Sunday, June 5, 2011

Your 150 Friend Limit, Fake Bible Verses, and China's Nile River Land Grab, (Link Round-Up 6/6/11)

1. No sweet picture today - Blogger's giving me "internal errors" instead.

2. My voice is shot and I'm playing a show with my band Wednesday that involves me yelling. I'll either do a video post tomorrow or Friday when I can (hopefully) begin to speak again.

Facebook's Glass Ceiling
Most of Dunbar's research has focused on why the GORE-TEX model was a success. That model is based on the idea that human beings can hold only about 150 meaningful relationships in their heads. Dunbar has researched the idea so deeply, the number 150 has been dubbed "Dunbar's Number."Ironically, the term was coined on Facebook, where 150 friends may seem like precious few.
As American As Poor Historical Memory
Sweet pie didn't gain wide popularity until the 19th century, when it was eaten largely as a daytime pastry (in A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain included sweet pies in a list of things he missed about his homeland, along with several other pastries and cakes), and the full American pie menu, in all of its moods and seasons, did not come into being till the 20th. American as apple pie, the phrase and concept, entered our lexicon in the late and cosmopolitan throes of the Jazz Age. The most American thing about pie, in fact, may be its retroactive claim of folksy authenticity and early dominance.
Most people have heard this one: “God helps those that help themselves.” It’s another phantom scripture that appears nowhere in the Bible, but many people think it does. It's actually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the nation's founding fathers.
The passage is popular in part because it is a reflection of cherished American values: individual liberty and self-reliance, says Sidnie White Crawford, a religious studies scholar at the University of Nebraska.
Yet that passage contradicts the biblical definition of goodness: defining one’s worth by what one does for others, like the poor and the outcast, Crawford says.

Earned Media
“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition?” asked CSA spokeswoman Christine Kelly. “This would be a distortion of competition. If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box — other social networks will complain to us saying, ‘why not us?”

As Fraser explains, this regulation is perfectly in line with the “micro-regulation” that’s commonly associated with France’s over-controlling government, which is “infamous for its oppressive bureaucratic culture of legalistic codes and decrees.”

Ignoring Warnings
So what do we learn from this little detour through the recent past? First and foremost, the evidence is right there in black-and-white that America’s political leadership has for the past third of a century had available at its disposal a highly accurate prediction from its own intelligence analysts as to how long conventional oil supplies were likely going to last. The fact that the more dire previous predictions regarding oil production relied upon by Carter were just then being overtaken by positive developments in the oil industry did not lessen the obvious need for long term planning to prepare the nation for the inevitable day when the oil would run out for good.
Flax Evasion
In an interview with the Guardian, Ricardo Echegaray, the head of Afip, the country's revenue and customs service, has given a detailed account of the charges his department is bringing against ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Dreyfus.

The Guardian has learned from separate sources that Afip is seeking to claim $476m (£290m) for what it says are unpaid tax and duties from Bunge, $252m from Cargill and $140m from Dreyfus. The companies have all denied all the allegations and have said they will defend themselves vigorously.
Globalization, China-style
And their luck runs as deep as their love for country: Americus has the ideal type of wood for making chopsticks. The abundant forests of poplar and sweet gum trees in the area strike the perfect balance between hardness and softness, making a comfortable yet sturdy eating utensil for many across the world.
What's more, the region is no stranger to wood harvesting, with pine manufacturers and paper corporations – think Georgia-Pacific – helping to ease the industry's barriers to entry. Jae Lee created Georgia Chopsticks in November and is already producing 2 million chopsticks each day. They're selling their craft primarily to Chinese supermarkets but also are helping hungry people in Japan, Korea and the U.S.
Unfortunately for Egypt, two of the favorite targets for land acquisitions are Ethiopia and Sudan, which together occupy three-fourths of the Nile River Basin. Today’s demands for water are such that there is little left of the river when it eventually empties into the Mediterranean.

SO, there is a piece of interesting economics here. The Nile is a "Regional Public Good" and thus a tragedy of the commons issue arises. Brown is arguing that Egypt will lose twice from nearby nations exporting their production to other nations such as China.

No comments:

Like What You Read? Share It.

Share |