Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29. 2015

I don't really know how feasible "targeted multi-channel financing" is, but Glaziev makes a lot of good points in a candid manner ("Interviewer: It's that simple?" Glaziev: It's not simple at all").

It's a long read, but if you just had half an hour to spend on coming up to speed with the whole "what's wrong with the current global finance regime" (not to mention a primer on global finance and investment), spend it on this interview. A couple of choice bits: 
In other words, our monetary authorities are working for foreign speculators? What about the Western sanctions?
Not just foreign ones. Here as well the income of speculators grew like mushrooms sprouting up after rain after the ruble was allowed to float freely. They have superior communication and authoritative leadership with access to confidential information from the regulator. Creating “currency swings” – this latter created a real gold mine for them… By the way Western sanctions only affect loans with a term of over a month. They don’t apply to short-term loans, which are what the speculators depend on. Indeed they need loans for literally one day, often – for one hour. So the entire Western financial system is still connected to our financial market, which is still dominated by foreign speculators – they account for 90% of transactions...
And this isn’t a return to a planned economy?
If so, then Japan, China, India and Brazil all have planned economies. And even in Western Europe there was also a planned economy before the introduction of the Euro – money was printed by the national banks according to demand from the manufacturing enterprises, as confirmed by their business plans, the implementation of which was monitored by commercial banks. They took the risks of lending to their clients and refinanced with the national banks using promissory notes...
 The status quo will persist as long as the speculation-is-good-for-injecting-liquidity side prevails in the ideological debate. Regulatory capture and corruption/blackmail also help.
Maybe Greenpeace at the international level is different, but I have a very low opinion of their torch-bearers in India, even ignoring aspects related to their funding. What's the most attention-whory way to protest the freezing of your accounts? Let me see, oh, a couple of us will don mountain-climbing gear and unfurl our protest banners from the top of the building while dangling precariously. Is there an easier and safer way we can accomplish our objectives? Hush. A long time ago I attended a concert that was sponsored by Greenpeace, and there was this guy on the stage who went on and on about how he was hanging out in the Rainbow Warrior (that's their famous ship that keeps sailing around the world doing, well, attention-whory things ["it's all for the ENVIRONMENT, dammit!"]), how he had not yet decided whether to continue his voyage or pursue his fucking PhD, and so on. My interactions with the local volunteers over subsequent years lead me to believe that most of them are cut from the same cloth as that guy.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 25, 2015

(Warning: GoT spoilers)

Season 5 of Game of Thrones is over. It was an enjoyable season, especially the latter half. Something I started doing after watching the last three episodes was to head over to r/gameofthrones/ to catch up on the reactions to the episode in question. In fact, it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that r/gameofthrones/ was the only place I visited for about three days after the season finale. Entertaining stuff, reading about the speculations, fan theories, and so on (not to mention learning new things: did you know that R+L = J?). Quite a bit of the heartburn and pointless debates there can be avoided if folks kept two things in mind: a) HBO will do whatever it takes to make more money and b) as a reddit user so eloquently put it, "it's a show with fucking dragons". Fidelity to the book, what was going on through a character's mind when they did that thing, does something really make sense and so on are pretty pointless. Having said all this, here are my own speculations:
  1. Stannis the Mannis is gone.
  2. Hard to say about Jon (refer R+L=J above)
  3. Sansa and Theon survive
A word about the books: I have just started on the first one, and I must say that the writing is quite underwhelming (maybe things improve in the later volumes).

Speaking of spoilers, trust the pimps at ToI to trumpet out Jon's demise from the rooftops barely three days after the show, thereby spoiling it for countless fans who were late in catching up.

Monday, June 01, 2015

June 1, 2015

The Hindu is either trolling its readers or severely underestimating their reading comprehension skills. First this:
The Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has been distributing pamphlets and posters that call for, among other things, removal of ‘brahminical tyranny’.
and in the same breath (italics in original):
But such an association will be spurious, as questioning orthodoxy and conservatism is not tantamount to hate speech, which is characterised by a deliberate targeting of communities rather than beliefs.
Now we know which god the BCCI folks look to for inspiration and pray to everyday.
Yet another spelling bee competition, yet another Indian-origin winner. A good language is one for which there are no spelling bee competitions. Dmitri Orlov's Unspell project is a step in the right direction, but its success remains to be seen.