We are ruled by people who confuse rhetoric and reality

Nous sommes gouvernés par des personnes qui confondent la rhétorique et la réalité (T. Piketty, Libération). Indeed, and with nefarious consequences.

Reform the EU by establishing more democratic mechanisms… Might get us away from the rule of “professional politicians”, but doesn’t seem to be the answer, as their own rhetoric is divorced from reality: just ask most Brits if the EU is an economic advantage or not.

Fiscal reform… The problem with Hollande (and every other politician) isn’t that he has the wrong policies, it’s that he has no policy at all, and simply changes according to the circumstances.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 21.40.04

Monumental stupidity: the age of austerity

The case for cuts was a lie. Why does Britain still believe it? The austerity delusion
by Paul Krugman (The Guardian).

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 21.40.04“It is rare, in the history of economic thought, for debates to get resolved this decisively. The austerian ideology that dominated elite discourse five years ago has collapsed, to the point where hardly anyone still believes it. Hardly anyone, that is, except the coalition that still rules Britain – and most of the British media.”

“If this counts as a policy success, why not try repeatedly hitting yourself in the face for a few minutes? After all, it will feel great when you stop.”

“Britain’s opposition has been amazingly willing to accept claims that budget deficits are the biggest economic issue facing the nation, and has made hardly any effort to challenge the extremely dubious proposition that fiscal policy under Blair and Brown was deeply irresponsible – or even the nonsensical proposition that this supposed fiscal irresponsibility caused the crisis of 2008-2009.”

Notes on content modelling

Content Modelling: A Master Skill (Rachel Lovinger, A List Apart).

A useful tool once you have a content strategy tied to your business strategy and KPIs:

  • Assembly model.
  • Content types.
  • Content attributes.
  1. The content model needs to focus on the main audience (customers) while addressing different internal audiences: stakeholders, editorial (making their use of tools and their training easier), AI/UX (specs), developers (CMS).
  2. UX cannot generate content or a content strategy (photoshopist’s perspective).
  3. Content is not mere “data”: it refers to a specific audience, with specific goals (IT perspective), so we’re not “modeling data”.

Content needs to become independent from IA/UX and developers; to do that it needs to establish a different flow for a all web solutions: the starting point and not a nice to have add on.

Goldman Sachs still owns the New York Fed

Fed Examiner fired for doing her job? (ProPublica).

Goldman Sachs found in blatant breach of The Fed’s requirements; when faced with this they would rather fire their own examiner than question the bank. Incompetence, collusion, or both? If the New York Fed cannot be overhauled, it needs to be uprooted, pronto.

“The current president of the New York Fed, William Dudley, is a former Goldman partner. One of his New York Fed predecessors, E. Gerald Corrigan, is currently a top executive at Goldman. Stephen Friedman, a former chairman of the New York Fed, was head of the risk committee for Goldman’s board of directors.” Bought and paid for.

  • The financial industry keeps harming the economy.
  • Capitalism without the rule of law is sheer lunacy.
  • Explains in part why it’s an on going, long term crisis, as well as any future and likely financial shocks.
  • Goldman Sacks advised both parties in the Kinder Morgan El Paso merger: experts at playing both sides, to their own advantage.

Britishness vs Englishness

Bifes Mal Passados (which translates as uncooked steaks?): Portuguese academic describes English as ‘filthy, violent and drunk’. Anyone who has been to England has experienced at least two out of three with his or her own eyes, every single Friday is drink till you drop day; what’s interesting is the reaction in the UK to this:

Britishness: The world seen from a higher plane, stiff upper lip, fair play, the rule of law, self deprecating, sophisticated, dark sense of humour which is much appreciated everywhere, one of the important places in the world.

Englishness: The world seen from a much smaller place, feel outraged when faced with the obvious, lash out, pettiness, ignorant provincials from an island to the north west of Europe.

What they have in common: geography, truly, unmistakably and irredeemably dreadful food. When faced with the latter the British will shrug and accept it, think of the saving graces at Waitrose; the English will utter something about the great English breakfast (disgusting) or look to start a fist fight.

How did this sense of Englishness survive Britishness, given rising standards of living over centuries? Should the Union be dissolved simply on this evidence?