Re: Cyprus

1

Any bets on "time to first mysterious death of a senior Cypriot banker or politician?" The over/under is six months.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:13 AM
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Either they bluffed out the EU or they called the EU's bluff, depending on how you look at things.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:19 AM
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I would rather experience a one-time confiscation of 7% of my bank account than have my country's economy and my own value on the labor market destroyed gradually by austerity. But I guess the former is inevitably going to be followed by the latter anyway.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:24 AM
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I wonder why Cyprus couldn't just apply a one-time tax on assets held in trust by private individuals. If we did that here we could make a sizeable dent in the deficit without affecting the labor market too much. Or am I missing something?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:34 AM
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Is there a term for tricking one's opponents into thinking one is bluffing, over and over again? I think there must be one but I'm not much of a gambler and don't have its lexicon.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:45 AM
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||

I keep telling you people, a gun is just another tool.

|>


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:00 AM
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5: I don't know, but it's how Travis McGee won his boat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:08 AM
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There was a woman on NPR the other day who was *way* to sympathetic to the Russian mobsters who have their money parked in Cyprus. "They just have the lavish parties, private planes and yachts to compensate for the horrible deprivation they felt under communism!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:12 AM
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Krugman's view is that they really should get out of th EU (while acknowledging that it almost certainly would ont happen). It appearsa that the unified currency without a unified polity experiment is not going so well. But someone more knowledgble is free to correct me on that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:15 AM
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Krugman's view is that they really should get out of the EU Euro. Quite different, and likely right. But it won't happen because it would cause the rest of the Euro to unravel, which the Germans don't want.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:39 AM
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Has there been any noticeable benefit to that single currency, to make up for the horrendous costs? Serious question, I get all my macroeconomics from blog debates.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:47 AM
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11 - It allowed Germany to have a much more competitive export-based economy because the Euro was a weaker currency than the deutschmark would have been. And now they're repaying the favor in their inimitable German way.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:56 AM
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11: HELLS YES


Posted by: OPINIONATED BITCOIN | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 10:58 AM
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For the record, Krugman's view is the link in the OP...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:01 AM
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11: I have no idea how significant this is, but all the frictional loss from having to change money when you cross national borders? You have to figure more people spent money out of their home country than they would have otherwise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:03 AM
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I think I read that there was a study of the frictional improvements. They seemed to be real but not huge from a macro perspective - language remains a big barrier.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:06 AM
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9:Krugman has been absolutely terrible on Cyprus. I suggest you take a look at the comments, which I rarely do, to that blog post.

First, there are the economic repercussions of a country so dependent on imports with zero industry and next to nothing raw materials. Importing gas, petrol, sugar, pharmaceuticals with a greatly devalued cypriot pound means that none of these goods will be affordable for the local people
..."alexia", comment #2 Cyprus is not a hot tourist destination, although somebody recommended building casinos.

And Krugman anti-empirical blind faith that devaluation is always guaranteed to create a massive export boom just shows how little he understands the post-modern globalized world economy. He's sad.

Yanis Varoufakis ...Naked Capitalism has been the best site by far for two weeks on Cyprus, and you might think that a woman (Yves Smith), a black (Ed Harrison) and the Europeans and heterodox posters might get a little more support than the bearded white male Ivy League millionaire, especially on an issue of a small open economy under pressure from the plutocratic oligarchs. Oh well.

Lots of posts at Naked Capitalism. Explore


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:14 AM
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10: Right, sorry. Euro not EU.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:23 AM
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14: Right, sorry. I never click the links in the OPs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:24 AM
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I understand, you gotta stick to your convictions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:25 AM
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Kevin O'Rourke just ran across this while I was looking for the article that expressed surprise that the Russian had not bit at the Cypriot airbases and ports. Still looking, but I had forgotten that Iceland had offered the Russians a port, which the Russians had refused. Apparently Russia and China like the way the US & EU are running the world, or at least think they can work in it.

O'Rourke linked for this final line.

Update: according to the FT, German banks (among others) are going after the Russian business that has up to now been located in Cyprus.

The "among others" including London, of course. I suspect the Russians will be leary of Malta and Lucenburg.

