Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Harry Lime in “The Third Man"

“In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance.

“In Switzerland they had brotherly love. They had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

book notes

The Coming of the Third Reich

Precursors of Nazism included the secular youth movements before WW1 that embraced nature, German heritage and adopted the swastika

German children and teenagers during WW1 got all the propaganda about the glories of war but none of the realities. (p73)

During the inter-war years in Germany, peacetime always referred to pre-WW1. (What a contrast to WW1 as the war to end all wars.)

Nazism took the class struggle ideology of socialism and replaced it with race struggle

p.179. A movemrnt that begins in the criminal couerts ends in the criminal courts.

Amazing how the Communists and National Socialists outnumbered the Nazi's all the way up to '32. The Communists (who had their own storm troopers) appeared to have pulled back to let the Nazi's and National Socialists fight it out (so similar to Lenin seeing WWI as a capitalists destroying themselves and Stalin seeing WW2 as capitalists destroying themselves, right up until Hitler invaded Russia)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Googled by Ken Auletta

Contrast between Page/Brin and Mel Karmazin on whether advertising should be efficient. Karmazin wants advertising ti be inefficient so that he can sell more ads at higher prices. Page and Brin "fuck with the magic"

Many books have been written about Google, even though we’re all pretty familiar with the company to begin with, but what makes Ken Auletta’s Googled interesting is that it’s a history of the company as told by the incumbent sociopaths. These are the people Auletta has spent his life covering: the media moguls who tried to acquire and conquer their own empires of content and delivery. And to them what’s most shocking and galling about Google’s incredibly rapid rise is that instead of being engineered by a fellow sociopath, it was largely done by normal, decent people plainly applying the forces of new technology.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” review : The New Yorker

Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” review : The New Yorker: "For the moment, Obama and Palin divide the electorate, and are bound by a strange symmetry: born in the nineteen-sixties, the only candidates from outside the Lower 48 ever to grace national tickets, and the beneficiaries of powerful social movements that they were too young to have participated in (civil rights in Obama’s case, women’s liberation in Palin’s). Just as Obama, with his “post-racial” affect and his Ivy League pedigree, made an older African-American political figure like Jesse Jackson seem the relic of a vanished era, so Palin—with her lustrous mane and form-fitting skirts, her coddling of her infant son in the full glare of TV cameras—presented a new model of the spontaneous woman politician, free of the overmanaged self-discipline that constrains Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi."