Miscellaneous – July 2013

Miscellaneous – July 2013

Let Them Eat Soccer
June 25, 2013

The cost of public transportation for a family living in Rio or São Paulo is, proportionally, higher than in New York or Paris. Yet, the service delivered is humiliating. In 2009, security guards of a train company that services the Rio metropolitan area used whips on passengers during rush hour crowding. The mayor of Rio has proudly declared that during his tenure not a cent is being spent on subsidizing public transportation. Yet he was able to find $560 million of public money to spend on the renovation of the iconic Maracanã stadium to meet the requirements of next year’s FIFA World Cup.

A Trader Turned Photographer Admits The Ugly Truth About Numbers No Wall Streeter Wants To Hear

One smart columnist, Matt Yglesias, was arguing why the death of 1,129 people in a clothing factory in Bangladesh was understandable and “OK.” Poor countries need lax labor laws before they can be rich . . . It went something like that.

The author had fallen so far down the wormhole of numbers and clever arguments that he had forgotten humans were involved. Like Wall Street and I had forgotten that it was humans we were loaning money to and that it was humans who we were foreclosing on and it was humans whose governments were defaulting.

I wanted to tweet back. “Go to Bangladesh. Talk to one of the children of the dead. Hell, don’t just talk to one. Spend two weeks listening.”

He hadn’t gone to Bangladesh. He had just read a few headlines from a competing columnist and decided to argue based on that.

After much thought I tweeted to him, “you are an idiot.”

Read more: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/06/25/what-it-took-20-years-on-wall-street-to-learn/#ixzz2XLxdolAs


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