Bidness is bidness. But a) understand that nation states and NGO's like the IMF and ECB are now nothing more than weapons of economic war for banking interests, and b) that this has been an extractive set-up and long plan, probably since the euro was first proposed. There are huge winners in this depression.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:33 AM
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next to nothing raw materials.

Cyprus is sitting on a natural gas gold mine.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:37 AM
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Let's all start huffing gas gold!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:42 AM
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22:a) It is contested by Turkey

b) so is Israel/Palestine, with more capital to develop their offshore fields. Natural gas prices are already falling through the floor. Russia pointedly wasn't interested.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:44 AM
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11: The euro is at least as much a political project as an economic one. Anglophone commentators tend either not to know this, or to know it and think it's stupid.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:49 AM
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According to the awesome book After the Ice, Cyprus used to have mini-elephants on it, cute little guys who grew down to pigmy size because they were on the island. There were also mini-hippos.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:51 AM
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Read this this morning bu John Smithin in Money, Macroeconomics, and Keynes a collection of essays for Victoria Chick.
I am trying to keep it short

Figure 15.5 suggests that the domestic economy which is embedded in the currency union may be supply constrained at the relatively high real rates of interest, but then demand constrained at lower real interest rates. By hypothesis we have eliminated the mechanism by which demand and supply were previously brought into equilibrium, and, at least in the present simple example, have not suggested any other. This does not a priori rule out the possibility that some alternative equilibrating mechanism might eventually be discovered, but it does place the onus on the supporters of these currency arrangements to give some hint as to what this might be.

If no equilibrating mechanism can be found, the following result seems to apply. A cheap money policy by the union-wide central bank, assuming that they
can be persuaded to take such action, would succeed in increasing output and reducing unemployment up to a point. However, once real interest rates are
already 'low', any further increases in output would need to come about by demand expansion (such as an expansionary fiscal policy by the domestic government). In light of the model presented here, an interesting 'catch 22' of the practical situation in the contemporary EU is that this is explicitly ruled out for
the formerly sovereign national governments by the Pact for Stability and Growth. Comparing Fig. 15.5 with Figs 15.3 and 15.4, it therefore seems that there is a range of output levels which would formerly have been attainable given certain policy choices under the old currency arrangements, but which are now no longer attainable.

My bold. This is at the end of the article, the point of which was Post-Keynesian monetary theory, showing why low real interest rates constrain effective demand.

But Europe does have better economists than the US, including more Post-Keynesians, so it is not absurd to believe that the powers would have predicted what is currently happening.

But Bernanke is also keeping real rates at zero.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 11:56 AM
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25. Thanks for picking that up. A thousand times yes. It is however a political project that lost its way after 1989, because the major players decided to give central Europe and the Balkans a free ticket at that point. It wasn't charity: the northern Europeans and France believed that they could make a shitload of money out of financing accelerated growth in the periphery. It worked very well for about 20 years, then it fell apart. And here we are.

The point is that all the underlying precursor organisations to the EU were created in cold war conditions. Which means that they're as well adapted to this man's world as a miniature elephant.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 12:13 PM
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25: It's been a disaster as a political project, though. The only reason the euro hasn't unraveled is that everyone assumes that the costs are so high. If it ever does go kerblooey, European unity is finished.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 12:20 PM
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29: I dunno, maybe? Maybe Europe would have been a significantly worse place today without the euro and the will toward unification.

Big picture, Europe is really nice. Not many other places I'd rather live. A big part of that has to be because of the success of its political institutions.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 12:29 PM
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If it ever does go kerblooey, European unity is finished.

What does that mean, Sweden starts marching toward Savoy?

Poland Wants In Why?> ...Wonkblog

Wait...a commenter...adnkly

"1. Poland's PM wants to join the Euro
2. The Polish people don't want to join the Euro

Therefore if the Polish people get a say, Poland won't join the Euro."

I'll bet there are a lot of elite Cypriots with fat bank accounts in safer locations.

I keep wanting to use the "r" word. Let's call it an extraction machine.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 12:57 PM
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I was a firm supporter of the Euroex ante, for a combination of the reasons described above (currency union as trojan horse for political union) and as a means of strengthening the single market through more cross-border investment.

