Tagged: climate change

Mathis Lohaus

Links: Big data, Climate policy, Filibuster, Germany

Texas Senate (Public domain via Wikimedia)
“The Senate Chamber of the Texas Capitol” Source: Wikimedia (public domain)

Today’s links somehow focus on U.S. politics. But all of the topics matter globally, so please bear with me. Also, we’re pleased to announce that the Economist is as unhappy about the lack of German strategic thinking as we are.

  • Evgeny Morozov on the perils of Big Data: “there is an immense—but mostly invisible—cost to the embrace of Big Data by the intelligence community (and by just about everyone else in both the public and private sectors). That cost is the devaluation of individual and institutional comprehension, epitomized by our reluctance to investigate the causes of actions and jump straight to dealing with their consequences.
  • Obama didn’t really talk about climate policy in his Brandenburg Gate speech, but he did so yesterday. The excellent Duck of Minerva covers the main points and adds interesting links with further information.
  • By now everyone must have heard of the filibuster in Texas, right? For a nice summary and an appreciation of the crowd in the Senate building, check out The Monkey Cage.
  • Fun fact: Did you know that all U.S. states except Nebraska have upper houses?
  • Bonus fun fact: In Nebraska, the unicameral state legislature is called Legislature, but the representatives call themselves … Senators! (Wikipedia)

In line with our negative assessments of German strategy and leadership in the last weeks (ex. 1, ex. 2), please make sure to check out the Economist’s recent special report on Germany, the “reluctant hegemon”:

“On the euro, Germany’s competitiveness agenda is insufficient, and based on a distorted reading of the country’s own history. And Germany’s energy policy is less an example of bold leadership than of an ill-planned unilateralism that illustrates the country’s deep reluctance to think strategically about international challenges.”

Don’t worry, there are some more positive bits in there. The whole thing is available through the navigation on the right hand side of their website.

Mathis Lohaus

Links: Climate Chaos; MOOCs; Advice for Young Researchers

MOOC
Screenshot: MOOC Production Fellowship website
  • Martin Wolf has a piece in the Financial Times listing seven reasons “why the world faces climate chaos”: path dependency, the power of free-market ideas, salience of other issues, naive optimism, coordination problems and complexity, discounting the future, and the problematic burden-sharing between rich and poor countries. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t really offer a quick fix.
  • “Massive Open Online Courses” (MOOCs) are getting a lot of attention, and Germany is no exception. Currently there’s a competition for 10 x 25,000 EUR of funding to produce an web-based course, and I encourage you to check out the submissions from social sciences. Everyone has ten votes.
  • Over at the Duck, Dan Nexon reminds us that the idea is not really new – technology has certainly improved, but talk of a “MOOC moment” might be overblown.
  • Economist Andrew Oswald shares some advice about things he would have found useful to know as a young researcher (via MR).
  • While we’re at it, check out Farnam Street. I’d call it a self-help blog for knowledge workers – and honestly, the advice seems a bit over the top at times. But in case you’re unhappy with your reading habits, consult the “Buffett Formula” for motivation…