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John Ashbery · LRB
This is lovely. The have put their whole archive of John Ashbery poems outside the paywall.
LRB  LondonReviewofBooks  JohnAshbery  poet  poetry  poem  obit  from twitter
september 2017 by bowbrick
James Meek · Somerdale to Skarbimierz · LRB 20 April 2017
The chief of the many flaws in this version is that at both ends of the Somerdale-Skarbimierz journey, the new jobs are worse than the old Somerdale ones. Even supposing all the redundant Somerdale workers, and their children, found similar low-skilled jobs, they would never be as well-paid as they were at Somerdale, and, crucially, wouldn’t have the same generous final salary pensions. Some of the Somerdale workers’ children, no doubt, will enter the higher-wage higher-skill world of the professional tech class, but the flipside of Matt Cross’s optimism is that those jobs will be few, and the zero-hours army many. The outflow of old-style manufacturing jobs, with good pay, conditions and pensions, couldn’t be matched by any foreseeable inflow. ‘People at the lower end of the workforce,’ Cross said, ‘start to lose their engagement in the workforce and the jobs they can get are very temporary jobs, minimum wage jobs, the Sports Direct-type model.’
Cadburys  globalisation  EuropeanUnion  subsidies  employment  casualisation  Poland  UK  LondonReviewofBooks  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
John Lanchester · Brexit Blues · LRB 28 July 2016
None of this is what working-class voters had in mind when they opted for Leave. If it’s combined with the policy every business interest in the UK wants – the Norwegian option, in which we contribute to the EU and accept free movement of labour, i.e. immigration, as part of the price – it will be a profound betrayal of much of the Leave vote. If we do anything else, we will be inflicting severe economic damage on ourselves, and following a policy which most of the electorate (48 per cent Remain, plus economically liberal Leavers) think is wrong. So the likeliest outcome, I’d have thought, is a betrayal of the white working class. They should be used to it by now.
Brexit  EuropeanUnion  referendum  impact  immigration  politics  socialclass  economy  financialservices  Conservatives  TheresaMay  DavidCameron  author:JohnLanchester  LondonReviewofBooks  2016 
july 2016 by inspiral
Neal Ascherson reviews ‘Hitler’ by Volker Ullrich, translated by Jefferson Chase · LRB 2 June 2016
Ullrich handsomely compliments Kershaw for seeing the significance of the phrase. He expounds it even more clearly when he writes that "those who wanted to get ahead in this system … had to anticipate the Führer’s will and take action to prepare and promote what they thought to be Hitler’s intentions. This not only explains why the regime was so dynamic but also why it became more and more radical. In competing for the dictator’s favour, his paladins tried to trump one another with ever more extreme demands and measures."
history  londonreviewofbooks  hitler  wwii  fascism 
june 2016 by lundun
John Lanchester · When Bitcoin Grows Up: What is Money? · LRB 21 April 2016
Bitcoin true believers are annoyed that pretty much every discussion of the cryptocurrency ends with a rhapsody about the potential of blockchains. Bitcoiners reject that idea: for them, the blockchain will never succeed apart from the currency. The trouble is, though, that in internet terms, bitcoin has already been around for quite a while. January marked seven years since the launch of Satoshi’s original code. In seven years, Google, Facebook and Twitter had all become not just big companies, but fundamental parts of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people. They had become verbs. M-Pesa is about the same age as bitcoin, and handles half Kenya’s GDP. Bitcoin is nowhere near that. It’s time for the cryptocurrency to decide what it wants to be when it grows up. Blockchains could become merely a new technique to ensure the continuation of banking hegemony in its current form. That would be one of those final plot twists which leaves everybody thinking that although they enjoyed most of the show, the ending was so disappointing they now wish they hadn’t bothered. Or, along with peer-to-peer lending and mobile payments, they could have an impact as great as the new kind of banking introduced in Renaissance Italy. That would be more fun.
money  Bitcoin  blockchain  SilkRoad  MtGox  financialservices  BlockchainXT  R3Cev  SETLCoin  DigitalAssetsHoldings  review  history  LondonReviewofBooks  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Thomas Nagel reviews ‘Objective Troy’ by Scott Shane · LRB 3 March 2016
One factor in the dark portrayal of drones was that stories trump facts in the human imagination, and drone strikes produced compelling stories. The outrage that drones often produced was a visceral reaction to the creepiness of flying killer robots and to the arrogance of casually invading another country’s airspace. But it was also a matter of scale. Saturation bombing in the style of World War Two or Vietnam, or ground invasions of cities like Fallujah in Iraq, produced statistics, not stories; when the number of dead climbed into the thousands, individual tales got lost. Drone strikes, with tolls of two or five or ten, were far easier to grasp and retell as detailed personal accounts. By 2013, survivors of drone strikes began to visit Washington with the support of human rights groups, offering devastating accounts of strikes gone wrong.
assassination  war  conflict  drones  review  USA  LondonReviewofBooks  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral

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