February 3, 2013

About "Inequality for All" & about Elinks


About "Inequality for All"
2. About Elinks

About ME/CFS


Two brief bits, the first on a new film that got much praise [1]; the second - following up on an item in yesterday's Nederlog - about another text-based browser, that looks surprisingly well. 

1. About "Inequality for All"

I picked this up from The Guardian, where there is an articl by Carole Cadwalladr:
This starts as follows, where I provided a link to the article about Robert Reich on Wikipedia, while the other link is in the article and to the website for the film:
The powerful documentary Inequality for All was an unexpected hit at the recent Sundance film festival, arguing that US capitalism has fatally abandoned the middle classes while making the super-rich richer. Can its star, economist Robert Reich, do for economics what Al Gore did for the environment?
In one sense, Inequality for All is absolutely the film of the moment. We are living through tumultuous times. The economy has tanked. Austerity has cut a swath through the country. We're on the verge of a triple-dip recession. And, in another, parallel universe, a small cohort of alien beings – or as we know them, bankers – are currently engaged in trying to figure out what to spend their multimillion-pound bonuses on. Who wouldn't want to know what's going on? Or how it happened? Or why? Or if it is really true that the next generation down is well and truly shafted?

The article seems well done - and I write "seems" only because I have not seen the film: It's a good, interesting and well written article - and sounds enthusiastic (in this bit, all links are to files by The Guardian):
In fact, Inequality for All, which premiered at the Sundance film festival a fortnight ago, is anything but dry. It won not just rave reviews but also the special jury prize and a major cinema distribution deal, and while it owes an obvious debt to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, it is, in many ways, a much better, more human and surprising film. Not least because, incredibly enough, it's actually pretty funny. And, in large part, this is down to its star, Robert Reich.
A bit further on:
Any synopsis of the film runs the risk of making it seem dry again, but essentially it describes how the middle classes have come to have a smaller and smaller portion of the economic pie. And how, since 70% of the economy is based on the middle classes buying stuff, if they don't have any money to buy this stuff, it cannot grow. Meanwhile, the government has allowed the super-rich, the "one per cent", to take more of the nation's wealth. Half of the US's total assets are now owned by just 400 people – 400! – and, Reich contests that this is not just a threat to the economy, but also to democracy.


It is, in some respects, a theory of everything. Reich charts the three decades of increasing median income after the second world war, a period he calls "the great prosperity" and then examines what happened in the late 1970s to put an end to it. The economy didn't falter. It kept on growing. But wages didn't.

The figures that Reich supplies are simply gobsmacking. In 1978, the typical male US worker was making $48,000 a year (adjusted for inflation). Meanwhile the average person in the top 1% was making $390,000. By 2010, the median wage had plummeted to $33,000, but at the top it had nearly trebled, to $1,100,000.

And towards the end there is this bit:
One of the key pieces of research that Reich cites is a study of tax data by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty which shows that the years of peak income inequality in America were in 1928 and 2007. Right before both crashes. "The parallels are striking," he says. It's also striking what happened in the years after 1928. How in Germany, to take a random example, worldwide depression also led to a vicious polarisation of right and left. And certain other outcomes.
There is rather a lot more, and it sounds like a really interesting film, indeed probably mostly because of Reich - incidentally, German for "rich" - who is an interesting and intelligent man, a professor of economics, and a Secretary of Labor under President Cilinton.

Here is some more background from the Wikipedia article on Reich, and on some economic background, that I raised myself in 2008 in Dutch e.g. here, here and here:
As mentioned above there is a website for the movie:
2. About Elinks

Yesterday I mentioned Lynx, a text-based browser, which also happens to be the oldest browser that is still being developed, having started in 1992, and today I have a Wikipedia link to another text-based browser, that was started in 2001:
This is surprisingly nice and slick - tabbed browsing in a text-window, for example - with excellent rendering of the text, and very configurable, and certainly worth looking at (an  image that I tweaked some, from the Wikipedia article linked above, that shows Wikipedia on Wikipedia in Elinks):


Apart from the resolution, which is the image, not Elinks, this looks perfectly OK [2] - and one can set the colors in quite a few ways as well, at least on the GNU/Linux.Ubuntu I use, which also happens to install  the latest version, 0.12pre5, from a little over a year ago.

It does run only on Linux (well... Wikipedia says: "for Unix-like operating systems"), and is quite intuitive and fast. This is certainly a browser I will be using more. (It also works well with the "no color" option, when it does pick up the option one has for one's terminal window, in my case white text on a dark blue background).

Why would you want to do text-based browsing? Probably you don't, but it is worthwile to know one good reason why you might be interested in text-based browsing, apart from your eyes or concentrating on the text and avoiding all graphic distractions:
And as I said yesterday: It does give another perspective, and one with a lot less distraction from what matters. And Elinks does render much of my site quite well - and in fact better than Lynx, because Elinks uses tables, that are used as text boxes on my sites - and displays nearly all in a perfectly useful way.
[1] I have also updated and linked the crisis series.
[2] Apart from the background, which is too white for my eyes, but otherwise perfectly normal.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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