For some reason, I seem to be rather low on time over the last couple of weeks. But there are some blog posts/articles floating around out there that I really want to write up a couple of posts on. But those posts are not going to happen tonight due to an extended power outage and the fact that I elected to use that power outage to take a nap. Since my planned posts often get overtaken by events, I thought that I would take a few minutes to at least link to some of the things that I plan to blog about. They are worth reading on their own even if I never get around to saying anything.
First up is a recent article in the Economist on the demographics of Europe. When I got this week’s issue of the Economist it was one of the first things that I read and boy did it make me mad. The article was absolutely disgraceful.
Edward Hugh discusses that article in a lengthy post here. But while I agree with most of what Mr. Hugh says, his post fails to relieve me of the need to write my own post. This is partially because I think Mr. Hugh misses several important flaws in the Economist article that I think should be pointed out. But mostly it is because Mr. Hugh is just too kind to the Economist.
This would not bother me so much if I thought that Mr. Hugh would be equally as kind to Mark Steyn (a target of the Economist article). After all, The Economist article commits all the same sins as Mr. Steyn in terms of how they handle and present data. But Mr. Hugh would never treat an argument by Mr. Steyn as respectfully as he treats the Economist’s article. He even wrote in the comments that Mr. Steyn should be ignored.
I think that this disparity of treatment between Mr. Steyn and equally faulty arguments from the likes of the Economist reflects the fact that Mr. Hugh finds Mr. Steyn’s political views so distasteful.
But this disparity in treatment is precisely why men like Mr. Steyn are so popular. If an august publication like the Economist can get away with such a sloppy and misleading piece of work, why can’t Mr. Steyn? Trashing Mr. Steyn and treating the Economist with kid gloves only makes Mr. Steyn out to be some kind of persecuted hero.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not defending Mr. Steyn. My recent comment over at the Belmont Club was in part directed at people like him. But you impose a double standard at the cost of your own credibility.
But that all should really wait until I am ready to write my own post and go over in detail what is wrong with The Economist article.
Another thing I want to blog about is this post over at Architecture and Morality called Helpless Hands: From Arts and Crafts to Blobitechture. Being in the trades, I naturally have my own opinions on the subject. Besides, I have an evil plot to influence the content of Architecture and Morality. I figure if I offer feed back on every blog post on architecture and ignore every post on politics I might be able to subtlety encourage them to stick to their brief.
If you want to help me along with my evil plot, you all should go over and read the post. Or at least pretend to. Stat counters can’t tell.
And last, but not least, there is this post from Alpha.Source on the changing behavior of Japan’s retail investors. There is nothing particularly special about this post, but Alpha.Source’s continued coverage of this issue over the last couple of months has sparked me to revisit some of my old thoughts on Japan. When I was a teenager (in the 90’s if you must know) I thought a lot about Japan’s situation. I find that the recent changes in the behavior of Japan’s retail investors help confirm (in my own mind) many of the ideas that I had back then.
I have been thinking that I ought to take the time to spell out those ideas. Particularly since those ideas lie at the heart of my differences with Mr. Hugh on demographic profiles and trade surpluses and I ought to give a more considered response to Mr. Hugh’s commentary.
If I am lucky, I will get a blog post up on at least one of these subjects before the week is out. The only question is which subject should I tackle first? The one I am most emotionally involved with (the Economist article)? Or the subject that I think will be the easiest to write on (The Architecture and Morality post)? Or the one that I think will take the most work to write out properly (my thoughts on Japan)?