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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Hardcore blogging at its best

Over on Inappropriate Responces, the every readable Moira Breen analyses…no, dissects…hmm, no… I’ve got it…Moira Breen mercilessly crucifies Roger Owen, who is the director of the Arab Contemporary Studies Program at Harvard University, in her article “B.S” SCREAMING FROM EVERY PIXEL.

The bulk of the article (paragraphs 6-11) is essentially an exercise in issue-avoiding gobbledegook – you can see man burrowing through a steamin’ heap o’ stats, trying to find a pellet for face-saving spin. Owen argues not only that the only meaningful comparisons are local (previously undefinable MENA country to MENA country), but that an economy must be measured outside the vagaries of the global market: that the only proper benchmark is some mythical economic “normal” point, unaffected by oil prices, multinational hiring, emerging markets, and, bizarrely, better or worse economic management. As far as I can tell, his idea is to factor out just about everything that could be used for objective measurement and practical application.

Splendid stuff. If you are into blood sports the way I am, you will enjoy the whole article. Highly recommended

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