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employee ownership

Reinventing the Firm - "drawing on Ronald Coase, a firm is a political response to an economic problem: managerial power and hierarchy is one efficient way of dealing with the uncertainties attached to the employment relationship. But this doesn't prevent us from considering alternative political settlements, that are potentially more democratic and more productive." also see: Clay Shirky, Ronald Coase and, err, me (previously 1|2|3 via mm & ev) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 16, 2009 - 6 comments

The Loss of Human Scale: Old Hong Kong vs New Hong Kong

For the last two years, Flickr user HK Man has been collecting old photos of Hong Kong, finding the exact spots at which they were taken, and taking them again. The result, from his first photo of Victoria Harbor to a more recent one of Nathan Road, comprises a chronicle of Hong Kong's unrestrained vertical development over the past few decades. In a similar vein, Gwulo is a community site for "for everyone that is interested in old Hong Kong" and includes photos, mysteries, and discussions -- such as this one about old Kai Tak Airport. [more inside]
posted by milquetoast on Aug 30, 2009 - 28 comments

growth theory

The New Kaldor Facts: Ideas, Institutions, Population, and Human Capital [pdf] - "For now, we think that progress is likely to be most rapid if we follow the example of the neoclassical model and treat institutions the way the neoclassical model treated technology... Further out on the horizon, one may hope for a successful conclusion to the ongoing hunt for a simple model [1] of institutional evolution. Combining that with the unified approach to growth outlined here would surely constitute the economics equivalent of a grand unified theory..." [2, viz. previously] This might, as it were, be a subset of collective cognition (or, possibly, autism [3]).
posted by kliuless on Jul 14, 2009 - 9 comments

The Squares of the City

Paul Romer: A Theory of History, with an Application - "His economic theory of history explains phenomena such as the constant improvement of the human standard of living by looking primarily at just two forms of innovative ideas: technology and rules." (previously, via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 3, 2009 - 11 comments

The Success of Development

Innovation, Ideas and the Global Standard of Living by Charles Kenny: "The Success of Development acts like a sword through many of the Gordian knots plaguing the development community, especially those surrounding the rate of economic growth in many developing countries. Put that question to one side, says Kenny, and suddenly a lot of much more interesting questions, about issues like education and healthcare and clean water and human rights, come into a lot more focus. And if you use those metrics, rather than GDP growth, to judge the success or failure of developing countries, then things look rather more optimistic than you might think." (pdf) Glenn Hubbard's review, cf. Technological Creativity and Economic Progress [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 25, 2009 - 2 comments

Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong

Prelude to Federation - Like a neocolonial SEZ (or TAZ) Paul Romer, not to be confused with David, posits "less developed countries contract with capitalist nations to set up Hong Kong's for them... that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe import administrative control); rethink citizenship (support residency, but maybe import voice in political affairs); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on cities—on city states like Hong Kong and Singapore)." cf. neocameralism [1, 2, 3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 21, 2009 - 16 comments

Daewoo to Buy Madagascar

Korea blog the Marmot's Hole reports on the crisis in Madagascar: Madagascar’s defense minister has resigned after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters Saturday (in late January), killing 28. More than 100 have been killed since anti-government protests began two weeks ago. And what may have been the impetus for the protests? The final straw for many was the mooted plan to lease one million acres in the south of the country to the Korean firm Daewoo for intensive farming. Malagasy people have deep ties with their land and this was seen by many as a betrayal by their president. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 15, 2009 - 18 comments

Why Does Hollywood Hate the Suburbs?

In defense of suburbs: "Revolutionary Road," based on Richard Yates's 1961 novel of the same name, is the latest entry in a long stream of art that portrays the American suburbs as the physical correlative to spiritual and mental death.
posted by kliuless on Dec 29, 2008 - 172 comments

Fixing the world on $2/day

Amy Smith and MIT's D-lab apply engineering principles to real-world problems that affect the world's poorest residents. She organizes an annual conference. Hear her talk at TED. Previously
posted by lalochezia on Nov 2, 2008 - 4 comments

Why is Paul McKee ruining the north side?

Blairmont: The Final Dose. Yesterday Rob Powers of Built St. Louis (prev.) completed a 189-post tour of the North St. Louis properties bought and left to ruin by developer Paul McKee's Blairmont Associates LLC. Residents trying to rebuild in this area have had to deal with nearby Blairmont properties catching fire, collapsing due to brick rustlers, and obstructing their efforts to improve their own homes. Four years this has been going on and still nobody knows what McKee is up to. Much more information at Ecology of Absence.
posted by tss on Sep 24, 2008 - 15 comments

A whole new China

A couple recent documentaries have accurately shown how China is changing and developing at lightning speed. The People's Republic of Capitalism speaks mainly of China's all-consuming economic growth and its ramifications. I was riveted by Frontline's Young and Restless in China and Frontline World: Jesus in China. These show the struggles of the Chinese to keep up with the changes, deal with their hypocritical government and define their beliefs in a society still riddled with corruption.
posted by wundermint on Jul 17, 2008 - 32 comments

Shall We Play a Game?

