Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
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- Steve Davies talk last night
- Emmanuel Todd links
- the Norlonto Review is back!
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- Spot the Samsung connection
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- Cassette iPhone photographer
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- Testing again
- BMdotCOM insult of the day
- Views from the Hackney Wick station footbridge
- BMdotCOM mixed metaphor of the day
- Wedding photography (5): Photography!
- Phablet news
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Category archive: Links
This is a short posting, just to make a note of some links that I have acquired, to things about Emmanuel Todd. Microsoft is in the habit of shutting down my computer without warning, and I don’t want to have to go hunting for them again.
Here is a review of a new book about America called America 3.0 (which I already have on order from Amazon), by James Bennet and Michael Lotus. This book includes some of Todd’s ideas about family structure by way of explaining why the America of the near future will be particularly well suited to the free-wheeling individualism of the next few years of economic history.
In this review, T Greer says:
I was delighted to find that much of this analysis rests of the work of the French anthropologist Emmanuel Todd. I came across Mr. Todd’s work a few months ago, and concluded immediately that he is the most under-rated “big idea” thinker in the field of world history.
Greer also makes use of this map, which first appeared in this New York Times article:
Slowly, very slowly, Emmanuel Todd is starting to be noticed in the English speaking world.
Ripple: me quoting Madsen Pirie, here.
Another ripple: the ASI quoting me, here.
The ASI seems happy, despite the delay.
LATER: Madsen Pirie quoting me, here.
I love it when this happens:
That was yesterday morning, and the Insta-link was to this. (I went looking for the posting in the picture, but already it has disappeared off the bottom of Instapundit, into the archives of history. I could find it, but if you really want to, so can you.)
The great thing about being linked to these days is that you, by the nature of things, get to tell your side of the story, in exactly the words you choose. In the days of “Hey, I’m in the newspaper!” you had to just hope that what they said was approximately accurate. Often it was almost absurdly inaccurate, to the point where you wish they hadn’t mentioned whatever it was.
By the way, I am finding myself taking more trouble over the titles of blog postings, more than in the glory days before Proper People got hold of blogging and started Doing It Properly, often for money. Then, you could call what you put anything and there would still be a million readers.
I wonder, for instance, if Instapundit would have done that latest link, to “Azhar Ahmed - and I - and every British citizen - should all have the right to say offensive things” if I hadn’t written that micro-essay at the top of it. Maybe yes. But such a title saved him the bother of having to find out and then say what the piece was about, and it already said something he wants people to be told. So, he just copied, pasted and linked.
I wanted to put the words “and informative” in between “long” and “titles” in the title of this posting, but Expression Engine wouldn’t allow a title that long and hence informative.
Indeed. By no less a personage than Guido Fawkes:
That’s only a picture, so it’s no use trying to follow the link in the picture. It’s just a picture. But the link refers to this posting. Follow that link and you will learn what got the Great Man’s attention.
I want to live here!
Here being here:
It’s Mumbai though. They will only ever finish half of it, and there will be a slum in the location where they want to build the second swimming pool that they cannot do anything about.
In a way, this would be good. In China, the slum would be demolished and the people living in it would be relocated 3000 miles into the middle of the desert at gunpoint. So there are different ways of doing it.
Incoming from Michael J:
This is right in the middle of Malabar Hill, the poshest address in Mumbai and some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Everything in India is next to everything else.
Incoming from Michael J:
Not a great photo, alas, but there is a sign at the entrance to the slum saying that this is in fact a co-op. housing society (proposed). The nearby rich residents have clearly decided that the slum should be demolished and replaced with something nicer and less unsightly for the residents to live in and to make the neighbourhood prettier. But this being India, it remains forever proposed.
A sane way of dealing with this situation would be to give the residents of the slum legal title to where they live. They could then sell it to developers, and use the money from it to build themselves palatial houses elsewhere. Everyone would then be better off.
Unfortunately, Indian bureaucracy is too stultifying for this to happen, and in addition Mumbai itself is too corrupt for it to happen in a fair way. Even if it could happen legally, gangsters would find a way to steal the money.
Micklethwait’s Law number about seven states that if you want to cheer yourself up about your own country, ignore your own country and look instead at all the others.
Usually, when a blog goes rather quiet for no explained reason, one of two things then follows. Either the hiatus just goes on indefinitely, and the thing is eventually seen to be what it has been for some time, dead. Or, a mournful little posting appears in which this circumstance is made official. It’s over.
This blog is not dead, however. It is simply taking it easier. I did my customary period of relaxation over the summer, and found that this time I wasn’t inclined to get things here back up to speed, on the first day of some subsequent month. Instead, I have made a conscious effort to put more of my thoughts at my mothership, Samizdata, where many more will read them. And that means that less stuff goes here, what with there being only so much blogging that I seem able to do.
