éminence grise

33 results back to index


pages: 487 words: 139,297

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Berlin Wall, business climate, clean water, colonial rule, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, technology bubble, transfer pricing, unemployed young men, working-age population, éminence grise

This state of affairs developed slowly, during Joseph Kabila’s tenure in the army, as he traveled through the country and realized that his father’s defiant militarism was going nowhere. He became friends with a group of young, sophisticated Congolese officials, all convinced that Laurent Kabila was on the wrong track, especially in regard to his dismissive attitude of the United States, South Africa, and Europe. The most important of these Young Turks was Katumba Mwanke. He has since acquired an almost mythical status in Kinshasa court politics as the éminence grise behind the throne. As a young man, he left Zaire to study and work in South Africa as a banker for HSBC Equator Bank. When the war began, he found himself in an ideal position, given his ties with business in South Africa and his family connections. He is married to the sister of Laurent Kabila’s former finance minister, and, importantly, he is also from Kabila’s home province of Katanga, although not from the same tribe.

CHAPTER 18 1 This description of events is according to the author’s interviews with Jean Mbuyu, the national security advisor; Edy Kapend, Kabila’s military advisor; and Mwenze Kongolo, minister of interior, Kinshasa, June 2009. 2 Author’s interview with a former aide to Kabila, who wished to remain anonymous, Kinshasa, November 2007. 3 The roll call gave a good idea of who had power around the president at the time: Gaetan Kakudji, the interior minister who had been Kabila’s representative in Europe during the 1980s; the oil minister Victor Mpoyo, the president’s éminence grise for financial deals with multinationals; Yerodia Ndombasi, the eccentric education minister who had known Mzee since his early rebel days; and Edy Kapend, the young military advisor with close links to Angola. 4 Author’s interview with Didier Mumengi, Kinshasa, November 2007. 5 Herbert Weiss, War and Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Current African Issues no. 22 (Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikaninstitutet, 2000), 15. 6 Gauthiers de Villers and Jean-Claude Willame, Republique democratique du Congo: Chronique politique d’un entre-deux-guerres, octobre 1996–juillet 1998, Cahiers Africains 35 (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1998), 233. 7 Interview with Mumengi. 8 International Monetary Fund, Country Report No 01/123, July 2001, 29. 9 Addendum to the United Nations Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of DR Congo, S/2001/1072, United Nations, November 10, 2001, paragraphs 67–68. 10 Author’s interview with Jean Mbuyu, Kinshasa, June 2009. 11 Author’s interview with Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye, Bujumbura, May 2009. 12 International Crisis Group, Scramble for the Congo: Anatomy of an Ugly War, Africa Report no. 26, December 20, 2000, 52. 13 Author’s interview with Colonel Maurice Gateretse, Bujumbura, March 2008. 14 Karl Vick, “Desperate Battle Defines Congo’s Warlike Peace,” Washington Post, January 2, 2001. 15 Interview with Ndayikengurukiye. 16 Interview with Mbuyu. 17 Vick, “Desperate Battle.” 18 International Crisis Group, Scramble for the Congo, 64. 19 Interview with Kabila aide, Kinshasa, June 2009. 20 Interview with two separate Kabila aides, Kinshasa, June 2009. 21 Interview with Mumengi. 22 This description of events is according to my interviews with Jean Mbuyu, the national security advisor, and Edy Kapend, Kabila’s military advisor, Kinshasa, June 2009. 23 Stephen Smith and Antoine Glaser, “Ces enfants soldats qui out tué Kabila,” Le Monde (Paris), February 9, 2001. 24 This tale is recited frequently in Kinshasa.

 

pages: 570 words: 158,139

Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise

Too often the answer is not the local people. “The big worry today is the conglomerates and hotel chains that are consolidating more and more. The Internet is countering that power by making a more equal playing field.” Honey welcomes the push for a sustainable-tourism label and new criteria but warns that “the problem is the programs are all voluntary.” On the other side of the Atlantic, Harold Goodwin is something of an éminence grise of the sustainable-tourism movement with a different vision. He prefers to work directly within the industry to effect change, eschewing outside activism. As a professor, he founded the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University in Britain and is a familiar figure on the international conference circuit. His inspiration is Jost Krippendorf, a Swiss academic who examined the politics of tourism in the 1970s and argued that the industry needed to help the environment, culture and local communities.

Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, invited thirteen industry leaders to the White House to meet with her and Lawrence Summers, an economic advisor to the President. The group had just settled in when, to their surprise, the president walked in. “We had no idea he was coming,” said Freeman. The president shook hands all around and said he understood why they were concerned. Bill Marriott, chairman and CEO of Marriott International as well as the unofficial éminence grise of tourism in Washington, was the first to speak for the group. He explained that they were concerned about the drop in international visitors as well as the downturn in business travel for meetings and events since the president encouraged cutbacks on travel. Now, they were asking the president to become their ally. Much of the conversation required stripping travel of its emotional power, all of the romance and pleasure, the discovery and freedom trumpeted in advertisements, and instead, have the president and his aides view it as they do one of the most important businesses in the country.

 

Interventions by Noam Chomsky

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, cuban missile crisis, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, Ralph Nader, Thorstein Veblen, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, éminence grise

In the post-9/11 world, the administration behaves as if constitutional and other norms are suspended, writes Sanford Levinson, a law professor at the University of Texas, in the summer (2004) issue of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The anything-goes-during-wartime rationale might be characterized as “There exists no norm that is applicable to chaos.” The quote, Levinson points out, is from Carl Schmitt, the leading German philosopher of law during the Nazi period, whom Levinson describes as “the true éminence grise of the (Bush) administration.” As advised by White House counsel (now attorney general designate) Alberto Gonzales, the administration has articulated “a view of presidential authority that is all too close to the power that Schmitt was willing to accord his own Führer,” Levinson writes. One rarely hears such words from the heart of the Establishment. These conceptions of imperial presidential authority underlie administration policies.

 

pages: 240 words: 65,363

Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Barry Marshall: ulcers, call centre, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Gary Taubes, income inequality, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, medical residency, microbiome, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, transatlantic slave trade, éminence grise

When trying to figure out what kind of incentive will work in a given situation, it is crucial to keep your eye on this gap. (Thus the old saying: Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.) Furthermore, it’s often the case that when you most desperately want to know someone else’s incentives—in a negotiation, for instance—your incentives and theirs are at odds. How can you determine someone’s true incentives? Experiments can help. The psychologist Robert Cialdini, an éminence grise in the study of social influence, has proved this again and again. In one case, he and some fellow researchers wanted to learn about the incentives that would encourage people to use less electricity at home. They began with a phone survey. The researchers called a diverse set of California residents and asked them: How important are the following factors in your decision to conserve energy?

 

Unhappy Union by The Economist, La Guardia, Anton, Peet, John

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flash crash, illegal immigration, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Northern Rock, oil shock, open economy, pension reform, price stability, quantitative easing, special drawing rights, supply-chain management, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transaction costs, éminence grise

This was the germ of the idea of European economic integration. Today the anniversary of the speech (May 9th) is celebrated as a holiday by the European institutions (known as Schuman Day). The ECSC encompassed not only France and Germany, but also Italy and the three Benelux countries, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Jean Monnet, a French civil servant and scion of a cognac-trading family, who was in many ways the éminence grise behind the entire European project, acted as the first president of its high authority.3 Schuman and Monnet followed the successful establishment of the ECSC with an attempt to set up a pan-European army, the European Defence Community. But this was a step too far for France. The plan was blocked by a vote in the French National Assembly in August 1954. Henceforth NATO would provide the necessary security umbrella, while European integration would focus on economic matters.

 

pages: 351 words: 102,379

Too big to fail: the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system from crisis--and themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, NetJets, Northern Rock, oil shock, paper trading, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, too big to fail, value at risk, éminence grise

Paulson is a devout Christian Scientist and, like most members of the faith, he deeply admires the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who, seeking to reclaim early Christianity’s focus on healing, founded the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston in 1879. “Fear is the fountain of sickness,” she wrote. Fear “must be cast out to readjust the balance for God.” Paulson was already having second thoughts about turning down the Treasury job when James Baker followed up on Bolten’s call. Baker, the GOP’s éminence grise, confided to him that he had told the president that Paulson was by far the best candidate for the position. Deeply flattered, Paulson assured him that he was giving the idea serious consideration. That same week, John Bryan, the chief executive of Sara Lee and a longtime friend, Goldman director, and client of Paulson’s from when he was an investment banker in Chicago, offered him this advice: “Hank, life is not a dress rehearsal,” he said.

Paulson had depended heavily on Jester, a long-haired “human calculator,” when he was the firm’s CEO, and he hoped he might be able to convince Jester to come out of retirement to help him work on the GSEs. The night before, feeling somewhat desperate, he had also placed a call from home to Ken Wilson, an old friend from Dartmouth whom he had persuaded to leave Lazard for Goldman a decade earlier. As head of the financial institutions group, Wilson was Goldman’s top adviser to other banks and respected as an éminence grise throughout the industry. Paulson so respected his judgment that he had put Wilson in an office near his own on the thirtieth floor of 85 Broad Street. “Ken, I really need help around here. I need some adults,” Paulson said when he reached him. “Bob Steel is gone. I’d like you to think about coming down here and joining my team.” Wilson, Paulson proposed, would be a “classic dollar-a-year man,” meaning that he would come on board as a “special adviser” for the nominal salary of $1 for the final six months of the administration.

