Live Aid

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pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith


anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

By nightfall, Live Aid had raised £30m, three times what had been expected. The worst that could be said about that extraordinary day was that most of the people in the crowd had very little idea of the scale and complexity of Africa’s problems; £30m was an astonishing sum to raise from one charitable event, but it was nowhere near enough to impact on world affairs. As a comparison, two months after Live Aid, the British government sealed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia that was worth £43 billion, or more than 1,400 Live Aid concerts. The slush fund that the British contractor BAE set aside in Swiss and Panamanian bank accounts to pay commissions, or bribes, to various middlemen involved in the arms deal is thought to have been more than three times the amount raised by Live Aid.6 Geldof, to his credit, was quick to realize that if he was to take famine relief seriously he would have to immerse himself in the politics of world trade, because all the energy and goodwill of that summer’s day hardly made a ripple on Africa’s problems.

However, the biggest contributing factor, one that is seldom acknowledged, was the miners’ strike, which had so politicized and divided British society, and had given the rock industry, in particular, the feeling that there were great events in which they should get involved. Where the strike was divisive, Band Aid united; everybody, whether they were for or against the miners, or undecided, could be against letting African children starve. After Live Aid, there was less overtly political rock music, as if the industry had done its bit and could go back to singing about love, sex, despair and the other staples. Many of the best bands to emerge in Britain in the decade were not invited to perform at Live Aid, either because it was before their time or, in the case of the Eurythmics, because they seemed to have passed Geldof by. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart had used a bank loan to set up a small eight-track studio in Chalk Farm, north London, in 1982. After a few flops, they issued ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ as a single in May 1983, along with a video that helped to propel it to No. 2 in the UK charts, and then to no.1 in the USA.

The Pogues also sang about Irish emigration and about living rough in London, and produced one of the finest anti-war songs in the history of British music, ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’, about the Australian experience in Gallipoli. A lesson commonly drawn from the experiences of Live Aid and Red Wedge is that rock and politics do not mix, and that if bands want to be effective they should confine themselves to uncontroversial issues such as famine relief. On the face of it, the argument is a no-brainer. Red Wedge’s purpose was to secure a Labour victory in the general election of 1987. Before that election, there were 209 Labour MPs and the Conservatives had an overall majority of 144; afterwards, there were 229 Labour MPs, and the Conservative majority was 102. By contrast, Live Aid and its off shoots persist every year in raising millions for charity. However, there are a couple of caveats to be registered here. Firstly, Red Wedge was not the outright failure that the bald figures imply.

pages: 218 words: 67,930

Me! Me! Me! by Daniel Ruiz Tizon

Bob Geldof, death of newspapers, housing crisis, Live Aid, Stephen Hawking, young professional

“Let them have their nonsense,” my internal voice sniffed. Just a month later, following on from ‘Wear Purple Friday’ and ‘Bake a Cake Friday’, but just before ‘Do Something Nice Friday’, there was another World Food Day. My suspicions were confirmed. It was not official. This was coming from within. How could you have two World Food Days in the space of a couple of months, I asked my manager. It would be like Live Aid staging another Live Aid before 1985 was even out. At least Bob Geldof had the decency to wait 20 years before inflicting Chris Martin and Live 8 on the world. Having a second World Food Day so soon after the first devalued the original day, which, as my manager reminded me, I’d excused myself from in addition to refusing to turn out for the office’s mixed sex soft ball team. This spate of World Food Days told me everything I needed to know about the type of people I was working with.

I was studying for my GCSEs and, after my parents’ marriage finally broke down in ’87, sharing a bed with my dad before some of my bosses at this job were even born. If you can remember what you were doing the day your managers were born, I think it’s fair to say your career hasn’t gone according to plan. I didn’t find taking orders from them easy. There were days where I had to fight the urge to say, “Whoa, hold on; I remember watching Live Aid. I even posted my first love letter the morning of Live Aid about two years before your parents even met.” But it all counts for nothing. It should. But it doesn’t. After this latest miserable, nine to five experience, under the strengths and skills section on my rather gappy CV, I’m considering sticking “able to work for very young bosses”. Even if it’s not true. The salt was rubbed deeper into the wound by the Christmas party email circulated to staff just as a number of us were having our contracts terminated.

I’m not ashamed to be working class but the all too often limited ambitions and dreams of my own community, coupled with my coolness towards the middle classes because of the opportunities that come their way all too easily, have made me something of a loner. I’ve long felt I’m caught between two worlds. The one I belong to, and the one populated by the gatekeepers who decide whether my work will sell, more often than not these days, born the wrong side of Live Aid. As I’ve moved into my forties, whilst I feel I’ve managed to iron out some of the flaws that brought down my dad, in another significant way, I believe I have morphed into him. My dad, I can see now, had never really fully embraced the always-insular Spanish community in southwest London, and around this time of his life, became something of a loner. He downed tools, refusing to work for people for what remained of his life and removed himself from his social circle.

pages: 233 words: 75,477

Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea by Robert D. Kaplan


Ayatollah Khomeini, citizen journalism, European colonialism, facts on the ground, land reform, Live Aid, mass immigration, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, the market place

When a British aid worker in Khartoum told a middle-class Sudanese woman that millions of Sudanese were close to death due to a famine in the far west of the country, she exclaimed, “My God, are those khawajas going to have a crisis on their hands!” As the woman's reaction indicated, the famine was a crisis of conscience for the West only. The famine certainly wasn't a crisis for the Eastern bloc. Not a single ruble was collected for Live Aid, of which Dr. Anatoly Gromyko, head of the USSR's Africa Institute, said he never heard. (Moskovskii Komsomolets, a widely read Soviet youth publication, described Live Aid as a “tele-cosmic concert” on behalf of peace; the paper never mentioned the word famine.) But from interviews I conducted in fall 1985 and spring 1986, it became clear to me that the famine did not prick the conscience of many Africans who were not starving. Ahmed el-Tigani, secretary of the Khartoum Doctors' Union, which was instrumental in overthrowing President Nimeiri, explained that Africans saw suffering all around them and therefore were immune to it.

The American Spectator “The Harvest of Sorrow by Robert Conquest” Kaplan, Robert D. July 6, 1987. The New Republic, “Out of Africa.” Keating, Robert. (July 1986). Spin “Live Aid: The Terrible Truth.” Keating, Robert. (September 1986). Spin “Sympathy for the Devil.” Legum, Colin. May 20, 1986. International Herald Tribune, “Ethiopia: A Regime of Torture.” Matthews, Christopher J. January 21, 1985. The New Republic, “The Road to Korem.” May, Clifford D. September 29, 1985. The New York Times, “War Rivals Drought in Africa's Hunger Crisis.” Merritt, Giles. October 1985 International Herald Tribune, “Americans May be Hooked on Africa.” Owen, Richard. July 23,1985. The Times, “No Roubles in the Live Aid Fund.” Puddington, Arch. (April 1986). Commentary “Ethiopia: The Communist Uses of Famine.” Randal, Jonathan C. Summer 1985. The Manchester Guardian (Washington Post Service), “Relief Effort Grinds to a Halt on Sudan Railways.”