I am tempted to revise my opinion of the project in light of recent events, but I haven't just yet, in large part because I am terribly reluctant to admit that Marty Feldstein was right about something (albeit that he was right for the wrong reasons, IMO).

I feared at the time that the compromises made to win German support for the currency union (the fiscal straightjacket) would render the whole project frighteningly brittle; it will work as long as it works, but if it fails, it fails catastrophically.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:12 PM
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This is a more concise summation of Feldstein's views on the Euro, in the man's own words.

In retrospect, I might have been more skeptical of the currency union if I had known to apply one of dsquared's golden principles: "Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance."

The lie was told to the German people to persuade them to give up the D-Mark: that the European periphery would meekly adopt German monetary policy come what may, and that German taxpayers would never be asked to bail another European country out of a fiscal jam -- indeed, that the Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt would make such a fiscal imbalance impossible in the first place. The attempt to maintain faith in the lie post-crisis was a major impediment to good policy.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:30 PM
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That said, the pre-Euro EU was pretty damn good in itself. Its policy elite is now busy trying to convince everyone that the rest of the EU is worthless and not worth keeping without Gold Standard 2.0, or should that be Cross of Gold 2.0.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:39 PM
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26: Wrangel Island had miniature mammoths within the last 10,000 years or so, and may have remains locked up in the permafrost. With modern (and ever-improving) cloning technologies I'm hoping to have a Wrangel Island Pygmy Mammoth as a pet before I too long. This should be a national priority, IMO. Very stimulative to the economy (everyone will want one!) plus science!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:39 PM
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35 -- they were there as recently as 2000 BC! I also totally want a Wrangel Island mini-mammoth.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:41 PM
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35 was me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:47 PM
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30, 33, 34 -- right, it's not like Europe of, say 1996 wasn't still awesome in all the ways I think 30 is thinking of, and you still had separate currencies. It's true that at the time remember anti-Euro sentiment being vaguely associated with right wingers at the time, but monetary union sure seems to be sucking it right now -- Cross of Gold 2.0 is a great phrase.

Though, as I say, I get all my macroeconomics knowledge from internet commenters.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:47 PM
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On the subthread I created, there are so many extinct large mammals of the protohistorical period I'd like to bring back.

My own pet enthusiasm, the back-breeding of Aurochs, which is totally a Nazi science project cutting-edge animal research, continues apace. Please consider making a donation to the Tauros Project.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 1:57 PM
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For my money (and it is money) Martin Wolf of the FT makes the most sense to me on the euro issue. His thinking on it presently boils down to:

1) The economic challenges facing the euro are immense, but soluble.
2) They are not, however, soluble with the present, too-low level of inter-Europe solidarity and the incompetence of the key players.
3) So, yes, the economic challenges facing the euro are immense.
4) BUT, the political will to preserve the euro is also immense, and anglophones always fail to appreciate this, and thus are consistently too pessimistic on the euro's future.
5) I guess we'll find out eventually whether 3 or 4 is stronger...probably 4, but who knows??


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:00 PM
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Cyprus' geology is as delicious as mimmoths: three terranes, one completely upside-down.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:03 PM
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Bringing back extinct animals is the ultimate stupid futurist idea. Or let's say, the stupidest stupid futurist idea that is physically possible.

Hey, you brought back an extinct animal! Whoops, it has no place to live. Maybe you could terraform Mars for it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:14 PM
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Dude the Tauros Foundation totally has a plan to address that concern. Also I don't see why Cyprus Pygmy Elephants couldn't have a nice future roaming free in California parks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:20 PM
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Hey, you brought back an extinct animal! Whoops, it has no place to live. Maybe you could terraform Mars for it eat it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:21 PM
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With licensed hunting for herd management, of course.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:21 PM
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With licensed hunting for herd management, of course.

Damn straight. And property rights.


