Dead presidents; academic sentences; Garifunas v charter cities; white journos on Africa; evolutionary economics; a wonk nightmare: links I liked
‘The chances of an opposition victory increase from 20% to almost 50% when ruling parties are forced to run a new candidate’ The first of a new fortnightly ‘Democracy in Africa’ round up looks at what happens when presidents die in office
Academics secrets for writing impenetrable nonsense revealed. Write your own academic sentence [h/t Chris Blattman]
The Garifuna people of Honduras have launched a global campaign against the world’s first ‘charter city’. Background on charter cities here. Sign the petition or, if you happen to work at CGD, you might want to ask Nancy Birdsall to take it up on the city’s Transparency Commission, which she’s a member of.
‘We continue a storytelling tradition that hasn’t fundamentally changed since Joseph Conrad slapped Congo with “the heart of darkness” label.’ In ‘The White Correspondent’s Burden in Africa’ Jina Moore bemoans the vanity of the “white savior industrial complex” and the damaging allure of the 2 centuries-old “sentimental narrative” [h/t Tom Murphy]
‘It was driven by the quest for certainty, and mathematisation of economics was a means of achieving that certainty. It was the desire to have the laws of economics as well-defined as seemingly were the laws of physics or other natural sciences, as a basis for policy experimentation….. one of the great errors we as economists made in pursuing that was that we started believing the assumptions of economics.’ The Bank of England’s Andy Haldane is rapidly becoming a guru on the financial crisis and the need for a new economics. Here he talks about evolutionary economics for complex systems. Brilliant.
Every wonk’s wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat nightmare, captured by Woody Allen, [h/t Tim Harford]