Villagization went on unabated and thereby paved the road to the next famine by uprooting the way of life of the country's most successful group of farmers. In 1987, foreign donors were helping to make up cereal deficits in twenty-two of thirty-nine regions of Hararghe, which prior to villagization traditionally had registered surpluses. Thus, large amounts of Western aid were subsidizing communism, albeit indirectly, while charities such as Live Aid were serving to buttress a ruling elite that had destroyed the lives of more of its own people than had any other government in this decade, with the sole exception of Iran's, and that consistently had refused to negotiate a truce in a war that killed hundreds of thousands. Clay's frequent assertion that Western aid in the long run could kill more people than it saved in the short run was neither farfetched nor unfair.

pages: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV by Craig Marks


Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, haute couture, Live Aid, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile

Chapter 20 “DON’T BE A WANKER ALL YOUR LIFE” “DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS?,” “WE ARE THE WORLD,” AND LIVE AID BOB GELDOF LEARNED ABOUT THE DISASTROUS famine in Ethiopia while watching TV, and he resolved to raise money to feed starving Africans. Geldof was not a music star—his band, the Boomtown Rats, is remembered mostly for the crazy-assassin ballad “I Don’t Like Mondays”—but he knew England was full of pop phenoms, and he gathered them to record a song he cowrote, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The success and attention led to “We Are the World,” an American all-star answer record to “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” But Geldof wasn’t done exploiting celebrity to raise money for charity. Working relentlessly, using persuasion, negotiation, guilt, and manipulation, he organized Live Aid, a daylong concert held in London and Philadelphia on July 13, 1985, and broadcast around the world.

Working relentlessly, using persuasion, negotiation, guilt, and manipulation, he organized Live Aid, a daylong concert held in London and Philadelphia on July 13, 1985, and broadcast around the world. In the U.S. Live Aid was broadcast live on ABC and MTV, whose VJs hosted the event—quite badly, almost ineptly. ABC’s audience was much larger than MTV’s, so the VJs’ inexperience was seen by millions, including TV critics who hammered the fives faces of the network. “The MTV video jockeys should hide their heads,” USA Today wrote. Live Aid raised close to $300 million, and Geldof was knighted, but the countdown began on the MTV careers of Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, and J.J. Jackson. NIGEL DICK: At Phonogram, I’d made two videos for the Boomtown Rats, when their career was on the way out and the band had no money. One day my boss, Tony Powell, said, “Bob Geldof’s gonna make this charity record over the weekend.

I said, “Well, I do have a twenty-four-hour music channel playing most of the artists on that song. Why don’t we start there?” So I talked to Garland and explained that if we made some sort of commitment to give them inventory on the air, we could get the exclusive on the video. And that led to us broadcasting the Live Aid concert. I did that deal. About six weeks before the broadcast, Gale Sparrow and I left to form a new company. CURT SMITH: We’d been touring for a year, really hard work. We had five days off and planned a holiday in Hawaii. Then Bob Geldof announced that we were playing Live Aid. He never asked us. Geldof thought he was so powerful that if he announced it, we’d have to say yes, or we’d look like bad people. I was pissed off. Whether we played or not wasn’t going to make a difference to the amount of money raised. So we went on holiday, because that was the only break we had.

pages: 225 words: 61,388

Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo


affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, diversification, diversified portfolio,, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Live Aid, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War

The foreign aid agenda of the 2000s: the rise of glamour aid In 2000, Africa became the focus of orchestrated world-wide pity, and not for the first time. The Nigerian humanitarian catastrophe of Biafra in 1971 (the same year as the Beatle George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh) had demanded that the world respond to human catastrophe. Consciousness was raised several notches with Bob Geldof’s 13 July 1985 Live Aid Concert where, with 1.5 billion people watching, public discourse became a public disco. Live Aid had not only been triumphant in bringing Africa’s plight to the wider public; it also trumpeted an era of morality. In the run-up to the new millennium, crusades like the Jubilee Debt Campaign capitalized on people’s desperate desire to be a part of something that would give aid and development policy another dimension. African leaders such as Tanzania’s President Mkapa later encapsulated the feeling of the day in his speech at the Jubilee Debt Campaign Conference in February 2005, calling it a ‘scandal that we are forced to choose between basic health and education for our people and repaying historical debt’.

