Tag Archives: Business

Poison Ivy


BOOK REVIEW

Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, Author: William Deresiewicz.

By Nathan Heller – Élite higher education today makes two promises. It is a liberal-arts idyll, free from the demands of breadwinning or real-world “usefulness.”

It is also an acceleration tube, where students gain life momentum befitting their competitive entry. Can it be both?

“The system manufactures students who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it,” he writes. more> http://tinyurl.com/mhfmed3

Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?


By Nicholas Kristof – Joshua Correll of the University of Colorado at Boulder has used an online shooter video game to try to measure these unconscious attitudes (you can play the game yourself).

An uncomfortable starting point is to understand that racial stereotyping remains ubiquitous, and that the challenge is not a small number of twisted white supremacists but something infinitely more subtle and complex:

People who believe in equality but who act in ways that perpetuate bias and inequality. more> http://tinyurl.com/pv5bqlj

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Ferguson: America’s cultural segregation fault lines


BOOK REVIEW

Habits of the Heart (pdf), Author: Robert Bellah.

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart, Authors: Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing.

By Neal Gabler – We don’t live in America anymore. We live in thousands of Americas, many no farther away than our computer screens and the Internet. These are self-identified Americas.

But there is another, more pernicious effect of cultural segregation. It shrinks the world rather than enlarges it — reinforces what already is, circumscribes people within their own worldview.

In a segregated world, especially the virtually segregated world we now have thanks to the Internet, we need never leave our own cultural ghetto. more> http://tinyurl.com/kewk6pl

Surveillance and the Creative Mind


By T.A. Ridout – Throughout human history, those who question conventional wisdom or existing power structures have frequently made those invested in the status quo vengeful, from Galileo, to Martin Luther King Jr., to Ai Wei Wei.

Despite paternalistic assurances that Americans have no reason to fear their own government, caution is warranted.

The pattern of deception by U.S. executive branch officials makes it hard for reasonable people that are paying attention not to be skeptical of their latest pronouncements. Though the risk is not high, it would be naïve to assume there is no danger at all.

Recent U.S. history paints a clear picture of abuses by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, often with the approval of politicians. Arbitrary and illegal exercise of government power happens in the United States, as it does everywhere. more> http://tinyurl.com/lxscm2l

Here’s what it will take to trigger the next stock market correction


By Anatole Kaletsky – Sometime in the not-too-distant future, investors are certain to suffer some big and painful losses — even if I am right in expecting equity prices to continue rising in the long term.

What kind of event is most likely to end this bull run, or at least interrupt it with a setback of 20 percent or more?

If stock market valuations are not yet high enough to cause a big correction — and if monetary and economic conditions are likely to remain benign for the next year or two — then the unavoidable conclusion is that equity prices will just keep rising until they really do become over-extended.

At that point, negative news events of the kind that investors can shrug off today as almost irrelevant will prove sufficient to trigger a serious correction. more> http://tinyurl.com/lgsbgyd

Free Money for Germany Is Bad News for Euro


By Mark Gilbert – Germany yesterday (Aug 20) sold 4.04 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of notes that pay no interest, repayable in September 2016.

Investors, it seems, are willing to forgo income for the safety of stashing their cash in the AAA-rated government debt of Europe’s biggest economy.

That’s a huge vote of no-confidence in the region’s growth prospects. more> http://tinyurl.com/qzkdneo

How CEOs Became Takers, Not Makers


By Steve Denning – The situation is one of fundamental institutional failure. CEOs are extracting value from their firms.

Business schools are teaching them how to do it.

Institutional shareholders are complicit in what the CEOs are doing.

Regulators do no more search for individual wrongdoers, usually those below the C-suite, while remaining blind to overall systemic failure.

In a great betrayal, the very leaders who should be fixing the system are complicit in malfeasance.

Unless our society reverses course, it is heading for a cataclysm. more> http://tinyurl.com/q4d75vk

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