13 September 2015

A Quotidian Day

There's just too much in today's "Times" to cut&paste with commentary, so I'll just give the link, title, and pick a quote (may be two). You do the rest.

Are Western Values Losing Their Sway?
The Chinese vision is not universalist but mercantilist, and Beijing is interested less in remaking the world than in protecting itself from vulnerabilities of globalization, including the chaotic freedoms of the Internet. China, like Russia now, pushes back against Western aspirations and efforts to reshape the world in its own image.

There Is No Theory of Everything
[Frank Cioffi] hated big theories and any kind of metaphysical pretention and he would use little quotations to pick away relentlessly at grand explanations. He used the particular to scratch away at the general, like picking at a scab.

(The on-line text is materially different from my dead trees version. The first time, I think.)

Teaching Slavery to Reluctant Listeners
Twenty-four decades have passed since the Continental Congress deleted Thomas Jefferson's criticisms of slavery from his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, and college students today arrive knowing little about the way America's history of slavery has shaped their lives. Avoidance of the topic is deeply ingrained.

Finally, one young woman had heard enough. Born in Jamaica, S. lived in a working-­class neighborhood in Broward County. She was unquestionably the best writer in the class. S. turned around in her seat and pinned the complainers with a glare. "Stop whining and do the work -- that's why you're here."

Safety Suffers as Stock Options Propel Executive Pay Packages
Stock options have been the jet fuel propelling some of the biggest executive pay packages over the years. From an investor's point of view, these instruments are problematic because they provide an executive with little downside if the company's underlying shares fall but oodles of upside on the rise.

So, there you have it. Life is a seesaw. How you view life depends a lot on where your end of the board points.

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