May 26th, 2009

Inspiration

A N. Wilson on the Walkman

In one of the funniest articles he's written, A N Wilson says what's wrong with the Sony Walkman, and calls it "the gadget that helped break Britain."

For those of us who liked getting on a bus or a train and overhearing, or even taking part in, conversations, there is something a bit bleak about the dozens of private solitudes which nowadays clamber aboard.

It apparently hasn't occured to him that many of them are listening to the music from the walkman, ipod, or whatever in preference to listening to him. But I suspect they prefer their music to his conversation.
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Inspiration

Reading is Hard

Reading is really hard. There have been those who said that in order to write well, you had to be able to read: but standout counterexamples put paid to that theory. Mr. Norris presents his numbers, and says, "So much for the idea that flexibity to hire and fire produces more jobs."

He includes a graph in the newspaper.




Do you notice the distance between the lower line (US) and the upper line (Europe) for the majority of the time covered? This area represents jobs, paychecks, in the US not issued in Europe. Yes, the two lines have converged, and Yes, the time displayed is only 15 years, and Yes, this is not the measure to compare (total employment in Europe, expressed as a percentage, and the same in the US), but it gives a feeling anyway. His whole article is a hymn to the dot on the right and speculation as to what might happen in it. The dot itself, of course, is subject to revision.

Sigh.