1. Did you know that the ICC (International Criminal Court)—a court that is designed to uphold the (agreed upon) global standards for human rights—has only indicted African leaders in its 11-year history? What should we think if this? Is the ICC simply doing its job or is this just another atrocity? Africa Attacks the International Criminal Court is a fantastic analysis of the African Union’s flight against the ICC’s “African witch hunts” by the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth published in the New York Review of Books.
2. Heuristics—or rules of thumb—are important parts of the daily lives of humans. We do not think through every decision of each day calculating expected payoffs and costs. We develop rules, or heuristics, that allow us to (sometimes) make decent choices. The Power of Heuristics by Ideas42, a cognitive science research lab, displays why understanding how people make decisions can lead to smarter policy and better business.
3. History is fascinating. I (kind of) learned this in high school. This lengthy but fantastically written article tells the twisted and twirled story of the US’s involvement in the “original war on terror”. Our Man In Africa tells of the horrors of rebel strongman, warlord, and former President of Chad, Hissene Habre, and how the US backed and supported him. This story transforms from disturbing to intriguing back to disturbing and finally ends as informative.
4. Here is a bit of humor to break up droll of African political history. From The Onion: “6 Day Visit to Rural African Village Completely Changes Woman’s Facebook Profile Picture”
5. As it happens I do read about my home country, the United States, too. From what I can gather from both the preparations and the aftermath (on Twitter anyway) of the President’s State of the Union Address, income inequality is a bourgeoning issue of growing importance. Here are 10 Ways to Tackle Rising Inequality. If these ideas sound wacky and crazy, take a look at some income inequality numbers; they are just as (if not more) wacky and crazy.
P.S. I understand income inequality is a huge issue and needs to be addressed in the US, but lets not forget how completely and totally BONKERS income inequality is in most other countries in the world. The world used to have “poor countries” completely made up of “poor people”, now we have “middle income countries” that are made up of 85-90% “poor people” and 15-10% very rich people (or ahem politicians).
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