Monday, June 07, 2004

Please Read Different Headlines

There was no point in watching the news yesterday.  It was all about politics, and Reagan's death, which, although not really a political event, is invariably reported with some political overtone or another.  Anyway, I decided to do a roundup of the news we all would be fascinated by, if the media knew how to select topics of REAL significance:

Physicists tackle EU constitution
by Belle Dumé
Physics Web
28 May 2004

Two scientists from Poland claim to have found a solution to the problem of voting in the newly enlarged European Union. The current voting system, which is based on guidelines set by the Treaty of Nice, and the new system proposed in the draft EU Constitution both lead to inequalities between the different member states. The new system, proposed by Karol Życzkowski and Wojciech Slomczyński of Jagiellonian University in Kraków, is based on a square-root formula and would ensure that all European citizens had equal voting powers (arXiv.org/abs/cond-mat/0405396).

[...] Życzkowski, a physicist, and Slomczyński, a mathematician, developed a voting scheme based on the so-called Penrose Law, which states that the voting weight of a country is directly proportional to the square root of its population. This approach was pioneered by the English psychiatrist and mathematician Lionel S Penrose, father of the scientists Roger and Oliver and the chess player Jonathan. [...]

Reinventing the lightbulb, with nanotubes
By Michael Kanellos
CNET News.com
June 4, 2004, 1:19 PM PT

Researchers at China's Tsinghua University and at Louisiana State University have developed a prototype lightbulb that replaces the standard tungsten filament in lightbulbs with a carbon nanotube. The nanotube bulb uses less electricity and burns brighter than conventional bulbs. Theoretically, this could lead to the first major overhaul in the design of lightbulbs in more than a century. [...]

The end of tolerance
by Zbigniew Piekarski
Warsaw Business Journal
7th June 2004

Every epoch needs leaders of stature who will define it. America has found Bush and Greenspan to take it where it needs to go in order to fulfill its historical destiny. The duo is perfectly matched.

"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected."
- President George W. Bush, Los Angeles, California, September 27, 2000.

Every epoch needs leaders of stature who will define it. America has found Bush and Greenspan to take it where it needs to go in order to fulfill its historical destiny. The duo is perfectly matched. One is clueless and has made the biggest military blunder in American history while the other is ruthless and has made the biggest financial blunder in American history.  [...]

The first article is a description of one of those good ideas that probably will never fly because hardly anyone can understand it.  The second article describes what might be the first use of nanotechnology that has a real economic impact.  The third predicts "Phase II of the Great Bear Market."  The article is fairly technical, discussing the Market Volatility Index and the McClellan Oscillator, two indicators of stock market conditions.  The author argues that these indicators suggest that the conditions are set for another prolonged stock market decline.  They conclude:

As the negative social mood increases and markets start to fall, the prophesy of the current President of the Protestant Crusaders will become a reality, for, as George W. Bush said at Texas A&M University on April 6, 1998, "We live in a culture of moral indifference, where movies and videos glamorize violence and tolerance is touted as a great virtue." As at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, tolerance, as a virtue, will soon come to an end. Cycles repeat.

Of course, nobody knows if this is true or not.  The significance of the article is that it shows how unpopular Bush is, even among conservatives, in Europe.  This reflects badly upon the United States.  If a business journal contains an article describing him as "clueless" and casts him as the "President of Protestant Crusaders," I shudder to imagine what regular folks think of him.