Quite a few of the recent postings here have been photo clutches, too photographically voluminous to be welcome at Samizdata, but which I have then linked to from Samizdata. I daresay that will keep happening.
Other postings, of the sort which go well here but not so well at Samizdata, have been fewer and further between. So, there’s been less here. However, Perry de Havilland does not encourage navel-gazing postings about the process of writing for Samizdata, and about its internal workings generally. So, if I want to say anything about that, as in this posting, it has to go here. Other things, which I just can’t be bothered to think about with the thoroughness that posting for Samizdata automatically encourages, also go here. Posting here is easier. Which might explain why so few people read this blog. They sense the casualness of it all. Life, for most, is too short for such casualness.
Another kind of posting that I prefer to put here, precisely because it doesn’t draw too much attention to itself, is a big gob of stuff copied from a book, in a way that maybe flirts with copyright law. The most recent one of those being this.
I have been doing more for Samizdata and less here for purely selfish reasons. It is to my personal advantage for Samizdata to continue to flourish. So, if it seems not to be flourishing as much as I would like it to at any particular moment, it is in my interest to make it flourish a bit more. Which is not that hard to do, but it does involve a bit of effort.
It’s kind of the opposite principle to the Tragedy of the Commons. What would that be? The Comedy of the Commons? That’s not the right phrase, but I do like it.
I see that there are today a couple of postings up at Samizdata of particular relevance to things I have already written about here, both concerning the USA.
First, there are pictures taken by Dale Amon of the Freedom Tower, rising up in New York out of the ruins of the old Twin Towers. I showed a fake photo of that here. Dale’s photos are of the actual thing itself, and of its neighbour edifices.
Second, you may recall that I decided to choose which US Presidential candidate I liked best, and the last time I talked about this was when I said I still prefer Gary Johnson to the Other Perry (i.e. Candidate Perry as opposed to Samizdata Perry). Well, this posting links to Diana Hsieh saying much the same, mostly by quoting from this magazine article. So, I am encouraged to stick with Johnson. If you say, oh but he can’t win, I say that we now live in very interesting times in the worst possible sense of that phrase, and a Presidential candidate who one week looks all calm and presidential and oozing centre appeal might in a matter of only a few more weeks look like he has no idea what is happening or what to do about it. Johnson wants seriously to cut federal spending. This is, I think, going to happen. What if my opinion about just how interesting the times now are comes to be shared quite soon by many more?
In times like these, it makes sense to vote how you actually think, and how you wish everyone else thought. Don’t be clever, because, during seriously interesting times such as these times are, clever is liable to disappear up its own rear end. Keep it simple. Be wise.
Further to that Post-it notes notice board of mine, for blogging notes to self, most of the things on it are what I like to think of as Big Things. Big Things like the Great Big Post I want to do some time between now and my death about (as many as I can think of of) the various things meant by the phrase “Rule of Law”. Hear ye, hear ye.
But this doesn’t mean that I intend to neglect small things. On the contrary, some of the best blogging I have done, and I bet this applies to thousands of other bloggers, has been of pieces I had no idea I would write, until, provoked by some weird small thing or other, I wrote them.
The purpose of this board of Big Things is not to make me write more Big Things and fewer small things. It is, rather, to ensure that I remember the Big Things I want to write about, any year now, despite all the small things that I blog about in the meantime.
The notice board will also help, I surmise, by making it easier for me to weave Big Thing themes into smaller observations about the passing scene.
My blogging pause here is working quite well, in the sense that I do indeed seem to be doing more at Samizdata, a far more significant operation than this.
Number of Samizdata postings by me during May, when I was blogging regularly here: 9
Number of Samizdata postings by me during June, when I was also blogging regularly here: 12
Number of Samizdata postings by me during July, when I stopped blogging regularly here: 26
Number of Samizdata postings by me (so far) during August, during which month I have continued not to blog regularly here: 10
I have made no particular effort to blog at Samizdata. I switched off my sense of obligation here, but did not switch it on again there. I merely blogged, mostly there, whenever I felt inclined.
Samizdata is a good blog, but it’s archiving system is not good, so allow me to do some archiving of my own. Vanity? Yes. But this whole blog is vanity. My most important reader here, unlike at Samizdata, is me.
Aug 14: When words go walkabout
Aug 10: Rioting is fun
Aug 8: Cameron’s Falklands moment
Aug 4: Keynes v Hayek reminder
Aug 1: The run out that wasn’t
July 31: Samizdata quote of the day
July 27: Austrianism as Number Two
July 25: Samizdata quote of the day
July 25: A great day at Lord’s
July 24: Some not so recent Brittany pictures
July 23: Samizdata quote of the day
July 20: Samizdata quote of the day
July 19: Rob Fisher on the Asus Padfone
July 15: Samizdata quote of the day
July 10: Samizdata quote of the day
July 8: Samizdata quote of the day
July 7: Samizdata quote of the day
July 4: Samizdata quote of the day
June 25: Samizdata quote of the day
June 20: Environmental news from Canada
June 19: Will Saudi Arabia now ban the burqa?
