"brad delong"

How to read long, difficult books

Berkeley economics prof (and former Clinton deputy Treasury secretary) J Bradford DeLong (previously) has written a guide for reading "long, difficult books," in response to Andy Matuschak's "rant" Why Books Don't Work. Read the rest

How depending on a platform is a ticket to financial ruin, and what to do about it

UC Berkeley economist J Bradford DeLong's wide-ranging Reinvent interview covers a lot of ground, but is especially fascinating on the long-term trajectory of small businesspeople who bet their commercial futures on platforms -- he uses Uber drivers as an example, but this has implications in lots of sectors. Read the rest

Paul Krugman on science fiction's relationship to economics

In this long interview with Wired, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman talks about the relationship between science fiction and economics. Krugman says he was inspired to pursue economics by Asimov's Foundation series (he's written the introduction to a forthcoming commemorative edition) and praises Charlie Stross for the economics work in The Family Trade books.

Wired: In the movie Star Trek: First Contact, a character asks Captain Picard how much it cost to build the Enterprise, and he replies, “The economics of the future are somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves, and the rest of humanity.” What do you think about that?

Krugman: I will say, even with all my science fiction-y stuff, that in economics … it’s not that things never change, but they change much more slowly — the underlying principles change much more slowly — than most people imagine. You can read John Maynard Keynes or Irving Fischer from the 1930s, and except for a few archaic turns of phrase it looks like they’re describing what’s happening right now. My friend — and actually fellow science fiction fan — Brad DeLong at Berkeley, actually says that Walter Badgett’s book from the 1870s about financial crises reads better than most of the articles you’ll see in the popular press these days.

It’s true that the laws of economics are really quite different for the 21st century than they were in the 15th century, because we didn’t really have many of the features of a market economy back then.

Read the rest

Star Spanglish Banner, the 1919 edition

Link to a scanned copy of sheet music for "La Bandera de las Estrellas," 1919, from the Library of Congress.

Unlike the more recent remake causing such a ruckus, this one did not put Lou Dobbs' britches in a bunch. Of course, Mr. Dobbs hadn't been born yet.

On NPR's "Mixed Signals" blog, Mara Liason writes,

"[I]n fact, the U.S. government appears to be promoting a number of foreign language versions of the national anthem. The State Department Web site posts four Spanish versions and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she's heard rap, country and classical versions. On CBS' Face the Nation (PDF transcript), she says the 'individualization of the American national anthem is quite under way.'

"But Condi, the president wants the anthem sung in English! Talk about mixed signals."

Blogger Brad DeLong writes,

"...in his book American Dynasty, Kevin Phillips notes that during Bush's first presidential campaign, he would often sing the national anthem in Spanish. From pg. 142: 'When visiting cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, in pivotal states, he would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parties, sometimes joining in singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' in Spanish, sometimes partying with a 'Viva Bush' mariachi band flown in from Texas.'"

Wonder if anyone out in internet-land has authentic video or audio substantiating this? (thanks, turbanhead and cyrus)

Reader comment:

ttrentham says,

Think Progress has photos and quotes about [Latin pop music star] Jon Secada singing it in Spanish during Bush's presidential inauguration ceremonies: Link

The Think Progress post also points to a White House press release, hosted at whitehouse.gov, Read the rest

Hersh: children raped at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has videos

From Daily Kos' partial transcript of a video (link to REAL stream) of Seymour Hersh speaking at an ACLU event. He says the US government has videotapes of children being raped at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

" Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

Link (via Warren). There's also a piece worth reading in this week's Newsweek about new allegations of rape and sexual torture at Abu Ghraib. Feature includes details on the identities of the Iraqi prisoners shown in those widely-circulated photographs -- including Satar Jabar (charged with carjacking, not terrorism), whose iconic hooded figure with wires attached is derisively described by many Iraqis as the "Statue of Liberty." Link

Update: Geraldine Sealey at Salon on Hersh's remarks:

After Donald Rumsfeld testified on the Hill about Abu Ghraib in May, there was talk of more photos and video in the Pentagon's custody more horrific than anything made public so far.

Read the rest

Seymour Hersh on Abu Ghraib: "horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run."

Brad DeLong posted an email message he received from someone who saw Seymour Hersh speak at the University of Chicago a couple of nights ago.

[Hersh] said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, "You haven't begun to see evil..." then trailed off. He said, "horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run."

He looked frightened.

Link Read the rest