Posted by: ZOMBIE McMEGAN | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:26 PM
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39 - Would you dare to meet the gaze of the Basilisk or face the flames as the Phoenix burns?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:35 PM
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47 -- I'm sad to admit that it took me a second, but NICE. That song is so great.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:43 PM
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I am desperately in need of a way to communicate to people "just because I happened to mention to you this thing I am working on, it doesn't mean you're free to declare that you're now part of the project".

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:52 PM
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49: With each person you chat with about the project, refer in an annoyed fashion to some clueless jerk at a collaborator's institution who tried to declare himself part of the project -- thank goodness I know no one here would be like that!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:54 PM
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49: Say that before joining the project every potential member must spend the night in a spooky haunted house.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 2:58 PM
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49: shit, dude, I've already given like three talks about our collaboration. Plus I told the guys down at the bar you were good for my tab.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 3:04 PM
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49:

Molly and I watched *Prometheus* the other night.

Molly: The scientists in this movie aren't really acting like scientists.

Me: Yeah, not one has tried to take lead author credit on a paper they didn't contribute anything to.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 3:05 PM
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49: Have tee-shirts printed up with the name of the project and some clever graphics or slogan. Distribute to all the real team members. Pointedly exclude clueless jerk. For bonus points, distribute the shirts at a team beer 'n' wings dinner to which you pointedly decline to invite the clueless jerk.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 3:08 PM
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"just because I happened to mention to you this thing I am working on, it doesn't mean you're free to declare that you're now part of the project".

This is an instance where the period goes inside of the quotation marks, just FYI.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 3:09 PM
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Alternatively, explain that there is a "buy-in, earn-out" structure to the project. He's welcome to be part of the venture, but it's going to cost $75,000 up front. As an equity owner, he'll be entitled to a proportionate share of a residual claim on the assets after all other claimants have been satisfied.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 3:11 PM
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32

... (albeit that he was right for the wrong reasons, IMO). ...

What's wrong about:

... The result was a substantial acceleration of inflation in both Spain and Ireland that threatens their competitiveness and therefore the longer term success of the industries that have helped them prosper in recent years.

and

... But the time will come when the ECB will set a policy that is too tight for the outlier countries, forcing them to have substantially higher unemployment rates than they would have chosen if they were free to set their own monetary policy ...

and

... Moreover, I believe that a sustained period of high cyclical unemployment in any country will lead some of its politicians to turn against their European neighbors for their lack of compassion. ...


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 5:14 PM
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Continuing essear's hijack, I just realized that there's no reason why I should care where and how the stuff I'm working on gets published, because there's only a tiny chance that in five years I'll be working in a job where publication record is in any way relevant. The incentives seem to be skewed in the new era where nobody except superstars expect that having a postdoc is going to lead to an actual academic career.

Moreover, I'm not sure why my boss would care either, since he has tenure. Maybe that's why he spends about 500 times as much time working on grant applications as working on papers.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 5:20 PM
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Moreover, I'm not sure why my boss would care either, since he has tenure.

He could care for the sake of the grant applications! Better publications = more fundable.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 5:50 PM
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Don't you have list previously funded projects and what papers resulted when applying for grants?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 5:58 PM
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58: are you referring to the fact that STEM jobs aren't super-abundant in the academy? Because that's unpossible, you know.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 6:08 PM
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OT: Sally just spent the day with a school friend, and mentioned that she had lunch with the friend's father and some of his Pigeon U grad students. In a moment of idle curiosity I googled the father: dude won the Fields Medal. I'm sitting here trying desperately not to be overimpressed and failing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 6:34 PM
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Come to think, Upetgi probably knows him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 6:35 PM
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Can I also "science"-relatedly threadjack to complain that my very intelligent sister posted on Facebook that one of her kids is throwing up and my sister and her husband are leaving on a trip tomorrow, so she is praying (I am sure this is literal) that some essential oils fix the sick kid and keep everyone else from getting sick?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 6:51 PM
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62 is pretty impressive. I feel like I should know what that guy did but I don't.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 6:55 PM
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58

Moreover, I'm not sure why my boss would care either, since he has tenure. ...

