Saturday, March 28, 2009

Links For The Weekend

It's been a while since I posted links. Lots of stuff to keep you guys busy on the weekend. Let's get right into it.

Here's a bunch of Pakistan/security related stuff. First, a report on the suicide bombing in Khyber agency which has killed more than 50 people. You may be perceptive enough to notice that there are no candle-light vigils or communal prayers or Facebook groups for these people. They are nameless, faceless victims, and will always remain so.

By the way, this report in Dawn calls the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan "defunct". Either I missed some very big news recently or Dawn doesn't understand the meaning of the word "defunct".

Anyway, here's the well-traveled NYT story from earlier in the week which detailed the continuing links between intelligence agencies in Pakistan and the Taliban. I strongly suggest you read the entire thing carefully and come to your own conlusions about what is being definitively said and what is not being definitively said. And finally, here's a story detailing the closer cooperation between the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban -- the division of which I have always maintained was overblown.

Let's move on. Those who read my conversation with JJY might be interested in these two posts from Five Thirty Eight. First, Nate Silver has a very interesting post on the fact that financial services people might indeed be overpaid, and why this is so. Even if you disagree with that idea, I really encourage you to read it. Second, he has a friendlier post toward Wall Streeters by talking about his Indian American friend, and how not everyone on Wall Street is actually evil.

Here's an unbelievable video of a man being robbed in an ATM in Karachi. What amazes me is how matter-of-fact the entire episode seems to be (via Karachi Metroblogs).

Mearsheimer asks what the future of Israel on its present trajectory looks like. Are you trying to tell me you're not going to click on a link which features the words "the Battle of Armageddon and then the Second Coming of Christ"?

Staying on the topic of religion, Amit Varma is bemused at the fact that a woman in UP thought she was a mere rhino sacrifice away from marriage.

Funniest video of the week award goes to The Onion, for this report on Prague's airport. The line at the end about the Dostoevsky hotel killed me.

Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport

And if you're interested in the general concept of "funny", please make sure to watch the latest episode of South Park. It was the funniest episode in about two or three seasons. No question.

You didn't really think I would go through this big a links post without anything on Obama, did you? Here's a story in the Chicago Tribune on how Obama's time as a Con Law prof at the U of C law school influenced him and his ideas (via Freakonomics). There's also a bunch of quotes from people he knew here. As usual, it's everyone but that Epstein fellow with good things to say.

Staying on the U of C theme, here's an article on how the underground economy (drugs, prostitution etc) is suffering in the recession (link courtesy the W). The article is centered on Sudhir Venkatesh, the famous sociologist who got his PhD from Chicago, and spent his years here researching the drug-and-violence-ridden projects on the South Side. I wrote about Venkatesh's book Gang Leader For a Day about a year ago, for those who are interested.

Finally, a great column in the Guardian on the greatest midfields ever. Reading the comments, the consensus picks seem to be: Brazil in 1982, AC Milan in the late 80s and early 90s, France in the late 90s, and a few others. This, however, was my favorite comment:
Wittgenstein - Hegel - Marx - Nietzche

Oh, those Guardian readers. But wasn't Wittgenstein Austrian? Oh, well. I guess Austrians are half Germans anyway.

Have a good weekend, guys.


bubs said...

I guess the Wittgenstein-Hegel-Marx-Nietzche comment may have been a reference to this Monty Python sketch.

AKS said...

Brazil 1970 over Brazil 1982.

Asfandyar said...

Monty Python :adore:

C.J said...

@ Ahsan
I didn't disagree that Wall street folks are overpaid.All I was saying that the reign of 'greed is good in wall street' is over.You will find many bankers singing the song of Nelly, why good things come to an end or listening to 'I will survive' of Gloria Gaynor. Seriously, I know that I will be lucky to get a job by the time I graduate or if nothing works out, then I will have to help my dad in his clinic.

Thanks for the links.Have a great weekend.

Ahsan said...

That Monty Python sketch was HILARIOUS. And yes, the Guardian comment makes more sense now.

Except, as I said, Wittgenstein was Austrian.

NB said...

Dude that ATM video was something else. Poor guy.

Ali said...

at Ahsan:
"Oh, those Guardian readers."

fuck the guardian crowd, with a capital f. you don't live in england, how can i explain.. the guardian happens to be the most "lefty" daily, but they are essentially just super annoying upper-middle class pretentious third world saviour fuckwits.

sana said...

dawn also still refers to the militants in swat as miscreants.

Anonymous said...

dood! that robbery video! awww, man, it's breaking my heart!... :(

zeyd said...

That Python sketch is one of their funniest ever. Never get tired of watching it.

And what a start to the new SP season. It just gets better and better.

naqiya said...

re: blog subtitle thingy:
did someone have a baby?

Ahsan said...

Yeah, my eldest brother.

C.J said...

@ Ahsan Many congratulations. That's awesome.Daanika is a beautiful name.

somethingrichandstrange said...

have you guys seen this?
its a video of a girl being publicly flogged in swat by the taliban. disclaimer: might make you feel sic to your stomach.