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The Ministry of Fear

"Quick getaway." Read below the fold...

About those coder's boot camps....

New York Times:

A new educational institution, the coding boot camp, is quietly emerging as the vocational school for the digital age, devoted to creating software developers.

These boot camps reflect the start-up ethic: small for-profit enterprises that are fast (classes are two to four months), nimble (revising curriculum to meet industry needs) and unconcerned with SAT scores or diplomas. Most are expensive, but some accept a share of the graduates’ first-year earnings or a finder’s fee from employers as payment.

Of course, some might call "a share of the graduates’ first-year earnings" indentured servitude, but what of that? No, I'm more concerned about the "start-up ethic," which is perhaps best shown in an annotated version of the photograph that accompanies the article: Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

A good question:

Common Household Remedies Request

Can it really be true that, since now is the time to plan garlic, I can just go to the supermarket, buy a bag of garlic, and plant it? Read below the fold...

Door #1-Ebola Safety, Door #2-WW III: US Chooses Door #2

According to Patrick Martin in “Political issues in the Ebola crisis”, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has infected more than 8,000 people and 4,000 have died. There are no signs that this outbreak is about to be controlled. Read below the fold...

A busy day in St. Louis

I'll repeat here what I said this morning:

I should have exhaustive coverage of this, since STL > HK for local or rather continental interest, but I — and especially since the cops whacked another black kid — come away with the impression of actions that are organic, well-planned, strategic, disciplined, and in it for the long haul; it’s probably a good thing the media glare isn’t focused on STL right now. I care less about people parachuted in, especially professors of this or that. We’ll see how it goes, and especially how it goes if the grand jury doesn’t indict Darren Wilson.

So herewith a few of today's actions; looks like events at Walmart and a Steve Senger/Claire McCaskill fundraiser (ha), with a parallel event at St Louis University. I don't know enough to generalize, but I'm impressed by the general seriousness, organization, and lack of ego-flexing. Read below the fold...

The Potemkin Moment in France, 1789

If, in the French context, we mean by the "Potemkin Moment" the brief period when it became a truth universally acknowledged that the Feudal Era was so over -- that is, feudal social relations had come to an end -- July 1789 seems to be that moment (and hat tip, the Revolutions podcast 3.12, for making me see this). The Potemkin Moment was The Great Fear:omc

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Between June and the beginning of August there were riots in the countryside. Peasants burned their nobles' chateaux, monasteries and buildings which housed public records. They particularly targeted documents which contained records of their feudal obligations. It was called "The Great Fear" and spread quickly throughout France.

Another source (I'm trying to make up for the lack of scholarly cites with volume):

The main targets of the subsequent uprisings were the seigneurs, to whom the peasants were obliged to pay feudal dues and the corvee. The chateaux (grand homes) of the seigneurial nobility were attacked and looted (wine cellars were often the first target). Written records of names, debts and seigneurial obligations were keenly sought and quickly burnt. Sometimes the nobles themselves were held captive and, under threat, forced to renounce their rights over the peasants on the estate. The uprisings began in the south-west of France but quickly spread, reaching their peak in the last week of July. The response of the newly empowered National Assembly was to dissolve most vestiges of feudalism during its famous night-sitting of August 4. The Great Fear fizzled out a few days later, although sporadic peasant uprisings would continue throughout the revolution.

And there are more examples in Kropotkin's The Great French Revolution 1789-1793. Read below the fold...

In the garden: Busy bees

There are so many bees out at the garden today that I think what remains of my wildflowers must be a major source of nectar in the neighborhood!

Schneider 2x tele. I forget what these are; some sort of echinacea?

And now the zinnias! Read below the fold...

If there were a Nobel prize for Obotics, Paul Krugman would surely win it

I believe that letsgetitdone has a more comprehensive takedown of this loathesome crotte of modified rapture and excuse-making from Krugman in Rolling Stone, but thought I'd just call attention to this one statement, if only to show you that I read all the way to the end:

I don't care about the fact that Obama hasn't lived up to the golden dreams of 2008...

Well, I care. A lot. Read below the fold...

Rainbow Girl's picture

WTF CALPERS and Private Equity?!

The mammoth public pension fund has raised the level of its allowed investments in private equity from 10% to 15%. (PEU Report)

So millions upon millions more of hard earned wage-worker dollars are - Voila - funneled to Blackstone, Carlyle and Apollo, mammoth players of the Gargantuan Wage-Looting Scheme private equity (formerly more accurately known as "asset stripping"). Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Soldiers

Schneider Tele 2x. Here's another tapestry-style picture; the Black-Eyed Susan Deadheads remind me of ranks of (dead) soldiers.

This is the same idea, and gives me the same feeling, but I think the more monochromatic first photo conveys the idea better (like this for example).

And I finally seem to have been able to get a Zinnia in focus:

Although there is surely more to be done with colored circles on a flat plane. And because I still cannot resist them, more poppies: Read below the fold...

BruceMcF's picture

Sunday Train: West Virginia River Runner Rail and the Steel Interstates (from 1 May 2011)

Tonight's Sunday Train crosspost is a repeat of the 1 May, 2011 Sunday Train, from before the Sunday Train came to Voices On The Square

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

The flashy rail projects are the very HSR projects to build bullet trains serving urban areas with millions of people.

But the role of rail in supporting sustainable extends beyond the bullet train system alone. It may not be critical to the financial success of these bullet trains to provide service to people living in urban areas of 50,000 to 200,000 ~ but its critical to these people to have access to some form of sustainable intercity transport.

Indeed, if we are going to be harvesting wind power, solar power, sustainably coppiced biocoal, geothermal, run of river hydro, and other sustainable resources ... we are going to be creating incomes in areas away from the 1m+ cities. We best look after the needs of the people who come to those areas looking for work. Read below the fold...

A parallel take on "The Potemkin Moment" using even fancier words

("The Potemkin Moment"[1].) From an article by Steve Denning Forbes, of all places, on "vampire talent" and rental extraction:

We are thus about to witness a vast societal drama play out. That’s because we have reached that key theatrical moment, which Aristotle famously called “anagnorisis” or “recognition.”  This is the moment in a drama when ignorance shifts to knowledge. Just as King Lear in Shakespeare’s play eventually recognized that his apparently virtuous daughters, Goneril and Regan, were a rather bad lot, and that his apparently disrespectful daughter, Cordelia, truly loved him, so society is learning that much of ‘the talent’ it thought was adding value have in fact been extracting value for themselves.

As usual with anagnorisis and the shock of recognition at a disturbing, previously-hidden truth, there is a disquieting sense that the accepted coordinates of knowledge have somehow gone awry and the universe has come out of whack. This can lead to denial and a delay in action, even though the facts are staring us in the face.

If the recognition of our error comes too late, as in Shakespeare’s Lear, the result will be terrible tragedy. If the recognition comes soon enough, the drama can still have a happy ending. We are about to find out in our case which it is to be.

Anagnorisis = The Potemkin Moment. Read below the fold...

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