7 Quick Takes III

— 1 —

I came across an article on why married women cheat. It isn’t a scientific study, but a sampling of different stories. Not usually my kind of article or theme. What pleasantly surprised me is the strong anti-affair stance – strong for mainstream media, at least. Most interesting is the What you can learn section that follows each vignette, which seems to reiterate the importance of communication every time – here usually the importance of telling your husband your needs and desires, but I take from it the equally important admonition to receive Janet’s communication not as accusation, but as a means of improving our marriage.

— 2 —

More my kind of article, here’s an article (in German) on the basic problem of the Eurozone. The most interesting bit was Dani Rodrick’s trilemma. Rodrick has stated that the Eurozone has three goals, one of which can never be fulfilled if the two others are. These are the goals: first, a strong economic integration of the member countries; second, politics aligned with the interests of the individual nations; third, democracy. And that’s why Papandreou’s announcement of a referendum shook the markets.

— 3 —

The German version of this song has been in my head all week. Am I the only one to whom it feels like an incantation? Isn’t that a subtle form of idolatry?

— 4 —

Another German article, this one on Shakespeare. (I hope Google translate is of help with these articles.) The most interesting points to me: First, Shakespeare avoided current issues, or at least made them abstract issues in Arcadia, and that is in large part why we still perform and enjoy his works. Second, looking for biographical elements in the author’s work is a modern obsession and certainly not on the Elizabethan radar, so those scholars who would describe the man based on his sonnets are badly misguided. Third, “he who insists on the biographical component underestimates the power of imagination.”

— 5 —

Just the thing for a certain well-disguised oldest nephew of mine.

— 6 —

A pair of researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich chucked the data on about 43’000 transnational companies into their computers to find out who owns the whole ball of wax. Turns out it’s a group of about 150 mostly British and American banks and financial institutions that control 40% of the market; 750 firms control 80%. They also showed that these companies at the wheel are heavily interconnected, which led them to the conclusion that they’re “too connected to fail.” Here’s an abstract.

— 7 —

Received from a friend: a video of an owl coming in for the kill, right at the camera. The video is taken at 1000 frames per second and shows the intricate flight mechanics of this bird of prey.

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4 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes III

  1. SursumCorda

    #2 — I should try to understand it, because the view from here (meaning my own; I can’t speak for the country) is: “What? They’re forcing the banks to allow Greece to default on half its debt and that’s not good enough for them?” So I’d like to know the European view. But articles on finance make my head spin anyway, and translations such as “In their view, be right but also the Euro politicians who now oppose the planned referendum, Greek and warn” do nothing to improve my comprehension.

    #3 — perhaps if you think if it as an invocation instead of an incantation it would seem better. My objection is that, like many praise songs, it puts a lie into the mouths of the singers, e.g. “all we want to do is give our love to You.” Hymns are not immune to this problem, although it is rarer: “”Take my sliver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.” And of course one can get into this kind of trouble reciting some of the Psalms, too. But this is one reason I prefer hymns that speak of God to ones that talk about me — what HE IS, is consistent, but what I FEEL varies from moment to moment.

    #5 — Whoo-hoo! I can think of several nephews of my own who would jump in line to give it a try. Especially the Quidditch player…. 🙂

    #6 — too scary to attempt translation.

    #7 — Beautiful! Unless you’re the rabbit.

  2. thduggie Post author

    #2 – I think the reason the Greeks aren’t dancing in the streets over the permission to default on part of the debt is that what they’ve experienced, so far, is that Europe makes them save beyond where it hurts and there’s no visible improvement – in fact, all that saving has their economy even more in the doldrums. So, even though the root cause isn’t European intervention, I assume they see their woes correlating with European involvement and that makes them leery of any further involvement. (The article also states that Europe’s decision to allow a partial default is an implicit admission that the previous policies had failed.)

    #3 – He can have all my sliver, but I’m not so sure about my gold. 😉 I share your preferences. And “invocation” only makes it a silver better.

    #5 – Why does it scare me less than bungee jumping, even though those poles look far from sturdy?

    #6 – They do say that their impression is not that this concentration is a result of evil volition, but that it’s what happens if you let the markets do their thing.


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