Cool stuff I don’t have time to expound on at length:
- Via Ryan Louie on Facebook, “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?” what if xkcd is now on my Google Reader list.
- Is it culturally insensitive to badger a 23-year old Rwandan girl about her memories of the genocide that happened there when she was 5? Probably.
- The colonial era gets too much credit, good and bad, for current conditions in African countries. And arguably too much attention: I see the “colonial origins hypothesis” as too simplistic by far, and also as denying agency to the people in post-colonial countries. This refreshing new paper from Stelios Michalopoulos and Elias Papaioannou shows that pre-colonial ethnic institutions in Africa strongly predict current levels of economic development. Via Chris Blattman.
- Applied microeconomists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson are coming to Michigan. Big win for my home department.
- Kim Dionne is giving a seminar at Texas A&M on the politics of Malawi’s fertilizer subsidy program – would definitely be there if I could, because the topic is fascinating. Every Malawian I’ve met has a (strong!) opinion on it.
- Stanford and UCLA Chemists take a step toward an HIV cure, through a treatment that can reactivate the latent virus that is hiding in human cells. I wonder if this stuff can cross the blood-brain barrier to get at the HIV hiding there?