Monthly Archives: January 2013

can a Dutchman understand a revolution?

How to think about what is going on here? How to read the newspapers, with their articles expressing multi-fold and totally conflicting perspectives and interpretations? Admittedly, bringing in the Dutch connection is primarily a ruse to legitimately include this aesthetically … Continue reading

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the art of making powerful comparisons

Just came across a good example of bringing stats to life: The top 100 billionaires added $240 billion to their wealth in 2012 – enough to end world poverty four times over.  If you’re interested in how this was calculated, … Continue reading

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first impressions of Cairo: the Himalayan proportions of it all….

First impressions are important to document. They tell something about the perceiver, they tell something about the perceived, and they are short lasting. If they are not documented they disappear into automatic pilot normality.

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inequality, development and politics

Inequality is suddenly a hot topic in development land. Should or shouldn’t it be part of the post-2015 development agenda? The Broker, a Netherlands-based independent platform and online magazine on globalization and development, has recently published a dossier on inequality, and … Continue reading

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the power of the unfamiliar

I think that my primary sense is visual although the times it really hits me on its own is limited. I’m probably a perfectly average specimen of the human species in that my sensitivity adjusts quickly to anything familiar. I shouldn’t … Continue reading

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arriving in Cairo on the Nile

Thursday night I landed on Cairo international airport. Expectations always reveal themselves in experience: I was amazed by this facility, huge, modern, no hint of developing country in its finishing. Marjan had described Cairo to me as like Delhi-but-different. Delhi … Continue reading

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sustainability is a clusterfuck

That’s a quote from Frederick Kaufman‘s must read Bet the farm, about how food stopped being food, and turned into money. The quote succinctly summarizes the results so far of the many efforts to quantify “sustainability”.  Too difficult….Understanding climate change, … Continue reading

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