Toronto Game Jam posts the entries and winners of their 2008 Competition. [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall on Jun 29, 2008 - 4 comments

The political-economy perspective on women's rights

Women's rights: What's in it for men? - "Women in rich countries largely enjoy gender equality while those in poor countries suffer substantial discrimination. This column proposes an explanation for the relationship between economic development and female empowerment that emphasises changes in the incentives males face rather than shifts in moral sentiment. Technological change that raises demand for human capital may give men a stake in women's rights." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 29, 2008 - 29 comments

I just blue myself

In great news for all fans of the dearly departed sitcom Arrested Development, Jason Bateman appeared on his friend's show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and confirmed that an Arrested movie is being worked out. (MSNBC video link. He talks about Hancock for a bit first; good stuff starts at 4:16.) And another special guest is there to share the announcement... [more inside]
posted by supercres on Jun 25, 2008 - 130 comments

Buzz reloaded

Oskari Tammelin picks up where he left off. Jeskola Buzz, a flexible and formidable (and free) piece of music composition software created in the late 90's by Oskari, had its growth unexpectedly stunted by a hard drive crash. Oskari indicated no immediate desire to continue the project at the time, but users of the software were so enamored with it they continued to create plug-ins, enhancements and hacks to pick up where the program left off. Oskari made the replay code available to those who wanted to develop software around the Buzz engine (for a price) and soon a number of Buzz clones followed, including variations for Mac and Linux. And so the Buzz community ran...until last week...
posted by deusdiabolus on Jun 8, 2008 - 22 comments

The Androids are coming!

Google's Android goes live for demo. Lots of video and stills. Cache.
posted by loquacious on May 28, 2008 - 62 comments

Coming Soon: A pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot

The [US] National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 21st annual list of the nation's Most Endangered Historic Places. Among them: Sumner Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, (where Linda Brown tried to register for school, resulting in Brown vs. Board of Education); New York City's Lower East Side; California's State Parks; Philadelphia's Boyd Theatre, and several others. The previous 20 years of Most Endangered Historic Places can be found in the Archive. [more inside]
posted by Miko on May 20, 2008 - 16 comments

Infusions of Grandeur

Cantaloupe, garlic, ginger, habenero, kiwi, nutmeg, pineapple, spearmint, watermelon and many other vodka infusion experiments by the crack alconomics team of Waylan and Brendan.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 12, 2008 - 25 comments

World Governments & Accountability

Social Watch monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
posted by Rykey on Apr 5, 2008 - 6 comments

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904

"To suppose that the spirit of our people will not rise to the occasion is to suppose that our people are not genuine Americans. We shall make the fire of 1904 a landmark not of decline but of progress."
posted by dhammond on Mar 21, 2008 - 10 comments

Global Development By The Numbers

The new UN Human Development Report is out. Lots of interesting stuff on climate change. But for me, nothing beats the Human Development Index, a number that means different things to different people.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Nov 28, 2007 - 8 comments

A Good Story About Programming

"This is the story of when I re-wrote the Lotus Notes Formula Engine.... So here was I was, offered this position that I clearly wasn't qualified for. I had no experience with language runtimes or compilers, I knew very little about C and didn't know anything about C++, I had never dealt with platform byte ordering and packing and all the other issues associated with writing something for eight different operating systems, I had never even used proper version control. But none of that mattered to me. It seemed to me like an amazing opportunity and I would be doing exactly the kind of stuff I enjoy most..."
posted by grumblebee on Nov 24, 2007 - 64 comments

CPI (M): is for Murder

The battle over Nandigram continues (after the massacres of March 14), as a fresh spate of atrocities have been reported.
posted by hadjiboy on Nov 13, 2007 - 5 comments

Something rotten in the state of Han

Corruption Threatens China's Future In a new report for the Carnegie Foundation, Pei Minxin offers an estimate that official corruption in China may cost as much as USD86bln each year - 0.65 percent of GDP and more than the education budget. He calls for economic and political reform; his critics might say no surprise there.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 12, 2007 - 17 comments

Not something you can drop on your foot ...

