Have we made poverty history?

I have got a blog post up at the Center for Global Development blog, Views from the Center, saying that we have got a long way to go.… Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Abortion and viability

It is irritating to see opponents of abortion seeking to restrict abortion by opportunistically using arguments which they think are superficially persuasive but which bear no relationship to their real views and which they know to be irrelevant.

There are … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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On animal testing

I have been a vegetarian since I was a teenager, and I wear plastic rather than leather shoes.  I do this because I believe that animals have a rights, and that it is wrong to kill animals simply for pleasure.… Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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A modest proposal to reform the World Bank

I am not one of those who believe the World Bank should be shut down.  Indeed, if anything, I would prefer to see the multiplicity of bilateral aid agencies and NGOs shut down, and all the money put through a … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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The real innovation behind EBay

Everybody knows that E-Bay was a great innovation. By reducing transactions costs, and enabling users to establish
reputations, it has enabled millions of people to buy and sell goods in small quantities and of lower value than would have been … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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What can we patent?

According to Michael Crichton, writing in the New York Times the observation that doctor should test for the existence of a particular amino acid to determine if a patient needs a vitamin supplement has been patented:

  • The Earth revolves around
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Darfur: time to act

I have written here before about the failure of the rich countries to take action to prevent the worsening suffering in Sudan (see here, here, here).  Two million people are displaced – living in refugee camps – … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Lunch with Quentin Stafford-Fraser

QSF in a coffee bar in SF

I had lunch with Quentin Stafford Fraser, the Executive Director of Ndiyo.

Ndiyo! is a project set up to foster an approach to networked computing that is simple, affordable and open.

The idea is to use very thin clients … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Is Craig Murray right about torture?

I begin with a confession that I am an admirer of Craig Murray, the former British Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan. He deserves praise for his courage and clarity in speaking out against vicious human rights abuses by the … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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KStars in Silicon Valley Half Marathon

A group of K-Stars ran the Silicon Valley Half Marathon this morning. All enjoyed it, and Tomas (1:29:53) and Dave O’Connor (1:24:50) achieved personal records. Christine (1:40:20) won her age group. Grethe ran 1:38:07 and I ran 1:21:49. Andy (1:22:56), … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Vaccination and growth

I’ve got a piece up at my Vaccines for Development blog which looks at a new paper summarizing the cost-effectiveness of vaccination as a development intervention.

I don’t normally bother to cross-post from here, but this is a very interesting … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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He’s rich. got a big car …

John Densmore, the drummer for The Doors, has turned down $15 million offered by Cadillac last year for the right to use “Break On Through” to promote its luxury SUVs:

People lost their virginity to this music, got high for

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From Brighton to Darfur

Two quotations from the last two days, worth reading together.

Jack Straw’s Labour Party Conference Speech, 28 September 2005

At the Millennium Summit two weeks ago, with the UK in the vanguard, major reforms were agreed. New development aid

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Aid and growth: Erixon and selective data

Jim at Our Word is Our Weapon splendidly refutes the graph published by Fredrik Erixon that purports to show a negative relationship between aid and growth. (See also Jeff Sachs’s response to Erixon).

As Jim points out, these very simple … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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The PM on terrorism, Iraq, & development

As a public service, I have transcribed verbatim the interview with Tony Blair on the Today Programme on 16 September. You can read the full text here.

The interview touches on the Government’s draft anti-terrorism legislation, the UN summit, … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Extraordinary Rendition

I do not understand why extraordinary rendition is not causing more outrage in the UK.  Read this to find out what it is like to be tortured, and British complicity. 

Credit, though, to BlairWatch, who highlights a recent article in … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Singers who can’t sing

I was playing Transformer by Lou Reed the other day.  Grethe walked in, and demanded to know, in that forthright Scandinavian way, why I was listening to this man who cannot sing.  After a moment’s thought, I replied that there … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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I met a man from Mississipi

I met a man from Mississippi the other day. We sat next to each other over dinner at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. When he heard my British accent, he thanked me for our support for the United States … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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The death of public enquiries

TalkPolitics takes a well-aimed shot at the new arrangements for establishing and operating public enquiries in the UK. Apparently, a cosy deal between Government and Opposition saw the passage of a bill, without a vote, of the Inquiries Act 2005, … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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What do we owe the world’s poor?

Over at Stumbling and Mumbling, Chris Dillow sets out a compelling moral case for the people of rich countries to help the world’s poor.  He argues that, whether you take a utilitarian, rights-based, or a social contract view, we … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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