December 29, 2011
Kind of by category: first, politics and economy:
The Citigroup Plutonomy memos quite bluntly assess the size and power of the wealthy minority in the world economy, and how this distorts a number of economic indicators. Basically argues that companies servicing the rich will continue to do well, since they have all the money, so invest in them.
In 2005 and 2006, several analysts at Citigroup took a very, very close look at the economic inequalities within the USA and other countries and wrote two memos which were addressed to their very wealthy customers. If there is one group of people who need to know the truth about what is really going on within the society and the economy, minus the propaganda, then it’s businesspeople who have a lot of money to invest, and who want to invest wisely.
Fascinating. Apparently these have been fairly successfully suppressed, yet are reasonably available online. The trick is to know to look for them. Particularly relevant in terms of the Occupy 1% – 99% dialogue.
Footnotes to a changing world: Brazil has overtaken Britain as the world’s sixth largest economy.
A senior Iranian official on Tuesday delivered a sharp threat in response to economic sanctions being readied by the United States, saying his country would retaliate against any crackdown by blocking all oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital artery for transporting about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.
This would actually lead to war, so it will be interesting to see who backs down and how.
A quick few interesting tech tools:
“I’m getting arrested” android app – alert lawyers and loved ones with one click when you are being arrested. Evolved from OWS/protestors needs.
Tasker. Total automation for your android. Looks real high powered, but overkill for casual users.
Okay, this looks like it has really interesting potential: if this, then that: an automation tool for online stuff. Basically lets you automate repetitive online tasks between different programs you use daily, and more.
Also looks really interesting: hypothes.is.”The Internet, peer reviewed.”
A few kinda nerdy notes:
This is quite fascinating, on a philosophical/thinking level: answers to the question “what it’s like” to have an internalized sense of very advanced mathematical concepts“.
A few tracking the nasty weird future coming soon/now:
The Future of Drone Warfare – deeply weird and fascinating extrapolation on the likely direction of drone warfare. For bonus points, introduced me to the fact of Bonjwas.
System D – the 10 trillion dollar black market global economy – Foreign Policy article by the excellent Robert Neuwirth (author of Shadow Cities).
More on the emerging warlords of our near future: Mexico’s cartels build own national radio system. (via @nils_gilman / @deviantglobal)
Tracking this stuff is pretty relevant to what things are going to look like when things fall apart more openly: empowered non-state actors doing it themselves.
And some random shit:
“a renowned monastery in Rome where monks staged concerts featuring a lap-dancer-turned-nun and opened a hotel with a 24-hour limousine service has been shut down by the pope.”
Global Drug Commissioner Richard Branson (huh?) on lessons from Portugal after a decade of decriminalistation.
And to go out on: Wax, Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees
By all accounts about the most impossibly weird film ever.