Aid paper 80% done


in Daily updates, Oxford, Writing

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At almost terminally long last, I have come up with a draft of my paper on moral arguments for and against foreign aid. While a paper of 2500 words cannot begin to engage with the specifics of the broad moral conversation, I think it at least summarizes positions in an interesting way and highlights some of the most fundamental clashes between the positions.

The secret to getting papers written is obviously to abandon my home (too devoid of people and too full of interesting but non-academic things), as well as libraries (populated by pale and frightening ghouls who seem to be trying to get a jump on their June exams), and adopt a coffee shop without internet access as a base of operations. With good tables, a staff that will not kick you out even four hours after you bought a drink, and four shots of iced espresso available for £1.79, Starbucks remains my top choice. My firm and ongoing rejection of the idea that Starbucks is a soulless corporate monster is already well documented here. Ah, the joys of adopting counter-counter-culture positions.

For now, the plan is to read one more substantial journal article on the subject, give the paper another careful read, have one external reviewer glance through it for cogency of language and arguments, give it one more tweaking myself, and then pidge the thing to Ngaire Woods and move on to the next bit of work.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon @ Wadh December 28, 2006 at 7:18 pm

Better to blog than make it 85% done?

Milan December 28, 2006 at 7:47 pm

Fair enough.

Perhaps I should get myself out of the mindset that I should post something substantive (and a photo) every day.

R.K. December 28, 2006 at 10:23 pm

I thought these would interest you.

Odd facts

The lion costume in the film Wizard of Oz was made from real lions.

The Pope’s been known to wear red Prada shoes.

Donald Rumsfeld was both the youngest and the oldest defence secretary in US history.

Up to 25% of hospital keyboards carry the MRSA infection.

Sex workers in Roman times charged the equivalent price of eight glasses of red wine.

More than one in eight people in the United States show signs of addiction to the internet, says a study.

One third of all the cod fished in the world is consumed in the UK.

More than 90% of plane crashes have survivors.

The Mona Lisa used to hang on the wall of Napoleon’s bedroom.

For every 10 successful attempts to climb Mount Everest there is one fatality.

When filming summer scenes in winter, actors suck on ice cubes just before the camera rolls – it cools their mouths so their breath doesn’t condense in the cold air.

Forty-one percent of English women have punched or kicked their partners, according to a study.

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs is the term for people who fear the number 666.

George Bush’s personal highlight of his presidency is catching a 7.5lb (3.4kg) perch.

Britain is still paying off debts that predate the Napoleonic wars because it’s cheaper to do so than buy back the bonds on which they are based.

Nelson Mandela used to steal pigs as a child.

The Himalayas cover one-tenth of the Earth’s surface.


Milan January 2, 2007 at 2:26 am

I finally finished a decent draft of my aid paper. At more than 4000 words, it is a lot heftier than the 2500 or so I expected. That said, the subject matter demanded it, and I certainly spent enough time pondering it. I will submit a copy tomorrow, which is entirely necessary, since Dr. Woods is returning from New Zealand.

Milan January 7, 2007 at 1:24 am

The LA Times tagged the Gates Foundation today for harmful investment practices. The Gates Foundation generally gets only positive PR for their great work on global health. But today the LA Times presented startling evidence that the foundation’s own investments are actually causing much of the harm in the communities where the foundation is working. As the poster child of the free market capitalist system, is it time for Gates to ask whether globalization is a primary cause of the third world poverty his foundation is trying to fix?

LA Times article
Metafilter post

Milan March 15, 2007 at 11:28 am

I got this paper back today, got 66 on it.

See: Dev World Review Session

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