Angus Deaton, Myers-Briggs, Beer, Boko Haram, Open Borders

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Weak States, Poor Countries

Angus Deaton | Project Syndicate | 1st September 2013

Eloquent new economics Nobelist Angus Deaton on foreign aid. "In Scotland, I was brought up to think of policemen as allies and to ask one for help when I needed it." But "in much of the world, police prey on the people they are supposed to protect, shaking them down for money or persecuting them on behalf of powerful patrons." Problematically, foreign aid makes governments (including police) rich and unaccountable (900 words)

Uncovering The Secret History Of Myers-Briggs

Merve Emre | Digg | 7th October 2015

A murky corporation controls the Myers-Briggs test, and its founder's reputation. The test was built on "retrograde," racist and sexist "assumptions about human behavior." "The indicator can never be wrong;" if you don't agree with its assessment the problem is you. It is used as a "fateful crutch ... to justify whatever needs justification" about oneself or others. Employers legally can (and often do) discriminate based on type (9,140 words)

Beeronomics: I’ll Drink To That

David Zilberman | Berkeley Blog | 14th September 2015

Roundup of lessons from conference on the economics of beer; interesting facts about beer history, marketing and public policy. For example: “The ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids got paid by beer, bread and green onions”, Holland and Belgium “won their independence from the Spanish because of beer”, “China has overtaken the U.S. as the largest consumer of beer” and “Russians consume more beer than vodka” (1,280 words)

Road To Redemption? Unmaking Nigeria’s Boko Haram

Obi Anyadike | IRIN | 1st October 2015

“Before this programme, I would have no time for you. There would be no jokes. I was hard. Now I realise it’s important to listen and share views.” Captured Boko Haram fighters volunteer for 'de-rad' treatment: they’re kept in relatively well-equipped facilities, re-educated and 'softened' in order to be reintegrated into their communities. Can it restore a generation ravished by systemic issues that Boko Haram has fed on? (3,730 words)

The Case For Getting Rid Of Borders—Completely

Alex Tabarrok | Atlantic | 10th October 2015

In favour of completely open borders: all people should be free to move and live "uncaged by … arbitrary lines.” The benefits of open borders would be both economic and moral: “immigration unleashes economic forces that raise real wages throughout an economy”, while “no standard moral framework … regards people from foreign lands as less entitled … than people lucky to have been born in the right place at the right time" (750 words)

Video of the day: Apollo Missions

What to expect: Photos from the Apollo Missions arranged to look like stop-motion animation (2'53")

Thought for the day

A community is like a ship; everybody ought to be prepared to take the helm
Henrik Ibsen

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