- Paul Collier reviews Acemoglu & Robinson’s new book “Why Nations Fail”. Very interesting (and firm) prediction about China: “That states need order to prosper is important but no longer controversial. That they need inclusive institutions is, in view of China’s success, wildly controversial. Their argument is that order without inclusive institutions may enable an economy to escape poverty, but will not permit the full ascent to modern prosperity“
- Private schools for the poor - interesting article from the Economist
- Top 100 best NGO’s - in case you wanted to know…
- Wisdom from Calvin and Hobbes
- 50 most influential books of the last 50 years - useful link to have
- NYT article (22 March) on Cape Town’s racial divide
- M&G article (23 March) on Stellenbosch University and discrimination.
- Latest installment (Business Day 19 March) on the Adcorp vs UCT econometricians debate…as well as a detailed response by the UCT guys. You can tell Martin and Andrew had fun writing this with sections titled “Science and Sales”, “Rigor and Rot”, “Openness and obfuscation”, “Models and Moonshine”, and “Errors of differences and indifference to errors” – Adcorp it seems you picked the wrong econometricians to mess with…just saying.
- Cool music by Ben Howard, the Kongos,
Calvin and Hobbes on the gaping hole in contemporary art’s soul:
Calvin: People always make the mistake of thinking art is created for them. But really, art is a private language for sophisticates to congratulate themselves on their superiority to the rest of the world. As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.
- “When you don’t have resources, you become resourceful.”
- As the Bible notes, added Schleicher, “Moses arduously led the Jews for 40 years through the desert — just to bring them to the only country in the Middle East that had no oil. But Moses may have gotten it right, after all. Today, Israel has one of the most innovative economies, and its population enjoys a standard of living most of the oil-rich countries in the region are not able to offer.”
- World Bank’s lead economist for South Africa writes an interesting article on low cost private schools in SA. Intelligent, informed and interesting article asking questions that need to be asked…(also see this FT article on private schools in SA)
- Equal Education takes Minister of Education to court in an effort to force the Department to establish minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure (MG article). There are many ways to skin a cat – let’s see how this one turns out.
- Vavi tells teachers to buckle down and change the status quo, albeit in rhetoric of the revolution (can’t we get passed this?)…some interesting stats but not sure what he really wants here.
- Alain de Botton TED talk A kinder,gentler philosophy of success “One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They’re sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything from the television to advertising to marketing, etcetera. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves. What I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but that we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.”
- Paul Graham on writing