 

The Chomsky Reader by Noam Chomsky

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, British Empire, business climate, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, land reform, land tenure, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, War on Poverty, éminence grise

In this context, it is possible for an American president to stand up and proclaim that concern for human rights is “the Soul of our foreign policy,” and to be listened to with respect—even critics limit themselves to noting “contradictions,” “inconsistencies,” and “deviations,” thus reinforcing the basic principle of the propaganda system, that the United States is committed to a program of freedom and human rights (as is the West in general), one of the great lies of modern history, and one of the most effective. The spread of neofascist torture-and-corruption states in the Third World under U.S. sponsorship has in part been a response to “the lessons of Vietnam.” General Maxwell Taylor, who has been described as the éminence grise of the Kennedy administration, explained that “the outstanding lesson [of the Indochina conflict] is that we should never let another Vietnam-type situation arise again. We were too late in recognizing the extent of the subversive threat.… We have learned the need for a strong police force and a strong police intelligence organization to assist in identifying early the symptoms of an incipient subversive situation.”

The National Security Council, equally astute, explained the favorable prospects of the Soviet Union in Asia in part on the grounds that “its protégés deal with Asiatic peoples who are traditionally submissive to power when effectively applied” (DOD, bk. 8, p. 239; December 1949)—an insight that has been corroborated so conclusively by the effective application of force to the Vietnamese in the past quarter century. Similar perspicacity is exhibited by United States Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, who has been described elsewhere as the “chief adviser, if not éminence grise” of the Kennedy administration. He bemoans the “national attribute” which “limits the development of a truly national spirit” among the South Vietnamese, perhaps “innate” or perhaps a residue of the colonial experience. And he then proceeds to speculate about “the ability of the Vietcong continuously to rebuild their units and to make good their losses”—“one of the mysteries of this guerrilla war”—and their remarkable morale and recuperative powers and continued strength, for which “we still find no plausible explanation” (III, 668; November 27, 1964).

 

pages: 375 words: 105,067

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, éminence grise

By the mid-1990s, a personal finance expert showing up on television wearing diamonds would be subject to admiration and emulation, not ridicule. SAVING ONE FINANCIAL LIFE AT A TIME Jane Bryant Quinn answers her own door at the elegant prewar apartment building on New York City’s Upper West Side, where she resides with her third husband, online news publisher Carll Tucker. She’s both elegant and warm, down-to-earth and blunt. She’s also the closest thing the personal finance establishment now has to an éminence grise. Quinn is now in her seventies and does reports for everyone from CBS MoneyWatch to NPR’s Morning Edition, but baby boomers may recall her from her many appearances on CBS’s news programs, her public television shows Take Charge and Beyond Wall Street, her investigative pieces for Newsweek, and her syndicated personal finance column, which ran in more than 250 newspapers before it ended in 2002.

 

pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

In London, plans formulated in 1944 to augment and improve the capital’s orbital roads – so that rush hours weren’t clogged by goods lorries en route from, say, Ipswich to Chichester, and commuters might have a route that resembled the Circle Line on the Tube and performed the same function – gathered dust for twenty years. It was as if car commuters were the elephant in the room. Their existence was acknowledged and provided for after the publication of Professor Sir Colin Buchanan’s Traffic in Towns report in 1963. The report had been commissioned by Ernest Marples, minister of transport between 1959 and 1964, the éminence grise behind the railway cuts, who had both employed Dr Beeching and handed him his axe. Marples, who resembled a second-hand car dealer, had made a fortune from property development and civil engineering, and stood to gain more from new roads than old railways. Traffic in Towns supported him. ‘For the first time, the fact of unrestrained growth in car ownership was factored into town planning and urban design.’

 

pages: 302 words: 97,076

The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War by Tim Butcher

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

centre right, colonial rule, land reform, Scramble for Africa, trade route, urban sprawl, éminence grise

But he was also an associate of the Black Hand, the secretive, ultra-nationalist Serbian group dating back to the start of the twentieth century that had been responsible for the regicide of 1903. The role of the Black Hand in the assassination of 1914 has been the subject of weighty analysis by academics and historians, although very little is undisputed. It is accepted that the weapons provided to the assassins came from the Black Hand with the blessing of its overall leader, Dragutin Dimitrijević, a powerful éminence grise in the Serbian security apparatus in the years running up to the First World War. Better known by his pseudonym, Apis, he was a Serb nationalist hardliner who held senior positions within Serbian military intelligence, an organisation that was used to running agents in and out of Bosnia through a network of couriers and smugglers. It was this network that was made available to Princip and his two colleagues.

