Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What's new

I've been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks investigating various extensions for improving the wiki.  I'd love to have something that works like the CategoryTree extension but with my format, and I spent a while seeing if I could modify it: but that's rather hard.  In the long run, I could, but for now I will stick with a simple category system.  I may still switch to using SemanticWiki rather than DynamicPageList.  It makes the entries and the wikitext look much cleaner, though a few tasks are more difficult.

I've also entered 300 relevant books, though most of them are uncategorized and undescribed.  Still, now I can use them easily in footnotes and bibliographies.  I learned some python to use the xml dump from Delicious Library.  That let me preformat wikitext for each book to cut and paste into pages.  It took a lot of planning, but the entry got done in one day.  I like python: it is much more legible than my old standby, perl.  At some point in the future, when the Cite extension is released, I may switch from my current system to that.

I've also started reorganizing categories to try to reduce the number shown on the front page and make finding things more obvious, even if nested more deeply.

Even so with all this work, I've entered another 40 or so links and categories.

NEW 3/25/2014: Wealth Over Work [More...]
"It seems safe to say that “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year -- and maybe of the decade." Paul Krugman's review. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism) [More...]
Most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is total nonsense. Here's a clearer picture. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: Unlearning The History Of Capitalism [More...]
"Imagine if every time somebody expressed support for capitalism, they were immediately screamed down with death tolls from Colonial India, the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the worst of US foreign policy." A plea for the end of cold-war reflexive aversion to the word socialism. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: Notes for Debate with Jeff Miron on Marty Nemko’s Radio Show [More...]
"How much does each of us owe to all the rest for there being here to help us? How much do others owe each of us? How much larger are humanity’s collective resources because each of us is around?" Also, 8 kinds of market failure. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: Forces of Divergence: Is surging inequality endemic to capitalism? [More...]
An excellent short review of Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century". "But Piketty has written a book that nobody interested in a defining issue of our era can afford to ignore." [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: The Philosophical Case Against Obamacare Is Here. And It's Weak. [More...]
Greg Mankiw makes a fool of himself in attempting the political philosophy of health care. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: Academics Spy Weaknesses in Bitcoin’s Foundations [More...]
Game theory suggests the rules governing Bitcoin may need to be updated if the currency is to endure. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: Why do YOU hate freedom?
A hunch of snarky reddit answers to this "when did you stop beting your wife" question. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: Some Amazon reviews critical of FDR's Folly
Often, the one-star reviews at Amazon identify the ideological bullshit: either the book author's bullshit or the reviewer's. This case is clear: the book author is full of it. [more...]
NEW 3/25/2014: FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression
A classic of cherry-picking and misrepresenting history to suit ideology. Demonizes FDR, who then stands for all that libertarians hate. Four legs good, two legs baaaad. [more...]
NEW 3/24/2014: Trickle-Up Economics [More...]
A review of Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century", which demonstrates why growing inequality is inevitable under policies sponsored by libertarians and the rest of the plutocratic right. [more...]
NEW 3/24/2014: Capital in the Twenty-First Century
This book shows how policies concentrate wealth in the hands of the .01%, increasing inequality. Libertarianism has always been sponsored by the extremely rich, and their positions have favored these policies or worse. [more...]
NEW 3/22/2014: The Worst Book I Ever Read [More...]
" It was a horrendously argued book that relied on straw man arguments, ignoring the middle ground, a complete absence of evidence and mainly stating positions without even attempting to defend them. The only praise I have for the book is that it is mercifully short and easy to read." [more...]
NEW 3/22/2014: Capitalism And Freedom (Robert Nielsen review) [More...]
"Before I read the book, I knew I would not agree with it. Even still, I was shocked at how poor an argument Friedman makes and his complete aversion to using evidence to support his claims. His defence of discrimination is disgraceful and unbelievable." [more...]
NEW 3/22/2014: Atlas Shrugged Is A Ridiculous Book [More...]
"... it is a horrendous book containing cardboard characters, over necessarily long speeches, absurd plot lines and at least 500 pages more than it needs." "It is a combination of all the worst aspects of libertarianism, so much so that I’d imagine most libertarians are embarrassed by it." [more...]
NEW 3/22/2014: Why Taxation Is Not Theft [More...]
"Just as all political debates inevitably end with someone making a Hitler comparison, all debates with libertarians sooner or later involve the claim that taxation is theft...." [more...]
NEW 3/19/2014: How Class War Has Impoverished The Middle And Lower Classes
Gradual changes in wages, opportunity, debt, risk, tax policy and other factors have badly hurt the vast majority of families over the past 40 years. [more...]
NEW 3/19/2014: The Most Important Economic Chart [More...]
"The gap between productivity and median real income is at an historic all-time high today." [more...]
NEW 3/19/2014: Voluntary Failures
Just as there are market failures and government failures, there are also voluntary failures such as philanthropic insufficiency, philanthropic particularism and philanthropic paternalism. Where voluntary and market efforts fail, government should step up. [more...]
NEW 3/19/2014: The Voluntarism Fantasy [More...]
Libertarian stories of 19th century voluntary charity ignore the historical facts of how horribly insufficient that system was and how much it was supplemented by state and federal aid. The Great Depression destroyed most voluntary charity, and brought about progressive social insurance programs. [more...]
NEW 3/17/2014: The Programmed Prospect Before Us [More...]
Robert Skidelsky reviews: Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans. “Scientific management” and “Computer Business Systems” are resulting in de-skilling of the worker and dehumanisation of the workers and the workplace. [more...]
