Monday, 3 March 2014

Some thoughts on coalition governments and other news and views for Monday 3 March

Some news and views noted along the way
3-03-2014 inittogether
  • Coalition Monsters – “Common sense in British politics tends to be aligned with the wisdom of party managers: that the electorate abhors uncertainty, and is incapable of understanding either internal party divisions or Continental-style coalitions. Only very occasionally, when the whips are thwarted by force of circumstance, do the voters – and indeed a frustrated cadre of pragmatic and independent-minded politicians – escape the iron cage of partisan constraint.”
  • Leave designer suits at home, China’s National People’s Congress tells delegates – “BEIJING — There will be no Hermes, Chanel or other fashion brands on display at China’s National People’s Congress, which opens Wednesday. Instead, the congress’ organizers are telling delegates that this time, things need to be frugal, quick and to the point. And also, remember which bottle of water is yours.”
  • In search of new sales, defense contractors embrace energy market -”[Lockheed Martin] said it had signed a deal with Victorian Wave Partners to develop the largest wave energy project to date. The $205 million project will use special buoys that pull energy from the motion of ocean waves… In another major deal, Lockheed last year announced it was partnering with a Chinese firm to build a plant off the coast of southern China to covert the ocean’s thermal energy to electricity. The technology uses the temperature difference between the warm surface water of the ocean and the cold water much lower to create a generating cycle.”
  • Psst, have you heard that gossip is good for us?- “.. High quality global journalism requires investment. according to recent research from Stanford University, published in Psychological Science, not only have I done no harm by gossiping, I have been making the world a finer place. Talking about people behind their backs increases co-operation, upholds the moral code, punishes the selfish and rewards the unselfish. And if people know they get voted off the island for bad behaviour, they behave less badly.”
  • Underrated: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – “The star of Pussy Riot combines beauty and charisma with quiet courage and a remarkable mind.”
3-03-2014 thermonuclear
  • On Thermonuclear Monarchy: An Interview with Elaine Scarry – “In the nuclear age, Constitutions have been belittled and deformed by having their war provisions ignored. So, too, social contract theory has been set aside in the nuclear age. One of the leading theorists of peace, Thomas Hobbes has been turned upside down into an apologist for executive war making…”
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