The Bank of England Gets It ??? using search data as economic indicators

From this Bank of England paper on using search data:

???In contrast to most traditional survey methods, they are collected as a by-product of normal activity, rather than requiring individuals or firms to respond to survey questions after the event. This can avoid problems associated with non-response or inaccurate responses. And it also means

that information is continually collected on a wider range of issues, rather than just on a few pre-determined questions. As a result, search data can help analyse issues that arise unexpectedly.???

This way they can tell when the economy is pregnant…

Kony 2012 – is the US military the answer?

The viral campaign that is circulating the internet on Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony is well-meaning but extremely problematic. KONY 2012 fever has also hit New Zealand, with events springing up all over the nation. To put it simply: if you are going to agitate for reform in another country, you better darn well be open to hearing criticisms and incorporating these into your arguments. It is not critiquing that Kony is a bad guy, it is making sure that people are not having the wrong effects on the Ugandan people in their support of the campaign.

Media freedom and independence under threat | The National Business Review

While we politicians sometimes bridle at criticisms which can seem harsh, superficial, or unfair, most of us will defend the right of the media to investigate and criticise without fear or favour.  We should fiercely defend that right because informing the public of bungling or corruption ??? especially by politicians and government agencies – is essential to stop it happening again.

The refusal of the National government to address this important issue as part of the Search and Surveillance Bill currently before Parliament is driven by politics not principle. The Minister of Justice, who was until recently the SFO Minister, alleges that because Labour will not vote for the Bill unless it better protects the liberties of the fourth estate, we in Labour are soft on crime.

In other words, National is attempting to gain politically by positioning Labour. National is taking a superficial populist approach for its own political ends. This should concern those who think the principles at stake are important.

This is one of a number of worrying events concerning the relationship between the media and the government

Why texting might be bad for you

Perhaps a better way to view the data is as an illustration of how mobile phones in general, and texting in particular, have taken over the experiential world of the young. An economist might expect that teens deprived of texting would simply substitute another method of communication – – talking, for instance. As it turns out, a significant minority will not. They will behave instead, researchers report, the way people do when deprived of human contact.

“Might,” “bad.”