Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chris Blattman, human browser

As regular readers will have noted, The Emirates Economist has a new favorite human browser, Chris Blattman. More links today via Blattman:

1. Tackling corruption gets tougher every day. Blattman points to a post at Global Integrity Commons about corruption in Nigeria, and in specific, "a discouraging trend of Nigerian lawmakers declaring greater personal assets than they currently posses in order to build in a cushion that accounts for corrupt gains while in office. ... Official Secrets Acts across many Commonwealth nations are an unfortunate legacy of the British colonial period that provide officials with an easy excuse to withhold information from the public."

2. Love and romance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Blattman points to a series by Katherine Zoepf, writing in The Lede and the New York Times: Out With the Boys for a Night of Numbering ("chasing cars containing young girls and trying to give the girls their phone numbers via Bluetooth, or by holding written phone numbers up to their car windows"); Q&A about love and romance in Saudi Arabia; and Love on Girls’ Side of the Saudi Divide ("A cellphone picture of Alia’s fiancé — a 25-year-old military man named Badr — was passed around, and the girls began pestering Alia for the details of her showfa. A showfa — literally, a “viewing” — usually occurs on the day that a Saudi girl is engaged").

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