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A sede do Bolsa-Canhão

Como mostra este artigo de 2006 de James K. Galbraith e J. Travis Hale, quem parte e reparte, fica com a melhor parte:

American Inequality: From IT Bust to Big Government Boom

The American economy is not a monolith, but a kaleidoscope. Things change, and so does the geographic distribution of income. Some counties prosper, others suffer; much depends on the rise and fall of crops, oil, steel and computers—and on where those activities are found.

For roughly a quarter century, between 1974 and 2000, income inequality between counties rose steadily, and in the last years of the century certain high-technology counties, notably in Northern California, grew exceptionally rich. In 2000 the trend reversed, and county incomes began to converge.

It might be tempting to credit the Bush Administration with a benign reversal of what had been a disturbing trend. We doubt this interpretation. Instead, for good or ill, geographic inequality in America tracks the NASDAQ, to a remarkable degree.

And yet, under Bush, some counties have defied the convergence trend. Which ones are these? While incomes in Silicon Valley deflated, the counties around Washington D.C. and several other defense-based locations went from rich to richer. Government contracts, in short, have been the one major source of regional enrichment and redistribution under Bush, with the nation’s capital region being the one big winner.

(…)In short, government spending (especially for the military) provides the main thread visibly linking the economic winners of the Bush years.

Conclusions

Along with the technology bust and the slide of the NASDAQ, there came a reversal in 2000 of the steady march of roughly a quarter century of rising geographic income inequality in America.

This reversal predates the Bush administration and its normative significance is unclear: it mainly reflects the end of the technology boom.

In the Bush years, a concentration of increasing income around Washington D.C. appears to reflect the vast growth in federal government spending. This spending contributed to increased housing prices and credit expansion in and around the capital, creating new winners in the private sector in that region. Much of this spending is related to the growth of military and intelligence activities, though federal civilian spending also grew rapidly in 2003–2004; there was undoubtedly also substantial growth in spending by private sector lobbies. The ultimate economic consequences should, of course, be judged in part by the worth of the activities undertaken. However, it is already clear that the Bush years so far have engendered no very broad revival of private-sector economic initiative; a main economic beneficiary of government spending was the government itself and those associated with it. Given the anti-government rhetoric of the administration, this is, well, ironic.

O artigo pode ser lido na íntegra aqui no Economist´s View.

***

Alguns amigos meus costumam me dizer que eu estou errado, ou parcialmente errado, quando digo que a guerra americana no Iraque tem a ver com petróleo. Eles acreditam que tem muito mais a ver com o enriquecimento de claques de amigos dentro do complexo industrial militar via gastos do Estado. Eu continuo achando que garantir o acesso ao petróleo desempenha um papel importante, mas essa outra hipótese também é extremamente racional – ainda que várias ordens de grandeza menos nobre. Mas quem disse, afinal, que a claque neocon de Bush passa perto da nobreza?

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Terceira lei de Clarke:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Prova:

“The University of Michigan’s Center for Objective Microelectronics and Biomimetic Advanced Technology (COM-BAT) is working on building a robot bat that would perform long-range reconnaissance for the U.S. Army, but U.Mich is currently struggling with miniaturizing components in order to make the bat small enough to be stealthy. ‘The focus is to shrink down many electronics that while currently available would only be good if the US Army wanted, say, a 12-foot spy-bat.’ Some components need to be 1,000 times smaller than they currently are. The Army’s $10 million grant proposal calls for the bat to be six inches in length, weigh four ounces and use just one watt of power. The bat is supposed to be powered by a lithium-ion battery, charged by solar and wind energy, as well as simple vibrations.”

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Segunda lei de Clarke:

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

Prova:

(…)the MER mission has gone on far longer than anyone ever dreamed it would. “There are people on this mission who have spent more than 10% of their lives operating these rovers,” Squyres pointed out. “If you’re under 40 years old and were with the team from Day One when we landed, you have spent more than 10% of your life on this mission. We’ve been doing this for a very long time.” It’s been four Earth years — that’s high school or college (undergrad) — it is a chunk of one’s life to be sure and a lot has happened during the first four Earth years on this first robotic overland expedition of Mars. Spirit and Opportunity have each established enough rover records to fill a book almost and together they set a standard that makes them the giant robot rovers on whose masts new robot rovers will stand.

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Nariz Gelado hoje:

Cachorro e menino mordem jornalistas

Há uma certa agitação entre os blogues-de-jornalistas-famosos.
Bastou um ser demitido para que o restante caísse numa espécie de, sei lá, egotrip da categoria.
Uns tripudiaram. Outros utilizaram o estilo obituário para comemorar discretamente.
Houve até um que, indignado e em total solidariedade, pediu pra sair. E há aquele que sumiu porque, dizem, vem mais bilhete azul por aí.
E eu com isso?
Nada , não. Fico só encantada com a coleção de vaidades e maldades.

Bom, o post teria ficado muito mais interessante se ela tivesse colocado os links dos blogueiros a que ela se refere. Para ajudá-la nesse mister, eu mesmo coloquei os links que me ocorreram _ os outros eu não sei quem são.

Hermenauta, em mais um serviço de utilidade pública.

Primeira lei de Clarke:

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Prova:

The popular mind often pictures gigantic flying machines speeding across the Atlantic and carrying innumerable passengers in a way analogous to our modern steamships. It seems safe to say that such ideas must be wholly visionary and even if a machine could get across with one or two passengers the cost would be prohibitive to any but the capitalist who could own his own yacht.

_William H. Pickering, astrônomo do MIT, no início do séc. XX

The A380 has a wingspan of 261.8 feet (79.8 meters), a length of 239.5 feet (73 meters) and a maximum take-off weight of more than 1.2 million pounds (540,000 kg).
Pol�cia de MG instaurou inquérito

À meia noite encarnarei no teu PMDB

Deu no Estadão:

Túmulo de Tancredo Neves é destruído parcialmente em MG

A peça de mármore foi quebrada e, a princípio, as hipóteses são ato de vandalismo ou acidente

Pelo visto ninguém ainda pensou no pior:

_ Ele pode ter saído! 

Mathematical Society of Traffic Flow (sim, isso existe, e é no Japão) bolou um experimento simples que permite entender melhor como ocorrem os engarrafamentos.

Simplesmente pediu-se a alguns motoristas que começassem a andar em um círculo a uma velocidade constante.   O movimento então foi filmado, e verificou-se que ocorrem engarrafamentos, que se propagam como ondas de choque no fluxo de veículos.  No artigo relatando o experimento, a conclusão de um especialista é que

“It would be interesting to know whether the Japanese experiment had a consistent trigger for the flow breakdown,” says Tim Rees of TRL, a UK transport research firm.

“I suspect that the trigger would either be a particular driver who was more nervous than the rest, or a particular location on the circle where the capacity was slightly lower,” he says.

Pinpointing the causes of shockwave jams is an exercise in psychology more than anything else. “If they had set up an experiment with robots driving in a perfect circle, flow breakdown would not have occurred. Human error is needed to cause the fluctuations in behaviour,” says Rees.

Quem já não ficou preso em um engarrafamento apenas para descobrir alguns minutos depois que não havia nada, aparentemente, impedindo o trânsito _ nem uma batida, nem um carro parado sem gasolina, nem uma barreira policial, nada?  Pois é, provavelmente o engarrafamento deveu-se a uma onda de choque dessas.  Damn it.

“Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.”

_ Peter Medawar 

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