Friday, December 21, 2012

A success of small-scale farming in Tanzania

The Economist tells us of an Oxfam-backed TV show that is attempting to enable women-run, small-scale farms. The author even asserts that:
It showed that small-scale agriculture is a sustainable way of feeding the country.
Not what I expect from the Economist, which normally champions large-scale, mechanized commodity agriculture.

Is Strike Debt a good idea?

The "Strike Debt" movement is promoting a "Rolling Jubilee", in which distressed debt is purchased at a discounted rate and dismissed. This keeps the debt out of the hands of vulture funds who would turn to the legal system to confiscate whatever wealth they can from the debtor.

So can this work? It sounds similar to buying the freedom of slaves: it may help the individual in front of you, but it supports the system that enslaved them in the first place. Thoughts?

tip, of all places, to Reuters.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The workings of plutocracy: part 10^6.

Slashdot has been trumpeting copyright reform for a while. This issue was revived recently when the Republican Study Committee issues a report calling for restraints on copyright law. The report was quickly withdrawn and the author fired, apparently following pressure from the copyright cartel. This has all culminated in an article in Harvard Business Review describing how political corruption is strangling innovation.