Perpetual Growth – Economic Pipe dreams

BBC writes about the loss of Moody's triple-A rating by the UK. And halfway down the article you'll find this:
This means it will take longer for the government to reduce the budget deficit - the amount it has to borrow as it is spending more than it gets in through tax revenue. That is because when an economy is not growing, companies and individuals are paying less tax, and it has to spend more on welfare payments such as unemployment benefit
And this is why modern capitalism, of the sort witnessed by anyone living in the early decades of the 21st century, is a failing system; perpetual growth simply cannot be at this scale for any economy (other things being equal of course) and in this context cherry-picking criteria for ranking people, organisations and countries -- let alone forming the basic operational frameworks by which society functions -- is flawed (at best) and dangerous (at worst). The main problem here is that moving away from this model goes against centuries (and trillions of dollars' worth) of interests and investment. But we need to move away from this model, we need to 'reform' (not abolish) capitalism simply because in its current form it has lost any sense it made before.

Goodbye Dave.

I don't know why, it could be the cold weather or just coincidental, but December is fast becoming the month so many good Jazz and Blues musicians of ol' pass away. Oscar Peterson, for example, in 2007. Or James Brown a year earlier. This time it's Dave Brubeck. 'Take Five' is the piece most identify him with, and 'popular' doesn't even begin to describe its appeal and success --- recognizable by so many generations in the fifty one or so years of its existence. Yet his work goes well beyond than this single track that everyone feels so familiar with. After all, who, in their right mind, could possibly forget 'It's a Raggy Waltz', 'Blue Rondo A La Turk' or 'Take The A Train'. Dave was undoubtedly one of the great pioneers of his time.

Oh my God, it's full of funds!

Νεοφυείς επιχειρήσεις. Καινοτομία. Εξωστρέφεια. Επιχειρείν. Ένα μεγάλο γαϊτανάκι από εραστές του φιλελευθερισμού, πιστούς του καπιταλισμού, των αγορών, κάποιους τολμηρούς και άξιους, κάποιους — απλώς — θιασώτες της όλης υποκουλτούρας, της ‘φάσης’, του χαβαλέ και της (σαφέστατα υποκριτικής) αίσθησης της αυτονομίας, της ελευθερίας κλπ. που επικαλούνται συχνά οι δορυφόροι της επιχειρηματικότητας. Παράλληλα ένα τεράστιο κενό σοβαρών επενδυτών. Μια τεράστια έρημος σοβαρής επιχειρηματικής νοοτροπίας και φιλοδοξίας. Κι’όμως, εχθές ‘αποκτήσαμε’ τέσσερα χρηματοδοτικά οχήματα σημαντικού μεγέθους. Yippi ki-yay! Οχήματα με αρκετές δεκάδες εκατομμύρια προς διάθεση για την υποστήριξη της ελληνικής επιχειρηματικότητας. Δεν γνωρίζω σε βάθος τα άτομα που απαρτίζουν και τα τέσσερα, όμως γνωρίζω…

A Very British Coup (1988)

“‘A Very British Coup’ is a 1982 novel by British politician Chris Mullin” according to Wikipedia. But this post is not about the book. At least not directly. It is about the ‘original’, 1988 TV mini-series. I love mini-series as I find them to be perhaps the most appealing film-making format of our times, the sole format that has eluded both the demographics-based, profit-maximising paradigm that is the norm at Hollywood and beyond, or the milking-it-until-it’s-dry, fillers-r-us paradigm often found in TV series. But then again we’re talking about 1988, almost twenty-five years ago and things were a bit different…

Using OTE's 11888 to provide fast CLID data for FreePBX/Asterisk

For those using FreePBX (a configuration/administrative interface that manages Asterisk) there is a CallerID Lookup module, published by the FreePBX team. The module allows you to interface with data sources using several methods, one of them being http. Like many companies, we maintain several systems that can be easily integrated with our VoIP PBX system, but we also receive a number of calls from the public, viz. companies interested in advertising on GEO|ADS, adding their business to AthensBook or ThessBook, or asking for a quote for a project. OTE recently revamped its aging whitepages.gr site and incorporated its content into…

Mazower's Opinions

Mark Mazower has, for some time now, been writing poignant and increasingly strongly worded opinion articles about the effects of the crisis, the social and political repercussions that few politicians and economists bother worrying about while trying, unsuccessfully, if not plain badly, to enforce a flawed economic policy throughout Europe. His articles are grounded, accurate with the facts and highly worrisome, a scarily intense forewarning of how things can go wrong; they demonstrate the kind of foresight you would expect but seldom find in the foolish, greedy and highly myopic politicians currently governing Europe.