Thursday, May 25, 2006

Instilling capability is critical
for the health of nations

One very practical employment of progressive thinking is to support progressive tendencies among very influential conservatives and otherwise try to influence the thinking of those who seem open minded (as well as working for open-mindedness among those who aren't). So, I frequently respond to David Brooks' columns, a very likeable guy (who early on, at his move to The New York Times, honored me with on-camera response to a query about his thinking [which is no longer available to link to]—but that's not why I respond to him).

What follows is my response to his fascinating (as newspapering goes) column today, "Of Love and Money," (now with an added link—and a follow-up to that at the end here, re: my longstanding interest in the work of Annette Laueau’s Unequal Childhoods, which I pursued at some length a couple of months later):

Sunday, May 21, 2006

poverty reduction & environmental health
need each other

Jeffrey D. Sachs and Walter V. Reid, in a short Science "Policy Forum" article, "Investments Toward Sustainable Development," write:
"Sustainable development, meaning economic growth that is environmentally sound, is a practical necessity. Environmental goals cannot be achieved without development. Poor people will circumvent environmental restrictions in their desperation for land, food, and sustenance. Nor can development goals be achieved and sustained without sound environmental management. Environmental catastrophes will undermine economic life, whether in New Orleans or Nigeria. Therefore, investing in poverty reduction is crucial for environmental policy, while investing in the environment is vital for successful poverty reduction [See figure in the 1-page article]. Yet the world underinvests in both, and rich-country and poor-country governments overlook the policy links between poverty reduction and the environment...."
Science, May 19, 2006 (312:5776, p.1002) 

J. D. Sachs is director of the U.N. Millennium Project and director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. W. V. Reid was director of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and is with the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

unbearable lightness of being there

vanity fair of self-validating media, episode #491480056

The May 16 BBC interview of Guy Goma—computer tech job applicant from Congo, mistaken for guest expert on the recent Apple, Inc/Apple Corp antitrust case...

...—gets a proper profundity from John Tierney in today's New York Times, making the event allegorical of normal political spinning. (Begin reading at his 5th paragraph: "Hearing his introduction....")