A Google Driverless Car

Google and the Trolley Problem

Driverless vehicles will be guided by algorithms programmed in advance. How should they weigh up the risks to the lives of other road users and the passengers in the car? A blog post in which Philippa Foot meets Isaac Asimov. Read the full post »
Details of an oil painting showing brushstrokes

Ten broad brushstrokes about development cooperation

I am discussing the the future of development cooperation, and the role of Northern NGOs,, with the policy, advocacy and campaigns team at ActionAid UK this morning.  Powerpoint is forbidden.  I'm going to paint ten broad brushstrokes about the future of development cooperation: Read the full post »
U.S._Marine_Corps_Lance_Cpl._Xavier_L._Cannon,_left,_and_members_of_the_Armed_Forces_of_the_Philippines_help_civilians_displaced_by_Typhoon_Haiyan_disembark_a_U.S._Marine_Corps_KC-130J_Super_Hercules_aircraft_131112-M-GX

Let’s help the Philippines — but not like we helped Haiti

There is an article in the Washington Post about humanitarian relief in the Philippines by Vij Ramachandran and me. We argue that the aid effort could be significantly improved by the use of technology and transparency. Read the full post »
Martin Luther King raises his right hand in a wave, with thousands of people on the Washington Mall behind him

“I have a dream …” [global edition]

I have a dream that we will one day take seriously the idea that we are all created equal, not just within countries but everywhere; and that we will recognize that it is intolerable that a person's future should be mainly determined by the place of his or her birth. Read the full post »
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Development Impact Bonds: what do YOU think?

The Center for Global Development and our partner Social Finance has just published a big new report on Development Impact Bonds. The Working Group invites comments on the draft report over the next six weeks.

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Acemoglu and Robinson

It’s the politics, stupid

One thing that the public knows, which many development experts apparently do not, is that poor countries are poor because they are badly governed and have institutions which prevent growth and permit a small elite to capture the nation's wealth. According to Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and Jim Robinson, the public is (as usual) basically right.

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NRA Killing our Kids

Guns & economics

Two interesting ideas from economists on gun control. First: require gun owners to take out liability insurance. Second, create a fund which for every dollar the NRA pays to a political candidate would pay $2 to the opponent.

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