D. 46 Heavily Indebted Poorest Country debt relief programme (HIPC) 53 HIV–AIDS pandemic 4–5, 7, 71–2 Hu Jintao 104, 108 Human Development Report (1994) 52 Hungary 85–6 IMF (International Monetary Fund) aid warning 47 appointment of Irwin Blumenthal 53 debt crisis 18–19 and foreign capital 63 inception 11–13 and Malawi 55–6 and ‘nit-picking’ 108–9 Structural Adjustment Facilities 21 In Search of Prosperity (Rodrik) 34 India 112, 117, 123, 132, 134, 137–8 India–Africa Forum 112, 123 Indonesia 34, 56 Industrial and Commercial Bank (China) 106 inflation 61–5 innovation 139–40 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development see World Bank International Development Association (IDA) 37–8 International Development and Food Assistance Act (US 1975) 16 International Peace Research Institute (Stockholm) 59 International Remittance Network 136 International Trade Organization 11 investment bonds 77–83, 87–96 borrowing costs 84–5 credit ratings 78, 83, 87–8 emerging markets 79–81, 85 portfolio diversification 80–82 Ireland 37, 125 Israel 134 Italy 125 Ivory Coast 109–10 Jamaica 136 Japan 99, 102–3, 112, 125 Johannesburg Stock Exchange 4 John Paul II, Pope 26 joint liability 129 Jubilee Debt Campaign 26 Kagame, President Paul 27–8, 148–9 Kanbur, Ravi 54 Kariba dam 15 Kenya and EBA 118 and exports 62 favourable view of China 109 fragile democracy 72 HIV prevalence rates 3 and long-term debt 87–8 money transfer systems 136 population 124 and rampant corruption 48 stake in the economy 152 trade-oriented commodity-driven economy 146 turbulent elections 2008 33 Keynes, John Maynard 11 Kibaki, Mwai 33 Kiva 130 Kurtzman, Joel 51 Lambsdorff, Graf 51 Landes, David 33–4, 147 least-developed countries (LDC) 123 Lensink, R. 136 Lesotho 118 life expectancy 5 Lin Yifu, Justin 153 Live Aid 26 Lumumba, Patrice 14 Lundin, Lukas 98 M-Pesa (money transfer system) 136 Mahajan, Vijay 132 McLiesh, Caralee 101 McNamara, Robert 16, 17 maize scandal (Malawi) 56 Malawi 55–6, 106, 117, 145 Mali 71–2, 94, 109–10, 116 Maren, Michael 60 Markit (data/index firm) 91 Marshall, George C. 12 Marshall Plan 12–13, 35–8 Mauritania 120 Mauritius 34, 89 Maystadt, Philippe 107 Mengistu Haile Mariam 14, 23 Mexico 18, 82, 84, 117, 132, 144, 151 micro-finance 126–32, 140 middle class 57–8 Millennium Challenge Corporation aid campaign (US) 40, 56 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 45, 96–7 Mkapa, President Benjamin 26 Mobutu Sese Seko, President 14, 22–3, 48, 53, 108 Monterrey Consensus 2002 74 Moody’s Investors Service 83 morality 150 ‘More Aid for the Poorest’ (UK white paper) 16 mosquito net producer (example) 44–5, 114, 122, 130–31 Mozambique 117, 134 Mugabe, Grace 146 Mugabe, Robert 108, 146–7 Mwanawasa, President Levy 53 Mystery of Capital, The (de Soto) 137–8 Na’m, Moisés 107 Namibia 89, 93 ‘negative corruption’ 57; see also corruption Netherlands 63 New York City 151; see also United States New Zealand 121 Nicaragua 151 Nigeria and AGOA duty-free benefits 118 aid from World Bank 107–8 assets looted 48 banking sector 4 beneficiary of FDI 105 and the bond index 92 and corruption 23 cotton revenues 116 favourable view of China 109 humanitarian catastrophe 26 independence 71 and long-term credit ratings 88 Maiduguri money find 137 many tribes 32 natural-gas reserves development 112 rebuilding colonial-era railway 106 remittances 133 ‘No Donor Money, No Loans’ policy 128 North, Douglass 41 Norway 73 ODA (official aid) 25 Odinga, Raila 33 oil 17–18, 48–9, 82, 105–6, 108–9, 120 oil crisis 1979 17–18 Olson, Mancur 41 Olympics 2008 108 Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 115 Oxfam 117 Pakistan 34, 124 Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF) 95 Paris Club of creditors 108 PEPFAR (AIDS Relief) 7 Peru 151 Peters Projection Map 121 Pew Report 2007 109 Philippines, the 135 PIMCO (bond investment organization) 91 Poland 8–6 Ponzi schemes 130 ‘positive’ corruption 56, 59; see also corruption Private Equity investments 4–5 programme aid 21 Protestantism 31 Przeworski, Adam 43 Raiffeisen, Friedrich 131 Rajan, Raghuram G. 142 Ramalho, Rita 101 Ramesh, Jairam 123 Reagan, Ronald 20, 22 Reichel, R. 46 remittances 133–6 Resource Flows to Africa (UN) 133 Revolutionary United Front (Sierra Leone) 59 Rodrik, Dani 34 Rosenstein-Rodan, Paul 39 Ruiz-Arranz, Marta 136 Russia 84, 87, 112 Rwanda 27, 32, 148 Sachs, Jeffrey 96–7 Sani Abacha, President 48 São Tomé and Principe 106 savings 137–40 Schulze-Delitzsch, Herman 131 Scottish Banks 139–40 Second Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs 114 securitization 96 Sen, Amartya 42 Senegal 109–10 Short, Clare 56 Sierra Leone 59 Singapore 152 Singh, Manmohan 123 small/medium enterprises (SMEs) 125 social capital 58–9 Somalia 60, 118, 133 South Africa abandoning foreign aid 144 and AGOA duty-free benefits 118 and bond issues 89, 92–3 and credit league tables 82 1997 stock market fall 84 not reliant on aid 150 and PAIDF 95 remittances 133 setting an example 78 South Korea 45, 82, 87 Sovereign Wealth Funds 112 Spain 86 Spatafora, N. 133 stabilization programme 20 Standard & Poor’s rating agency 83, 87–8 Standard Bank 106 sterilization 64–5 stock market liquidity 4 Structural Adjustment Facilities 20–21 Subramanian, Arvind 142 subsidies 115–16 Sudan 105–6, 108, 120 sugar production 116–17 Svensson, J. 39, 52 Swaziland 5, 106 Sweden 73 Tanzam Railway 103–4 Tanzania 26, 56, 97, 103–4, 110, 124, 131 taxation 52, 66 Thailand 57 Thatcher, Margaret 20, 67 Togo 94, 116 Tokyo International Conference on African Development 112 Toxopeus, H. 136 trade 17, 19–21, 38–40, 62, 64, 112, 114, 117–24 Transparency International 51, 56, 71 Turkey 93, 112, 117 Uganda aid-fuelled corruption 53 and bonds 65, 97 favourable view of China 109 and HIV–AIDS 71 improved economic growth 101 plunderers and despots 108 population 124 remittances 134 trade-oriented commodity-driven economy 146 UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 102 United Kingdom 108, 120 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 25 United Nations Human Development Report 5 United States and African Growth and Opportunity Act 118 aid history 12–17, 40 bond comparisons 80 diplomatic ties with Zimbabwe 108 Energy Information Administration 103 Food For Peace budget 45 freer trade access for African countries 149 influence compared to China 109–10 and Malawi 56 public’s desire on aid 74 Soft Banks 139 and subsidies 115–16 trading partner status 119 2006 foreign aid 99–100 US Farm Security and Rural Investment Act 2005 115 USSR 14, 19, 24 Venezuela 86 venture capital (VC) 139 Wade, President Abdoulaye 149 Washington Consensus 21–2 Wealth and Poverty of Nations, The (Landes) 33–4, 147 Weber, Max 31 Weder, Beatrice 52 Wen Jibao 104, 114 West African Economic and Monetary Union 88 What makes Democracies endure?

The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard


affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Columbine, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

‘‘From rock music to tourism to television and even education, advertising imperatives and consumer demand are no longer for goods, but for experiences.’’29 A rock music concert became the ultimate postmodern experience, proof with manufactured reality that all claims to truth—and even truth itself—were socially constructed. In July 1985, one of the biggest events in rock history, the Live Aid concert, was held simultaneously in London and Philadelphia. The concert was attended by 160,000 fans while another 1.5 billion watched it on television or listened on the radio in 130 countries. The two simultaneous all-day concerts involved pretty much anybody who was anybody in the rock-and-roll world, and Phil Collins caught the supersonic Concord to play in both cities on two different continents. Hundreds of thousands of people raised their voices together to end the show by singing, ‘‘We are the World.’’ The Live Aid concert raised over $80 million in foreign aid that went to seven African nations: Ethiopia, Mozambique, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Sudan.

., 233–37 Keyes, Alan, 187, 205 Khomeini, Ayatollah Ruhollah, 1, 8–10, 14, 124 King, Rodney Glen, 169 –71 Kohl, Helmut, West German Chancellor, 86 Kolmeshohe Cemetery, 87. See also Bitburg fiasco Korean Airlines Flight 007, 54 Koresh, David, 154 Kosovo, 189–91 Kuwait, 125–26, 128–29, 131, 134, 137 Lebanon: Iran-Contra scandal, 89–90; 1983 involvement, 59–62; TWA 847 hijacking, 88–89 Lennon, John, 72 leveraged buyout, 67 Lewinsky, Monica, 193–96 Lieberman, Senator Joe, 208–9, 233–34 Live Aid concert, 73 Los Angeles riots, 170–72 Luce, Henry, ‘‘The American Century,’’ Life magazine, 76 280 Index MAD (mutually assured destruction), 52 Madonna, 73 McCain, John, 205–7 McFarlane, Robert ‘‘Bud,’’ National Security Advisor, 88–89 McVeigh, Timothy, 176–78 media, 194; campaigns, 81–82, 146, 149, 188; domestic affairs, 172–74, 177, 203; foreign affairs, 131, 134, 160; politics, 140, 194–96 media markets, 31–32, 86, 113, 150, 188, 196, 207, 209, 237– 40 Medicare, 121, 185, 187 Microsoft, 163–64 Middle East, 14, 129, 141, 175, 224, 237, 243 Middle East Peace Accord, 155–57 midterm elections, 79, 129, 157, 204, 224 Milken, Michael, 67–68 Milosevic, Slobodan, 189–91 misery index, 27 modernism, 71–72 Mogadishu, 156 Mondale, Walter, 80–82 ‘‘Morning in America,’’ 83, 85, 187 MTV, 72 1980s, 25, 31–32, 35–36, 46– 47, 65–66, 69–70, 72, 77 1990s, 32, 131, 141, 152, 163, 165, 169, 176, 180–81, 196, 199–200 Nixon, Richard, 4, 17 ‘‘No Child Left Behind,’’ 213, 237 noblesse oblige, 112 Noriega, Manuel Antonio, 118–19 North, Oliver, 89–92 nuclear: freeze, 55, 56; prospect, 96; war, 55–57 Nader, Ralph, 208 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), 142, 161 Nagin, Ray, 243– 44 NASA, 93, 95 NASDAQ, 162 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), 189–91 Nelson, Prince Rogers, ‘‘Prince,’’ 72 New Democrat, 145, 157, 184 New Orleans, 243– 45 New Right, 28, 29 New York City, 220.

Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star by Tracey Thorn


Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, East Village, greed is good, Live Aid, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, University of East Anglia, young professional

I often feel that I barely recognise ‘The 1980s’ as a decade, in the form that it is now remembered and repackaged for glib TV programmes. I would later see the decade reviled, and then revived, but in a manner that bore almost no relation to the years I had lived through. Events which many of us had shied away from, or sneered at, or at least had reservations about, from the Royal Wedding to Live Aid, have now become the unchallenged and unchallengeable iconic moments of the period. It’s not possible to say that you watched not a second of the wedding, and that you were dismissive of Live Aid, without sounding like a complete killjoy outsider, but many of us simply lived an entirely different set of experiences, which seem to have gone unrecorded and unwritten about, so that it’s as though they never happened. Scenes which I never witnessed in my life – yuppies chugging champagne in City wine bars, toffs dancing in puffball skirts to Duran Duran – have now become the universal TV shorthand used to locate and define the era.

pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams


3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Yet these daily outrages pass as rapidly as they emerge, and we are soon on to the next vitriolic crusade. In other places, public demonstrations of empathy with those suffering replace more finely tuned analysis, resulting in hasty or misplaced action – or none at all. While politics always has a relationship to emotion and sensation (to hope or anger, fear or outrage), when taken as the primary mode of politics, these impulses can lead to deeply perverse results. In a famous example, 1985’s Live Aid raised huge amounts of money for famine relief through a combination of heartstring-tugging imagery and emotionally manipulative celebrity-led events. The sense of emergency demanded urgent action, at the expense of thought. Yet the money raised actually extended the civil war causing the famine, by allowing rebel militias to use the food aid to support themselves.6 While viewers at home felt comforted they were doing something rather than nothing, a dispassionate analysis revealed that they had in fact contributed to the problem.

