Daily Bafflements

The BafflerMarch 26, 2015
Money talks...but its accent has changed over time. / Photo by Images Money.

Money talks…but its accent has changed over time. / Photo by Images Money.

• Franco Moretti and Dominique Pestre apply quantitative linguistic analysis to World Bank Reports over the decades, in a piece called “Bankspeak.” An excerpt: “the semantic cluster of governance includes a series of terms which express a sense of compassion, generosity, rectitude or empathy with the world’s problems. Virtually absent in previous decades, these ethical claims emerge in the mid-1980s, and become second nature by the early 1990s, when responsible, responsibility, effort, commitment, involvement, sharing, care are suddenly everywhere.” (Via Arts & Letters Daily.)

• When the presidential field is crowded with “uber-wealthy” donors, the merely filthy-wealthy are being left behind. The Washington Post plumbs the sad tale of the bundlers who just aren’t rich enough to play the game anymore. (“Who needs a bundler when you have a billionaire?”)

• The EU warns Europeans against using Facebook if they don’t want to be “snooped on,” reports the Guardian. Current “Safe Harbour” legislation that ensures private transmission of data across the Atlantic does not currently apply when citizens willingly hand over their personal information to American data-collecting companies like Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. (Via Wolfgang Blau.)

• Today in Billionaires, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance UK & Ireland! courtesy of the Telegraph: “What degree should you go for to become a billionaire? Engineering is a winner – if you go to university at all that is.” Cheeky!