USAID

Technology history don’t lie

Yours truly has a crazy new article in the latest issue of Foreign Policy on why no-tech ancient civilizations still can’t catch up, based on my published research with Diego Comin and Erick Gong. But all is not doom and gloom, you just have to learn the right lessons from technology history:

How Sweden is off-track on the Millennium Development Goals

…and other mysteries, all explained by data guru Hans Rosling in this don’t-miss Ted talk:

Columbus Day: Christopher as a typical Entrepreneur case study

America was discovered accidentally by a great seaman who was looking for something else; when discovered it was not wanted; and most of the exploration for the next fifty years was done in the hope of getting through or around it. America was named after a man who discovered no part of the New World. History is like that, very chancy.
from Samuel Eliot Morison

Hey UN Peacekeepers–Congo, we need to talk

Vivek Nemana is a graduate student in economics at New York University and works for DRI.

And now going for the Aid Watch record on global charity cluelessness…

Aid Watch received the following tidbit from a trusted source. It was posted on a community list-serve:
Does anyone have any old men’s size  8.5-9.0 sneakers they would like to get rid of? Like, lawnmowing sneakers, that sort of thing?  I’m running a mud race on Sunday and at the end the muddy destroyed sneakers will be donated to Green Sneakers, a non-profit that recycles old sneakers and donates them to people in need around the world. If you have a decent pair that can withstand a mud run, I’d be happy to take them off your hands.

Can we get the World Bank to say the D- word?

UPDATE 10/12 1PM: we have a winner! (see end of post)
UPDATE: No winnners yet, see end of post.
Following last Friday’s post on the New Yorker profile of Justin Lin, I had this email exchange with the World Bank media officer David Theis, who kindly responded promptly to my inquiries.
Original Inquiry Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 11:30 AM:
David Theis
Media Chief, World Bank

In memoriam, Linda Norgrove, humanitarian in Afghanistan

The New York Times reports:
A Scottish aid worker who was taken hostage two weeks ago by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan was killed by her captors early Saturday during an unsuccessful rescue raid, according to the British Foreign Office.

Our China who art in heaven, hallowed be thy growth rate

UPDATE 4: thanks to all the critics on this post, too bad I couldnt get Chinese censoring technology to work:)
UPDATE 3: 9:30am Sat 10/9: links to Nobel Peace Prize and Charter ’08
UPDATE 2: 1:30pm. New Yorker writer Evan Osnos generously replies to my criticisms (see end of post)
SCOREBOAD UPDATE 10 AM 10/8: understanding key to China’s future development: Nobel Committee 1, New Yorker 0; Liu Xiaobo 1, Justin Lin, 0.
A writer in the New Yorker has an article fawning all over China’s rulers and Chinese economist Justin Lin (currently the Chief Economist of the World Bank).

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