Links for 2011-01-05

  • "Today, however, Brazil's level of economic inequality is dropping at a faster rate than that of almost any other country.  Between 2003 and 2009, the income of poor Brazilians has grown seven times as much as the income of rich Brazilians.  Poverty has fallen during that time from 22 percent of the population to 7 percent.

    Contrast this with the United States, where from 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the increase in Americans' income went to the top 1 percent of earners. (see this great series in Slate by Timothy Noah on American inequality)  Productivity among low and middle-income American workers increased, but their incomes did not.  If current trends continue, the United States may soon be more unequal than Brazil.

    Several factors contribute to Brazil's astounding feat.  But a major part of Brazil's achievement is due to a single social program that is now transforming how countries all over the world help their poor."

  • For appropriate comparison, however, the Seahawks (7-9) probably have to look outside the N.F.L. to the other three major American professional team sports. These, in my estimation, are the 10 worst teams ever to have advanced to the post-season from the N.F.L., the N.H.L., the N.B.A., and Major League Baseball:"
  • It's not too soon to start thinking about a summer job.
  • "The Expert got a chair and a cup of coffee and sat in the computer room - these were the days when they had rooms specifically dedicated to computers, after all - and watched it as the attendants queued up a large print job. He waited until it crashed - which it did. Everybody looked to The Expert - and he didn't have a clue what was causing it. So he ordered that the job be queued up again, and all the attendants and technicians went back to work.

    The Expert sat down in his chair again, waiting for it to crash. It took something like six hours of waiting, but it crashed again. He still had no idea what was causing it, other than the fact that it happened when the room was crowded. He ordered that the job be restarted, and he sat down again and waited.

    By the third crash, he had noticed something."

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