This is an old article, but I ran across it because I googled the subject, seeing yet another picture of Vlad Putin and thinking that he must have had plastic surgery.

How a professional screw-up gave an engineer a criminal record.

There is no disputing this statistic.

Apparently, Europe is not in a mess because the Greeks and Spanish are lazy. They work harder than the Germans.

A sperm donor is told to… errr… abstain, or face $100k fine.

How Ethiopian adoption industry is duping families and bullying activists.

I don’t want to hear any more about how carriers are complacent in thwarting mobile phone thieves. Let them be complacent! The alternative may be to refuse to activate any phone that they don’t personally sell you. It’d solve the problem and cost customers more money than stolen phones ever will.

From Bakadesuyo, the always popular question: Do young women prefer jerks or nice guys?

Deconstructing the temper tantrum.

We’re exporting Japanese cars to South Korea.


Category: Newsroom

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8 Responses to Linkluster: Keys on a “True” Piano

  1. AC says:

    There’s some important caveats to the Greek/German article: http://foseti.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/your-racist-uncle-was-right-mediterraneans-are-lazy/

    The key sleight of hand that you’re supposed to miss is that these oh-so-politically-correct statistics focus on workers not citizens.

    Let’s look at how many Greeks, Italians and Spaniards actually work compared to Dutch and Germans. The figures for the Greeks, Italians and Spaniards are: 59.6%, 56.9% and 58.6%, respectively. The figures for the Netherlands and Germany are: 74.7% and 71.1%. So, while it’s true that the average Italian worker works more than the average German, it’s also true that the average Italian almost doesn’t work.

  2. Samson J. says:

    How a professional screw-up gave an engineer a criminal record.

    The article requires me to log in, so I can’t read it, but it’s a good topic. Having a few engineers in my family, I was already aware that engineering carries a lot of responsibility, but I think a lot of people don’t know that. I have the idea that certain types of engineers have to (or at least, they should) carry liability insurance similar to malpractice insurance. After all, if a doctor makes a mistake, that harms one patient. If an engineer builds a faulty railway, that could potentially kill dozens.

    Deconstructing the temper tantrum.

    It’s become so amazing to me how singularly perfect the child’s whine is. It is SO ANNOYING that you can’t HELP but want give in and do something about it, no matter how much willpower you have.

  3. Brandon Berg says:

    I suspect that that has less to do with the Greeks, Spaniards, and Italians being lazy than with their stronger adherence to traditional gender roles. Looking only at male employment rates, we might see a different pattern.

  4. trumwill says:

    Brandon touches on what I was going to say. Workforce participation might have to take family patterns into account. Unless we want to discuss how the family patters of the Italians and Greeks are really to their economic detriment.

  5. trumwill says:

    It’s become so amazing to me how singularly perfect the child’s whine is.

    My wife was recently talking about how babies (or fetuses) are effective parasites (note: she is not anti-baby). They will do everything they can to get what they want, sometimes to the pain or detriment of the mother. She was talking about babies within the womb, but it makes sense that babies – despite their limited resources – would have ways to assure that they can grab our attention.

    Sorry about the WSJ article. As a subscriber, I don’t always know what is behind the paywall. I’ll include an excerpt in the next comment.

  6. trumwill says:

    From the WSJ article:

    In 2007, Mr. Lewis and his staff diverted a backed-up sewage system into an outside storm drain—one they long believed was connected to the city’s sewage-treatment system—to prevent flooding in an area where the sickest residents lived. In fact, the storm drain emptied into a creek that ultimately reaches the Potomac River. {…}

    Mr. Lewis was caught in Washington’s four-decade expansion of federal criminal law. Today, there are an estimated 4,500 federal crimes on the books, a significant increase from the three in the Constitution (treason, piracy and counterfeiting). There is an additional, and much larger, number of regulations written to enforce the laws. One of those regulations ensnared Mr. Lewis.

    Many of these federal infractions are now easier to prosecute than in the past because of a weakening in a bedrock doctrine of Anglo-American jurisprudence: the principle of mens rea, or “guilty mind,” which holds that a person shouldn’t be convicted if he hasn’t shown an intent to do something wrong. A law without a mens rea requirement tripped up Mr. Lewis.

  7. Samson J. says:

    So what was the actual criminal charge?

  8. trumwill says:

    Illegal dumping. The hard core variant of littering.

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