NEW 3/16/2014: On the Wrong Side of Globalization [More...]
Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership would make our problems worse. "Huge multinational corporations complain that inconsistent regulations make business costly. But most of the regulations, even if they are imperfect, are there for a reason: to protect workers, consumers, the economy and the environment." [more...]
NEW 3/16/2014: Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom
Code for "let business run the world: the heck with the populace." The anti-liberal dominance of plutocratic property and business over popular sovereignty. Historically, we could extend these concepts to include buying, owning, and selling slaves. The arguments made then were the same. Used by propagandists to trump other freedoms. Also known as economic liberty. [more...]
NEW 3/13/2014: Imposing options on people in poverty: the harm of a live donor organ market [More...]
"If a free market in organs was permitted and became widespread, then it is reasonable to assume that your organs would soon enough become economic resources like any other, in the context of the market. Selling your organs would become something that is simply expected of you as and when financial need arises. Our new ‘option’ can thus easily be transformed into a social or legal demand, and it can drastically change the attitudes that others adopt towards you." [more...]
NEW 3/13/2014: Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets [More...]
Alvin Roth presents an even-handed overview of repugnant market issues and arguments. With special reference to markets for kidneys. [more...]
NEW 3/13/2014: Repugnant Markets
Some markets (or potential markets) are offensive for a variety of reasons. Markets for kidneys, for example. They may involve objectification, coercion, slippery slopes, or undermining of important institutions. Libertarians often say marketize anyhow, while ignoring non-market alternatives. [more...]
NEW 3/12/2014: My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor [More...]
" I didn’t realize the stamina that would be necessary, the extra, unpaid duties that would be tacked on, or the required disregard for one’s own self-esteem. I had landed in an alien environment obsessed with theft, where sitting down is all but forbidden, and loyalty is a one-sided proposition. For a paycheck that barely covered my expenses, I’d relinquish my privacy, making myself subject to constant searches." [more...]
NEW 3/11/2014: Bryan Caplan
Yet another creative, ideological, bomb throwing recipient of right-wing welfare at the Koch-fundedGeorge Mason University Economics Department and Mercatus Center.[more...]
NEW 3/11/2014: Intellectual Autobiography of Bryan Caplan [More...]
"It began with Ayn Rand, as it proverbially does...." And goes downhill from there. [more...]
NEW 3/11/2014: The libertarian solution to inequality [More...]
"So, the libertarian solution to the problem of inequality is to socially persecute anyone who talks about inequality?" A strange notion of liberty. [more...]
NEW 3/11/2014: Friday Open Thread (Don't Take Advice from Right Wingers Edition) [More...]
"Glibertarian economist Bryan Caplan -- who may in fact be the world's stupidest serious academic -- is on npr this morning to promote his book arguing that we should all have more children. Magically omitted from his discussion though is the cost of children. And he's a fucking economist." [more...]
NEW 3/11/2014: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think
This book demonstrates two principles. First, extend libertarian and economic ideology to cover everything you can, no matter how ridiculous. Second, no matter how stupid, all repetition of propaganda points promotes ideology. [more...]
NEW 3/10/2014: What do voluntary mean? [More...]
Matt Bruenig makes clear that following antidiscrimination rules for business is exactly as voluntary as following property rules for business. Because you have a choice of not being in that business. And if one violates self-ownership, so does the other. [more...]
NEW 3/10/2014: Liberty, Equality, Efficiency
Inequality of outcome is a drag on economic growth according to recent studies by the IMF. "In short, what’s good for the 1 percent isn’t good for America. And we don’t have to keep living in a new Gilded Age if we don’t want to." [more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: Science
Libertarians (such as John Stossel) are renowned for science denialism. They have a long and bad history of misrepresenting science on tobacco, global warming and other issues. [more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: Objectivism, Libertarianism and Anarchism [More...]
It's a three-way cage match to determine which ideology is the true standard bearer for liberty! An index of 25 webbed articles at the Objectivism Reference Center. A pox on all their houses. [more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: Mythopedia [More...]
The Dictionary of Conservative Lies. A project of Media Matters for America[more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: The Doomsday Cult of Bitcoin [More...]
"Ask any of these Bitcoin believers about any of the recent incidents, and they will defend the currency with religious fervor. [...] But these are head-fakes, meant to distract from Bitcoin's disastrous move to the mainstream while consoling believers about the current state of affairs. [more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: In America’s War on Poverty, the free market is AWOL [More...]
The expanded safety net has contributed significantly to reducing poverty in America over the past half-century; but our market economy has not. [more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: Proof Libertarianism is an Illuminati Ploy [More...]
"Libertarianism and its twin sister Austrian Economics were invented by the Money Power to be the opposite of Communism in a dialectic." It's the Illuminati Jewish bankers conspiracy, I tell you! [more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: The Satanic Core of Libertarianism [More...]
Libertarianism is part of the Illuminati Dialectic with Communism: "Essentially, two seemingly opposed forces advance the same goal: a world police state governed by an oligarchy of billionaire Satanists." A paranoid conspiracy rant about Bernard de Mandeville[more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: Crank Criticisms Of Libertarianism
Beware of damaging your brain reading these. The authors are serious believers in paranoid conspiracy theories who want to prove that everything you know is wrong. Read them for the lulz. [more...]
NEW 3/09/2014: Money Power
"The Money Power" is an old populist term for a conspiracy of Jewish bankers to control currencies and finance. Gold was the defense against this paranoid theory. It is often a dog whistle in support of goldbuggery. [more...]

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