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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.


What is real value?

According to wikipediaAt the peak of tulip mania, in March 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. Estimates vary as to what that represents but some suggest it was equivalent to £75,000 in today's British pounds (somewhat less than 10 times the average wage). Tulips didn't sustain this lofty valuation for long and the crash of tulip prices was a salutary lesson for those affected, dampening speculative activity for some years.

Before the UK's "big bang" in 1986, most companies listed on the London Stock Exchange made things or owned real assets, usually land. Service companies weren't regarded as worthwhile investments because they had no tangible assets - the valuation of brands was highly subjective and not enthusiastically embraced by serous investors.


Protest in the media

Reporting of protest by western, corporate controlled media contains stark contradictions.

Protests in the US and the UK barely get a mention and when they do, little is disclosed of the violence and intimidation used by the authorities to close down dissent. UK and US police act exclusively to protect corporations at the expense of public interest and individual rights. For example, doughty protesters at the anti-fracking camp in Barton Moss, Manchester, UK are systematically targeted for arrest and abuse to protect the interests of Cuadrilla, chaired by John Browne, ex-BP boss.

MI5, GMP and the Battle of Barton Moss By LongTomR

“The mindset of violence within Greater Manchester Police has to come from the very top, from Peter Fahy. He must be instructing his officers to use violence against peaceful protesters.” – Dr Steven Peers, legal observer of Barton Moss Protection Camp.


Divide and rule

March's bumper edition of the Runymede Gazette opens with Michel Chossudovsky's excellent article on Manufacturing Dissent, highlighted by Daily Pickings a couple of weeks ago. It is well worth a read if you missed it first time around, as is Frank's editorial introduction which ends with the following exhortation:

Any sportsman will tell you that the best way of winning is to do what your opponent least wants. In this case that is, in principle, so simple. All we need to do is to meet up together. So let's get on with it!


A Journal of the Democratic Resistance


TTIP and a cup of coffee

Glyn Moody, who writes for ComputerWorld UK, has analysed the latest public consultation document on ISDS and TTIP and come up with a surprising nugget of information buried within it. The net economic benefit of TTIP to European citizens is an extra cup of coffee each month.

TTIP Update XXI by Glyn Moody

What is the cost of of that extra cup of coffee? Privatisation of health and other public services and removal of social, health, environmental protections.

TTIP is the US/EU Free Trade agreement, sometimes referred to as the TransAtlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), currently being negotiated.