My understanding is that even with tenure there are more rings on the ladder and each step up means more pay.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:17 PM
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most people want to publish their stuff out of ego and sunk-cost. that's how I feel, anyway. all of my shit will be published somehow, some way.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:24 PM
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66

Um, rungs on the ladder.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:27 PM
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The rings are on the merry-go-round.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:29 PM
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they're also under eyes, they are.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:34 PM
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My understanding is that even with tenure there are more rings on the ladder and each step up means more pay.

Because we all know academics are motivated by nothing more than a desire for cold, hard cash.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:42 PM
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Cold, hard rings.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:44 PM
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52 49: shit, dude, I've already given like three talks about our collaboration.

A while back a few other physicists and I were talking about submitting a joke paper to the arxiv timed for April 1 and called (and I googleproof this in case it actually gets written someday) "Bra/ne--Bra/in Dua/lity." I think we differed on how elaborate the joke should be. I was wanting to make it kind of hard to tell if it was a complete joke by going on at some length about the holographic map from sensorimotor cortex to the body, which clearly encodes information on the boundary of a volume. Your expertise would probably come in handy for that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 7:54 PM
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Hah. That's perilously close to actual models.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:00 PM
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71

Because we all know academics are motivated by nothing more than a desire for cold, hard cash.

You claiming the typical academic has no interest in getting raises?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:02 PM
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There are lots of joke April 1 papers on the arxiv, but I haven't encountered one yet that's really deadpan. The other people I was talking to wanted to write something more obviously jokey. I thought it would be fun to write something that superficially looked serious, but I guess the danger is any deadpan joke is dangerously close to someone's actual research and runs the risk of getting perceived as a serious but crackpottish paper.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:04 PM
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75: No, just that it's probably not their primary motivation for publishing, since generally they could get a higher-paying job elsewhere if their main motivation for working was to make more money.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:05 PM
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Someone's actual research.

Less goofy actual research.

Yeeeeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:12 PM
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For all I know that last one is a great idea, actually. The cognitive theories it is based on... are very interesting, certainly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:14 PM
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58.1: This is neither cheering me up nor convincing me not to care. Boo.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:18 PM
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77

75: No, just that it's probably not their primary motivation for publishing, since generally they could get a higher-paying job elsewhere if their main motivation for working was to make more money.

So all these people trying and mostly failing to get decent academic jobs are passing up lucrative employment elsewhere?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:21 PM
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79 and previous continued: anyhow projections from a 3D-ish experienced world to a 2D-ish cortical surface (and back again) are happening all the time, so just don't accidentally be right, is what I'm saying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:26 PM
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81 So all these people trying and mostly failing to get decent academic jobs are passing up lucrative employment elsewhere?

In my corner of academia, yes, probably. Beyond that, I guess probably not, so I may be overgeneralizing. But most of the people I know who decide to leave academia or can't find a job go into finance or consulting or random Bay Area startups or something else that's lucrative.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:36 PM
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78 etc: that's funny. We were joking about "holography" in its particular string theory usage, but I guess it isn't surprising that the original, broader concept got applied in this setting already.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:39 PM
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Oh, right. Still amusingly close to a plausible way of thinking about it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:44 PM
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Most of the people I know who leave academia become high school or community college teachers. Some go to work for a company and become service reps for a specialized microscope or something.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:45 PM
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What is the retina but the (2D!) boundary between the world and the brain, after all.

Man. That joke has legs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:46 PM
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Beyond that, I guess probably not, so I may be overgeneralizing. But most of the people I know who decide to leave academia or can't find a job go into finance or consulting or random Bay Area startups or something else that's lucrative.

I finally got around to starting to do my taxes, and I believe I'll be reporting something less than 5k taxable income for 2012. Thank goodness for food stamps and parents.


Posted by: X.Trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:47 PM
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Clearly you should have been a physicist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:53 PM
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Whoa dude.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:53 PM
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Now I don't know if I feel better or worse about having you dance for money on Flickr. Maybe we could do a nude series for like $1000 if other people pitch in?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:55 PM
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OK, that came out wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:55 PM
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Think how much he would have made if he had only purchased more music.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:56 PM
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I know, now I'm kinda starting to think eh maybe take a few German academic books for free, only in the Jean Valjean sense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 8:58 PM
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Ha. Actually, more like 3.1k. But really, I'm fine--parental support means that I haven't been all that much worse off than when I had a stipend, and with only about 20% more shame and self-loathing. 2013 has gone much better, so far--actually having work brings in substantially more money than not having it, shockingly enough, even if it's only 20 hrs/week at $15/hr. I'm not exactly the wretched of the earth, here.

I actually did just purchase Felix Gilman's new book, but only because Tor released it without DRM. Yay, Tor!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:12 PM
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I'm sorry, I shouldn't have used essear's line as an excuse to throw myself a pity party. Failing to get anything done, yet again, on my day off, a failure that includes getting these replacement brake pads to slide all the way into their stupid housings, got me down, as did, foolishly, taking a test-drive around the block on an expensive new Civia commuter bike that I obviously can't afford, one that, unlike my ancient and always-slightly-broken hand-me-down road bike, just worked, and which I was looking at while in a store to buy a new tire and new tubes, said parts being necessary after having had three flats in the last three days (only one of which, it should be said, being clearly the fault of the ripped tire, the other--simultaneous--two quite possibly being the work, though I generally like to think the best of folks, and not toss lightly throw out accusations without more-than-circumstantial evidence, of a syringe-equipped junkie whose rather insistent and angry request for cash I turned down right before foolishly locking up my bike for a couple hours).

Anyway. 2013 is going well, all things considered. (Last night's date #6 went well, and there's a date #7 planned for tomorrow, for instance.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:30 PM
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I'm sorry, I shouldn't have used essear's line as an excuse to throw myself a pity party.

I, on the other hand, have no regrets about using your pity party as an opportunity to make a cutting joke at your expense. No regrets, I say!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:33 PM
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No worries, Teo. Assuming I get the wheel back on, I think I'll go for a nice long ride tomorrow morning, because it's going to be in the mid-60s, like it always is. How about you?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:42 PM
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Not a pity party! You have a right to complain! We are glad you are doing well! Also if you can get laid on 5k/year then you are definitionally awesome.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:47 PM
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Oh, the last few months I've been making what would be something like $15k a year (+ about 4k from parents for health insurance and other stuff), which isn't as impressive.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:55 PM
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Haven't heard about Boss Niece in a while; how's she doing?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-27-13 9:55 PM
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because it's going to be in the mid-60s, like it always is.

You want to watch out for the guitarist with this group called the Yardbirds - I think he has a future.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GROUNDHOG | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 2:48 AM
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Banks reopened today, stock exchange still shut, capital controls will continue "until the economy recovers".

An enterprising young man with a fast motor boat could make a lot of money smuggling high-value goods out of Cyprus right now. As could, say, a nation with a fleet of C-130s and a couple of sovereign base areas on Cyprus.

Who? Us? Strip an economically-troubled Greek-speaking country of all its movable cultural treasures for a pittance? Inconceivable!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 2:54 AM
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I will allegedly get a paycheck today for the first time in years. Which is nice because my student loans are already in repayment.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 4:01 AM
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An enterprising young man with a fast motor boat could make a lot of money smuggling high-value goods out of Cyprus right now

Like, say, fast motor boats.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 4:22 AM
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I'm kinda starting to think eh maybe take a few German academic books for free

My graduate department had crazy expensive books just sitting around the department. Some of them fancy first printings of 20th-century no-expense-spared national editions (like Schiller's collected works), some of them old, like early, prestigious editions of Goethe's collected works. Just sitting there, on a shelf around the corner from the photocopier. It would have taken some effort to sell them for what they're worth, but it certainly crossed my mind more than once that I could just take one. "Oh, I have a hankering to read "Der Erlkönig" while I'm sitting here at home? I have it right here in the Sophienausgabe." I was actually surprised that the collections were complete; it seemed that no one had ever stolen any volumes.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 6:12 AM
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Assuming I get the wheel back on, I think I'll go for a nice long ride tomorrow morning, because it's going to be in the mid-60s, like it always is. How about you?

I'm not really into biking, but it's 44 and sunny here in Philadelphia right now. Still probably not great biking weather, I guess. It's snowing in Anchorage.