 

pages: 255 words: 88,987

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

dark matter, invisible hand, Skype, éminence grise

This was not my favorite revelation of all time, given that I didn’t—still don’t—think of myself as that old. On the plus side, however, people listened to what I had to say and respected my opinion; I had influence over the training and flight design process and could help make it more practical and relevant. Twenty years after I got that phone call from Mac Evans, asking if I wanted to join the CSA, I was an éminence grise at JSC—I’d only been in space 20 days, yet I had turned myself into an astronaut. Or to be more accurate, I’d been turned into an astronaut; NASA and the CSA had seen to that, by providing the right education and experiences. That third mission, of course, greatly expanded my experience. I didn’t just visit space: I got to live there. By the time our crew landed, after 146 days in space, we’d orbited Earth 2,336 times and traveled almost 62 million miles.

 

pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

Officially he is the person who hired me, but the decision was made by HubSpot’s co-founders—Brian Halligan, the CEO, and Dharmesh Shah, the chief technology officer. Halligan and Shah didn’t recruit me; I recruited them. I found HubSpot through a job posting on LinkedIn, had two interviews, and finally met with Halligan and Shah, who offered me a job as a “marketing fellow.” The title was unusual, but also pleasing, with a quasi-academic ring to it and an implication that my role would be to serve as a kind of éminence grise at the company. My job description was vague, but I believed I would be writing articles for the HubSpot blog, advising executives on media strategy, writing speeches for the CEO, and attending conferences as a kind of brand evangelist. Penny makes some calls. Finally she tells me that Cranium is not in the office today. I check the calendar on my phone and glance through my email to make sure I’ve arrived on the correct day.

 

pages: 374 words: 114,600

The Quants by Scott Patterson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, automated trading system, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, index fund, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Nash: game theory, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, merger arbitrage, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sergey Aleynikov, short selling, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, statistical arbitrage, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, yield curve, éminence grise

He made the leap embedded in Bachelier’s original paper: investors are wasting their time. Mathematically, there is no way to beat the market. The Thorps of the world should put away their computers and formulas and take up a more productive profession, such as dentistry or plumbing. “It is not easy to get rich in Las Vegas, at Churchill Downs, or at the local Merrill Lynch office,” he wrote. At the time, Samuelson was becoming an éminence grise of the economic community. If he thought the market followed a random walk, that meant everyone had to get on board or have a damn good reason not to. Most agreed, including one of Samuelson’s star students, Robert Merton, one of the co-creators of the Black-Scholes option-pricing formula. Another acolyte was Burton Malkiel, who went on to write A Random Walk Down Wall Street. It was Fama, however, who connected all of the dots and put the efficient-market hypothesis on the map as a central feature of modern portfolio theory.

 

pages: 428 words: 117,419

Cyclopedia by William Fotheringham

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Berlin Wall, British Empire, carbon footprint, Fall of the Berlin Wall, intermodal, Northern Rock, éminence grise

• Water-carrier: team rider (French domestique). • Weight weenie: cyclist who is obsessed with getting his bike as light as possible without sparing his cash. • Wheelsucker: a rider who doesn’t contribute to a break or who “sits in” in the pack all day, only emerging for the final sprint. (FOR A GLOSSARY OF RACING-SPECIFIC TERMS, SEE FRENCH, THE LINGUA FRANCA OF EUROPEAN RACING) SOIGNEUR For a century, these men were the éminences grises of professional cycling, providing massage, magic remedies, and advice to the riders. There were no qualifications other than who a soigneur had worked with. They began working life as gravediggers, fishmongers, and bus drivers. Knowledge was handed down through the generations. The breed was declared extinct early in the 21st century after the most notorious, Willy Voet, published his scandalous Massacre à la Chaîne in 1999 (Breaking the Chain, Yellow Jersey, 2000), detailing the various nefarious practices these dastards got up to in order to enhance the performance of professional cyclists, some of whom had no idea what was going on.

 

pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, éminence grise

It’s easy to see why the American revolutionaries were so taken with the British attitude toward intellectual property. In almost every relevant way, they were British. The common law was as well known on the banks of the Potomac as along the Thames. Virginians signed on to seven-year apprenticeships as carpenters, millwrights, and glaziers exactly as their counterparts did in Yorkshire (sometimes an apprenticeship would begin in the latter and conclude in the former). The éminence grise of the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin, was not only a Fellow of the Royal Society but also one of the most prolific inventors of the entire eighteenth century; Thomas Jefferson, the revolution’s intellectual soul, took enough time off from his writing and architecture to design revolving bookstands, copying machines, revolving chairs, and even a new and improved moldboard plow. If those models weren’t sufficient, eighteenth-century America showed even more enthusiasm than Britain itself for the intellectual forebears of patent law.

