A correspondent in the Middle East

by Ingrid Robeyns on August 23, 2006

Between 1998 and 2003, “Joris Luyendijk”:http://www.jorisluyendijk.nl/ worked for various Dutch media as their correspondent in the Middle East. He has now written a book about his experiences (as far as I know, it’s only available in Dutch).

Luyendijk, who studied political science and Arabic, lived as a correspondent in Egypt, Lebanon, and East-Jerusalem. One of the main themes of his book is the impossibility of being a correspondent in this region according to the standards that journalists are assumed to aspire to in Europe. With many anecdotes, he shows that the ‘news’ Dutch people are getting about the Middle Eastern countries in the mainstream media is heavily filtered, manipulated, and constrained. It seems plausible to think that if it really is so bad with the Middle East reporting in the Dutch media, it ain’t going to be any better for other countries. Despite that this book is written for a broad readership and therefore aspires to be as readable as possible, it does not offer one simple explanation for this problem. Rather, Luyendijk describes a number of factors. [click to continue…]

Serious Kudos

by Henry Farrell on August 23, 2006

… to “Scott Page”:http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~spage/ for somehow getting the Quarterly Journal of Political Science to publish an “article”:http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/seminars/pegroup/Page2006.pdf discussing the concept of ‘phat dependence.’

Sort of Like the Wisdom of Crowds

by Henry Farrell on August 23, 2006

Blogger.com’s “flagging policy”:http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42517 seems decidedly peculiar to me. [click to continue…]

Is Peak Oil here already ?

by John Q on August 23, 2006

There’s been a lot of discussion about claims that world oil output is going to reach a peak some time soon. If you look at the recent numbers, there’s a pretty good case to be made that world all output has already reached its peak at about 73 million barrels a day, a level reached in mid-2004, and sustained for the past two years.

[click to continue…]

The wealth and poverty of nations

by Chris Bertram on August 23, 2006

Jeffrey Sachs, William Easterly (and Bono for that matter) can stop their bitching, Christopher Hitchens has “an explanation”:http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/tm_objectid=17550835&method=full&siteid=94762-name_page.html for a good deal of global destitution:

bq. … the mass murder of people on aeroplanes is a leading cause of poverty.

If only Larry Summers were still in post, he could have offered Hitch a job. (shamelessly stolen from “Marc Mulholland”:http://moiders.blogspot.com/2006/08/political-economy-of-under-development.html ).