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I’ve heard of “happiness engineers” but this takes the cake!


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India wants to maintain wealth gap?

After reading this article I got the sneaking suspicion that some major players in India did some cool calculations indicating that it was more profitable for them to keep things the way they are.

While a student in India, it seemed that some of the so-called elite didn’t give a hoot about the poverty around them. There were noble exceptions from some truly exceptional people, but many take the Hindu religion to say that poverty is mostly due to karma. The poor did something bad in a past life so “deserve” their fate. At least, that is the explanation I often got from those apathetic about social justice.

The country is, for the most part, in dire need of development and it’s choices like this that will probably keep it that way.

80s_6

Me at the Canada Dam, a Canadian funded dam in India.


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Corruption index tries to simplify complex issue

Here’s a refreshing article about corruption. Rather than taking the official “indexes” at face value, questions are asked and valid concerns are raised.

And here’s a tweet to the kind of simplistic reporting that we usually see, which only perpetuates real corruption.


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Meet the Former Pentagon Scientist Who Says Psychics Can Help American Spies


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A Conflict of the Conservative Vision

Marmalade

There is one popular framework of politics that I often think about. It is the basis of a book by Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions. I was introduced to it by my conservative father.

Sowell theorizes that the political right and left are defined by two distinct visions. Conservatives and right-wingers are supposedly adherents of a constrained vision. Whereas liberals and left-wingers are supposedly adherents of an unconstrained vision.

For some reason, this popped back into my mind on my walk this morning. Two thoughts occurred to me.

First, I’m not sure how accurate it is. I always feel the need to clarify that conservatism and liberalism are not necessarily the same thing as conservative-mindedness and liberal-mindedness. This is one of those cases where that is an important distinction to keep in mind.

Sowell is most directly talking about psychological predispositions here. But he seems to be assuming…

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The YouTube Interview with President Obama

OK, Fine.

Yesterday, YouTube personalities Bethany Mota, GloZell Green and Hank Green interviewed President Obama about the top issues facing them and their audiences.

Fox News expressed outrage, claiming that President Obama’s interviews with three YouTube stars were “beneath the dignity of the office.”

(Video 46 minutes long)

The White House

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Is the Age of Oil coming to a close?

Image via Tumblr (Flickr)

Two very different stories about oil production in Canada…

Story 1 – http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/why-clean-cars/oil-use/what-are-tar-sands.html

Story 2 – http://www.oilsandstoday.ca/whatareoilsands/Pages/QuickFacts.aspx

Original image credit: kris krüg http://bit.ly/1niNBQO

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