A recent article in Reason magazine discusses a World Bank report that comes to some unexpected conclusions, not the least of which is that "human capital and the value of institutions (as measured by rule of law) constitute the largest share of wealth in virtually all countries." Worldwide, the study finds, "natural capital accounts for 5 percent of total wealth, produced capital for 18 percent, and intangible capital 77 percent." In other words, rich countries are not rich because they have cheap natural resources (or exploited those of other countries), they are rich because of their social institutions. [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 on Sep 11, 2007 - 31 comments

Gordon Brown speaks about global poverty at the UN.

"It is time to call it what it is: a development emergency which needs emergency action". Gordon Brown speaks to the UN about global poverty. Link goes to full text of speech, video is available from the same page.
posted by teleskiving on Jul 31, 2007 - 3 comments

Ruler of Dubai Endows $10 bn Foundation to Promote Education in the Middle East.

Sheik Mohamed, ruler of Dubai, has pledged to donate $10 billion to set up an organization devoted to improving human development in the Middle East. Recognizing that the Middle East lags behind in areas of human development, particularly education, the visionary ruler of Dubai, and avid horse breeder, who has transformed the Persian Gulf port into the financial center for the Middle East and South Asia, has announced one of the largest charitable gifts in history to improve education and human development in the region.
posted by Azaadistani on May 19, 2007 - 32 comments

2007 Reith Lectures

Over the next four weeks, Jeffrey Sachs will be giving the 2007 BBC Reith Lectures. Download [MP3] the first week's lecture ("Bursting at the Seams"), or subscribe [XML] to the podcast. Listen to the 1999-2006 lectures in full, or hear historic lecturers such as Bertrand Russell and J.K. Galbraith.
posted by Aloysius Bear on Apr 13, 2007 - 14 comments

Is there anybody out there...

Bridging the digital divide - The ubiquitious cellphone has been recognized as a key tool for the social and economic development for many at the bottom of the pyramid - Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Yunus' GrameenPhone received an award in a category that didn't exist last year - "Best Use of Mobile for Social & Economic Development" for their Healthline project at the recently concluded 3GSM Congress in Barcelona last week. Another winner was the ultra low cost Motofone which was designed after two years of research into the needs of the rural and urban poor in India. We need many more such applications available for the "other 4 billion" if this bridge is to be built across the divide.
posted by infini on Feb 19, 2007 - 37 comments

24 (Web) Ways of 2006

24 Ways - 2006 Edition This year's possibly useful 24 articles containing 24 tips and tutorials for those of us who love CSS and other related web development techniques. Last year's links are included too.
posted by juiceCake on Dec 30, 2006 - 4 comments

The Economist: The World in 2007

In 2007 there will be lots of anniversaries, the web will keep killing the television star, the popcorn will taste familiar, humankind will come closer still to achieving immortality, and text messaging will conquer Africa. And although the spread of democracy is stalling (don't worry however - the Swedes still win (pdf)), it's still down to George Bush.

The Economist: The World in 2007.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 2, 2006 - 38 comments

Human Development Report 2006

Clean water is a right: "The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless on Nov 24, 2006 - 18 comments

The Trouble with Foreign Aid

Foreign Aid: Can it work? The conundrum facing the rich countries is that everywhere in the developing world, and particularly in Africa, you see children dying for want of pennies, while it's equally obvious that aid often doesn't work very well....But the pitfalls of aid tend not to be discussed among humanitarians, at least in loud voices, for fear of scaring donors. And now along comes William Easterly, in his tremendously important and provocative new book, The White Man's Burden, which asserts with great force that the aid industry is deeply flawed.
posted by storybored on Sep 23, 2006 - 63 comments

OLPC name $100 laptop

Al Jazeera have the scoop on the new name for OLPC's $100 $140 dollar laptop.<via olpcnews.com>
posted by davehat on Aug 14, 2006 - 32 comments

drink without thinking

Lifestraw: From surface water to drinking water.
posted by davehat on Aug 11, 2006 - 24 comments

The Short, Happy Life of Infocom

Remember Infocom? What makes a small, beloved, and wildly successful developer of interactive fiction decide to sideline the games and venture into building database software instead? While the knowledge that they were bought out and shuttered is pretty common, it isn't until relatively recently that all the details have come to light.
posted by ewagoner on Jul 28, 2006 - 19 comments

farm subsidies good?

Africa does not need more expensive food. As the Doha trade rounds collapse largely due to disagreements about farm subsidies, Daniel Davies challenges the conventional view that farm subsidies hurt the poor.
posted by afu on Jul 26, 2006 - 28 comments

Every once in a while, Truth still pipes up in meetings. When this happens, more often than not, Truth is simply bent over an authoritative knee and soundly spanked into silence.

