Stuff I liked this Week

I confess, there’s way too much here for anyone to feasibly read. If you have some dice handy, maybe roll one and read the corresponding story…

1. The last care package I got contained chopsticks and stationary. I was fascinated this week to learn that the original CARE packages, sent to British soldiers, included Spam, lard and bacon in them?

2. Big questions in development this week: does microcredit alleviate poverty? Should we do it anyway? The “final word” from the Center for Global Development (Hint: No, Yes)

3. From my friend Daniel: Competition for Elon Musk in providing global internet from space. (Or, How digging trenches in Rwanda prepares you for building satellites in your garage)

4. Jack Ma is China’s richest man. Find out why in this spellbinding interview. (Or, How to be the CEO of Amazon, Paypal, Ebay, UPS and Netflix all at the same time)

5. I grew up in Japan, and so the kidnapping and execution of a Japanese journalist this week hit home. But the Abe government’s take on the issue is a little bit scary.

6. I try to show some good news every week; this one blew me away. In every country, life expectancy today is higher than in 1800.


Max Roser is an Oxford economist and is producing a hundred charts showing how living standards have improved over time. Check out his site for more graphs and helpful explanations.


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