Haven't heard about Boss Niece in a while; how's she doing?

I got busy with work for a while and kind of fell out of touch with her, but I've been thinking I should try to get back in touch. I may text her while I'm here and suggest hanging out when I get back.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 7:48 AM
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I got busy with work for a while and kind
of fell out of touch with her,

We lead very different lives.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 9:44 AM
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Yeah, 107 is unfathomable to me, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 9:52 AM
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sunny here in Philadelphia right now

Of course.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 10:40 AM
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62: Yup, I know him, though not terribly well. He seems like a great guy though, and he's a good friend and collaborator of my advisor. He once gave a talk in a seminar that I attended in graduate school which was interrupted by his small daughter (4?) bursting into the room and throwing her arms around both his legs. Eventually she was extracted and taken back by the babysitter, but it was hilarious and adorable.

Now that I think about it, said daughter is almost certainly Sally's friend. That was probably 7 or so years ago, I can't estimate age of kids very well, and he appears to only have one daughter.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 10:54 AM
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That'd be Sally's friend (who is maintaining form, given that she's now crashing his lunches with grad students with a friend in tow. Sally on the grad students: "They were all really focused about eating; I guess the food was free?") I believe (again on Sally's testimony) there's a much older daughter majoring in physics at Princeton.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 11:02 AM
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Sally on the grad students: "They were all really focused about eating; I guess the food was free?"

ahaha


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 11:06 AM
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Most of the people I know who leave academia become high school or community college teachers.

This really hurts me.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 11:08 AM
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113: It's getting hard to tell the faux-naivete for comic purposes from the genuine naivete, but I think that one was said straight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 11:13 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 3:07 PM
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115: I believe it, I am just impressed she so quickly grasped a fundamental truth of academia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 3:15 PM
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I'm sorry, robbo!

Please read "academia" as meaning "academia with access to advanced lab facilities and expectations of regular scientific publishment". A category that one would also drop out of by teaching at Sarah Lawrence.

I just don't know anyone who's gone to teach at a primarily undergraduate institution. Possibly because both of the departments I've been part of do not contain any undergraduates at all, and therefore people don't end up with enough teaching experience to be hired by such a place.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 3:36 PM
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118: I've been told to my face I don't count as a woman in philosophy because my job isn't prestigious enough, but I didn't realize that now extended to anyone at a SLAC, too! Too bad we're the majority of the jobs, although I suppose now people could take credit for placing me, a philosopher, outside the academy!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 4:11 PM
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I'm sorry, Cala!

Please read "academia" as meaning "academia with access to advanced lab facilities and expectations of regular scientific publishment". A category that one would also drop out of by teaching at Sarah Lawrence.

I just don't know anyone who's gone to teach at a primarily undergraduate institution. Possibly because both of the departments I've been part of do not contain any undergraduates at all, and therefore people don't end up with enough teaching experience to be hired by such a place.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 4:31 PM
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No, I know what you mean, and why, and I know the perception is out there. But still! That perception does not track reality.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 6:21 PM
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"Publishment"? Do people say that?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 6:47 PM
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It means the type of punishment academics at research institutions get for not publishing enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 6:56 PM
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108, 109: Well, I mean that work was really busy for a while, which meant that after work I was exhausted and not motivated to do anything social. I'm realizing that meeting people isn't enough to develop a social life; you then have to maintain those relationships, which is not as hard for me as meeting people in the first place but still pretty hard.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 7:00 PM
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You need a regular bar, like Moby.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 7:37 PM
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You should text the Boss Niece that you were so afraid of your feelings for her that you went to Philadelphia to try to get away.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 7:44 PM
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What the hell, personal info box? Don't blank out my name when I just want you to not remember.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 7:46 PM
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106: Were those crazy expensive books old enough to be in the illegible typeface? Or does graduate study in German confer the superpower to read that typeface?


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 7:50 PM
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Oh Blume has superpowers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:06 PM
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Were those crazy expensive books old enough to be in the illegible typeface?