 

pages: 514 words: 153,274

The Cobweb by Neal Stephenson, J. Frederick George

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Ayatollah Khomeini, computer age, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, illegal immigration, industrial robot, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, uranium enrichment, éminence grise

When they gave their presentations, they faced Hennessey. When one of them handed out a newly minted classified document, the author would watch Hennessey’s face as he scanned through the pages; and if Hennessey didn’t bother even to leaf through it, the author would be humiliated and defensive for the rest of the meeting. In this way, simply by doing nothing—by withholding information—Hennessey took on a certain gravity that made him into the éminence grise, the undisputed defacto leader of Millikan’s task force. The NSF guys believed that the Iraqis had been carrying out some advanced research in DNA technology, to develop a means to alter their forces’ genetic codes in such a way so that when they attacked with their chemical/biological agents (the distinction between chemical and biological was blurry in this case) only those with the genetic protection would survive.

 

pages: 543 words: 147,357

Them And Us: Politics, Greed And Inequality - Why We Need A Fair Society by Will Hutton

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Washington Consensus, working poor, éminence grise

British democracy has been painfully built up over centuries. The model is now palpably breaking down, but there is an urgent need for the things it used to do well still to be done. There was never a golden age, despite all the reverence in which British constitutional history is sometimes held.2 The press for example was always powerful; and prime ministers always courted its support. Tony Blair’s press secretary Alastair Campbell was not the first éminence grise to be feared and loathed in equal measure for his alleged dark arts: Bernard Ingham and Joe Haines performed exactly the same role (and were similarly condemned) in the 1980s and 1970s, respectively. But there was a period when cabinet government used to offer a means for the leaders of the majority party in Parliament to deliberate, argue and hold each other to account – and to coordinate and drive forward a programme of government in a collective manner.

 

pages: 421 words: 128,094

King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone by David Carey; John E. Morris; John Morris

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, diversification, diversified portfolio, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, margin call, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, risk tolerance, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Sand Hill Road, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, The Predators' Ball, éminence grise

He and his London-based counterpart, Chad Pike, who took over as coheads of real estate in 2005, had both been tutored by Schreiber from their early days at the firm. Within Blackstone, the group saw itself as having a distinct culture, based on geographic roots. Gray, a Chicagoan, and Pike, a native of Toledo, never missed a chance to point out that their team was dominated by midwesterners, beginning with Schreiber, its éminence grise, who had remained in his home Chicago all along. In the three years after Gray and Pike were put in charge of the group, they led it down a new path. Drawing on the firm’s buyout know-how, they had shifted from buying individual buildings to acquiring whole real estate companies. In two years starting in March 2004, Blackstone bought eleven public real estate investment trusts, or REITs, in the United States.

 

pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, éminence grise

I took a peek in the waste bin, and noticed several discarded toothbrush wrappers. They actually get used regularly. People coded while they shat and needed to be provided toothbrushes at work. They had my attention. Minding the time, I exited back to my conference room/torture cell and waited for my last interviewer. It turned out to be Gokul himself. At that point in time, Gokul Rajaram was a legendary éminence grise in the ad-tech world. The so-called godfather of AdSense, Google’s secondary gold mine after AdWords, Gokul was a constant presence on the conference circuit, and an omnipresent adviser or investor in just about every advertising technology company worth talking about. He too had come to Facebook via a small acqui-hire, though really that had been just a career breather between his time at Google and his hiring at Facebook.

 

pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

Bell did not intend to be a pioneer in recording his life. Indeed, he stumbled into it. It started with a simple desire: He wanted to get rid of stacks of paper. Bell has a storied history; in his twenties, he designed computers, back when they were the size of refrigerators, with spinning hard disks the size of tires. He quickly became wealthy, quit his job to become a serial investor, and then in the 1990s was hired by Microsoft as an éminence grise, tasked with doing something vaguely futuristic—whatever he wanted, really. By that time, Bell was old enough to have amassed four filing cabinets crammed with personal archives, ranging from programming memos to handwritten letters from his kid and weird paraphernalia like a “robot driver’s license.” He was sick of lugging it around, so in 1997 he bought a scanner to see if he could go paperless.