Index 1968, 16–7, 63, 188n33 15M, 11, 22 abstraction, 10, 15, 36, 44, 81 additive manufacturing, 110, 143, 150, 182 affect, 7–8, 113–4, 140–1 afro-futurism, 139, 141 AI (artificial intelligence), 110, 143 alienation, 14–5, 82 algorithmic trading, 111 Allende, Salvador, 148, 149 alternativism, 194n95 Althusser, Louis, 81, 141–2 anti-globalisation, 3, 159, 162 anti-war, 3, 5, 22, 162 Apple, 146, Arab Spring, 131, 159 Argentina, 37–9, 173 authenticity, 10–1, 15, 27, 82, 180 automation, 1–2, 86, 88–9, 94–5, 97–8, 104–5, 109–17, 122, 127, 130, 143, 150–1, 167, 171–4, 181–2, 203n15, 212n121, 214n161, 215n9, 218n45 banking, 43–6, 61, 147 Beveridge Report, 118 big data, 110, 111 Bolshevik Revolution, 131 Bolsheviks, 137 Russian Revolution, 139 Brazil, 75, 119, 147, 157, 169 Bretton Woods, 61–2 Brown, Michael, 173 care labour, 113–4 Chicago School, 51, 59–60 Chile, 52, 62, 148, 149, 150 China, 87, 89, 97, 170 class, 14, 16–7, 20–1, 25, 53, 64–5, 87, 91, 96–102, 116, 120, 122–3, 126–7, 132–3, 155–62, 170, 173–4, 189n1, 206n44, 233n119, 233n4, 233n5, 234n18 Cleaver, Eldridge, 91–2 climate change, 13–4, 116 colonialism, 73, 75–6, 96–7, 225n3 common sense, 9–11, 21–2, 40, 54–5, 58–60, 63–7, 72, 131–7 communisation, 92, 225n5 competitive subjects, 63–5, 99, 124 complex systems, 13–4, conspiracy theories, 14–5 cosmism, 139 Critchley, Simon, 72 cryptocurrencies, 143, 182 Cybersyn, 149–150 debt, 9, 22, 35–6, 94 demands, 6–7, 30, 33, 107–8, 130, 159–62, 167 no demands, 7, 34–5, 107, 186n3 non-reformist demands, 108 transitional demands, 215n5 democracy, 31–3, 182 direct democracy, 27–9, 31–3, 164, 190n8 direct action, 6, 11, 27–9, 35–6 education, 64, 99, 104, 141–5, 165–6 Egypt, 32–4, 190n21 energy, 2, 16,19,41, 42–43, 116, 147, 148, 150–51, 164, 171, 178, 179, 182, 183 Engels, Friedrich, 79 Erhard, Ludwig, 57 ethics, 42 work ethic, 124–6 evictions, 8, 12, 36 feminism, 18–21, 122, 138, 161 Fisher, Antony, 58–9, 196n34 food miles, 42–3 fracking, 8 France, 17, 62, 149, 167 free time, 80, 115–6, 120–1, 167, 219n50 freedom, 63–5, 120–1, 126–7, 180–1 negative freedom, 79 synthetic freedom, 78–83 Friedman, Milton, 56, 59–61 full employment, 98–100 future, 1, 71–5, 175–8, 181–3 G20, 6, 94 gender, 21, 41, 90, 122 Germany, 45, 56–7 ghettos, 95–6 Gramsci, Antonio, 132, 165 Graeber, David, 33 grand narratives, 73–4 Great Depression, 46, 65, 99–101, 114–5 Harvey, David, 135 Hayek, Friedrich, 54–6 Holzer, Jenny, 175, 178 horizontalism, 18, 26–39 housing, 8, 28, 35, 48, 77, 80, 95, 96, 148, 159, 167, 168, humanism, 81–3, 180–1 hyperstition, 74–5, 138–9 Iceland, 34, 164 idleness, 85–6 immediacy, 10–1 immigration, 101–2, 161 India, 87, 97–8, 130 inequality, 22, 80, 93–4 informal economy, 95–8, 203n10, 206n44, 210n95 Institute of Economic Affairs, 58–9 Iranian Revolution, 131 Jameson, Fredric, 14, 92, 198n10 Japan, 147 Jimmy Reid Foundation, 117 jobless recovery, 94–5 Jobs, Steve, 179 Johnson, Boris, 172 Kalecki, Michał, 120 Krugman, Paul, 118 labour, 2, 3,9, 17, 20, 21, 33, 38, 48, 52, 58, 61–3, 74, 79, 81, 83, 85–143, 148, 150, 151, 156–8, 161, 163–181, 182 Laclau, Ernesto, 155, 159 Lafargue, Paul, 115, language, 81, 132, 160, 164–5 leisure, 85–6 Leninism, 17, 131, 188n33 Live Aid, 8 localism, 40–6 locavorism, 41–2 Lucas Aerospace, 147 Luxemburg, Rosa, 15 Lyotard, Francois, 73, 74 Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, 58, 59 marches, 6, 30, 49 Marikana massacre, 170 Marinaleda, 48 Marx, Karl, 73, 79, 85, 86, 92, 115, 119, 121, 122, 132, 142, 156, 158, 180 Mattick, Paul, 92, 118 media, 2, 7–8, 31, 36, 52, 58, 60, 63, 67, 88, 118, 125–6, 129, 133–5, 163–5, 176, 182 Mirowski, Philip, 66 modernity, 23, 63, 69–85, 86, 131, 176, 181 modernisation, 23, 60, 63, 137, 174 Mont Pelerin Society, 54, 86, 134, 164, 166 MPS, 55, 56, 58, 66, 67, 134 Move Your Money, 44 Murray, Charles, 59 Musk, Elon, 179 National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, 172 negative solidarity, 20, 37 neoliberalism, 3, 12, 20–3, 47, 49, 51–67, 70, 72, 108, 116, 117, 119, 121, 124, 134, 141, 142, 148, 156, 176, 179, 183 neoliberal, 7, 9, 14–16, 20, 21, 37, 47, 49, 73, 93, 99, 118, 126, 127, 129, 131–2, 134, 135, 162, 169, 174, 176, 181 New Economics Foundation, 117, 144 new left, 18–22 New Zealand, 151 occupations, 5, 7, 10, 11, 29–31, 34, 49, 94, 172 Occupy Wall Street, 3, 6, 7, 11, 18, 22, 26, 29–38, 126, 133, 158, 159, 160, 162, 189n1 ordoliberals, 54, 57 organic intellectual, 165–6 Overton Window, 134, 139 Partido dos Trabalhadores, 169 parties, political, 2, 10, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 30, 34, 39, 46, 59, 105, 116, 118, 124, 129, 162, 164, 168, 169 personal savings, 94 Piketty, Thomas, 140 Plan C, 117 planning, 1, 15, 56, 141, 142, 149, 151, 182 Plant, Sadie, 82 Podemos, 159, 160, 169 police, 6, 30, 33, 36, 37, 102, 133, 161, 168, 171, 173 postcapitalism, 17, 38, 130, 143, 145, 150, 151, 158, 168, 178, 180 postcapitalist, 12, 15, 16, 32, 34, 83, 109, 115, 126, 136, 143, 145, 150, 152, 153, 157, 179, 180 Post-Crash Economic Society, 143 post-work, 23, 69, 83, 85, 86, 105, 107–127, 129, 130, 138, 140, 141, 153, 155, 156, 158, 161, 163, 164, 167, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178 Pou Chen Group, 170 power, 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 18–21, 26, 28–30, 33, 36, 43, 46, 48, 49, 59, 61, 62, 65, 73, 78, 79, 80, 81, 87, 88, 93, 100, 108, 111, 116, 120, 123, 127, 130–5, 146, 148, 151, 153, 155–74, 175, 176, 179, 180, 182 precarity, 9, 86, 88, 93, 94, 95, 98, 104, 121, 123, 126, 130, 156, 157, 166, 167, 173, 174 precarious, 2, 64, 117, 129, 167 Precarious Workers Brigade, 117 premature deindustrialisation, 97, 98 primitive accumulation, 87, 89, 90, 96, 97 prison, 90, 102, 103, 119, 133 incarceration, 102, 103, 104, 105, 161 productivity, 74, 88, 97, 110–17, 125, 150, 167 progress, 21, 23, 46, 71–5, 77, 107, 114, 115, 120, 126, 131, 138, 179, 180 protests, 1, 7, 18, 22, 28, 31, 37, 49, 66, 153, 164 psychopathologies, 64 radio-frequency identification, 110 race, 14, 31, 90, 102, 103, 140, 156, 171, 172 Reagan, Ronald, 60, 62, 66, 70 Republican Party (US), 135 resistance, 2, 5, 12, 15, 30, 35, 46–8, 49, 69, 72, 74, 83, 114, 124, 134, 158, 173, 181 Rethinking Economics, 143 Robinson, Joan, 87 Roboticisation, 110, 209n69 mechanisation, 95, 101 Rolling Jubilee, 9 Samuelson, Paul, 142 second machine age, 111 secular stagnation, 143 self-driving cars, 110, 111, 113, 173 shadow work, 115 slavery, 74, 90, 95, 103 slow food, 41, 42 slum, 86, 96–8, 102, 104 social democracy, 3, 17, 46, 66, 70, 167, 176 social democratic, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 47, 57, 72, 80, 98, 100, 108, 123, 127, 168 social media, 1, 8, 182 South Africa, 119, 157, 170 Spain, 12, 22, 34, 35, 45, 159, 164 stagflation, 19, 27, 61, 65, 100 Stalinist, 17, 18, 137 strategy, 12, 20, 26, 49, 56, 67, 117, 127, 131–3, 136, 148, 153, 156, 163, 164 strategic, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 25, 28, 29, 35, 49, 52, 55, 66, 70, 77, 108, 116, 131, 135, 157, 162, 163, 164, 170, 171, 173, 174 strikes, 9, 10, 28, 36, 37, 116, 120, 157, 167, 170–3 suicide, 94 surplus populations, 40, 86, 88–94, 96–97, 101–3, 104, 105, 120, 130, 166–7, 173, 203n10 Syriza, 159, 160 tactics, 6, 10, 11, 15, 18, 19, 26, 28, 39, 40, 49, 157, 164, 171–4 Tahrir Square, 32, 34 Taylorism, 152 technology, 1, 3, 72, 81, 88, 89, 98, 109, 110, 111, 129, 136, 137, 145–8, 150–3, 178, 179, 182 Thatcher, Margaret, 59, 60, 62, 66, 70, 72, 100 think tanks, 16, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 63, 67, 117, 134, 135, 165 trade unions, 10, 27, 47, 59, 61, 62, 71, 105, 116, 117, 124, 129, 148, 162, 166 labour unions, 16, 171 unions, 17, 18, 20, 27, 30, 44 UK Uncut, 126 unemployment, 20, 56, 60, 79, 86–98, 99, 100, 101, 101, 102, 115, 116, 118, 121, 123, 125, 127, 129, 147, 159, 161, 168, 170, 173, 207n44 United Automobile Workers, 170 United Kingdom UK, 8, 20, 40, 42, 45, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61, 62, 92, 93, 94, 117, 118, 126, 144, 147, 151, 172 United States, 8, 18, 29, 36, 44, 45, 59, 62, 78, 92, 95, 103, 114, 118, 123, 133, 135, 138, 167 America, 6, 16, 30, 38, 47, 56, 62, 76, 95, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 103, 110, 164 universal basic income, 108, 118, 123, 127, 140, 143 basic income, 80, 108, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 127, 129, 130, 140, 143, 164, 165, 167 universalism, 69, 70, 75–8, 83, 119, 132, 175, 197n1, 199n40 USSR, 62, 63, 79, 139 Soviet Union, 57, 70, 74, 139 utopia, 3, 28, 32, 35, 48, 54, 58, 60, 66, 69, 70, 72, 108, 113, 114, 132, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 150, 153, 177, 179, 181, 182 vanguard functions, 163 Venezuela, 169 wages, 2, 71, 87, 90, 91, 93, 94, 97, 98, 101, 111, 120, 122, 125, 156, 166, 167 welfare, 14, 38, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 71, 73, 90, 100, 101, 103, 105, 118, 119, 122, 124 Wilde, Oscar, 182 withdrawal, 11, 47, 48, 69, 131, 182 exit, 47, 48, 181 escape, 3, 9, 11, 38, 69, 107, 114, 139, 165, 178 work, 1, 2, 16, 17, 23, 32, 36, 41, 44, 47, 64, 71, 85, 86, 90–6, 98, 100, 101, 103–5, 108, 109, 110–7, 120–7, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 136, 140, 141, 142, 143, 147, 150, 151, 152, 157, 163, 165, 166, 170, 173, 174, 176, 177, 178, 181 wage labour, 74, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 92, 103, 104, 105, 120, 136, 141, 180 job, 2, 38, 41, 47, 48, 63, 64, 79, 85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 110, 111, 113, 114–23, 124, 125, 126, 129, 147, 148, 161, 166, 167, 171 worker-controlled factories, 38, 39 workfare, 59, 100, 104 World Trade Organisation, 6 World War II, 46, 54, 56, 57, 115, 156 Zapatistas, 11, 22, 26, 35 zero-hours contracts, 93 Žižek, Slavoj, 140 Zuccotti Park, 31, 32

pages: 487 words: 132,252

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography by Stephen Fry


Alistair Cooke, back-to-the-land, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Isaac Newton, Live Aid, loadsamoney, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Sloane Ranger, South China Sea, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Winter of Discontent

