Monday, March 12, 2007

Bits and Pieces -- March 12 2007

  • The Wall Street Journal Econblog asks the question -- do stable democracies promote economic growth, or does economic growth promote stable democracy? They write "I think the relationship between democracy and wealth reflects the power of human capital -- education -- to make countries both rich and democratic. If you put enough smart people together, they'll figure out how to govern themselves and gravitate towards democracy." The link they provide is to this interesting paper examining the connection between education levels and democratic stability in a country (skip the complicated economics formulae and skim through the paper as a whole -- Around page 25, there's some nifty historical analysis of various revolutionary movements and their rooting in education -- they take note that the Puritans were some of the most educated people around)
  • NPR's talk of the nation yesterday gave us a segment on the recent Project on Excellence in Journalism report on the state of Journalism -- it's a sad state. What caught my ear was the grudging acceptance of blogging as a valued news source (Note that NPR has their own blogs -- and I'll link you to the blog post on this story -- featuring an audiofile of the whole story -- the commentary on blogging comes about 13 minutes into the audio). This story is old news. It seems the news establishment is finally learning to embrace user-driven media.
  • On a related topic -- here's a post asking the question "Are Blogs the New Resumes" -- "When you hire someone, you do not know exactly how they are going to work out. There is a quality distribution. The resume, cover letter and interview give you some information. Based on that information, you can guess on average how the candidate is going to work out. You might guess the exact same quality level for the blogger candidate, but because you have more information from all the blog posts, all the links, searching on their site for instances of how they have handled angry comments, you get a much better idea of how that candidate is going to perform."
  • This is one I'll have to come back to -- courtesy of the PSFK Trendwatching, I found the 6 Billion Others project. It's Studs Turkel on Steroids -- interviews with over 4000 people from around the globe sharing their joys, pains, and where they find meaning in life. It looks like a fine reminder of the dignity of all people made in the image of God. Odds are, this might make fodder for a full post when I get the chance to really explore the site.

Soli Deo Gloria