Streams: (Weekend) Reading Feed

Weekend Reading: David Brooks (2003): The Collapse of the Dream Palaces

Clowns (ICP)

It still amazes me that David Brooks has a paying job: David Brooks (April 28, 2003): The Collapse of the Dream Palaces: "GEORGE ORWELL was a genuinely modest man. But he knew he had a talent for facing unpleasant facts. That doesn't seem at first glance like much of a gift. But when one looks around the world, one quickly sees how rare it is...

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Weekend Reading: Paul Krugman (2011): Mr Keynes and the Moderns

Paul Krugman's distinction between Chapter 12er and Book 13 Keynesians is, I think, dead on:

John Maynard Keynes and George Bernard Shaw exiting the Fitzwilliam Museum, 1936

Paul Krugman (2011): Mr Keynes and the Moderns: "I’d divide Keynes readers into two types: Chapter 12ers and Book 1ers. Chapter 12 is, of course, the wonderful, brilliant chapter on long-term expectations, with its acute observations on investor psychology.... Its essential message is that investment decisions must be made in the face of radical uncertainty to which there is no rational answer, and that the conventions men use to pretend that they know what they are doing are subject to occasional drastic revisions, giving rise to economic instability.... Chapter 12ers insist is that this is the real message of Keynes...

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J.R.R. Tolkien: The Bespelling of Morgoth: From The Lay of Leithian: Canto XIV: Weekend Reading

Amazon com Beren and Lúthien eBook J R R Tolkien Alan Lee Christopher Tolkien Kindle Store

Or is it the Vamping of Morgoth? "For Lúthien hath many arts/for solace sweet of kingly hearts..."

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lay of Leithian: Canto XIV:

There came a slow and shuddering change:
the batlike raiment dark and strange
was loosed, and slowly shrank and fell,
quivering. She stood revealed in hell.

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Weekend Reading: Robert Skidelsky on Writing the Biography of John Maynard Keynes: Fifteen Years Ago on the Internet Weblogging

Hoisted from the Archives/Weekend Reading: "Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning. Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies: Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions: Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing: Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations: All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.

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How People Ate in Medieval England: Weekend Watching

Jason Kingsley and Chris Carr: How People Ate in Medieval England: "Food that an English knight would encounter on the road... i.e. what might commonly be termed 'peasant food'... farm-to-table artisanal fare... house-brewed beer, artisan bread made from interesting grains, fresh salmon, peas from the garden, and a drizzled sauce made from an unusual herb...

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The Royal Proclamation of 1763: Weekend Reading

The French and Indian War National Geographic Society

George III Hanover (1763): The Royal Proclamation of 1763: "BY THE KlNG. A PROCLAMATION: >Whereas We have taken into Our Royal Consideration the extensive and valuable acquisitions in America, secured to our Crown by the late definitive Treaty of Peace, concluded at Paris the 10th day of February last; and being desirous that all Our loving Subjects, as well of our Kingdom as of our Colonies in America, may avail themselves with all convenient Speed, of the great Benefits and Advantages which must accrue therefrom to their Commerce, Manufactures, and Navigation, We have thought fit, with the Advice of our Privy Council, to issue this our Royal Proclamation...

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Weekend Reading: Hilzoy: Liberating Iraq (from 2007)

Hilzoy: Obsidian Wings: Liberating Iraq: "Peter Beinart has a piece in TNR about why he supported the war: 'For myself, perhaps the most honest reply is this: because Kanan Makiya did. When I first saw Makiya--the Iraqi exile who has devoted his life to chronicling Saddam Hussein's crimes--I recognized the type: gentle, disheveled, distracted, obsessed. He reminded me of the South African exiles who occasionally wandered through my house as a kid. Once, many years ago, I asked one of them how the United States could aid the anti-apartheid struggle. Congress could impose sanctions, he responded. Sure, sure, I said impatiently. But what else? Well, he replied with a chuckle, if the United States were a different country, it would help the African National Congress liberate South Africa by force.' He also writes about why he got it wrong...

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Weekend Reading: Keynes Quoting Malthus

John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: "The doctrine did not reappear in respectable circles for another century, until in the later phase of Malthus the notion of the insufficiency of effective demand takes a definite place as a scientific explanation of unemployment. Since I have already dealt with this somewhat fully in my essay on Malthus, it will be sufficient if I repeat here one or two characteristic passages...

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Weekend Reading Jan Christian Smuts to M.C. Gillett: The Griqua prayer...

Jan Christian Smuts: To M. C. Gillett, Paris, 7 May 1919...

...No, I cannot come over this week-end as I must stop here at this juncture for a few days longer on the off-chance of being useful. I go today in a frock-coat and top hat to join in handing the Germans our so-called Peace Terms. And my mind will go back to another May day in 1902 when Peace Terms were handed to the Boers. And in less than five years those terms had been blown to smithereens by fate and only the semblance of the British flag remained as a reminder of the victors' terms.

And so it may be again. Let us not lose faith in God, the Disposer of things, and in simple human nature which is so much wiser and braver than what one would infer from the activities of the statesmen and the leaders. I often nowadays have the feeling as if some great Spirit is back of things and quietly moving the pieces of history behind the camouflage of our petty stage. So let us have faith and await the greater issue, which, however, may not be in our day.

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Weekend Reading: Robert Solow: A Theory Is a Sometime Thing

Robert Solow: A theory Is a Sometime Thing: "Milton Friedman... aims to undermine the eclectic American Keynesianism of the 1950s and 1960s... goes after two... lines of thought. His first claim is that the central bank, the Fed, cannot ‘peg’ the real interest rate... to undermine the standard LM curve.... The Fed can peg the nominal federal funds rate, but not the real rate...

..."These… effects will reverse the initial downward pressure on interest rates fairly promptly, say, in something less than a year. Together they will tend, after a somewhat longer interval, say, a year or two, to return interest rates to the level they would otherwise have had" (Friedman 1968, p. 6). Now we know what ‘peg’ means.... The goal, remember, is to contradict the eclectic American Keynesian... which did not, after all, require the Fed to control real interest rates forever. If the Fed can have meaningful influence only for less than a year or two, then it is surely playing a losing game, especially in view of those ‘long and variable lags.’ Is that really so?...

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