Comments on: Media ethics and transparency A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: 4gb micro sd cards Sun, 28 Sep 2014 19:37:36 +0000 This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

By: tindale Thu, 19 Jul 2012 19:09:54 +0000 And what is journalism these days anyway? A few years back I had no doubt what it was, but now I don’t know where the definition begins and where it ends. “The transmission of a single message, other than a sales promotions, via means capable of reaching more than 50 people”?

By: TFF Sat, 14 Jul 2012 19:06:22 +0000 The whole concept of “finance” is designed to add value to society through zero-sum transactions. People with excess capital supply it to those who need the capital for some productive activity. Even hedgies may add value in some small way (they provide an investment service for their clients).

That said, the finance sector doesn’t need to be nearly as large or active as it is to fulfill that basic purpose. Much churn for comparatively little gain.

By: KenG_CA Fri, 13 Jul 2012 15:56:58 +0000 “And in fact, plenty in financial services have extracted significant value FROM society!
Bail-outs with no claw-backs anyone?”


and thanks.

By: TinyTim1 Fri, 13 Jul 2012 14:11:39 +0000 I was well aware I add zero value. I just thought others were just as deserving of that criticism too.
And in fact, plenty in financial services have extracted significant value FROM society!
Bail-outs with no claw-backs anyone?

Perhaps it should have been Central Bankers Pay Positive Real Interest Rates Day or Ratings Agencies Admit “It’s ALL Junk” Day or iBankers Pitch “M&A Destroys Value” Day.

Actually, yours were better.
I take it back.

By: KenG_CA Thu, 12 Jul 2012 15:30:43 +0000 Steve, I used hedge funds as an example of an industry that adds no value to society, and TinyTim takes exception. So then I say, no, of course there are other sectors of the financial services industry that are equally useless to society, and you interpret it as a knock on all of them.

I’m not saying all of the financial markets are zero-benefit to society at large, but that a lot of the functions that people who work in the financial services industry do not benefit society. At all. There are exceptions of course, but the financial industry has morphed from a utility that adds value to society to a vehicle that largely extracts rents.

By: SteveHamlin Thu, 12 Jul 2012 14:58:00 +0000 @KenG_CA – I’m don’t think that you can say that all financial markets that are zero-sum to the direct participants are necessarily zero-benefit to society at large.

Take the archetypical example of a producing farmer hedging future crop prices: that hedge might be zero sum between the farmer and the counterparty, but if the financial stability from knowing his future prices induces the farmer to grow more crops and profitably sell them into a (reasonably) free market, doesn’t that marginal production increase society’s wealth?

Or imagine a business that doesn’t have the risk appetite to pursue a productivity-improving project that will be financed by long-term debt, if the interest rate on that debt would be variable, and the world is in a volatile interest rate environment. But that the company WOULD pursue that project if they can assure themselves of interest costs over that long-term (i.e. lock in a fixed rate). The IR swap would be zero-sum between the company issuing the variable-rate debt and the financial counterparty selling the fixed-rate swap, but if the project is truly productivity enhancing, then that project made society better off, and the IR swap is beneficial to society at large.

IANAEconomist, but I’m sure that there is some economic term for that concept.

By: KenG_CA Thu, 12 Jul 2012 13:16:36 +0000 TinyTim, you’re right, I should have included far more financial service occupations, but in the interest of brevity I picked just one, and it should be obvious to even a hedgie that you don’t really add value to society as a whole. The total value of everything is unchanged by your actions, but some people end up with more, and some less. So while a relative handful of people (statistically speaking, nobody) benefit from the actions of hedge funds, there is no gain to society as a whole.

For the record, I don’t have a problem with you. I just know that you work for you, not for me, or anyone else.

By: TinyTim1 Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:27:51 +0000 Isn’t it easier to assume that every journalist is conflicted and then just form your own opinion given the facts they disclose?

Sure we would like them to be independent arbiters of the truth, the whole truth etc… but they are simply human with an entire lifetime of experience to mould their views.

Such a set up doesn’t prevent excellent and important work (Muddy Waters and Meredith Whitney please stand up).

It applies to commenters even more: KenG clearly has a problem with us hedgies. (Why we are singled out as not contributing to society any more than other financial services is odd…)

Also if you study any philosophy you will note that following your own rules is circular logic not a reductio.

By: fresnodan Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:18:19 +0000 I would agree that source cultivation is a HUGE problem – but that is due to the fact that so much “news” now is simply entertainment. I can’t remember the last time I saw a critical question on CNBC of a guest (Oh yeah, there are pseudo tough questions, and rhetorical tough questions about people under indictment who are not actually appearing). But this could be alleviated with reporters who are more knowledgeable about the subject, who understand mis-direction, and more facts and less speculation.
I read the Post a lot less and bloggers a lot more becuase I don’t need to read abbreviated stenography – there is the interenet now and you can get the source document. And I can’t count the times I have read newspaper articles and wondered, “did the reporter actually read – and understand – the referenced document?”
And oh yeah, I didn’t know Andrea Mitchell was Alan Greenspan’s wife till a few years ago. Is that why on those Meet the Press interviews he was treated as a demigod???