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Posts Tagged ‘Medium’

The Syrian War Condensed: A more Rigorous Way to Look at the Conflict

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2016


The Syrian War Condensed: A more Rigorous Way to Look at the Conflict

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Juxtaposition. The way to analyze the situation is to look at the factions comparatively. You do not compare Assad’s regime to the Danish or Norwegian governments, but to the alternative. The question becomes if there is anything in the left column that is worse than the right column?

Comment 1. Assad father’s operatives blew up my house in Amioun when my grandfather, then MP, voted for Bashir. In Skin in the Game I discuss this as “acting against one’s interest” (the opposite of conflict of interest). So as a scientist and a humanist, I have been setting my grudge aside in considering the far, far, far, greater cancer of Salafism or Islamofascism.

Also note that the collapse of the Syrian state was anticipated in The Black Swan owing to such overcentralization.

Comment 2. Recall that I am a statistician. When I took a look at the statistics of the conflicts, most appear to be fabrications inflated by Qatari-funded think tanks and their useful idiots — by a mechanism the Indians call “Salma told Sabrina”. For instance, we know that Hama’s toll was not the 30–40,000 people report but the only real evidence is closer to 2,000.

Comment 3. One may ask: are the “rebels” all theocratic Salafis? No, but the groups became progressively so by the minority rule: you put a single Salafi in a group of five, and the five behave as Salafis. This, aside from Wahabi funding.

Comment 4. Counter-insurgencies (Army vs insurgents/terrorists, etc.) command a much higher rate of civilian casualties regardless of whether the army belongs to a liberal democracy or an autocracy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Resist and Thrive

Posted by hkarner - 16. November 2015

 Danke an J.H.

Last week I gave this talk at Web Summit in Dublin. It’s a first-draft of thoughts that I felt compelled to share in a room of entrepreneurs and VC’s. I’d love to hear any and all thoughts on this topic. Thx for reading — Y

This is a talk about what happens when a culture is driven by the need for money to make more money.

A simple way to think about this is through real estate. Throughout history it has been advantageous to be a land owner, and today is no different. People make a lot of money buying, developing, and selling land. Even after the crash of 2008, commercial real estate has climbed again.

As investors and developers churn through properties, there’s a significant impact on the communities that actually live and work there. For families and neighborhood businesses, they must significantly increase how much money they make or they have to leave. No matter their importance to their community, they can’t stay if they can’t pay. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The FT Lets Itself Down Again: Francesco Giavazzi on Greece

Posted by hkarner - 11. Juni 2015

Medium.com, 10/6

Is this Italy’s answer to Hans-Werner Sinn?

Francesco tells Greece to take a hike.

With regular opinion pieces from the likes of Hans-Werner Sinn and Niall Ferguson, the Financial Times op-ed page is developing an unfortunate reputation for publishing rubbish on economics. This new article on Greece from Italian professor, Francesco Giavazzi (“Greeks chose poverty, let them have their way”) perhaps tops the lot with its combination of inaccuracy and unfortunate national stereotyping.

Giavazzi reckons that after “Five years of negotiations that have achieved virtually nothing” the EU would be better off without Greece. He argues that the EU’s focus on Greece has distracted from other issues and concludes

“But the euro cannot be a substitute for further political integration. Indeed, without such integration, the euro cannot survive — and today, Greece stands in the way of it.”

I want to offer a few comments on Giavazzi’s piece, starting with his claim about few reforms being achieved in the past five years.

No Progress in Five Years? Public Employment Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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