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Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Live Aid, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men

Sub-Saharan Africa faces far more frequent droughts than other tropical regions as a result of global climate patterns, the continent’s shape, the position of mountain ranges, and other accidents of geography.15 It’s one of the ironies of modern finance that the tools that could most help the poor are least readily available to them. A stark illustration of drought-as-trigger is the recent war in Niger, Chad’s western neighbor in the bone-dry Sahel. Niger is home to the pastoralist Tuareg ethnic group. The car company Volkswagen appropriated their name for a highly successful crossover SUV, but the tribe itself hasn’t been so lucky. Their herds were devastated by a series of ever deeper droughts in the 1970s and 1980s.16 Initially, the Tuareg responded to the loss of livelihood by migrating north in large numbers to Algeria and Libya in search of better living conditions, defusing the imminent threat of conflict.


pages: 271 words: 62,538

The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology (Voices That Matter) by Golden Krishna

Airbnb, computer vision, crossover SUV, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, impulse control, Inbox Zero, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, QR code, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator, Y2K

He doesn’t want to put down the heavy object, pull out his smartphone, tap and swipe, put away his phone, and then potentially throw out his back trying to pick up the heavy object again. Not too good news for our app makers. I didn’t make the observation. The Ford Escape design team did. In the “crossover SUV market awash with new models,” Ford was hoping to create something that would distinguish its SUV from the others.6 Did they make an app with bigger buttons? Add voice commands so that their customers can stand in a parking lot shouting random commands at their trunk? Nope. They put a set of sensors under the bumper that can read a foot kick—a simple and easy action that works within the typical process of carrying something heavy to the trunk.