Archive for February, 2012

the size of africa

In addition to the well known social issues of illiteracy and innumeracy, Kai Krause argues there should also be such a concept as immappancy, meaning insufficient geographical knowledge.

By means of a brilliant new map (high resolution), the author highlights the true size of Africa:

"True Size of Africa" by Kai Krause

This single image tries to embody the massive scale, which is larger than the USA, China, India, Japan and all of Europe…combined!

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The other day, Judge Andrew Napolitano discussed the issue of “change” in political campaigns and in politics in general. He astutely points to the fact that Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign focused on “change” in a way that people with very different political backgrounds were able to support him. However, three years later we have to accept that this campaign was a brilliant fraud.

Moreover, this is just the tip of the iceberg:

It’s a sad state of affairs that a simple return to first principles represents fundamental change.

The dirty, little secret about change in government: Nobody in power actually likes change.

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be happy

Most people believe that we should work harder to achieve something in order to be happy. But could that actually be backwards? Could it be that things work the other way around?

In a fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity:

Every time your brain has a success, you just change the goalpost of what success looks like.

If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there.

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Admittedly, I took me way too long to finally read Dr. Paul’s End the Fed. But the least thing I can do is to recommend it, especially if you haven’t thought much about the relationship between central banking (fiat money) and financial crises.

One of the most astounding figures in the book reveals the development of the purchasing power of gold and selected currencies (US Dollar, British Pound, DM, Yen, Swiss Franc, etc.) since 1913. You can find it here. As we see, the only fiat currency with a somewhat acceptable path has been the Swiss Franc. All the other currencies have devalued greatly, with the US Dollar having less than six percent of its 1913 purchasing power.

Ron Paul (2009). "End the Fed", Grand Central Publishing

There is no denying that the subject of gold is central to the issue of restoring sound money. That’s because gold emerged from within the structure of the market economy as the most important guarantor of the quality of money. It was not chosen by governments but by the market. The reason is easy to understand. Gold has all the qualities that we associate most with good money: divisibility, portability, high value per unit of weight, durability, and uniform quality.

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Professor Friedman talks about a free society in relation to the natural state of mankind:

You cannot find a date in history at which the greater part of the human race was not living in a condition of tyranny, misery and dictatorship. The bulk of the human race is not living in a free world. Can you name any date in history at which that wasn’t true?

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Nobel laureate Milton Friedman answers a bunch of questions onĀ topics such as income disparity, minimum wages, school vouchers, or health care costs:

If you look at the sources of poverty, you will find that most of it is derived from what I regard as wrong-headed government policies.

People think the public at large are a bunch of stupid people; they’re not.

Inflation is the kind of thing that leaves you with no good choices.

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