Monday, October 29, 2012

A Fantasy Election, an Imaginary Man

Even before his inauguration, Barack Obama was an imaginary man, the creation of his admirers. Think back to the 2008 Time magazine cover depicting him as FDR, the Newsweek cover of the same year on which he was shown casting Lincoln’s shadow, or the $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”—this in 2009, less than a year after he had taken office. It was not that Obama had done nothing to deserve these outsized comparisons and honors—it was not just that he had done nothing—it was that he seemed for all the world to be a blank screen on which such hysterical fantasies could too easily be projected, a two-dimensional paper doll just waiting to be dressed in leftist dreams.

More here.

La Marche des Cuirassiers

Open Your Mouth and You're Dead

The freediving world championships occur at the outer limits of competitive risk. ­During the 2011 event, held off the coast of Greece, more than 130 athletes assembled to swim hundreds of feet straight down on a single breath—without (they hoped) ­passing out, freaking out, or drowning.

The article is here

Can Loosening Development Restrictions Restore Affordability?

A basic point I'd raise is that in almost all times and places, the solution for urban population growth has not been vertical densification, but outwards expansion into greenfield areas. Historically, dramatic vertical growth was the product of exceptional circumstances, generally related to the presence of city walls paired with external military threats discouraging sub-urban construction, or the occasional imperial mega-city. More