The Saturday after the taping of the last episode of Blackadder II Richard Curtis held a party at his house in Oxfordshire. It was a glorious summer’s day, and, as we all wanted to watch television, Richard unwound an extension cord and put the set on a wooden chair in the shade of an apple tree. We sat on the grass and watched Live Aid all the way through to the end of the American broadcast from Philadelphia. ‘We should do something similar,’ Richard said. ‘How’s that?’ I wasn’t sure what he could mean. ‘Comedians can raise money too. Look at what John Cleese did for Amnesty with those Secret Policeman’s Balls.’ ‘So you mean a Comedians’ Live Aid show?’ Richard nodded. He had already been germinating Comic Relief in his head for some time. Now, almost twenty-five years later, he has devoted six or seven months of his time every other year to an organization that, love or loathe the enforced custardy jollities of its biennial television pratfest, has raised hundreds of millions of pounds to comfort those who have sorely needed it.

pages: 219 words: 61,334

Brit-Myth: Who Do the British Think They Are? by Chris Rojek


Bob Geldof, British Empire, business climate, colonial rule, deindustrialization, demand response, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Isaac Newton, Khartoum Gordon, Live Aid, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, post-industrial society, Red Clydeside, sceptred isle, Stephen Hawking, the market place, urban planning, Winter of Discontent

William Wallace, the Scottish patriot who sought to eject the English from Scotland, is 48th. Freddie Mercury, the camp lead singer of Queen, whose whole life might be interpreted as a rejection of narrow, British masculine conventions, occupies 58th place. James Connolly, one of the Irish revolutionaries who led the 1916 Easter uprising, is 64th. The occultist and drug addict Aleister Crowley is 73rd. Bob Geldof, the pop singer who gained world fame by organizing Live Aid, is 75th. John Lydon (‘Johnny Rotten’), the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, is 87th – one place ahead of Montgomery of Alamein. Bono, the lead singer of u2 and activist for world peace, is number 86. Marie Stopes, the campaigner for women’s rights who was vilified in her day for advocating birth control, is 100th. The late Marxist historian, Christopher Hill, entitled his study of John Bunyan A Turbulent, Seditious and Factious People (1988).

State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century by Francis Fukuyama


Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, centre right, corporate governance, demand response, Doha Development Round, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, Hernando de Soto, information asymmetry, liberal world order, Live Aid, Nick Leeson, Pareto efficiency, Potemkin village, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

The dominant trend in world politics for the past generation has been, after all, the critique of “big government” and the attempt to move activities from the state sector to private markets or to civil society. But parix x preface ticularly in the developing world, weak, incompetent, or nonexistent government is the source of severe problems. For example, the AIDS epidemic in Africa has infected more than 25 million people and will take a staggering toll of lives. AIDS can be treated, as it has been in the developed world, with antiretroviral drugs. There has been a strong push to provide public funding for AIDS medicine or to force pharmaceutical companies to permit the marketing of cheaper forms of their products in Africa and other parts of the Third World. While part of the AIDS problem is a matter of resources, another important aspect is government capacity to administer health programs.

pages: 255 words: 77,849

Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart


banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Donald Trump, ghettoisation, Live Aid, mail merge, period drama, Rubik’s Cube, wage slave

I’ll have to go to China so I’ll miss the school trip to Dungeness Power Station, but that won’t matter because I’ll get famous from my panda charity and I’ll be able to go back there in the autumn as a celebrity. I think that David Van Day will be involved with my panda charity. And if we’re doing the pandas and rainforests then we might as well do Africa as well. We can have a big concert like Live Aid, David Van Day can sing a song, and I can sing the bits I learnt for my choir audition, and it can be at Wembley. I imagine people will want to make a film about it, so I’ll have to be careful with contracts etc. If it wins an Oscar I’ll need to look nice for the Oscars, so I must get Mum to buy me that purple shirt from C&A. (If you’re reading this, Mum, it’s the one with the military things on the shoulders – though that might clash with the Oscar?

Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Live Aid, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men

Lately, renewed interest in Africa’s plight in particular has been fueled by the star power of Angelina Jolie and U2’s Bono, combined with devastating images of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and genocide in Darfur, Sudan. We hear pleas for debt relief and more generous international aid from America and Europe. Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are spending tens of billions of their own dollars to fight malaria, treat AIDS, and educate Africans, to ultimately “make poverty history.”8 But we’ve been here before. Our generation had its LiveAid concerts and “We Are the World” albums following the horrific 1984 famine during the Ethiopian civil war—star power (there’s Bono again) mixed with the iconic image of a starving child left to die on the dusty earth. Private charities and countries’ foreign aid agencies have spent billions annually for decades now hoping to wipe out poverty. We’ve seen round after round of debt relief since the 1970s.

pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna


Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

If you thought this dinner was off the record, it’s not. History is taking notes right now. Frankly, history couldn’t care less what you or I say tonight. History only cares what we do when we leave, in the weeks, months, years even, that follow.”2 Corporate funding to combat AIDS has grown year after year. Bono’s sometimes partner in crime, British ex-rocker Bob Geldof, is known for a less subtle approach. At Live Aid in 1985, he simply screamed into the microphone, “Give us the fucking money!” As far as the people of destitute villages are concerned, it doesn’t matter if the person bringing freshwater, food, or vouchers is bug-eyed Bono or a stiff man in a suit—it’s what he delivers that matters. Even absent an “Actors Without Borders” organization, the celebrity-diplomat model has rapidly spread from West to East.

pages: 364 words: 101,193

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Climatic Research Unit, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Live Aid, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, South China Sea, supervolcano

As the snows disappear, so will much of the wildlife and the verdant forests that tourists currently trek through on their arduous journey to the roof of the African continent. Ghost rivers of the Sahara Far to the north of Kilimanjaro, in the Sahel, another drought-stricken area could by this time be experiencing some blessed relief. The Sahelian region of North Africa has long been synonymous with climatic disaster: during the 1970s and 80s famines struck the area with such severity that they sparked massive humanitarian relief efforts like Band Aid and Live Aid. Reporting from Ethiopia's refugee camps in 1984, the BBC's Michael Buerk spoke of a ‘biblical famine’ as the camera swept slowly over the dead and dying. Over 300,000 people perished during earlier famines in the 1970s. The Sahel is an immense area, stretching in a wide belt east to west across northern Africa from Senegal on the Atlantic coast to Somalia on the Indian Ocean. For the most part savannah and thorn scrub, it is a climatic transition zone between the hyper-arid Sahara to the north and the lush tropical forests which grow nearer to the equator in the south.