 

pages: 403 words: 125,659

It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, éminence grise

He had lost Kibaki's ear, and would now answer to a minister who had made his position on Anglo Leasing abundantly clear. There was a shocked silence. John looked at Lisa Karanja. ‘Well, that's it, then.’ ‘They have won,’ said his secretary simply. Immediately, John's mobile started buzzing with incoming text messages – some faux-sincere, some sardonic, others genuinely sympathetic – ‘congratulating’ him on his demotion. One call was from Charles Njonjo, former attorney general, once Moi's éminence grise, a man who knew what it was to fall from favour. His message was stiletto-sharp. ‘You ARE going to resign, aren't you?’ Another call was from John's brother Mugo. ‘Have you been moved?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Then you need to resign.’ There seemed no reason now to remain in State House, so the team decamped to John's place. That evening, old friends from his civil society days turned up to commiserate and the get-together turned into a spontaneous party.

 

pages: 525 words: 131,496

Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence by Jonathan Haslam

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, falling living standards, John von Neumann, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, éminence grise

Moreover, Nosenko was privy to Gribanov’s most intimate secrets, including the fact that he lived with a female operative by the name of Churaeva, who worked for the First Main Directorate. Gribanov should have known of Nosenko’s planned defection, but if he did, he certainly took no action to forestall it and, according to Viktor Martynov, who was leading the investigation, subsequently attempted to cover everything up. The fact that Gribanov was a protégé of the ideologue Mikhail Suslov, éminence grise of the Soviet régime, made matters all the more difficult. Finally, not only was Gribanov sacked, he was also removed from the Party Central Committee for “political duplicity,” a most unusual occurrence within the organs.91 Gribanov was then excluded from the Party entirely, in August 1965, and took to writing spy fiction as a sideline under a pseudonym; his first best seller, The Secret Agent’s Blunder, was turned into a very popular film in 1968.92 Serov should perhaps have spent less time in the gym.

 

pages: 612 words: 181,985

Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, experimental subject, operation paperclip, Ronald Reagan, V2 rocket, éminence grise

The newspaper is not identified, only referred to in one of Ambros’s letters. “The whole affair”: Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Dr. Otto Ambros file, B 162; the letters are both dated April 25, 1964. “how I behaved during the Reich”: Ibid. W. R. Grace: correspondence with Ambros’s former colleague (from the 1950s) Michael Howard, 2012. Ambros was “always the most intelligent of those with whom he consorted,” recalls Howard. “Ambros was a puppet master, the éminence grise.” “Dr. Ambros had contacts”: Memorandum for the president, from James W. Nance, the White House, Washington, D.C., March 23, 1982 (FOIA). Even the president: Ibid.; Letter to Congressman Tom Landon from James W. Nance, the White House, Washington, D.C., April 13, 1982 (FOIA). “It involved Jews”: Hilberg, 1089. “to all the doctors and dentists”: Bundesarchiv Ludwigsburg, Dr. Kurt Blome file, B 162/28667.

 

pages: 778 words: 227,196

The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, Copley Medal, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Etonian, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Harrison: Longitude, music of the spheres, placebo effect, polynesian navigation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade route, unbiased observer, University of East Anglia, éminence grise

These were all part of the great journey.♣ It is also held together by, as a kind of chorus figure or guide, a scientific Virgil. It is no coincidence that he began his career a young and naïve scientific traveller, an adventurer and secret journal-keeper. However, he ended it as the longest-serving, most experienced and most domineering President of the Royal Society: the botanist, diplomat and éminence grise Sir Joseph Banks. As a young man Banks sailed with Captain Cook round the world, setting out in 1768 on that perilous three-year voyage into the unknown. This voyage may count as one of the earliest distinctive exploits of Romantic science, not least because it involved a long stay in a beautiful but ambiguous version of Paradise-Otaheite, or the South Pacific island of Tahiti. * * * ♣ The fine survey by Lisa Jardine, Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution (1999), gives a vivid picture of the leading figures in the seventeenth-century scientific revolution across Europe, and includes a significant introductory essay on the emerging role of science in modern society.

 

pages: 564 words: 182,946

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989 by Frederick Taylor

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, German hyperinflation, land reform, mutually assured destruction, oil shock, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, the market place, young professional, éminence grise

One wrong move, and the world could face the most serious threat to peace since the Korean crisis. Kennedy was acutely aware of this danger. He wanted to avoid the risks inherent both in hardline nuclear missile-rattling on the one hand and a weak-seeming negotiations-at-all-costs stance on the other. This opened him up to criticism from all sides. Former Truman-era Secretary ON 132 / THE BERLIN WALL of State and the administration’s unofficial foreign-policy éminence grise, Dean Acheson, who was more of the missile-rattling party, had tried to push Kennedy in a more aggressive direction. While Kennedy indulged in seemingly endless consultations and discussions, Acheson grumbled privately that ‘the nation is without leadership’2. In the end, Kennedy’s television speech on 25 July was a skilled example of the President’s ability to give something to both parties.

