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Showing posts from March, 2011

Who wants to go through life defining themselves as a 'non-driver'?

Brendan O'Neill raises the important issue of how filling in a form forces us to indelibly define our lifelong identity by ticking a box. But for some reason he is only willing to tackle the easiest question: religion.

There are bigger issues here.

Campaigning cyclists are gear-gnashingly worried that insufficient numbers of people will tick the “Cars In This Household: None” box. The Rail Passengers Association is on a mission to encourage as many non-drivers as possible to declare their non-driving. It argues that only by getting a realistic snapshot of how many cars there are in modern-day Britain (fewer than we think, apparently) can we challenge such allegedly problematic institutions as multi-story car parks, and the privileging of Jeremy Clarkson in various prime time BBC TV programmes.

But if lots of non-drivers choose not to tick “Cars In This Household: None”, I won’t be surprised. Why? Because people generally don’t like to define themselves negatively, by what they are…

The economics zeitgeist, 27 March 2011

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This week's word cloud from the economics blogs. I generate a new one every Sunday, so please subscribe using RSS or the email box on the right and you'll get a message every week with the new cloud.

The words moving up and down the chart are listed here.

I summarise around four hundred blogs through their RSS feeds. Thanks in particular to the Palgrave Econolog who have an excellent database of economics blogs; I have also added a number of blogs that are not on their list. Contact me if you'd like to make sure yours is included too.
I use Wordle to generate the image, the ROME RSS reader to download the RSS feeds, and Java software from Inon to process the data.
You can also see the Java version in the Wordle gallery.
If anyone would like a copy of the underlying data used to generate these clouds, or if you would like to see a version with consistent colour and typeface to make week-to-week comparison easier, please get in touch.

The economics zeitgeist, 20 March 2011

Image
This week's word cloud from the economics blogs. I generate a new one every Sunday, so please subscribe using RSS or the email box on the right and you'll get a message every week with the new cloud.

The words moving up and down the chart are listed here.

I summarise around four hundred blogs through their RSS feeds. Thanks in particular to the Palgrave Econolog who have an excellent database of economics blogs; I have also added a number of blogs that are not on their list. Contact me if you'd like to make sure yours is included too.
I use Wordle to generate the image, the ROME RSS reader to download the RSS feeds, and Java software from Inon to process the data.
You can also see the Java version in the Wordle gallery.
If anyone would like a copy of the underlying data used to generate these clouds, or if you would like to see a version with consistent colour and typeface to make week-to-week comparison easier, please get in touch.

Strange takedown on BBC blog

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The following excerpt appeared today on the right-hand side of various BBC blogs:


The link points to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/andrewharding/2011/03/squabble_over_mandelas_missing.html

But when you click on it, Mandela's [what?] is not the only thing that's missing. The post itself has been taken down from Andrew's blog.

Libel threat? Quick change of mind for extra fact-checking? BBC risk-aversion? I wonder. Quite strange that the post remains highlighted in the "Latest from BBC Blogs" on all the other reporters' blog pages (and for that matter, on Andrew's too).

Maybe we'll find out if we keep refreshing the page long enough.

The economics zeitgeist, 13 March 2011

Image
This week's word cloud from the economics blogs. I generate a new one every Sunday, so please subscribe using RSS or the email box on the right and you'll get a message every week with the new cloud.

The words moving up and down the chart are listed here.

I summarise around four hundred blogs through their RSS feeds. Thanks in particular to the Palgrave Econolog who have an excellent database of economics blogs; I have also added a number of blogs that are not on their list. Contact me if you'd like to make sure yours is included too.
I use Wordle to generate the image, the ROME RSS reader to download the RSS feeds, and Java software from Inon to process the data.
You can also see the Java version in the Wordle gallery.
If anyone would like a copy of the underlying data used to generate these clouds, or if you would like to see a version with consistent colour and typeface to make week-to-week comparison easier, please get in touch.

The economics zeitgeist, 6 March 2011

Image
This week's word cloud from the economics blogs. I generate a new one every Sunday, so please subscribe using RSS or the email box on the right and you'll get a message every week with the new cloud.

The words moving up and down the chart are listed here.

I summarise around four hundred blogs through their RSS feeds. Thanks in particular to the Palgrave Econolog who have an excellent database of economics blogs; I have also added a number of blogs that are not on their list. Contact me if you'd like to make sure yours is included too.
I use Wordle to generate the image, the ROME RSS reader to download the RSS feeds, and Java software from Inon to process the data.
You can also see the Java version in the Wordle gallery.
If anyone would like a copy of the underlying data used to generate these clouds, or if you would like to see a version with consistent colour and typeface to make week-to-week comparison easier, please get in touch.

Price tag, we don't want your price tag

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I have been listening to a charming pop song by the delightful young artist "Jessie J", prompted by the ravings of a tipsy man on the tube (long story, don't ask).
Some of the lyrics go like this: Seems like everybody's got a price, I wonder how they sleep at night.
When the sale comes first,
And the truth comes second,
Just stop for a minute and smile

It's not about the money, money, money
We don't need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance, Forget about the price tagWhat a refreshing attitude, I thought! This insightful young woman has not only written a song about the important and neglected issue of pricing, for the first time since the rapper Meaningful Contribution To Human Progress changed his name to 50 Cent. But she has expressed a subtle understanding of the fact that not all economic incentives are material ones. In many situations, consumers really do just want truth, or a smile, and not a material object. This is implicit in t…