pages: 341 words: 111,525

Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart by Tim Butcher


airport security, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, failed state, Live Aid, Livingstone, I presume, Scramble for Africa, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade

I came to focus on which Western country exploited them during the colonial period and which dictator abused them since independence. The analysis was as crude as the underlying assumption: that African nations are doomed to victim status. Things had been different when I was younger. I grew up in Britain in the 1970s and collected milk-bottle tops so that my Blue Peter children's television heroes could dig wells for Kenyan villagers. My last day at school in 1985 was the day when the Live Aid concert rocked the world for victims of the Ethiopian famine. And as a student in the late 1980s I did my bit to bring down the apartheid regime in South Africa, boldly refusing to use my cashpoint card in British banks linked to the white-only government. But by the time I started working in Africa as a journalist in 2000, its patina of despair had thickened to impenetrability. An old newspaper hand took me to one side shortly before I flew out to Johannesburg and gave me some advice.

pages: 279 words: 91,148

Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip Hop Hustler by Ethan Brown


barriers to entry, crack epidemic, Donald Trump, forensic accounting, Live Aid, mandatory minimum

Released on January 15, 1985, King of Rock quickly outsold its predecessor, making RUN-DMC one of the first hip-hop acts to have a track record in the album format; at the same time, the success of the group on the road proved that hip-hop could draw arena-sized crowds. With RUN-DMC’s career taking on a historical importance in the hip-hop scene thanks to first-of-its-kind appearances at the massive benefit concert for African famine relief Live Aid and on American Bandstand and with LL Cool J’s “I Need a Beat” followed up with hits from the Beastie Boys and Jimmy Spicer, Simmons and Rubin were being courted by major labels to sign a distribution deal for Def Jam. The pair signed with CBS/Columbia during the fall of 1985 and though the label—whose roster included established R&B singers like Gladys Knight and Bill Withers—had little experience marketing hip-hop acts, few majors at the time did.

pages: 391 words: 102,301

Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety by Gideon Rachman


Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sinatra Doctrine, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, zero-sum game

Those that are landlocked, drought-stricken, run by crooks, or locked into civil wars are particularly at risk. And once again all these conditions seem to be linked. Recent research has suggested that conflict is 50 percent more likely to break out in an African nation in a year in which drought has led to food shortages—further reason to fear the impact of climate change.14 Images of starvation in Africa have been familiar to Western television viewers since the mid-1980s at least, when the Live Aid concerts of 1985 mobilized popular concern about the Ethiopian famine. But for the world’s rich nations, the fate of the “bottom billion” should now provoke not just compassion, but fear. In a globalized world, the suffering of the poor is not always going to be walled off from the West. The world population is growing rapidly. It was 2.5 billion in 1950, reached 6.6 billion in 2008, and is projected by the UN to hit over 9 billion by 2050.

The Rough Guide to Prague by Humphreys, Rob


active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, clean water, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, land reform, Live Aid, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peace of Westphalia, sexual politics, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile

The 1980s In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the inefficiencies of the economy prevented the government from fulfilling its side of the social contract, as living standards began to fall. Cynicism, alcoholism, absenteeism and outright dissent became widespread, especially among the younger (post-1968) generation. The Jazz Section of the Musicians’ Union, who disseminated “subversive” Western pop music (such as pirate copies of “Live Aid”), highlighted the ludicrously harsh nature of the regime when they were arrested and imprisoned in the mid-1980s. Pop concerts, religious pilgrimages and, of course, the anniversary of the Soviet invasion all caused regular confrontations between the security forces and certain sections of the population. Yet still, a mass movement like Poland’s Solidarity failed to emerge. With the advent of Mikhail Gorbachev, the KSČ was put in an extremely awkward position, as it tried desperately to separate perestroika from comparisons with the reforms of the Prague Spring.

pages: 443 words: 131,268

Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson


A Pattern Language, Colonization of Mars, double helix, epigenetics, Live Aid, Zeno's paradox