 

pages: 851 words: 247,711

The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise

Later, as the cause became more desperate, there was a similar attempt at suicide-bombings, and various girls would again be nominated to pretend to be pregnant, and then blow themselves up against a state target. These were not in fact successful - the girls lost their nerve, blew themselves up in the wrong place, or simply could not go along with it. Of a dozen suicide bombings, only two succeeded. There had been a moment, in the early 1990s, when Turgut Özal appeared to be suggesting some sort of Turkish-Kurdish confederal arrangement and there was even a long wrangle in the cabinet, when the éminence grise of Turkish politics, Kamran İnan, himself of prominent Kurdish origin (he was related to the Bucaks), argued the cause. Özal’s suggestion, if in fact it was seriously advanced, was very unpopular. But it would have been a good thing. For Turks, and great numbers of Kurds, the answer was assimilation in Turkey. This was very far from senseless, but the bad feeling that had developed since the 1960s was difficult to overcome.

 

pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, éminence grise

At meetings with the Department of Defense, the physicists insisted that the Russians, through their just-revealed American spy nest of Fuchs, Gold, Greenglass, and the Rosenbergs, would soon achieve atomic dominance if things did not change immediately. They were so convincing that the air force warned the AEC that if the agency didn’t accede to Teller and Lawrence’s plan, the USAF would build its own weapons lab, regardless of the civilian mandate. After being expelled from the paradises of prewar Budapest and Weimar Berlin, the once-shy foreign émigrés with then-comical-to-American-ears glottal accents were now éminences grises, invited into the private chambers of Washington to consult with the most powerful men on earth. Attending Pentagon advisory boards and AEC committees, or making appearances before Congress and writing memos to the White House, Fermi, Szilard, Teller, and von Neumann had all achieved a remarkable version of the American dream. Men long famous for being solitary eccentrics now learned to mount political campaigns, and the intersection of science, business, and government pioneered by Marie Curie reached a new pinnacle under the rise of Eisenhower’s noted military-industrial complex and Lawrence’s big science.

 

pages: 708 words: 176,708

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by Wikileaks

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, éminence grise

See Mona Mahmood, Maggie O’Kane, Chavala Madlena, and Teresa Smith, “Revealed: Pentagon’s Link to Iraqi Torture Centres,” Guardian, March 6, 2013. 103Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” December 3, 2014, at intelligence.senate.gov. 104Guantánamo Detainee US9GZ-010016DP: Abu Zubaydah. 105Reed Brody, “Prisoners Who Disappear,” International Herald Tribune, October 12, 2004. 106Sam Masters, “CIA Torture Report: The Doctors Who Were the Unlikely Architects of the CIA’s Programme,” Independent, December 9, 2014. 107“Former CIA Director: ‘We Don’t Torture People,’” CBS News, December 9, 2014. 108https://wikileaks.org/wiki/CIA_logbook_of_Congressional_ member_torture_briefings,_2009. 109Scott Shane, “Political Divide About CIA Torture Remains After Senate Report’s Release,” New York Times, December 9, 2014. 110“Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President,” US Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, August 1, 2002, available at resourcelists.ed.ac.uk. 111Carl Schmitt, the German legal scholar and prominent Nazi, was cited by constitutional law professor Sanford Levinson as the “true éminence grise” of the Bush administration. Quoted in Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (London: Penguin, 2007). 112“White Paper on the Law of Torture and Holding Accountable Those Who Are Complicit in Approving Torture of Persons in US Custody,” National Lawyers Guild, at prisonlegalnews.org. 113McCoy, A Question of Torture, p. 113. 114Steven Donald Smith, “Guantánamo Detainees Being Held Legally, Official Says,” American Forces Press Service, February 15, 2006, at defense.gov. 115Lars Erik Aspaas, “The Power of Definition: How the Bush Administration Created ‘Enemy Combatants’ and Redefined Presidential Power and Torture,” University of Oslo, MA thesis, Spring 2009, available at duo.uio.no. 116Peter Forster, “CIA Tortured Terror Suspects ‘to Point of Death,’ US Senate Report Will Say: Source,” National Post, September 8, 2014. 117Anthony D’Amato, “True Confessions?

 

pages: 554 words: 168,114

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, bonus culture, corporate governance, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, fear of failure, forensic accounting, index fund, interest rate swap, kremlinology, LNG terminal, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, passive investing, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, price stability, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, transaction costs, transfer pricing, éminence grise

“There’s a massive injunction which even covers myself not to speak.” Some within BP speculated that an agent employed by the oligarchs, BP’s estranged Russian partners, had led Chevalier to Associated Newspapers in a plot to destroy Browne, but there was no evidence for that conspiracy theory. Others were convinced that Peter Sutherland and Roddy Kennedy, BP’s influential head of media relations and an éminence grise, found Browne’s sexual behavior offensive to their Irish Catholicism. Neither man appeared willing to offer support after Browne’s vulnerability was amplified in February 2007, when Wall Street and the City of London had been spooked by his admission that BP would miss its five-year production targets. The “Sun King’s” shine had evaporated. Despite Browne having clawed BP back from the dark days, its shares had risen just 4.5 percent, compared to 15 percent by Shell and 36 percent by Exxon.

