158-99 (.615).
I would add to what he has listed that the Royals are even bad by their historical standards, which is bad. They are currently on pace to hit 84 home runs this year. That is 36% less than last year when they tied for last in the American League. Brutal.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Being the Royals


Here is my favorite Royals stat of the moment, via Sam Mellinger:
The Royals are a walking mess right now, baseball’s worst team in May, with fewer home runs than the Cubs pitchers since May 15...
Very impressive.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/27/4259510/royals-have-to-make-a-change.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Everyone Hated Computers (at some point)

From the New York Review of Book's review of mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot's memoir:
Complex dynamics had flourished in Parisian mathematical circles in the early twentieth century, but it soon led to geometrical forms that were far too complicated to be visualized, and the subject became frozen in time.
 Mandelbrot saw a way to unfreeze it—through the power of the computer. At the time, computers were pretty well disdained by mathematicians, who “shuddered at the very thought that a machine might defile the pristine ‘purity’ of their field.”
So, when one of your relatives tells you they don't understand or like these newfangled computers just keep in mind that even the most brilliant mathematicians in the world felt the same way at one time. And if they could come around, certainly your uncle can too.

You Talk Funny

Here is an incredible map of American English dialects. It's interactive and includes sound. Depending on how much of nerd you are, it could be a serious time suck.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Juvenile Friday

I don't remember Jeff Francouer in high school, but he must have been there.

 

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