The political economy of a universal basic income
: "your view of what is feasible should not be backwards looking. The normalization of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana seemed utopian and politically impossible until very recently. Yet in fact those developments are happening, and their expansion is almost inevitable
given the demographics of ideology... UBI
— defined precisely as periodic transfers of identical fixed dollar amounts to all citizens of the polity — is by far the most probable
and politically achievable
among policies that might effectively address problems
of inequality, socioeconomic fragmentation, and economic stagnation." [more inside]
Free Money for Everyone
- "A wacky-sounding idea with surprisingly conservative roots may be our best hope for escaping endless, grinding economic stagnation." (via
) [more inside]
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio
 actually makes a case against austerity
 and for redistribution, but also for money printing
(and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public
investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore
, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)
... [more inside]
Economists and the theory of politics
- "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
Flash cards are an effective study aid because they are founded on the principles of rote and memorization. With Flashcard Exchange
| Study Stack
and Flashcard Machine
, you can use web-based flashcard makers to create, share, export and print flashcards to assist your studying.
Start Your Own Currency
- "In the Catalonia region of Spain, a restaurant and a community garden are part of an experiment in alternative cash--they are accepting a home-grown currency called the Eco
as well as the Euro
. gated article
. The Wörgl Experiment
Artist and film-maker
, Hito Steyerl
, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me)
- a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations
pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic*
- a liberated excess withdrawn**
from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image
we find our closest kin? [more inside]
Out of thin air?
"Have you ever said something like 'Let me buy you a beer next week'? I'm sure you have. We all issue promises of this sort. And we frequently use such promises as a form of currency... I have just described a simple credit exchange. Societies rely heavily on promising-making and promise-keeping. It is the foundation of all financial markets. I'd like to point out something about the promises you make. They are made 'out of thin air.' " [more inside]
, the same British conservative think tank who brought you reports such as the tastefully titled The Hijacking of British Islam
), have released a new report, Cities Limited
(pdf), which states that the only solution for people living in the North of Britain - where unemployment and poverty are high - is to abandon their homes and move south
. Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, minced no words in his response: "This report is rubbish from start to finish
. I think the author himself said it might be a bit barmy. It is barmy. I gather he's off to Australia. The sooner he gets on the ship the better." Conservative bloggers have been very quick to distance themselves from the report, some going as far as to blame it on Liberal Democrats
. Co-author of the report, Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, defends his position
you've got new postcrossed mail
You have heard of geocaching
. You have heard of Bookcrossing
. Here comes Postcrossing
The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you'll receive at least one back, from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world. [more inside]
Annoying Software : A Rogue's Gallery.
). Software that makes us hate the internet and wish it had never been invented. High on their list : Adobe Reader
, and Flash
. [more inside]
The Promise of Prediction Markets (full text link; .pdf here)
. A group of distinguished economists and other scholars has published a call to exempt prediction markets (previously on MeFi: 1, 2)
from American laws that restrict internet gambling. [more inside]
The National Odd Shoe Exchange
is a non-profit organization that is a source of footwear for those requiring single shoes or pairs of differing sizes. Many have this need due to injury, disease or genetic disorders. [more inside]
Telephone Central Office Histories
- A fascinating collection of personal anecdotes and histories about telephony from the US and around the world, from The Telephone Exchange Name Project
Coral Cache links -1- -2- (via)
The Washington Stock Exchange.
A stock exchange for political junkies.
Window Exchange, Snowflake Series.
Ambient techno with nice imargy for your enjoyment.
New startup Peerflix
is starting to generate press attention
as a clearinghouse for peer-to-peer DVD trades; it's being called "eBay
". With an idea that obvious, you'd think someone would have thought of it before, and they had - it was called WebSwap
, but it didn't last that long
From Baltimore to the Bush.
Until 2003, the Baraka School in Kenya was home to 20-40 underachieving teenagers from inner-city Baltimore. As Time Magazine reported in 2000
, the experiment was not without complications, ranging from curriculum deficiencies to disciplinary issues. PBS also did a short piece
on Baraka the same year.
By 2002, though, things were shaping up
. The Baltimore City Public School System found that students at Baraka improved markedly
in their academics. One alumnus
is an up-and-coming hip-hop star.
Baraka was closed indefinitely in 2003 due to terrorism-related security threats. But a new documentary, The Boys of Baraka
, recaptures the essence of the place, its successes and its failures alike.
is an ongoing curatorial project that aims to create an online platform to exchange works between artists, curators and the public and give the audience free access to works of art. Artists have been invited to submit work to Copy-art in any medium that will then be available online, making it possible for visitors to use these works in any possible way and without restrictions.
Submitted works can be downloaded, changed, distributed, exhibited and used by all visitors for free. All submitted works will be present online in an archive, and available to the public to access. Commercial use of the works is excluded.
Retro phone fun.
Remember the days when telephone numbers included an exhcange, like BUtterfield 8, MUrray Hill 7, or YUkon 5? Even you young whippersnappers can look up your current phone number and see what it's exchange name used to be. If your number isn't in the database, you can check Ma Bell's list of recommended exchange names
. The next time someone asks for your number, use the exchange and watch hilarity ensue.
Howdy fair sailor, "Swappingtons is a great way to get rid of any books, CDs or DVDs that you don't want anymore, and get other items in return for them. The great part too is, once you're done with the items you get, you can just turn around and list them again so someone else will take them and you can get something else." Andrew
and various other web enterprises
) has set up a barter club for your mutual benefit! (kinda like a LETS
) Be sure to check out the short instructional dramatization
A common dollar for Canada and the U.S.?
With the Euro unit of currency slowly coming into common use, it's only natural for other continents/countries to follow suit. How would this affect the national identity of Canada? Is this a sensible thing to do? What are the benefits and deficiencies of such a plan?