| Gabriel |
- The first three seasons of Breaking Bad are now on Netflix streaming so you now have no excuse not to watch it.
- Speaking of Netflix, Megan McArdle has the most interesting thoughts on the company’s recent series of debacles and in particular explains why it doesn’t scale
- Q: How many French anti-racism activists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: That’s not funny.
(Also, I’m gonna guess Adam Sandler’s “Chanuka Song” wasn’t a big hit with this crowd.)
- I recently discovered Naxos Music Library, which is basically Spotify for classical music. Here’s the UCLA link, those of you elsewhere should check if your school has a site license
- Very interesting discussion of the contrast between Smith’s prediction of barter and actual fieldwork demonstrating that primitive societies work on gift exchange. This is fascinating primarily for the economic anthropology itself and secondarily for the science studies type point that some economists are so stubborn about replacing their traditional model (which is based on nothing but armchair theorizing) with a well-established finding from comparative ethnography. It’s especially funny to me because I think it’s about as easy to see how monetary exchange emerged from gift exchange as it would be to see how it emerged from barter. This should be rather obvious given that (as discussed in Social Structures among other places) the monetization of feudal obligations is a familiar example from our own culture that had only recently been completed in Europe when Smith was writing. In any case stuff like this makes me think that at its core econ is less as a positive science than applied utilitarian moral philosophy. (That sounds like I’m knocking econ, but my candid descriptions of soc and anthro are even worse).
- Hipsters of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your regulatory barriers to Korean taco trucks! (h/t Tyler @ MR). Also on the libertarian lawsuit front, Cato is taking on business method and software patents. To paraphrase Plutarch on the actual Cato during Sulla’s reign of terror, “Why, then, did you not give me a
swordtest case, that I might stab himreverse bad precedents, and free my country from this slaverypatent thicket?”
- Anyone ever told you this is the faculty club of the Satan’s Helpers?