Born 1401 as Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, “Masaccio” (his nickname) was regarded as the first great Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, he was the best painter of his generation. The first painter in the Renaissance who really understood linear perspective. He died age only 26, in 1428. “Masaccio,” said Leonardo da Vinci, “showed by perfect works that those who are led by any guide except Nature, the supreme mistress, are consumed in sterile toil.”
There’s been lots of talk in the media about Trump’s trade war with China. One aspect about it that I find interesting is that I never see any talk, in this context, about the fact that China is a Communist country – a Communist country that seems to be a major economic threat to the USA, the world’s leading Capitalist country. Didn’t the West win the Cold War? So over the next few episodes we’re going to be trying to understand what’s going on with China’s economy. Are they Communists? Capitalist? Or something different entirely?
This week on TPN:
On our podcasts this week we talked about the impact of the US bond market’s “inverted yield curve”; how the USA imposed “freedom” on South Korea; the influence of Fra Angelico and Pope Nicholas V on the early Renaissance; all of the horrible things Tiberius did in his sex palace and the bloody purge he carried out in Rome; and how the “Propaganda Model” works in the internet age.
We go into more detail about Tiberius’ sex palace than you ever wanted or needed to know. Honestly, you’ll probably regret listening to this episode. Maybe skip this one if you have a sensitive disposition. Who am I kidding? We weeded out the pussies a long time ago. With Sejanus gone, and his betrayal having cut Tiberius to the core, he goes on a massive purge that terrifies Rome for several years.
The plan this week was to interview Alan MacLeod about his new excellent book “Propaganda in the Information Age” but he missed the call, so we talked about it without him instead. We’ll get him on next week for a follow up. The book is an internet-era update on Herman and Chomsky’s 1988 classic “Manufacturing Consent”, and the new book opens with an interview Alan did with Noam recently. I recommend reading both the original and the new book if you want to better understand how corporate propaganda works in Western democracies. On this episode we talk about the Chomsky & Herman’s “five filters” and I break down a few recent stories in the US media.
This week on TPN:
On our podcasts this week we talked about the rise of Kim Il Sung in North Korea, the first Renaissance man, the Aussie economy and whether or not the value of the dollar is closely related to a coming economic collapse.
Meanwhile in the North, the Soviets chose Kim Il Sung to be their hand-picked President. Unlike Rhee, who had spent most of the last 35 years of Japanese occupation chilling in Hawaii, Kim had spent his life fighting the Japanese occupation, first as a guerrilla, then as a Major in the Soviet Red Army. But the actual architect of the North Korean state was Soviet General Terentii Shtykov.
Tony dials in from Ireland this week and brings me up to date on his visits to whisky distilleries in Scotland and his out-of-body experience playing the Old Course at St Andrews. We also talk a little about investing and he how he feels like “I’ve seen this show before”, meaning the current bull run hype. We discuss how our dummy portfolio is going (mostly in the green except for Myer) and for our QAV Club members, we have a discussion about Mortgage Choice (MOC).