Tuesday, July 3


Some interesting things I've been looking at that you can kill some time with:

  • In The New York Times, Niall Ferguson reviews Paul Collier's new book, The Bottom Billion. Following Jeff Sachs and Bill Easterly, Oxford's Collier is the latest development economist offering a book to tackle the question of global poverty. Ferguson finds Collier's analysis more nuanced and believable than that of Sachs or Easterly, and judging from what I've heard of the argument, I'll probably agree. Though hearing it from Ferguson doesn't necessarily make me more sympathetic, particular when the empire-praising Ferguson lauds Collier's proposals for long-term peace building operations/occupations.
  • In Fast Company, Charles Fishman provides a thorough and fascinating examination of the bottled-water industry. While taking a critical look at the bottled-water companies, he points out that the boom is less a product of glossy advertising than a genuine, if perhaps irrational, popular demand for bottled water. The article focuses on the US where, unlike many other places, the stuff that comes out of the tap is perfectly healthy (outside of DC at least).
  • Robert Reich praises the very sensible proposal (advanced by Yale's Bruce Ackerman) to require all campaign contributions to go into a blind trust.
  • At least 112 people were killed in Kenya in violence related to the Mungiki gang: Mungiki members killed 39 people, including 11 policemen, and policemen killed 73 supposed members of Mungiki, at least some of whom probably were. Luckily, the violence is generally confined to slums and other poor areas, and has done little to disrupt my comfortable lifestyle.
  • In Open Democracy, Tarek Osman looks at some of the social and political challenges facing Egypt.
  • In Slate, William Saletan provides his latest look at fascinating scientific studies. Particularly interesting is the finding that Muslim women in UAE who cover their whole bodies suffer from vitamin-D deficiency, due to lack of exposure to sunlight.

No comments: