Monthly Archives: March 2004

Woman in a straw hat

meta-cre­a­tion_­­date: 4 March, 2004 The pret­ty, tal­ent­ed self-pro­­mot­er VigeZ Le Brun whom Reynolds appar­ent­ly thought was a ‘fin­er’ por­traitist than van Dyck was a sin­gle moth­er, a mem­ber of the AcadZmie Fran­caise and con­fi­dante of Marie-Antoinette. Her “Self Por­trait in a Straw Hat” (full image “here(link to NG)”:http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/collection/features/potm/march/img/ng1653_screensaver.jpg) is a cocky ref­er­ence to Ruebens’ famous […]

Facing up to strategic error

A cou­ple of weeks ago I was in Lagos (Nige­ria) talk­ing to a busi­ness group about world trade and the WTO. I sug­gest­ed that the deci­sion of the African-Caribbean and Least Devel­oped Coun­tries group at the WTO’s Can­cún Min­is­te­r­i­al meet­ing to walk away from the nego­ti­a­tions on issues such as trade facil­i­ta­tion and invest­ment was […]

Democrats attack public property

Com­pet­i­tive mar­kets are a social good in which indi­vid­u­als are like­ly to under-invest. But atten­tion in a polit­i­cal cam­paign is a pri­vate good: high­ly rival­ous and exclud­able. Some of the best-fund­ed polti­cal adver­tis­ing in the Unit­ed States is right now being used to cre­ate pri­vate val­ue at the­ex­pense of the pub­lic inter­est (and not the […]

Pepys and patents

Anoth­er instance of an exces­sive grant of patent bq. Con­sid­er the US patent grant­ed recent­ly to Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Machines for a “smooth-fin­ish” auc­tion, an auc­tion that is pro­grammed to end at a ran­dom time. Per­haps this sounds like just the kind of orig­i­nal idea that patents were designed to pro­tect. But the patent exam­in­ers appear […]

EU sanctions on US trade

The US could not meet the Commission’s 1 March dead­line for a bill (not nec­es­sar­i­ly a law) that would, in the EU’s view, sat­is­fy the require­ment for WTO com­pli­ance. bq. “The name of the game is repeal. It is not retal­i­a­tion, not sanc­tions. It is repeal, and to have a WTO-com­­pli­ant leg­is­la­tion,” said EU trade […]