Hello, I'm lounging around in Bali as of now, enjoying the Eid break. Here are a few things I've been reading that are interesting:
1. John H. McWhorter on "How Dare You Say That! The Evolution of Profanity" (WSJ)
I can get a bit foul-mouthed at times, so it's interesting to see how our culture developed profanity over time. Swearing began through the influence of religion, where people use it as a form of sacred oath. Eventually, sex-related (f*** bombs) & excretion-related (s*** bombs) topics also became part of this culture, due to stark stratification of classes. Linguistic choices were made to distinguish the nobles from the peasants. Nowadays, race become part of profanity (yes, n*gg**), and interestingly, it's appropriate for black to use but not white. Really interesting discourse on the origins of our favorite curses.
2. John Hussman on "Greece and the King of Asteroid 325" (Hussman Funds)
What? Another article on Greece? Aly, haven't you said enough on this topic?! Okay, calm down guys. This article written by Hussman, a fund manager, is a fantastic review on what's wrong with the Euro system. Basically, in accordance to the economic theory of adjustment variable, when countries of differing economic strengths trade, they adjust to each other via exchange rate, interest rate, and price level. These mechanisms provide a buffer for economic differences and price shocks. So, by imposing the Euro on weaker economies, the stronger EU economies are effectively asking the impossible - for these weaker economies to "get on their level". Yikes.
3. Ann Friedman on "The Disapproval Matrix" (Tumblr)
Like Taylor Swift says, "Haters gonna hate". But sometimes, you gotta figure out which negative feedback actually are constructive. Friedman presents an awesome matrix that divides up criticism into four categories: critics, lovers, haters, frenemies. Use to your own advantage!
On a totally unrelated note, J.K. Rowling says Hogwarts is FREE of tuition.... EH MA GERD, get me to Hogwarts... FAST!