``I managed developer teams in Windows for five years, and have only begun to reflect on the experience now that I have recently switched teams. Through a series of conversations with other leaders that have similarly left The Collective, several root causes have emerged as lasting characterizations of what's really wrong in The Empire.'
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 18, 2006 - 75 comments

Flower Power!

Worried that the nearby field is going to become cookie-cutter houses? No need to do anything rash, instead do a little planting.
posted by Ogre Lawless on May 9, 2006 - 39 comments

Making your case

What separates GM from Honda? The development process. An interesting read about Honda's lean and mean development process, as compared to the bureaucratic nightmare that exists at General Motors. A fascinating read and good insight into one of the many reasons why the domestic automakers are getting spanked these days.
posted by tgrundke on Apr 5, 2006 - 43 comments

"When you come up and tell people there are elephants down there they really think you've gone crazy"

Cenotes (say-NO-tays), scattered across the Yucatan peninsula, vary greatly in shape and size, but are often quite beautiful in any case. Some cenotes were apparently used for ritual human sacrifice by the Mayans, and some, say scientists, contain waterlife which may be helpful in treating cancer. However, these cenotes and their connected ecosystems may be in danger if the rapid and largely unchecked development of the Maya Riviera continues.
posted by Stauf on Mar 26, 2006 - 16 comments

Whole Foods? Yes! Suburban Sprawl? Oh Yeah!

Indianapolis is getting a Whole Foods Market. Great, right? Whole Foods Market is a recognized leader in the ecologically friendly organic foods business and includes in its "Core Values" Wise Environmental Practices & Community Citizenship. The location where this new market will be built will require the leveling of 17 acres of wooded land adjacent to a 50 year old residential neighborhood of 350 homes. This wooded area is one of the last homes for wild animals in the area. Oh yeah, nobody that lives in the area wants it built either. So much for core values.
posted by internal on Jan 24, 2006 - 172 comments

Now show me how to do the thing with the termites and the stick.

It's official, humans are dumber than chimps. These guys show (at the NY Times level) that human kids will over-imitate every ritualized nuance modeled for them, whereas chimp kids just wanna get the damn cookie out of the box. Their website also describes more of their studies.
posted by Eothele on Dec 13, 2005 - 42 comments

Burns Big Fire

Today in Delta BC, a city within the GVRD, a fire burns out of control. The largest raised peat bog (over 10,000 acres) in western North America, Burns Bog is sending smoke and ash across the area. Major blazes occurred in 1977, 1990, 1994 and 1996. The 1996 fire covered Greater Vancouver in smoke and ash for two days, destroying 170 hectares. Smaller fires have burned for months in underground methane. However, there are other risks to the "Lungs of Vancouver", including a proposed theme park.
posted by Kickstart70 on Sep 12, 2005 - 34 comments

A nice counterpoint to Dobson's shit

What Makes People Gay? --long, informative article from Boston Globe on recent scientific developments regarding nature or nurture. Studies on twins, brothers, CGN, the "big brother" effect, fetal development, genetics, hormones, etc. and don't miss the Evangelical Preacher who converted to the belief that homosexuality is not a choice but rather a predisposition, something "deeply rooted" in people.
posted by amberglow on Aug 15, 2005 - 151 comments

"Arrested Development" To Return

The Bluth's will be back -- Fox order's another full season of "Arrested Development."
posted by JPowers on May 16, 2005 - 70 comments

Mountain Voices

Mountain Voices. 'This website presents interviews with over 300 people who live in mountain and highland regions round the world. Their testimonies offer a personal perspective on change and development.'
posted by plep on Apr 10, 2005 - 2 comments

from whence they came?

there have been grass roots campaigns. there have been various petitions. some even tried reverse psychology to try and convince fox to renew arrested development for a third season. now, 15 episodes into the shortened 18-episode season, fox got around to starting its own "save a.d." website. is it too little too late?
posted by Silky Slim on Apr 2, 2005 - 32 comments

Ajax - Asynchronous Javascript + XML

Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications. From our own JJG, a look at the next big thing in web app interfaces. Link via some guy named Matt. Time to start studying XMLHttpRequest.
posted by brownpau on Feb 21, 2005 - 41 comments

Ikea comes to Red Hook

Red Hook is New York's perennial next-year neighborhood, perenially held back by huge housing projects and bad transportation, despite some ambitious proposals. Ikea's proposed store has been the subject of a long battle between "it'll bring jobs" and "it'll destroy the neighborhood". It's finally going to happen, and soon these buildings will be a parking lot.
posted by Armitage Shanks on Jan 5, 2005 - 21 comments

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