Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | June 9, 2013

Sunday Link Encyclopedia

1. “Why this army wife says no to the Snoopers’ Charter”: Maria Farrell on proposed legislation in the United Kingdom “to require phone and Internet companies to store every customer’s data – social media, web and mobile phone use – for 12 months for access by the police and security services.” The so-called Snoopers’ Charter is receiving revived interest in the wake of the horrific murder of Pvt. Lee Rigby in Woolwich, southeast London, this past May 22.

Says Prof. Farrell: “as an army wife who happens to know something about this issue, I am doubly sickened to see the rush to use a soldier’s horrible death in this way. It’s opportunistic, it’s ugly, and it undermines the values soldiers are sent to fight for abroad. Just as soldiers don’t get to question and refuse the campaigns politicians send them on, nor should politicians capitalise on the deaths of soldiers for shadowy political motives.”

2. Hierarchy of Disagreement: apropos discussion on Monday of how to think and how to formulate an argument, see this chart:

Source: ilovecharts tumblr. H/T: Steve Saideman.

3. Jeremy Pressman notes the anniversary of the Six Days War, aka the 1967 War. Pressman looks at the proximate origins of the war (key point: Nasser made a miscalculation) and relates the one-sided Israeli victory in the conflict to a number of subsequent events and currents in the Middle East, including the decline of Pan-Arab secularism and the rise of Islamism.

For my money, the best one-volume treatment of the 1967 war is still Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael B. Oren. This volume first appeared in 2003. Oren, who grew up in New York and New Jersey, subsequently emigrated to Israel and, since 2009, has served as the Israeli Ambassador to the United States. In his ambassadorial capacity, he has been carrying water for the Netanyahu government. Since I disagree with a number of decisions the Netanyahu government has made in the past four years, I cannot say that his tenure as ambassador has elevated my estimation of Oren. However, I found his history to be quite good.

Oren’s history of the 1967 War gives plentiful attention to Gamel Abdel Nasser, as one would expect in such a history. I also took note of Nasser, for example, when reading Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy, in which Chapter 21 covers the Suez Crisis of 1956. For a while, I have been on the lookout for a decent English-language biography of Nasser, since he seems to be one of those personalities (like Trotsky or Zhou En-lai) who keep popping up in unexpected places. If anyone has a Nasser bio to recommend, please leave it in the comments.

Tito, Nasser, and Nehru at a summit of non-aligned states, on the Brioni Islands, northern Adriatic, 1956

4. Dictator Games and behavioral economics.

5. Antarctica without the Ice.

6. Ten Things You Might Not Know About India. (H/T: Althouse.)

7. I for one would be thrilled with Emma Watson as the next Doctor. I can also see Natalie Dormer or Lena Headey doing well in that role. I very much liked Headey in the Sarah Connor Chronicles. In the case of both Dormer and Headey, there is the complication that Headey will, presumably, be continuing to play Cersei on Game of Thrones — a role in which she is also quite good — and Dormer will continue to play Margaery Tyrell on the same series. Sticking with the theme of Game of Thrones actresses, Rose Leslie might also make a good Doctor.

Now, if I’m being honest, I only came to Dr. Who with the 2005 revival, with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. So I have no real exposure to or opinion of any of the first eight Doctors. I enjoyed Christopher Eccleston’s performance in the role, and I very much enjoyed David Tennant’s performance as the Tenth Doctor. Tennant’s Doctor set the high water mark, so far as the revival series goes. I never really warmed to Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor — it seemed as though, where Tennant displayed just the right amount of over-the-top whimsy, with Smith everything was too exaggerated.

Anyway, Laura Helmuth in Slate discusses the possibility of a female Doctor. Worth reading in full.

8. Tyler Cowen looks at a story that shows a decline in appearances by female movie stars on magazine covers, with magazines giving preference to singers, TV stars, and other female celebrities. Prof. Cowen speculates:

I blame the globalization of the movie market in part, which skews Hollywood movies more toward Asian male audiences, in turn limiting their appeal to American females. In general international audiences lower the return to good dialog and raise the return on action and explosions, which on average hurts prominent female roles.