 

pages: 1,294 words: 210,361

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Barry Marshall: ulcers, conceptual framework, discovery of penicillin, experimental subject, iterative process, life extension, Louis Pasteur, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, New Journalism, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, scientific mainstream, Silicon Valley, social web, statistical model, stem cell, women in the workforce, éminence grise

And critics such as Little might well have complained that this experiment was akin to distilling an orange to a millionth of a million parts and then inferring, madly, that the original fruit was too poisonous to eat. Epidemiology, like the old man in Hill’s fairy story, was thus itself huffing against the stifling economy of Koch’s postulates. The classical triad—association, isolation, retransmission—would simply not suffice; what preventive medicine needed was its own understanding of “cause.” Once again, Bradford Hill, the éminence grise of epidemiology, proposed a solution to this impasse. For studies on chronic and complex human diseases such as cancer, Hill suggested, the traditional understanding of causality needed to be broadened and revised. If lung cancer would not fit into Koch’s straitjacket, then the jacket needed to be loosened. Hill acknowledged epidemiology’s infernal methodological struggle with causation—this was not an experimental discipline at its core—but he rose beyond it.

 

pages: 1,016 words: 283,960

Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World by Nir Rosen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Ayatollah Khomeini, failed state, glass ceiling, Google Earth, unemployed young men, urban sprawl, éminence grise

Jaafari presented himself as a great theoretician. Maliki wasn’t a real leader. He was doing intelligence and jihadi operations in Iraq, out of Damascus: killings of officers at the border, throwing a grenade here, overseeing the militants. Low-level resistance work, so you have to report to Syrian intelligence, and he was resentful of that.” Maliki became premier with the understanding that Jaafari would be the éminence grise, a first among equals. He didn’t think much of Maliki. “Jaafari belittled these people,” the insider said. “He thought of himself like Lenin, that he had all the makings of a historic leader.” This showed when Jaafari ran for Parliament in the 2010 election campaign, especially when he slightly modified a quote of Imam Hussein as he set off to fight Yazid and used it to compare himself to the great Shiite leader.

 

pages: 945 words: 292,893

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

clean water, Colonization of Mars, Danny Hillis, double helix, epigenetics, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, kremlinology, Kuiper Belt, microbiome, phenotype, Potemkin village, pre–internet, random walk, remote working, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, the scientific method, Tunguska event, zero day, éminence grise

But when the sky turns white and the Hard Rain begins to fall, the Cloud Ark needs to have a viable program for making things out of asteroids or else there is no way people are going to stay alive up here for thousands of years.” “I have your back, Dinah,” said Sparky, “for what that is worth.” And his eyes strayed in the direction of the door through which the president had exited. AT A+0, THE TWELVE-PERSON CREW OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE Station had included only a single Russian: Lieutenant Colonel Fyodor Antonovich Panteleimon, a fifty-five-year-old veteran of six missions and eighteen space walks, the éminence grise of the cosmonaut corps. This was unusual. In the early years, out of the ISS’s usual crew of six, at least two had normally been cosmonauts. The addition of Project Amalthea and of the torus had expanded the station’s maximum capacity to fourteen, and the number of Russians had typically varied between two and five. The moon had disintegrated only two weeks before Ivy, Konrad, and Lina had been scheduled to return home, to be replaced by two more Russians and a British engineer.

 

pages: 965 words: 267,053

A History of Zionism by Walter Laqueur

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, new economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, strikebreaker, the market place, éminence grise

He never pressed the point very strongly, but the mere suspicion of such lack of patriotism was sufficient to make him a target for the extremists. With these and other murders, the few hopes for a Zionist-Arab dialogue were buried and the stage set for a direct military confrontation. The few Jews who devoted so much thought and effort to relations with their Arab neighbours were a source of bewilderment and irritation to their less self-conscious brethren. Berl Katznelson, who was both the conscience and éminence grise of the Zionist labour movement, relates how shocked he was to discover that the question which preoccupied German halutzim was not the plight of their brothers left behind, not the Jews facing extinction in Hitler’s expanding Reich, but the problem of the Arab workers. Was it right to insist on Jewish labour, they asked, after having set foot on Palestinian soil? Such atrophy of the will to live, such negation of the right to existence of the Jewish people by its own sons and daughters, was monstrous to men like Katznelson.