Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More Tales of Interest

Gripping links I haven't managed to work into a narrative:

# Learning through gaming - Great new edutainment mash up showing up in the media. Read Wired's easily digestible formulae on the economics of Somali piracy OR play Cut Throat Capitalism the Game. Slate looks at what could cause the USA to split apart. I quite like Frank Miller's version in Give Me Liberty. Pick and mix a variety of your own scenarios with Slate's excellent dark little game. What does the hive mind think? Here's the Top 5 doomsdays picked by the internets:

Can't remember what I chose, but it was none of the above but quite self-inflicted nonetheless. It's a pity that the Howard Mark's Smuggling Game is still being rebuilt. That was a good little learner way back when.

# The UK Times asks are MPs born mad or does power drive them crazy? I reckon it's a bit of both. Many if not most jobs have better hours, higher remuneration, greater anonymity, and/or less collateral damage. There's a certain mindset required to run for parliament and self-preservation is not one of them. Not at first, anyway. Then the power sinks in, you start to believe your own press, and then you wonder how the public ever lived without you around to do all the work. It's the old divine rule problem. Even shining gem Singapore is facing quite a dilemma seeing as how great Lee Kwan Yew is mortal. That's why democracy is the least worst option in the long run.

There's an unofficial convention that never again will a NZ prime minister have the finance portfolio as well. Muldoon taught us that much. If there's a rhythm to NZ politics, I'd say a PM should stand two elections before a successor is brought in. It's always the third term that drives them barmy. Barring phenomenal levels of support from the electorate, I reckon that sometime after the 2014 election, John Key should make clear who else will carry on as leader for the 2017 election.

# Steven Price features 6 ways for bloggers to stay out of legal trouble over at Idealog. It's good counsel. There are times I realise I'm jet skiing on the meniscus of the fathomless lake of legal opinion. Wherever possible, I leave enough Uncertainty Principle to hide behind. ie. there's a fast particle of excrement being thrown but I'm not sure of the direction it is travelling in. Failing that, I'll plead diminished responsibility, the fool's prerogative.

# A History of Media - Ethical Martini and Karl du Fresne look into the past and the future of NZ journalism.

# Bernard Hickey's Top 10 at 10 looks at the US Cash for Clunkers scheme, complete with the YouTube death scream of a perfectly good Volvo. It's destruction for destruction's sake, like Iceland's Range Rovers. They'll be burning bridges next.

# Pharm Bashing - The NYT looks at how pharm-sponsored ghostwriters spun bullshit for medical journals on Hormone Replacement Therapy.