Department of Analytical Tools
I suppose some words of introduction are in order. Around the end of 2014, I conceived the idea of compiling a chronological history of how the USA economy had actually been built, highlighting the role of government in nurturing and promoting science and technology in industry, agriculture, and transportation. This would, of course, directly repudiate the right-wing myths of heroic entrepreneurs as "wealth creators" in a "free market" liberated from the deadening hand of government. Read more about HAWB 1870s - American producer class hero Peter Cooper - How America Was Built
About 6 years ago I stopped posting at my All Life Is Problem Solving site, and shifted my blogging over to other sites devoted to economics and politics, often blogging under the handle letsgetitdone. But recently, I got the urge to finish some work I’d done in Knowledge Management, and I decided to complete a book presenting a Knowledge Management approach to the analysis and assessment of risk.
I’ve just done that and have published a kindle e-book with the above title, which of course, was my signal that I ought to be blogging here again. The following excerpt provides the book’s preface summarizing its rationale and contents. If you read this and are interested, you can buy it at Amazon, and, if you have not already done so, download the free kindle software that will allow you to read it. Here’s the preface.
We dreamed that we created a revolution. But we did not heed the great lesson of revolution. Today’s revolutionary is tomorrow’s little tyrant.
a must read. Read more about The problem with social media
quick note about Yglesias; Vox is funded by Comcast, which recieves $1000/per month/per wiretap of their internet customers. Indescrminate wiretaps have been very profitable for Comcast, and we can expect continued attacks on Sanders by both Vox and NBC/CNBC/MSNBC. Similarly Amazon holds the cloud computing contract for the CIA, so we can expect the Washington Post to be very negative about Sanders.
Matt Yglesias Read more about 2016 will NOT be like 1972
I think we first became aware that something was horribly wrong with our country during the great penis hunt. People were appalled by the Kenneth Starr's abuse of power. After the Monica Lewinsky story broke Clinton's numbers went up to 71% percent approval rating. Trent Lott joked that just a few more scandals and it would be 100% approval. Somehow the significance of that was lost on the Read more about How America became radicalized
Enjoy the cute curmudgeonly socialist from Vermont who can't possibly win phase while it lasts. Directly Bernie gets within 10 points of Hillary there will be a dramatic change. Remember the attacks on Howard Dean? It will be all that and more. We will learn every negative thing about Bernie and his family, true and otherwise, relevant and otherwise. I hope that Bernie's team have a plan for that. Read more about Bernie and the press
Shadow Elite -- subtitle: "How the world's new power brokers undermine democracy, government, and the free market" -- comes highly recommended; you might summarize it as "The Theory of Bob Rubins"; who the Bob Rubins of this world are, how they get and keep their power, and what their social relationships are. (Wedel is a sociologist.) Wedel's two key concepts are "flex nets" and "flexians" (I like "flexian" because it sounds like a breed of alien reptiles that I, for one, welcome, except not). I think the strength of the book will come in the examples of actual flex nets, but since I'm not all the way through it, I'll just quote the introduction on the concepts. Page 15 and following.
Beyond old boys
Like interest groups and lobbies, flex nets serve a long-established function in the modern state--negotiating between official and private. But while flex nets incorporate aspects of these and other such groupings, they also differ from them in crucial ways--and those ways are precisely what make flex net less visible and more accountable.
Four key features define both flexians as individuals and those influencers who work together as a flex net. Flexians functioning on their own exhibit the modus operandi embodied in all four features discussed below, as does a flex net as a whole. Because members of a flex net benefit from the actions of the collective, pooling resources and dividing labor, not all members of the flex net must exhibit these features individually.
Before getting to the four features (below), a pause to note that Flex Nets/Flexians arguably subsume/supersede notions like corruption, "money in politics," "the revolving door," and so forth. (Nancy DiParle is, I think, the candidate for Flexianhood we might be most familiar with: Wellstone VP -> Baucus CoS -> White House -> Big Pharma, leaving a trail of ruin and destruction, if you're a citizen or a patient, that is. We'd need to know more about her network, though). Read more about Janine R. Wedel, Shadow Elite
The Newest Right is the simply the old Jeffersonian-Jacksonian right, adopting new strategies in response to changed circumstances. While it has followers nationwide, its territorial bases are the South and the West, particularly the South, whose population dwarfs that of the Mountain and Prairie West. According to one study by scholars at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas:
While less than one in five (19.4%) minority non-Southerners and about 36% of Anglo non-Southerners report supporting the movement, almost half of white Southerners (47.1%) express support….
In fact, the role that antigovernment sentiment in the South plays in Tea Party movement support is the strongest in our analysis.
The Tea Party right is not only disproportionately Southern but also disproportionately upscale. Its social base consists of what, in other countries, are called the “local notables”—provincial elites whose power and privileges are threatened from above by a stronger central government they do not control and from below by the local poor and the local working class. Read more about Best analysis I've read of the Tea Party phenomenon
I stumbled across the Permanent Crisis blog via Continental Drift (which is written by a performance artist) and found it most interesting. It assumes a good bit of foundational knowledge of Marxism, so if you don't have that, you may not get as much out of reading the entries as you would if you did, but they are still worth reading. Two posts, in particular, are required reading, in my book. Read more about Permanent Crisis Blog