June 13: Samizdata quote of the day
June 7: Ideas have consequences
June 5: Unsure of current legislation?
June 3: Death and surveillance
May 30: Samizdata quote of the day
May 26: Samizdata quote of the day
May 21: Samizdata quote of the day
May 12: Rally Against Debt
The very first David Thompson ephemeron today is a link to a video which demonstrates how grabbing a cat by the skin on top of its neck, like mum used to do, stops it doing anything. All the mobility from then on until the skin is let go of was supplied by mum, and the effect persists into adulthood. I did not know that.
Thanks to human technology, you can do it without even being there. How could I ignore that, merely because I am on a break?
I wonder, are there other videos of this being tried on other cats, and also working? Or: not working?
That‘s not a link.
This (Pentecostalist minister who leaves his ex-wife to die, murders his wife’s ex-husband, drowns his son’s dog, strangles his wife, kills another woman who looks like his new wife, writes mad religious ravings on his cell wall in his own blood but is black) is a link.
Some weeks ago, I attended a Transport Blogger supper, in some pizza parlour or other, and Rob Fisher of that tribe expressed nostalgia for the good old days of Samizdata, when you could go there at mid-day and find another half dozen or so postings that you’d not seen before. Now, he said, you’d be lucky if there was much more than one new posting, and maybe not even that.
Well, it would appear that, at least for today, the Good Old Days are here again.
Sadly, the archiving at Samizdata is very poor. You can’t access by month (like you can here), or by author. Only by category, or by typing words into a box and hoping the resulting list isn’t too long. But, if you look, say, at the first posting today, you can click on the next one by clicking the top of the three choices at the top. And if you do that today and keep going, it just goes on and on. Like I say, just like the Good Old Days.
I believe that the key variable is the involvement of Samizdata Jade Emperor Perry de Havilland, who was responsible for that first post today. If he posts, that encourages us all to believe that he Still Cares, and that Samizdata accordingly has a big future.
Yes, time for a link dump, of things I have cluttering up my screen but which I don’t want to just delete and totally forget about.
John Buchanan, on the left here, looks nothing like Christopher Martin-Jenkins, but he does look a lot like Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending. New York Times, September 30th, 1999. Steven A. Holmes is entitled to say: I told you so.
Since it’s Friday: Project Acoustic Kitty: how the CIA failed at using cats as spies. After many confusions, caused by the cat not doing as it was told (and who could possibly have seen that coming?):
The first mission took place in a park near the Soviet embassy, where the cat was tasked with eavesdropping on two men. A CIA reconnaissance van across the street released the operative, who took a few steps towards her foes and was immediately run over by a taxi.
And finally, just when you think you’ve seen and heard everything, Hugh Laurie sings the blues.
England may be through to the last eight of the cricket, but they are being slaughtered by Ireland in the Six Nations rugby. At the moment, it’s 24-3 to Ireland. Further proof, if you need it, of how unpredictable the Six Nations can be.
Four years ago, I wrote this, and the only thing that has changed is that Italy have stopped being so predictably bad:
The thing about the Six Nations is that you never know what will happen. Sport is always a matter of animal spirits. The consistently good sides are merely those that know how to unleash their animal spirits at exactly the right time, along with such things as skill, pace, etc. But if the animal spirits falter, of if the other guys get an unexpected dose of them, all pre-match bets are off. Thus England, having won their first four games, can show up in Scotland, to play a Scottish side that have only one win in four, say, for the formality of winning the Grand Slam, and then England can lose. France can get bored, against anyone, and lose, or get excited and beat anyone. Wales, however poor their side is supposed to be and however many vital stars may be out injured, can get inspired, against anyone. You just never know. Only Italy have so far mostly failed to rise to any of their many occasions. Sometimes they beat Scotland, and that’s about it.
I also recall writing (I remember these ancient postings of mine even if no one else does) about the last time the English rugby team came Ireland in a World Cup year, trying to win a Grand Slam. Last time around they succeeded, superbly. All year long, the BBC commentators have been saying that that England side was something else again compared to this one. How right they were.
Hello. England have scored a try. Thompson, who must have played in that 2003 game. Will that get their juices flowing?
Oh dear. Wilkinson (!) has missed the conversion. 24-8.
But, things do seem a bit different. England are looking better, and Ireland are looking jittery. I doubt it will change things enough, but … with the Six Nations, you never know.
But, with every minute that passes, England’s chance of staging some miracle come-back diminish. Which will make it an Irish double over England, in the same month. The first one was very entertaining. This one, not so much.
And now it’s raining. That settles it.