Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Links, September 24

Interesting discussion on argument in 3quarksdaily. Behind all this, I think, is a basic disease of humans: trying to understand complex things where neat formulations may not be possible. It gets even worse in physics concepts which go beyond everyday experience. Nevertheless worth looking at.http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2013/09/arguing-about-argument.html#more
I am suspicious of that vision thing from big minds. From the ever interesting Chapati Mystery Facebook http://fadesingh.tumblr.com/post/55849407168/the-strange-friendship-of-indira-gandhi-and-buckminster
Rajiv Sethi on Information, Trading and Beliefs "If there's a message in all this, it is that markets aggregate not just information, but also fundamentally irreconcilable perspectives. Prices, as John Kay puts it, "are the product of a clash between competing narratives about the world." Some of the volatility that one observes in asset markets arises from changes in perspectives, which can happen independently of the arrival of information. This is why substantial "corrections" can occur even in the absence of significant news, and why stock prices appear to "move too much to be justified by subsequent changes in dividends." What makes markets appear invincible is not the perfect aggregation of information that is sometimes attributed to them, but the sheer unpredictability of persuasion, exhortation, and social influence that can give rise to major shifts in the distribution of narratives. "
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/23/orwell-nsa-surveillance-alan-rusbridger "The potential of the surveillance state goes way beyond anything inGeorge Orwell's 1984, Alan Rusbridgerthe Guardian's editor-in-chief, told an audience in New York on Monday."
The Logic Behind Assad's use of Chemical Weapons (via Naked Capitalism) "Using chemical weapons didn’t help Assad make gains on the battlefield. It didn’t signal to Syrians that he was willing to use these weapons — he’d already proved that he was willing to use them. What it did do was provide hard evidence that the United States was not coming to the defense of Syrian civilians under any conditions, and that the US would allow Assad to continue to fight to remain in power. Both of these signals would have the effect of undercutting support for the opposition."

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