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Yes, critics also appreciate a little sympathy every now and then

From Megan McArdle in a different debate:
The rest of her post puts me in mind of the phenomenon that William Easterly has described in development circles:  the recycling of ideas that have failed before, always unveiled with much fanfare, but no real explanation as to why this time is different.  Frankly, it makes me understand why Easterly sometimes gets a little testy.

We interrupt this diatribe for a brief kindly announcement

There’s been a lot to get outraged about on Aid Watch this week. World Bank leader calls for democratizing research while censoring research. USAID and NGOs urge transparency while egregiously non-transparent. Critics criticize our criticism of FAO hunger numbers that turn out to be even worse than we first suggested.
Our strongest supporters correctly point out that excessively bland and polite statements have little effect on the debate compared to outrage, and outrage is often justified.

Turning over Aid Watch management for a week

Dear Aid Watchers,
Both Laura and I are away for a week starting today.
I am cutting off the Internet entirely for a week in a bid to regain my sanity, so anything addressed to me in any Net medium (email, Twitter, Facebook, blog comments) I will not see for a week.
In the absence of Laura and I, DRI post-doc Adam Martin has generously agreed to take over as Guest Editor for a week, beginning with this morning’s post about what we can learn from city plans based on shapes of zoo animals.
See you after Labor Day! Bill

Aid Watch addresses an unexpected embarrassing problem

We’ve noticed a strange phenomenon on Aid Watch: our April 10, 2010 post Famine Africa stereotype porn shows no letup has also shown the least letup of any of our posts, showing up with traffic day after day. It is now the fourth most popular post of all time on Aid Watch. I was rather slow to figure out what was going on, which just shows what being raised as a Methodist in squeaky-clean rural Ohio can do to you.

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