"Yanis Varoufakis"

Yanis Varoufakis on capitalism's incompatibility with democracy

It's a not-very-well-kept secret that elements of the libertarian right believe that democracy is incompatible with capitalism (tldr: if majorities get to vote, they'll vote to tax rich minorities and since rich people are in the minority they'll always lose that vote); and as this persuasive and fascinating lecture and Q&A with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (previously) shows, the feeling is mutual. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders and Yanis Varoufakis announce Progressives International, to counter rising ultra-nationalism

Bernie Sanders and Yanis Varoufakis (previously) (the "libertarian Marxist" former Greek finance minister who split with his party and resigned over their embrace of austerity) have announced the formation of a new global organizations called "Progressives International," designed to serve as a check to the rising cult of ultra-nationalist authoritarian groups. Read the rest

Greek finance minister resigns

Yanis Varoufakis, a "libertarian Marxist" who played the heavy in Greece's negotiations with its creditors, has stepped down after helping to secure a historic popular mandate rejecting austerity. Read the rest

Anti-austerity parties soar in Spanish elections as Greece threatens default

Two new, anti-establishment parties (including one that grew out of the indignados movement -- a kind of Spanish precedent to Occupy) took key seats in regional and municipal elections in yesterday's Spanish election, which is a kind of dress rehearsal for the upcoming national elections. Read the rest

Greece's new finance minister used to be Valve's games economist

Yanis Varoufakis used to manage in-game economies in games like Counter-Strike; now he's finance minister for a Greek government that has set its sights on reforming the entire basis of austerity and debt service in the Eurozone. Read the rest

MIT's Futures of Entertainment conference, Nov 9/10

Sam from MIT sez, "This 2-day conference at MIT brings together 50 leading thinkers about innovation in the media and marketing industries. Issues tackled include the importance of listening to their audiences and putting yourself in their shoes; the politics and ethics of curation in a spreadable media world; the move from "participatory culture" to "political participation," curing "the shiny new object syndrome" of putting the hype of new platforms over storytelling strategy, and rethinking copyright for today's world. The conference also includes particular looks into the futures of video gaming, the futures of public media, and the futures of storytelling in sports. Speakers include T Bone Burnett, Henry Jenkins, Maria Popova, Grant McCracken, Jason Falls, Valve Software's Yanis Varoufakis, PBS FRONTLINE's Andrew Golis, Google Creative Lab Director Ben Malbon, Xbox co-founder Ed Fries, AT&T AdWorks Lab Director David Polinchock, the creators of 30 Mosques in 30 Days, and USC Annenberg Inno vation Lab Director Jon Taplin. Also, there's a pre-conference event Thursday evening, Nov. 8, on 'New Media in West Africa,' moderated by mobile entertainment founder Ralph Simon and featuring the Harvard Berkman Center's Colin Maclay, artist Derrick Ashong, and iROKOtv's Fadzi Makanda."

Futures of Entertainment 6 | November 9-10, 2012 MIT, Cambridge MA

(Thanks, Sam!) Read the rest

Valve's new economist-in-residence will publish notes on the political economy of games

Yanis Varoufakis, "an academic economist," recounts the story of how his widely read writings on the Euro crisis led to a job offer from Valve software, who were contemplating the creation of a shared virtual currency between two worlds. Valve founder Gabe Newell was contemplating balance of payments when he realized "this is Germany and Greece," and he wrote to Varoufakis to ask for his consulting help.

Varoufakis is now Valve's economist-in-residence, and he has set out "to forge narratives and empirical knowledge that (a) transcend the border separating the ‘real’ from the digital economies, and (b) bring together lessons from the political economy of our gamers’ economies and from studying Valve’s very special (and fascinating) internal management structure."

He will blog his findings on the brand new Valve Economics blog. The inaugural post tells the tale of his recruitment, and tantalizes with the prospect of more to come.

For the first time since I switched from mathematical statistics to economics (around 1982), I saw an opportunity for scientific research on some really existing (albeit digital) economy. For let’s face it: Econometrics is a travesty! While its heavy reliance on statistics often confuses us into believing that it is a form of applied statistics, in reality it resembles computerised astrology: a form of hocus pocus that seeks to improve its image by incorporating proper science’s methods, displays and processes. Is this not too harsh a judgment on econometrics?

Not in the slightest. Econometrics purports to test economic theories by statistical means.

Read the rest

:)