Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

The evolutionary origins of modularity

[1207.2743] The evolutionary origins of modularity.

Seems to be a fairly strong argument for Agile development–and a clean description (as it were) of how work gets done fast and with little waste: by small groups working together.

btw, if you don’t normally follow, well, your loss.


A useful reminder from C. Malamud on Aaron Swartz

Aarons Army.

The Guardian blogpost on open journalism…

The Guardian: a world of news at your fingertips | Help | The Guardian.


Lately, I’ve been trending more toward The Guardian over the NYTimes. Reason? Several–cultural accounts are more interesting, but also foreign reportage seems more complete, less recycling of the expected.


Why Nokia’s 3D-printing move embraces the future — Tech News and Analysis

Why Nokia’s 3D-printing move embraces the future — Tech News and Analysis.

An interesting and programmatic takedown. I’m still not entirely persuaded, as the account of France’s interest in Niger’s uranium seems persuasive: Niger and Mali abut each other. But the point made in this article is a good one: failure of state as a casus belli.

Bridges from Bamako

Since the French military intervention in Mali, known as Operation Serval, began last week, the internet has been buzzing with talk about its motives. Is France really only trying to contain a terrorist threat, as it claims? Or do major world powers have other, more sinister interests at stake? At its root, what is the conflict in Mali about?

This discourse, generated largely by journalists, analysts and activists unfamiliar with Mali, has been far too speculative for my tastes. Let’s consider what we do and don’t know about the causes and effects of international interest in Mali.

1. Mineral rights

Many sources say that the main reason France, and Western countries more broadly, are getting involved in Mali is that these major world powers covet the country’s mineral resources. The website expresses this view bluntly: “the goal of this new war is no other than stripping yet another…

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New book: Campaign Communication and Political Marketing by Philippe J. Maarek « PSA Media and Politics Group

New book: Campaign Communication and Political Marketing by Philippe J. Maarek « PSA Media and Politics Group.

92,000 Dead in Mexico’s War on the Drug Cartels | Drug War 101

92,000 Dead in Mexico’s War on the Drug Cartels | Drug War 101.


A failed state? I mean Mexico. I’ve been wondering what even constitutes a successful state. During Calderon’s regime, especially in the last few years, Mexico’s GDP grew very quickly and there was a lot of foreign investment. Too obvious to write that the drug war provides the cover for a gross police state, including the supposedly rogue death squads and other paramilitary organizations…. (A police state of this magnitude serves to protect capital investment, such as factories and privileged retail areas.) Also, an incomplete summary and possibly misleading, as it would seem to suggest then that the drug gangs (they are not really cartels) represent the increasingly disenfranchised and generally poor/working class. But I would guess they do not and in fact do not “represent” any political body we normally would identify as a legitimate actor. But they are, in all likelihood, from what I’ve read, made up of the poor, disenfranchised.


Let’s fast forward and imagine that in a decade or so, this terrible nightmare of murder will have passed. What kind of public memory will be possible? Who will be held accountable? Even in Columbia, I don’t really see this: the claim is always that is over with, that the cocaine barons no longer represent a threat, they are no longer there. But  is that so?

How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society

How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society.


There is also a good interview by Terry Gross, of Fresh Air (NPR):


Of course, the issue is not particular to American professional class parents. It affects all in a similar bind. The solution, interestingly, if not surprisingly, lies outside the US boundaries, in polities that seek to arrange work schedules to accommodate child bearers before (epi-)genetic risks become too high–and thus more costly to the society.

The Wealth of the Commons

The Wealth of the Commons.

Feds go overboard in prosecuting information activist | Ars Technica

Feds go overboard in prosecuting information activist | Ars Technica.

Information activist: Aaron Swartz. (Article pointed out to me by Jamie Love, who had reposted it to FB.)

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