Political science suggests reasons for pessimism about Election 2016
I loved this article, and the author's third explanation of why we've started asking, "Is that even a thing?": [One reason we ask "Is That Even a Thing?" is] the closing gap between satire and the real thing. The absurd excess of things has reached a point where the ironic detachment needed to cope with them … Continue reading Is That Even a Thing?
A thoughtful obituary for Malian photographer Malick Sidibé is in the New York Times this evening. Sidibé's work was also covered in an exhibit review that appeared in Slate last fall. Both articles are worth the read.
Last week my organization, US Common Sense, launched our public finance sustainability website, GovRank*. Screengrab of the GovRank landing page Here's hoping the site will foster good research, debate about our methods, and more public awareness of the state of local finance. Here's our description of GovRank: We want all citizens, journalists, and public officials to have … Continue reading Announcing GovRank.org
An article that Elizabeth King and I co-authored has been published in Ecology & Society! Entitled Kenyan Pastoralist Societies in Transition, it talks about the role that perceptions of scarcity play in people's decisions about how to use natural resources (pdf here). Not surprisingly, when people don't perceive a resource as scarce, they're less likely … Continue reading Perceptions and Conservation
This map is very disorienting. I’ve been looking at it, on and off, for the last 9 months, and it's all the more relevant since the French military intervened in Mali and terrorists attacked a gas plant in Algeria last week. It takes a while to focus on the map without mentally zooming in on … Continue reading Map of the Sahel
Later this month I start teaching my own class for the first time. It'll be an undergraduate international affairs lecture course at USC. I'm looking for images to grab my students' attention. The image below shows how big the African continent is. The map's creator titled it "The True Size of Africa: A small contribution … Continue reading Big Continent
This map running in The Economist provoked a head smacking "ah-hah" moment for me. I've been thinking about the fact that both the ideological right and the left in Iran think obtaining a nuclear weapon is a good idea. I'm used to seeing Iran on the eastern fringe of a Middle East map or the … Continue reading Map of Iran