You don't have to go back very far to find those. The Fraktur was widely used until the Second World War. Curiously, it was the Nazis, not the post-war Occupation authorities, who phased out the Fraktur.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:11 PM
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128: Some of them, yes! Most people doing graduate work in German could read the typefaces if necessary, but the ease of doing so would certainly vary greatly. I ultimately worked on post-WWII stuff, but did several side projects on typography, so am quite comfortable with Fraktur myself.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:13 PM
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The Fraktur, it seems, was discovered to represent a baleful Jewish influence.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:19 PM
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Tell 'em about the handwriting, Blume!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:34 PM
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Tell 'em about the handwriting, Blume!

It was kind of traumatic, Sifu. She'd rather not call it to mind.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:40 PM
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She is apparently not going to tell you about the handwriting. Well hey, people, back in old timey days German people used some weirdass script that is very different from modern day German handwriting, but Blume can read it just like nothing doing. Total superpower.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:51 PM
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I'm seconding Blume on Fraktur. I once had to do some research on a topic where most of the primary stuff was printed in Fraktur. The first day was painful, but then you just got used to it. The cursive version on the other hand was impossible. I ran into it a few times in the archives. The first two times I tried to make some sense of it, but got nowhere. After that I just pretended those papers didn't exist.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 8:52 PM
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Didn't Blume just post a link to weird old handwriting on the cursive thread a day or two ago?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 9:00 PM
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The lie was told to the German people to persuade them to give up the D-Mark: that the European periphery would meekly adopt German monetary policy come what may, and that German taxpayers would never be asked to bail another European country out of a fiscal jam -- indeed, that the Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt would make such a fiscal imbalance impossible in the first place.

The Germans should thank god that the rules weren't applied to them back when they were running high deficits combined with a stagnant economy. The rest of Europe should be cursing god for the same reason - maybe if the Germans had experienced the joys of the austerity plus recession combo they wouldn't be so enthusiastic now.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 9:01 PM
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Oh, probably so. That's what Webern's letters are in.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 9:01 PM
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I figured Webern would do his letters in mirror-writing. Or make them all very long palindromes.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 9:14 PM
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132: 1) But no time to change their letterhead? 2) The actual Schwabacher face as she is Googled is rather lovely, wider than twentieth-century Fraktur and I think easier to read.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 03-28-13 9:30 PM
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Schwabacher is actually closer to a mixed type style than full blackletter, though it's still classified as such. There are some versions where the capital A looks even more like the Latin A than in the one linked in 141.

(DIN officially recognizes five blackletter scripts: Gotisch (textura), Rundgotisch (rotunda), Schwabacher, Fraktur, and Fraktur-Variant.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-29-13 5:25 AM
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The cursive version on the other hand was impossible.

I took a two-week course on it at the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Paid for by a grant, though it had squat to do with any of my actual research. I just wanted to learn the script.) They had an extremely well structured program, starting us off reading some of the clearest and most regular examples of the script from the archive, graduating to horrible, irregular writing by the end. The most exciting text was an account of having been captured by Indians and held for several months.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-29-13 5:31 AM
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Is Fraktur hard to read when new, or is it the decaying conditions of older books that make it difficult? Looking at samples online, it seems quite clear (however, this might be a textbook example of heebie-geebie's "Getting smarter" phenomenon as I've definitely spent longer than I care to think about reading old scripts. I remember my complete bogglement at a sample of 16th-century English handwriting in undergrad very well indeed).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-29-13 5:33 AM
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Reading through more thoroughly, I see that yes, it just needs a day or two of familiarising. I wish there was an undo button here.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-29-13 5:35 AM
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or is it the decaying conditions of older books that make it difficult

There are also some older versions that are particularly annoyingly geschnörkelt* - like, the curlicues that differentiate similar letters (like f and s) will be really thin and tiny - and that combined with low-quality paper can be pretty annoying.

*This is a case where there's one word that always gets used to describe this particular thing. It is so much fun to say. Geschnörkelt!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-29-13 7:33 AM
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That is a fantastic word! I wish I had known it to describe my frustration with learning the f & s in 17th and 18th century English printing. (Though I suppose it is less the flourish and more the basic letter shape, but still, always annoying, that one.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-29-13 7:40 AM
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Damn right, 138.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-29-13 11:39 AM
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