Best of the Week: April 11-17, 2010

10. The Wonderful “Failure” of the Milwaukee Voucher Program — Scott Sumner
9. Why Immigration Can’t Save Social Security — Andrew G. Biggs
8. The PIIGS Problem: Maginot Line Economics — Marshall Auerback
7. Bye-Bye, Global Cooling Myth: Hottest March and Hottest Jan-Feb-Mar on Record — Joseph Romm, Record Atlantic SSTs Continue; Very Active Hurricane Season Foreseen by CRU and TSR — Jeff Mastersand Newsweek Gets Coal Terribly Wrong — Daniel Stone
6. How Mathematics Might Have Caused the Financial Crisis — Mark Thoma and The Non-Existent Hand — Joseph Stiglitz
5. The Price of Assassination — Robert Wright and Gary Hart
4. Hilda Solis: Labor’s New Sheriff — Esther Kaplan and Cui Bono? — Kevin Drum
3. Why Cap-and-Trade Should (and Does) Have Appeal to Politicians — Robert W. Hahn & Robert N. StavinsThe Complete Guide to Modern Day Climate Change — Scott A. Mandia, and Come On! You Don’t Give the Same Discount Rate to Insurance as Stock, and That Includes Global Warming Insurance! — Richard H. Serlin
2. The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler War — Michael A. Cohen and Army Researchers: Why the Kandahar Offensive Could Backfire — Nathan Hodge
1. FDIC Rebuts Inaccurate Op-Ed and Final Financial Reform Push — Christopher Papagianis
BONUS: Change We Can Believe In — Steven Strogatz

Best of the Week: February 7-13, 2010

10. Cyber Warriors — James Fallows
9. The Wonder Drug Myth — Thomas Goetz and Why Adult Cells Won’t End the Stem-Cell Wars — Sharon Begley
8. The Eurozone Debt Crisis: Facts and Myths — Charles Wyplosz
7. Republicans–Not Obama–More Often on Wrong Side of Public Opinion — Nate Silver
6. Blair, Bush, Israel and Iraq — Stephen M. Walt
5. Listen to the Iranian People — Robert Wright and Salehi: Iran Would Back Down If West Supplies LEU; Khamenei Vows Self-Defense Against “US-Backed Saboteurs” — Juan Cole
4. Yanukovych Is Back — Owen Matthews
3. Massive Moisture-Driven Extreme Precipitation During Warmest Winter in the Satellite Record–and the Deniers Say It Disproves (!) Climate Science — Joseph Romm & Jeff Masters
2. “Too Big to Fail” Is No Redemption Song — Avinash Persaud and How to Make a Bank Raise Equity — Oliver Hart & Luigi Zingales
1. State of Denial: Searching for Peace in Israel — Robert Fisk, Arieli Is a Man with a Plan. The Trouble Is, It’s a Map of Israel — Robert Fisk, and Gaza’s Defiant Tunnellers Head Deeper Underground — Robert Fisk
BONUS: Rock Groups — Steven Strogatz

36 Days To Go: The Universal Message of Christmas

This series has spent a lot of time on the true meaning of Christmas. In that spirit, we present the following videos. Since 2005, the famous TED conference has announced three annual prize winners, each of whom is given $100,000 and asked to deliver “one wish to change the world.” 2008 winner Karen Armstrong is one of my favorite theologians. She is a former Catholic nun who rose to prominence by comparing the Abrahamic religions with an engaging writing style. I haven’t yet read her latest book, The Case for God, but as Tyler Cowen says, it’s self-recommending. Her wish to change the world was for diverse religious leaders to agree on a “Charter of Compassion,” a set of universal morals that we can all live by. It’s hard to imagine a better way to continue our meditation on the true meaning of Christmas.

In response to this wish, TED asked six speakers from very different backgrounds to address compassion from their philosophy. You should carve out some time this weekend to listen to all six, but if you can only listen to one or two, step out of your comfort zone by listening to the ones that are most distant from your own philosophy or religion.   Continue reading “36 Days To Go: The Universal Message of Christmas”