Tuesday morning links: Digital virgins, lost generation, brains on endorsements

BUSINESS
European Commission targets ‘digital virgins’
blogs.wsj.com– Europe’s broadband penetration rate is still only 25%, 30% of Europeans have never used the Web, and only 1% of Europeans have ever used a fiberoptic connection.
Why we shouldn’t subsidize construction
Reuters– The main way that Spaniards have become rich in recent years is by sitting back and watching the value of their real estate grow exponentially.
Gary Vanyerchuk’s wine and social-media empire
newyorker.com– A relationship with Gary V means an ironclad guarantee that he’ll reply to your e-mail within four months, with at least a “thnx” or a “mwaa!”
Luxury shopping is making a comeback
slate.com– Just in time for the premiere of Sex and the City 2, there are signs that the orgy of luxury shopping that made the latter years of the credit bubble so much fun are back.

FINANCE & ECONOMICS
The electoral consequences of large fiscal adjustments
Voxeu– It is possible for fiscally responsible governments to engage in large fiscal adjustments and survive politically.
Two million idle Italian youngsters run risk of becoming ‘lost generation’
The Guardian– On the day Rome launched a desperate package of cuts to trim its debt and avoid the meltdown suffered by neighbour Greece, figures showed that two million young Italians are now drifting, neither studying nor working.
Spain is trapped in a ‘perverse spiral’ as wage cuts deepen the crisis
telegraph.co.uk– Spain’s unemployment was already 20.5pc even before this latest dose of shock therapy. There are 4.6m people without work. Dole payments alone account for half the budget deficit.

MATTER OF SCIENCE
Scientist infects himself with computer virus
news.cnet.com– A senior research fellow in the U.K. says he has become the first person in the world to be infected by a computer virus.
People with Asperger’s less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives
scientificamerican.com– Why do we often attribute events in our lives to a higher power or supernatural force? Some psychologists believe this kind of thinking, called teleological thinking, is a byproduct of social cognition.
Who needs time zones?
tnr.com– One economic study on television schedules suggests that our sleeping patterns are affected far more by our need to synch up with other time zones than by when the sun rises and sets.
Celebrity product endorsements on the brain
miller-mccune.com– Brain-scan research suggests celebrity faces evoke specific happy memories, and those positive feelings rub off on the products they endorse.

THE REST
Why England will win big before reverting to type and losing on penalties
football.fanhouse.co.uk– England will probably score first: in big games in World Cups they get almost all their goals in the first half, after which they typically recreate the retreat from Dunkirk.
Zoopolitics
foreignpolicy.com– How caged animals became a tool of statecraft.
Worker suicides have electronics maker uneasy in China
spiegel.de– Whether the sheer magnitude of the factory overwhelms the workers’ psyches is not a question Foxconn managers are prepared to answer. Size, after all, guarantees low overhead and high profits.

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