American Girls Are Easy. German Guys Are boo-ZAH.

For the better or worse, in my experience it’s the same with American girls as with girls from anywhere – some are easy, most aren’t. However, two self-proclaimed easy ones, Erin and Meghan, who are „young enough to pay an added fee on rental cars, but old enough to feel uncomfortable in college bars„, have […]

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Jane Galt on Signal And Noise

Megan McArdle has an interesting post about the difficulties of gaining useful data through polls. She correctly states that – however carefully chose your sample may be – some people will always lie, that is, she implies, a lot of people will lie. Personally, I think that questionnaire framing in conjunction with the reality construction […]

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Body Language. N’Sync.

Tonight, CNN dug out footage from the „scandalous“ Munich Security Conference from February this year where Joschka Fischer lashed out at Donald Rumsfeld in English – „You have to make the case, excuse me, but I am not convinced.“ Back then, Michael Kelly [who tragically died in Iraq as embedded journalist] excused Fischer in the […]

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The Slow End Of German Corporatism

Almost unnoticed by the media, an important part of the medieval remnants of German corporatism was silently buried by the Federal cabinet today. The ‚Meisterprivileg‘ – master privilege – effectively keeping people from opening businesses in a lot of markets – mostly those with medieval guild-predecessors – by handing over the right to grant the […]

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Conspiracy theories in the FT?

Quite to the contrary argues Paul Krugman in today’s NY Times oped piece – the FT is just waking up to the cold and scary truth of how America is being turned into a „Banana Republic“ by a semi-feudalist governmental gang – „The Financial Times suggests this is deliberate (and I agree): ‚For them,‘ it […]

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The Digital Dilemma Revisited

Quote 1: The BBC News Online today – „Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, told BBC News Online earlier this year that digital piracy could become „debilitating“ for the industry. ‚Digital piracy has become a real menace,‘ he said. Despite the availability of pirate copies, The Matrix Reloaded has made more […]

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Bowling For Criticism

A Canadian article criticising Michael Moore’s film „Bowling For Columbine“ has made to the top ranks of the MIT’s blogdex today. It’s easy to see why given the linking-power of anti-Moorians on the web. But they, like most of those getting at Moore miss a rather important point: „Bowling For Columbine“ isn’t a documentary. The […]

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On Sunday, the definition of „tragedy“ was rewritten. Mainz 05, the local football team lost the race for the third promotion spot to Germany’s premier league, Bundesliga, by a single goal, and a single second, to local rival Eintracht Frankfurt. Both teams had scored 59 points in 33 games. Befor the last, and decisive, game, […]

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Zeitenwende. End Of An Era.

It took some time and more of their money to make Germans understand. It took more than ten years of subsidizing consumption and unemployment in a previously bankrupt former communist economy and virtual non-growth to make us see that it is not only necessary to think about the problematic long-term consequences of the current incentive […]

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Political Correctness, ad 1920.

In light of the spiral of violence that has once again engulfed the peoples living in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, Spiegel Online has published a feature containing articles covering the main stages of the conflict in the course of the last fifty-five years. Of course, for well known reasons, they could […]

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Inabilty? Or Willful Wreckage?

So Colin Powell and the German chancellor tried to look forward, not to explain, and not to complain. And what does Geroge W. do? He behaves like a spoilt kid trying to get even by chatting for fifteen minutes with Roland Koch, the premier of the German state of Hessen, a leading figure of Germany’s […]

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Democracy is a tricky thing. That is true not only for the Middle East, where the current US government claims to be implementing it. That is apparently also true for the current US president’s home state of Texas, where the Parliamentary opposition, more than 50 Democratic politicians, has turned into extra-Parliamentarian opposition by fleeing the […]

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Paul Krugman Agrees With Me

that increased scrutiny of media control issues is one of the major policy lessons of the Iraq war [see my recent post]. In addition, his current NYTimes column, „The China Syndrome„, adds an interesting analysis of corporate regulative bargaining with governments. Whatever your opinion regarding the „biased BBC“ – or for that matter, biased German […]

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A Big Place…

America is indeed. The country formerly known as the „Land Of The Free“ may no longer be regarded as such by the majority of the world’s thinking inhabitants, but there is anecdotal evidence that Mars and Venus may have not yet actually decided to put the Atlantic between them as they still seem to believe […]

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They’ll get the pricing wrong.

For at least five years. If you search my blog you will find that I have repeatedly said that all attempts to sell musical downloads will suffer from problematic price policy. Apple’s new itunes download service is no exception. True, it is probably closer than anything previously seen to actually enhancing the user experience with […]

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Does it matter…

that I forgot to mention Paul Krugman’s latest column so far? It probably doesn’t. The very fact that I am reading his columns confirms that Paul does get sufficient public exposure even without my mentioning him [I wonder – does this sound pretentious or merely ironic to your ears ;-)]. But as Paul Krugman wonders […]

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De-Merging Patriotism

Last year, Michael Wolf, a director in McKinsey�s New York office, published an article in the WSJ (here via McKinseyQuarterly) explaing that market forces – especially a sluggish advertising market and the general trend to digital distribution – would continue to pressure media companies to merge into ever larger entities. Mr Wolf’s article was triggered […]

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Quicklinks, Tony Blair, And The Borg

Sorry for the apparent recent lack of updates. Not that there’s not enough stuff I’d like to comment on, I just did not find the time lately. But there’s exciting news, too. Look to your left, my gentle readers, and you’ll find a seamlessly integrated second blog called „Link Of The Minute.“ This is where […]

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More Reality Construction

Sorry I did not post that much interesting stuff this week. But, luckily, I have readers who do. Sebastian Holsclaw commented on my analysis of Steven denBeste’s theory and points out that it only makes sense as long as one assumes that Germany and France never actually believed they could keep the US from pursuing […]

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Reality Construction.

One of the currently more popular theories of US-war-blogosphere regarding the German and French government’s opposition to the war is that they opposed it in order to conceal the extent to which they were involved in the built-up of Iraq’s pool of WMD. This theory has been prominently publicized by Steven DenBeste. For all those […]

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A Tale of Perle and Pirls

So Baghdad sort of fell today. The Iraqi regime seems to have disappeared overnight. This is clearly a very good thing. I still believe that this war was unnecessary as well as unwise and I still believe that it is going to be far more costly – monetarily as well as in lives and in […]

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Desperately Seeking Simplicity

Somehow, I hate to restate something as obvious as this – the world we are living in is an extremely complex system. A system far too complicated for any individual to understand. That’s why we tend to categorize and model the world in order to reduce complexity and gain a little insight into the „underlying […]

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A gruesome In-Between Tuesday.

What a weird day. A day so in-between. Between the announcement of the verdict and its execution. Between the certainty of war and the doubts about its justification. Watching the media report about the imaginary ultimatum that Bush announced last night was even a bit surreal, especially given Ari Fleischer’s declaration that US forces might […]

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