Geek humor: Instructables’ log of word spelling variants (for spell checking) is kept in a file called “misspeledwords.log”
His musings in the Nation are good reading. An excerpt:
Far be it from me to question the desire of Vietnamese to share our globalized consumer culture like everyone else, or to reject their aspiration to be the next Asian Tiger, or freeze them in memory as icons of selfless revolutionaries. Gentrification and consumerism, after all, have destroyed the character of my favorite American haunts, like North Beach, Berkeley, Venice and Aspen. It seems the way of the world. As I walked through the busy Christmas streets, however, I was gripped by the question of why the Vietnam War was necessary in the first place. Why kill, maim and uproot millions of Vietnamese if the outcome was a consumer wonderland approved by the country’s still-undefeated Communist Party? The whole wretched American rationale for the war, that Vietnam was a dangerous domino, a pawn in the cold war, seemed so painfully wrong. Was there any connection between destroying so much life and causing the Vietnamese to go Christmas shopping? Would the same outcome–a one-party socialist government leading a market economy–have occurred in any event, without the destruction? Now that US naval ships were paying peaceful visits to Da Nang, this question nagged at me: is it possible that Marxism and nationalism won the war but capitalism and nationalism have won the peace?
Here’s a great audio interview with Lyn, the matriarch and organizing force behind HEAL Africa, and a lovely woman. Hearing her voice makes me miss Goma.
The old record of 29.4% was set in 1984. The new one is 31.25%.
A very False Profit topic will be discussed at this week’s “Journal Club”: the idea that capitalist patterns can somehow be applied to eliminating poverty at a higher rate than capitalism in its current incarnation. It starts in about fifteen minutes; I’ll post notes here, later. For now, here are links to our required reading:
- An essay by Muhammed Yunus
- Bill Gates’ speech at Davos (or, watch it on Youtube)
- there’s also a William Easterly critique of the Bill Gates speech that I’ll link to, soon
Update: I may or may not be able to write more about this. David Grosof, our extremely overeducated presenter, rattled off ideas and manged discussion at a rate that I didn’t even try to capture in note form. Most likely, interested parties will have to catch me in person to start up the discusison. I’ve included his initial prompt for discussion, after the jump.