For good dialog and well executed story arcs, you have to look to TV these days — to series like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and The Americans. Cowen does note that “music and TV which are in the ascendancy.” So, to look for female stars that will appeal to American female consumers (and thereby sell magazines in supermarkets), magazines must look to TV, not movies.

So, we seem to be witnessing a divergence, where movies increasingly are skewed toward a global audience, and thus emphasize special effects and action and de-emphasize dialog and character development, and where TV shows continue to experiment with complex plot arcs, well done dialog, and more extensive character development than would be allowed by the tightly restricted time frame of a single film. Movies, even with bigger budgets, are aiming for the lowest common denominator; (some) TV shows can be more ambitious. (Nota bene: most TV is still shlock.)

9. Political scientist Bahar Leventoglu (Duke) has spent nine years trying to convince the Republic of Turkey to allow her to use her maiden name, rather than her husband’s name. On May 28, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously decided that an “impossibility for married women to use just their maiden name is discriminatory.” Congratulations to Prof. Leventoglu! See also this post on the subject by Prof. Munger (a fellow political science professor at Duke and sometime chair of the Political Science Department).

10. This is insane and counterproductive, but I don’t know how to fix it: here’s a paper by Marianne Bertrand, Emir Kamenica, and Jessica Pan, “Gender identity and relative income within households” (pdf). From the abstract:

We examine causes and consequences of relative income within households. We establish that gender identity — in particular, an aversion to the wife earning more than the husband — impacts marriage formation, the wife’s labor force participation, the wife’s income conditional on working, marriage satisfaction, likelihood of divorce, and the division of home production. … Within marriage markets, when a randomly chosen woman becomes more likely to earn more than a randomly chosen man, marriage rates decline. Within couples, if the wife’s potential income (based on her demographics) is likely to exceed the husband’s, the wife is less likely to be in the labor force and earns less than her potential if she does work.

See also these posts by Amanda Murdie at Duck of Minerva and Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution.

11. Niamh at Crooked Timber on youth unemployment in the EU: “No country for young men…or young women either”: Here’s a sobering graph:

12. Tyler Cowen: “The forthcoming clustering of human capital”: he points to this piece in Der Spiegel and quotes: “A radical change is taking place in the German job market: Today’s immigrants to Germany are better trained and have a higher level of education than native Germans, according to a study carried out by labor market researcher Herbert Brücker on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a private think tank based in Gütersloh. Today, 43 percent of newly arriving immigrants between the ages of 15 and 65 have graduated from a university, a technical school or a graduate program, compared to only 26 percent of Germans without an immigration background.”

13. This blogger has opinions on the differences between geeks and nerds.

14. How to Write Historical Fiction.

15. When a child is expecting a cookie, an orange is likely to elicit confusion and disappointment.

16. In the United States, Republican parents and Democratic parents tend to favor different baby names. (God help us.) See also here.

17. A draft paper from Julie K. Faller, Noah L. Nathan and Ariel R. White, What Do I Need to Vote? Bias in Information Provision by Local Election Officials (pdf). From the abstract: “We contact over 7,000 local election administrators in 48 states and observe that they provide different information about ID requirements to voters of different putative ethnicities. Emails sent from Latino aliases are significantly less likely to receive any response from local election officials than non-Latino white aliases and receive responses of lower quality.” (H/T: Rick Hasen.)

18. If a defendant is convicted of murder in a federal death penalty case, in a state that does not have a state death penalty, does that state’s lack of a death penalty act as a mitigating factor in the penalty stage?

19. Is there such a thing as intermediate privacy?

20. Henry Farrell has a post about the role of social media in the recent Turkish protests. (Cool map of Twitter activity at the link.) On the general subject of the Turkish protests, see also this post at 3 Quarks Daily and this article in City Journal. (Hat tip for the last to Dani Rodrik via Tyler Cowen.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Also, all freedom-loving people in the United States owe Glenn Greenwald a debt of gratitude this month.

Image Credits: (1) ilovecharts tumblr; (2) Yugoslavia Times; (3) Crooked Timber;
(4) xkcd.


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