links for 2009-05-23
Republicans: The Stupid *and* Immoral Party

Paul Krugman Visits the Cantonese-Speaking Future of Sixty Years Ago, and Is Happy


The future is not what it used to be - Paul Krugman Blog - TI’m in Hong Kong right now; as always, I’m just awed by the way the city looks. And this time I think I’ve figured out why it’s so appealing. Hong Kong, with its incredible cluster of tall buildings stacked up the slope of a mountain, is the way the future was supposed to look. The future — the way I learned it from science-fiction movies — was supposed to be Manhattan squared: vertical, modernistic, art decoish. What the future mainly ended up looking like instead was Atlanta — sprawl, sprawl, and even more sprawl, a landscape of boxy malls and McMansions. Bo-ring. So for a little while I get to visit the 1950s version of the 21st century. Yay!

But where are the flying cars?

Apropos of which, Jim Henly once confessed to similar disappointment:

Pulp Nonfiction § Unqualified Offerings: Hugo Chavez talks a big game, but persists in half measures. The promising headline, 'Venezuela launches Zeppelin to tackle rampant crime!', turns out to be about mere surveillance craft. As someone on the Fate RPG mailing list wrote,

Now they need to arm them, hang biplanes from them or pack them full of monkeys. Or pack them full of armed biplane-piloting monkeys.

So say we all...