On Cities and my Continued Education

A wonderful side-effect of blogging is that readers help you with your education. Long-time readers know of my obsession with urbanization as an instrument of development. So whenever an article on the importance of cities and urbanization appears in the popular media, I get a dozen emails from people telling me about it. One such piece is the NY Times magazine Dec 17th piece “A Physicist Solves the City” by Jonah Lehrer about Geoffrey West. Thanks to all who send me stuff to read and I sincerely appreciate your help with my continued education. Urbanization and cities matter to me, and so does my education.

Wikileaks is good for the Third World

The other day a friend asked me, “I have often heard about India being a third-world country. What exactly is the third world?” It struck me that most of us are ignorant about what that exactly means. I said to my friend that “third world” was an euphemism for “desperately poor extremely underdeveloped starving nations utterly misgoverned by unimaginably corrupt kleptocrats.”[1] And, I added, as a consequence, the third world is a world of human-created misery.
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Wikileaks Will Make The World A Safer Place

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WikiLeaksJonathan Swift, author of the English classic Gulliver’s Travels (1726), had pithily observed that “when a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” I would be going over the top to pass Julian Assange on that genius test but seeing the army of powerful people and institutions arrayed against him, I am getting more convinced that Wikileaks has changed the world in ways that are only dimly understood today. I am careful to distinguish between the man and the institution since confusing the two can lead to the unfortunate mistake of shooting the messenger for delivering an unpalatable message.
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