Hot Trends: April 9

Getting through hard times: Things are getting so rough that an investment fund dedicated to the porn industry underperforms a year of disastrous underperformance; returns seem close to -100% (Via AV). But in China, Marx sells like hot cakes to a people who can’t figure out what’s going wrong. (Via TC). Just so long as they’re working down their savings somehow. -[]- In Holy Week, priests improvise in post-earthquake Abruzzo: “a few priests wandered through a makeshift tent city offering communion wafers to some of the thousands of people.”

Scoring Taleb on his ten-point check list for Black-Swan-proofing the world: Deus Ex Macchiato: 3/10 Armed Liberal: 4/10 Ezra Klein: 5/10 (roughly) Felix Salmon: 10/10 (in a universe that doesn’t exist). Personally, I find some of his sayings so incoherent — in the style of Who Moved My Cheese? — that I can’t even focus on the reform they’re meant to represent: “People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new bus.” Sorry — What? They were all driving it?

The day things turned against pirates: France votes today on whether to track and ban three-time Internet pirates. U2’s come out in favor of it, on the basis that only ISP’s can effectively fight piracy. “It is impossible to imagine any of them voluntarily conceding to steps that could put them at a commercial disadvantage to their competitors. Legislation to require a pan-industry solution was the right step.” -[]- In the spirit of Let’s Roll, the crew of the Maersk Alabama regained control of the ship, but lost their captain. The UN says fighting the pirates on land will make things worse for pirate-dependent Somalian civilians, which will make piracy worse. The Maersk Alabama’s U.S. flag wasn’t the most significant indicator of the pirates’ confidence. It was its size and speed: “Container ships are normally regarded by pirates as too hard to board and too fast to be at risk.”


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