Posts Tagged ‘American Exceptionalism’

The Internet – the Interstate & Lemonade Stands…

August 4, 2014

Lemonade Stand in Westchester NYI’ve taken a brief break from Thomas Piketty and have picked up a book I started reading last year but never finished.  Jaron Lanier’s book “Who Owns the Future?”  is a very compelling read while it paints frightening indictment of “big data” and “siren servers”.   Indeed, the New York Times review of this book boasts the title  “Fighting Words Against Big Data”.

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Lessons From Game of Thrones – Players – Pawns & Market Chaos…

June 22, 2014

This is part 2 of 2 parts

In my previous post on “players vs. pawns”  I brought up a disturbing trend that I saw on a  YouTube comment thread.  The video was about the famous Little Finger monologue from season 3 of the series.  A disturbing number of people found this monologue “inspiring” and a metaphor for the acquisition of security and success in the United States today.  To say that this is deeply disturbing indicator of the state of our union is an understatement:   Once again – here is the monologue…

Chaos is a ladder.  Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again.  The fall breaks them.  And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse.  They cling to the realm, or the Gods, or love.  Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.  – Littlefinger GOT – Season 3.

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Lessons from Game Of Thrones -The Sansa Stark Syndrome…

May 23, 2014

OK, I confess, I’m a big fan of GOT. GRR Martin’s cast of characters presents us with many life lessons  and analogies that can be applied to this world as well as the fantasy world of Westeros.

Is Sansa Stark passive and shallow? 

While watching some clips on YouTube I found myself glancing at the comment thread and noted that people tended to be particularly annoyed by the Sansa Stark character.  Apparently she is too “passive” and was being unfavorably compared to her badass sister Arya.

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Hiring collusions impacting engineers salaries? NO! Really???

March 3, 2014

Its all over the media.  There is a huge “skills-mismatch” in the US.  In spite of high unemployment, millions of jobs in the so-called “STEM”  (science, technology, engineering and math)  fields are going begging because employers can not get enough “qualified” Americans to fill those positions.

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When the wealth of a few jeopardizes the security of the many…

January 29, 2014

Raspberry & Mandarin cheesecakeThe President is making his State of the union address tonight. We have been told to look forward to a speech dominated by issue of “income inequality”.   A divisive issue – most certainly, but timely and long overdue as the centerpiece of  domestic policy.

In a recent column in the New York Times (The Inequality Problem)  David Brooks  indicated that targeting the obscene wealth of the top 1% might be a moot point since the wealth at the top, though massively higher than it was in the past, is not making the rest of the world poorer.  To that assumption, the most polite thing I can think to say is “horse hockey!”

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Six years into the great recession and…”We are not OK….”

January 7, 2014

Income inequality, the wealth gap, call it what you will, the problem is very real and is literally shredding the fabric of the  middle and working classes.  Progressives have coined the phrase “income inequality” to describe this destructive force.

Without trying to parse words too much, I think “wealth inequality would be a more comprehensive  definition of what is actually happening.  Either way neither description has that sound-bite “pop” that would capture the essence of this national tragedy.   Neither can come close to “class warfare”  which the republicans and tea baggers had the audacity to latch onto. Admittedly it was a brilliant stroke of political spin. They brazenly managed to take ownership of “class warfare” while they were launching  full scale nuclear Armageddon on the middle and working classes.

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When the hustle trumps substance – or welcome to the bullshit economy…

October 5, 2013

Over the past week I came across two blogs that seem to dovetail the same issue even though at first blush, they are seemingly unrelated.  On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs, and Too tired to hustle. The first blog came to my attention because from Mike, the mad biologist’s although I have lost the exact link to his post.

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Reaching for the pie instead of the sky…

September 25, 2013

Once upon a time, in a place called America, there was a thing called the American Dream.  A person growing up in that America knew that if they dared to dream and worked hard, their dream would become reality.  Secure in the knowledge that inspiration, hard work, tenacity and careful planning would lead to success, young Americans reached for the sky and even to the stars (remember Neil Armstrong).

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Consequences of the Sequester – an entire generation of American scientists could be lost…

September 8, 2013

Traditionally elections SHOULD have consequences, but in this case they did not. Obama’s strong victory in 2012 did nothing to stop  the draconian sequester cuts.   As far as the sequester goes, 2012 did nothing to stop the carnage.  But actions (or inaction in this case) always has consequences and we are seeing them now.

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The University of Walmart? Sorry, its more complicated than that!

August 27, 2013

Last week, President Obama unveiled his plans for higher education.  The speech appeared to emphasize the importance of high-quality higher education  combined with the need to control skyrocketing costs.  That’s nice, but the devil is in the execution.  Today I found myself reading Disappointed, Not Surprised by Colleen Flaherty which echoed my personal concerns eloquently.

Don’t get me wrong, the sentiment is as understandable as the need. However, as my title indicates…its complicated.

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