06 April 2010

Cagey's reading this week:

"Pirate Negotiating Tools"

Kind of interesting, but under the "life insurance" policy, how do you
avoid being murdered by your shipmate?
"North Korean Defector Touts Ideology Over Force"

I predict North Korea will be reunified with the Republic of Korea in my lifetime.  However, it could get wacky - PRC could go for a big real-estate grab if the regime is destabilized.

"7777 has Pennsylvania's Lucky Number"

Numerologist discussing this magnificent phenomenon.  A statistician pointed out that drawing 7-7-7-7 in a lotto is as likely as 1-2-3-4, 9-8-7-6, or 2-4-5-9, but consider this: the payout was $7.77M.  Now: maybe many know the devil's number in the Bible, but they may not know that "7" is considered a holy number.  If you needed an omen, of anything, this is a good one. 
"Fed to test Results-Only Work Environment" http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/751230
Only responsible people can be trusted with this mechanism... maybe some newbies who need incentives or younger managers who put in extra when they need to.  As one journalist asked, "What does government produce, anyway? So they do nothing already  and they don't have to come to work now, either."  I can see this working for the military but perhaps not for bureaucrats.  There would have to be significant output performance measures to protect the government from heavy contusive bleeding.  Double-edged sword is obviously intrusiveness - micromanagement.

P.S. - Where's that four-day work-week everyone's been pining on about?!

David Brooks: "Blond argues that over the past generation we have witnessed two revolutions, both of which liberated the individual and decimated local associations. First, there was a revolution from the left: a cultural revolution that displaced traditional manners and mores; a legal revolution that emphasized individual rights instead of responsibilities; a welfare revolution in which social workers displaced mutual aid societies and self-organized associations."

"Then there was the market revolution from the right. In the age of deregulation, giant chains like Wal-Mart decimated local shop owners. Global financial markets took over small banks, so that the local knowledge of a town banker was replaced by a manic herd of traders thousands of miles away. Unions withered."

"The two revolutions talked the language of individual freedom, but they perversely ended up creating greater centralization. They created an atomized, segmented society and then the state had to come in and attempt to repair the damage."

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