October 5, 2015

VW Diesel: lawyers wanted

James E. Tierney, a former attorney general in Maine who now runs a program at Columbia University that conducts research on state attorneys general, is less optimistic that the cases will move swiftly. While the Volkswagen company has been forthright in describing its diesel deception, he said, it will still be motivated to minimize any potential cost.

Potential damages for the company, Mr. Tierney said, might be "incalculable," with each false advertisement to consumers, for example, carrying a potential penalty. "This product was designed to operate illegally, and that is very serious," he said.


October 4, 2015

High spark of low skilled work

The more difficult challenge is to redefine the language and perceptions that trap large segments of reliable workers in poverty. All work can be executed with skill, but denying that fact is useful to those who justify the poor treatment of, and unfair compensation for, millions of workers.

Convincing those workers that their treatment is temporary, that if they just keep working harder, learn to do their tasks more quickly, more efficiently, more fluidly, they will eventually surpass it -- this is a myth we can't keep telling.

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October 1, 2015

Abjection: Does abjection signify freedom for white people?

Does abjection signify freedom for white people?

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September 29, 2015

Adult diagnosis of A.D.H.D.

He did not think she had early Alzheimer's disease. The woman's daughter and granddaughter had both been given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D. a few years earlier, and Dr. Goodman, who is also the director of a private adult A.D.H.D. clinical and research center outside of Baltimore, asked about her school days as a teenager.

After interviewing her extensively, noting the presence of patterns of impairment that spanned the decades, Dr. Goodman diagnosed A.D.H.D. He prescribed Vyvanse, a short-acting stimulant of the central nervous system.

A few weeks later, the difference was remarkable. "She said: 'I'm surprised, because I'm not misplacing my keys now, and I can remember things better. My mind isn't wandering off, and I can stay in a conversation.

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September 27, 2015

Skin is an effective germ barrier

Intact skin is an effective germ barrier, and the skin of the buttocks and legs is relatively thick. It is also less likely to be cracked than the skin of the hands or face because it is normally sheltered from sunlight, dishwashing detergent, tools and other assaults.

September 26, 2015

Economy of scale of death

One model that N.H.T.S.A. has studied is the one now used by the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates commercial aircraft. The F.A.A. dispatches representatives to plane manufacturers to directly oversee the software design process for the critical systems that control flying.

If it were to carry out those inspections, N.H.T.S.A. would need skilled people. The agency estimates that it has 0.3 staff members for every 100 fatalities in automobile crashes; the F.A.A. has at its disposal over 10,000 staff members for every 100 fatalities on commercial aircraft, according to N.H.T.S.A.

-- Philip Koopman, an associate professor at the department of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

September 21, 2015

More difficult to run a successful business in the United States

It's becoming more and more difficult to run a successful business in the United States without doing lobbying, campaign contributions and other deals with politicians. This I think is the most dangerous, I would even say nefarious, trend for the creativity of American business in general, and young and new businesses which we badly need in particular.

-- Daron Acemoglu, an economist at M.I.T

The U.S. economy experienced large, broad-based declines in labor market fluidity in recent decades. Long-term declines in job and worker reallocation rates hold across states, industries, and demographic groups defined by gender, education and age. Fluidity declines are large for most groups, and they are enormous for younger and less educated workers.

"Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance", September 2014, Steven J. Davis and John Haltiwanger, professors of economics at the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland, respectively

Educating middle Americans improves economic security, doesn't meaningfully reduce inequality

Brad Hershbein, Melissa Kearney and Lawrence Summers offer a simple little simulation that shows the limits of education as an inequality-fighter. In short, more education would be great news for middle and lower-income Americans, increasing their pay and economic security. It just isn't up to the task of meaningfully reducing inequality, which is being driven by the sharp upward movement of the very top of the income distribution.

Assumes 10 percent of working-age men without advanced education receive a college degree, and begin earning wages typical of college graduates. Then nationwide Gini would fall from 57 % to 55%.

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September 19, 2015

SV VC were always boutiques

Goldman Sachs set up its first office in San Francisco in 1968. In the 1990s, Wall Street banks sought out "the Four Horsemen," a contingent of local boutique investment banks that had cornered the market on virtually all the tech start-ups. JPMorgan bought Hambrecht & Quist (Mr. Perkins has long said the only banker he ever liked was Bill Hambrecht of Hambrecht & Quist); Deutsche Bank bought Alex. Brown & Sons; the predecessor to Bank of America bought Robertson Stephens; and Montgomery Securities was bought by NationsBank (which later merged with Bank of America).