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daily 03/31/2011

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

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daily 03/30/2011

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment
    • Mass Relevance
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    • One of my favorite lines from one of my all-time favorite movies‘, “Chariots of Fire” says “you can’t put in what God left out.”
    • Everytime an article or piece like this is written or produced, the University of Texas wins.
    • Calderón “wants to hear[Obama] say that Mexico was never a failed state, is not a failedstate today, and even in their deepest, darkest fears will never,ever be a failed state.”
    • The British journalist EdVulliamy—whose book Amexica: War Along the Borderlineis by far the best account of the current crisis-estimates that thetotal number of homicides in Juárez since late 2006 now standsat more than 8,200. Meanwhile, the usual figure given fordrug-related murders in Mexico as a whole since the end of 2006 ismore than 34,000.
    • Rodriguez pointed to the emblematic story she hadwritten about a 16-year-old boy “who had killed his motherand sister. When I asked him why, he said, ‘Because Icould.’”
    • When people talk about Mexico as a failed state, whatthey seem to be discussing is not the Mexico of today but theColombia of 20 years ago. (Generals, apparently, are not the onlypeople always well-prepared to fight the last war.) From the 1980sto the early ’90s, the Medellín and, to a lesser extent,the Cali cartel posed a genuine threat to the Colombian state.
    • But, to date, militarization of the conflict has not made a denteither in the violence or the flow of drugs into the United States.The near-constant stream of reports detailing kidnappings,beheadings, and torture continues apace
    • And yet, as grave and ashorrifying as all this is, it’s worth pausing to ask whetherthe label “failed state” is really the most accurate,or useful, way to think about our neighbor to the south.

       

    • Still, to say that the cartels represent a fundamental challenge tothe Mexican government as a whole—a rebellion on the scale ofwhat took place in Colombia or what is taking place now inPakistan—would be hyperbole.
    • Significantly, thecorruption that bedevils Mexican law enforcement has no equivalentwhatsoever in the social sphere, and, despite the drug crisis,SEDESOL goes from strength to strength.
    • Homex is now one of the leading global firms involved inthe building of low- and middleincome housing, with largeoperations in Brazil and India as well as in 20 Mexican states.
    • The great Mexican historian (and frequent New Republiccontributor) Enrique Krauze characterized PRI rule as “acollective monarchy with the electoral forms of a republic.”
    • History suggests that, while democratic states can go throughterrible periods and face daunting crises—both of which,unhappily, look to be in the cards for Mexico—they almostnever become failed states.
    • The war of the drug cartels against the state and itspeople is scarcely the first terrible war that Mexico has endured.The Cristero rebellion of 1926-’29—
    • The Power and theGlory
    • Cruelty is not just anact; it is a culture. As a result, Mexicans are justifiably worriedabout their future. “I fear the next ten years will belost,” was the way a friend of mine in Mexico City put it tome recently.

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daily 03/29/2011

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment

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daily 03/28/2011

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

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daily 03/27/2011

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

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daily 03/26/2011

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment
    • Original, headed by Thom Beers, is the leader in this deadly-livelihood school of television. In a video promoting “Coal” Mr. Beers said: “It’s a recipe for good storytelling. You basically need high stakes with high reward.”
    • Work is one of the most intimate things we do, though, and the camera violates that intimacy. In Episode 1 of “Coal” a miner is criticized by his boss because the night shift isn’t meeting quota. It’s bad enough to be taken to the mat, but it’s a kind of torture to have it done on national television. And these miners aren’t even paid to appear on the show, a Spike spokeswoman said.
    • It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time not long ago that the Bulldogs found themselves in a major rut. They had just lost three straight league games to Milwaukee, Valparaiso and last-place Youngstown State. It was early February and they were 6-5 in a mid-major conference and didn’t even look like a fringe bubble candidate for the NCAA tournament.
    • So Stevens called for support.
    • “I’m sure the people around the Butler program were lamenting coming off a national championship game with the expectations of all those guys coming back and all that noise,’’ Few said. “But you have to believe in the system. And his guys did. They believed in the core values. He did a masterful job, maybe more so this year than last year.
      • you need to clarify your system (Christianity) and follow through with its execution.
    • Stevens didn’t let any personal frustrations flow to the players. He remained poised, the way he has throughout his brief tenure.
    • Stevens didn’t lean only on Few. He also called Florida’s Billy Donovan. Stevens befriended Donovan years before and had attended his coaching clinic in August — set up by Donovan’ top assistant, Larry Shyatt, and their good friend, UCLA assistant Scott Duncan.
    • He has the best job in his league and is at home in Indianapolis.
    • Donovan added an anecdote from his brief stint as a player with the New York Knicks, remembering a story when Larry Bird and the Celtics were playing at Madison Square Garden. The Garden floor was being put down after a hockey game, and Donovan saw Bird taking a few shots while standing on an island of parquet. Bird was shooting at the basket as workers were laying down the rest of the court around him.

      “I couldn’t believe it, and it registers that the really great ones understand the level of focus and commitment and time that goes into it,’’

    • Stunning. Matt Ryan’s throwing balls to Falcon receivers a few miles up the road, and Vick’s sitting in solitary, in the town he used to own. And no one knew.
    • Cates earned his stake by grinding, the term used to describe the process of pressing a skill advantage over an extended period of time.
    • Because poker is a game of high variance, where a significant difference in ability can be mitigated by a bad run of cards, a player’s Expected Value (E.V.) must be actualized over thousands of hands.
    • Since the rise of online poker in the early 2000s, every principle of the game, every lesson learned over hundreds of thousands of hours of play, every simple credo uttered in some old Western gambling movie — all those tersely stated, manly things that made up the legend of poker — has been picked apart and, for the most part, discarded.
    • If an 18-year-old online whiz can play 12 hands at once, then by his 19th birthday, he is no less experienced than a career gambler who has sat for a dozen years at the big-money table at the Bellagio.
    • Success depends on the efficiency with which a player can build his resources and the speed with which he can deploy them.
    • High-end strategy combines lightning-fast reflexes, unabashed aggression and razor-thin resource management.
    • “The prototypical successful young gun is fast and unpredictable,” Gordon says. “Those traits make them nearly impossible to beat, especially when playing at warp speeds.
    • Many of the video games the kids grew up with like Command and Conquer or Call of Duty required a similar dexterity and gave these kids a leg up — the more tables they could play accurately, the more decisions they got to make, and the quicker they were able to learn.”
    • the greatest benefit borne from a life spent playing video games lies somewhere in the strange, disconnected relationship between what is simulated and what is real.
    • “Most of us see the money more as a points system.
    • This blind spot gives us the freedom to always make the right move, regardless of the amount at stake, because our judgment isn’t clouded by any possible ramifications.”
    • On the date of our interview, Cates was flying to Austin, Tex., to see a “specialist in human interactions.
    • These studies are aimed toward the goal of achieving the “balance of life” (during our time together, Cates used this phrase more than 50 times) that will allow him to enjoy his fortune.
    • If I can achieve a balance of life and allow a balanced Daniel to shrink jungleman, I should have more success in my human interactions.”
    • There has never been a player, from Doc Holliday to jungleman12, who can go head to head with the pain of poker and expect to come out with a positive Expected Value.
    • “But, you know, we both worked hard.”

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daily 03/24/2011

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

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