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The printing press revolution

Gutenberg ‘invented’ the printing press in 1436. Some argue that he didn’t really invent the printing press because most of the technologies that he used had been invented by others. His main contribution was to combine those technologies into a

Posted in Development

Fact checking Vox’s new product placement series. (They blew it on Pedialyte.)

Vox.com has a new series called The Goods whose first article has the kind of journalistic quality (or lack thereof) you would expect in a series that seems to be purely about product placement. The article, by Kaitlyn Tiffany, is about

Posted in Development, Health

If there were a collapse of civilization, could people go back to hunting for survival?

I talk about some of history’s horrible famines in my economic development classes and the difficulty of getting enough food in Malthusian societies. Sometimes, some of my students ask why people starved rather than going out to hunt for food.

Posted in Development

The biggest health achievement in the United States in the last half century?

Kristof @ NYT: Let’s break for a quiz: What was the biggest health care breakthrough in the last 40 years in the United States? Heart bypasses? CAT scans and M.R.I.’s? New cancer treatments? No, it was the cigarette tax. Every

Posted in Health, Millionaire Superheroes

Would universal health care boost growth in developing nations?

The Economist Magazine argues that the entire world should adopt universal health care because universal health care is both desirable and possible, even in low-income countries. Some countries achieved near-universal coverage when they were still relatively poor. Japan reached 80%

Posted in Development, Health

Why are we so afraid of other nations that can’t even take care of their own shit?

TomDispatch has a great article about the insanity of our military’s spending priorities and the money-grubbing paranoia of the associated defense-industrial complex. It is scary. You gotta read it. At the same time, all rich nations are military allies of

Posted in Development, Public Finance

Escaping the tyranny of climate

Note: this is an abbreviated repost of an article I wrote for my Economic Development class that I’ll be using for a guest lecture on climate change. Humans co-evolved with our technological inventions for warming up in the cold: fire,

Posted in Development

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