INVISIBLE OWLS I remember our night on the ridge I had seen a nook some years before Flat sand and shrubs in broken granite Right on the crest so I thought I could find it And you were game for anything We hiked up in late afternoon Carrying water in our packs Up in the shadow of the Crystal Range Up shattered granite all patched with grasses Until we stepped back into the light We found the nook and pitched the tent Between two gnarly junipers The sun set in the big valley's haze The light leaked out of the sky We leaned against rock cooking our supper And in the last electric blue The richest color in all the world We jerked at a flash in the air above And jerked again as out of the night Black shapes dove at both our heads In the dark we could barely see them Their quick dives made no sound at all Too big for bats too quiet for hawks We ducked it seemed at an onslaught of owls Out hunting in a little pack A strange disjunction of the senses Wings baffled to damp their noise So we heard nothing except the stove Yet saw the steep black strobe approaches The braking the sharp glides turning away Then one came close we sensed the talons I picked up the stove and held it aloft A Bluet canister with blue flames burning Bright in the dark blue expanse of space Beyond it black wings flitting away We laughed with just a touch of a shiver Actually to be considered as food Above the stars popped out all over Netted in the Milky Way And afterimages of blue flame Then we lay in our blue tent The moon rose and our air turned blue A blue still in us It will always be with us All the color of the twilight sky All the time and space we travel The years pass so many now Falling asleep owls twirl overhead I feel the granite under our bodies We soar in blue without a sound TENZING Tenzing did not speak much English Hungry food tired rest Paragraphs from a power in the land Teahouse to teahouse he led us Across land scored deep Rivers in mountains no end to them He arranged our food He arranged our sleep He showed us the way Up the gorge of the Dudh Khosi Green leaves leeches everything wet Always within the monsoon clouds One evening they cleared and there Above the peaks above the clouds Another range above the world We walked up there Namche Bazaar perched in space Thyangboche Pengboche Pheriche Up glacier canyons up their walls Over ice and rock to Gorak Shep Dead Crow the last teahouse Dawn struggle up Kala Pattar Sit on the peak necks craned up To look at Everest Massive slab bright in the sky Sargarmatha Chomolungma Mother Goddess of the World Tenzing pointed at South Col Fabled last camp littered with gear Terrible stories corpses Tenzing had been there four times Portering up and down Khumbu Icefall The sidewalk over the white abyss Where any moment the world could crash And end it all a place in other words Like any other place we stand Beside Tenzing we do not yet know The world and the icefall are the same We see it in his face's Himalaya Gleaming like ice in the sun Windy he said South Col very windy He was fifty-four Later that morning Lisa got sick He led her down by the hand Offering tea sips of water And brought us down to Pheriche Helped run the teahouse while Lisa recovered Helped the Sherpani who cooked all day Led us to the ancient monastery Showed us the wall of demon masks Took us to Thyangboche in the rain Made sure we saw the monks' mandala Five men in red sitting and laughing Over a circle of colored sands Rubbing funnels with sticks To free trickles of red green yellow blue Intent then a joke and we three Sitting with them through a dark rainy day We sit there still in some inner space He led us back down into the world Down to Namche down down to Lukla The little airstrip hacked into the wall Of the gorge an outpost of everything Led us into the Sherpa Co-op at dusk Everyone in there watching TV Powered by the Honda generator out back A video of the Live Aid concert Everyone stunned at the sight Of Ozzy Osborne chewing up the stage Tenzing the man who led us Who took care of us who taught us Finished eating and crossed the room Crouched beside me gestured at the TV America? he said No I said no that's England A REPORT ON THE FIRST RECORDED CASE OF AEROPHACY for Terry Bisson On my forty-third birthday I was nearly done With Mars the drafts were in a shambles Beauty in a novel (as in everything) is An emergent property emerging Late in the process and before that all Is chaos and disorder but my hopes Were high I felt that it was coming Together I wanted the final push to be The convergence of everything I wanted Unreasonable things I had in my possession Some bits of Mars a gram or two of the SNC Meteorite that fell on Zagama Nigeria In October of 1962 after thirteen million years In space little gray chunks of rock Mounted in a necklace given to my wife I unscrewed the casing took out a chunk Climbed onto my roof at sunset A clear day crows flying back From the fields the coastal range dark To the west gilt clouds above it The vault still blue the wind fresh From the delta and there I was On the roofbeam of my house in the middle of My life in the open air about to eat a rock That if not fraudulent a piece of Jersey Was an actual chunk of the next planet out It felt odd even in the performance I have never been able to explain Myself but can only note that in the Attempt to imagine Mars I came to see Earth more clearly than ever before This beautiful world now alive With the drama of an everyday sunset Black birds sailing east in lines Under my feet my home the sun Touching the coastal range I put the rock in My mouth all went on as before No electric shiver that the sunset itself did not Provide no speaking in tongues I bit down It was too hard to break in my mouth Tongued it side to side tasted no taste Ran it over my teeth a little rock Most of it would pass through me But the stomach's fierce acids would Surely tear at the surface of the rock And some few atoms I hoped would stick As carbon incorporated into my bones For their seven-year cycle or For good perhaps and so I sat Digesting Mars and the view the sun Ablink through the Berryessa gap The wind rising each life has its trajectory Up and down in the shimmer of ordinary moments Sudden euphoria stab of grief the pattern dustdevil Funneling down spiraling up in most Exquisite sensitive dependence On unknown factors that dusk nothing of the sort Happened it was a matter of will a Meditative discipline exerted day after Day for years to make a world Transparent in me and my mind at home And as I swallowed parts of another world This one wheeled about me like a veritable California THE REDS' LAMENT They never got it right not any of them not ever never on Earth by definition nor hardly ever on Mars itself the way it was back in the beginning the way it was before we changed it The way the sky went red at dawn the way it felt to wake under the sun light in the self rock under boot .38 g even in our dreams and in our hopes for our children The way the way always came clear even in the worst of the gimcrack chaos Ariadne's thread appearing or not in the peripheral moment lost lost then found and walking on a sidewalk through the shattered land The way so much of it had to be inferred through the suits we walked in cut off from the touch of the world we watched like pilgrims in love from afar alight with fire in the body itself felt as a world the mind apulse in a living wire of thought tungsten in darkness the person as planet the surface of Mars the inside of our souls aware each to each and all to all The way we knew the way had changed and never again would remain the same long enough for us to understand it The way the place was just there the way you were just thinking stone there The way everything we thought we knew in the sky fell away and left us standing in the visible world patterned by wind to a horizon you could almost touch a little prince on a little world looking for The way the stars shone at noon on the flanks of the big volcanoes poking through the sky itself out into space we walked in space and on the sand at once and knew we knew we were not at home the way We always knew we were not at home we are visitors on this planet the Dalai Lama said on Earth we are here a century at most and during that time we must try to do something good something useful The way the Buddha did with our lives the way on Mars we always knew this always saw it in the bare face of the land under us the spur and gully shapes of our lives all bare of ornamentation red rock red dust the bare mineral here of now and we the animals standing in it TWO YEARS We were brothers in those days you and I Mom off to work ten hours a day No child care no friends no family So off we went on our merry way To a nearby park walled by city streets Where Jamaican nannies watched us play One eye on their charges all stunned by the heat Kids here and there mom following daughter Me following you so cautious and neat Hands gripped as you rose on the teeter-totter Intent as you stepped on the bouncy bridge Then tossed your head back burbling laughter When you reached solid ground and stood on the edge Looking back at the span you had crossed without falling Plop on the grass to eat our first lunch You tease as we eat your laughter upwelling Pretend to refuse your apple juice Knock it aside and laugh at its spilling And laugh again at the flight of a bluejay Off to used bookstores' dim musty aisles Retrieving the books you have pulled out and used To toss on the ground and collect people's smiles Until I stop you and you throw a fit And so into the backpack off hiking for miles Your forehead snug on the back of my neck Home then to microwave Mom's frozen milk So that when you wake ravenous for it I'll have tested the temperature with a lick And can lay you out in my elbow's nook And watch you suck to the last squick squick And then you nap again I write my book And for an hour I am on Mars Or sitting at my desk lost in thought as I look Down at the perpetual parade of cars Your cry wakes us both from this dream And we're back at it the movement of the stars No more regular than our routine Untellable tedium not just the diapers The spooning of food the screams But also the weekly pass of the street sweeper The hours together playing with blocks I set them up you knock them down nothing neater And all the time you learning to talk Glossolalia peppered with names Simple statements firm orders Let go walk Telling me to do things a game That made you laugh also knowing When things were in different ways the same Blue truck blue sky your face glowing With delight as your language grew Till description became a kind of telling Power I spit out the sun I sky the blue Sitting in that living room together Each in his own world surprised by new Things spaced out lost to each other Used to each other like Siamese twins Confined to the house by steamy weather Me watching volleyball on ESPN Listening to Beethoven reading the Post You moving your trucks around babbling when You felt like it absorbed focused lost In your own space so fully that watching you I forgot my many selves collapsed to one and was most Happy the past is gone David I asked beloved of God do you remember Bethesda The way my mother would have Asked me Do you remember Zion And David looked at me curiously and said No Dad not really I know how the house looked but all That comes from pictures in Mom's albums you know Yes my first memory is not of Zion but California the Christmas I was three a brown Trike put together by my dad next to the tree but My dad tells me he bought the trike assembled How can we say what did or did not Happen David watching you I tremble You know the world are sophisticated You say you do not remember That time and now you know so much of hate Of anguish of death Will you ever again be so elated By the sight of swans swimming under the wharf Shrieking with laughter as they dove for tossed bread I hope we are these moments deeper than self Deeper than memory always connected Inside each other hoping This helps hope stave off dread Brother of mine boy receding I will try to remember for us The time when you could be so purely happy I SAY GOOD-BYE TO MARS Hiking alone in the Sierra Nevada I stopped one evening in Dragon Basin Above treeline by a small stream Trickling down a flaw in the granite On the floor of this crack were Lush little lawns green moss Furring the banks krummholz bonsai Clustering over low black falls Transparent water glossed on top Standing there I looked Over the fellfield basin a cupped Hand of stone catching rocks Inlaid with a tapestry of plants Lichen sedge and saxifrage Tippling green the pebble all bare Under jagged ridges splintering the sky Beside the rill I made my camp Ground cloth foam pad sleeping bag Pack for a pillow stove at my feet In the failing light my dinner steaming To the gurgle of water and the sky And the stars popping into existence Over the crest of the range still Alpenglow pink spiking indigo The line between the colors pulsing As they faded to two shades of black the number Of stars amazing the Milky Way perfectly Articulating my fall up and into sleep And was never tired Dreamed the same dreams And heard the rockslides rattle and thunder In the throats of these living mountains Something woke me I put on my glasses I lay looking up at stars and the Perseids Meteors darting across the starry black Every few heartbeats every direction Fast slow long short far near White or some a shade of red some Seeming to hiss slow down break up Firing great sparks away to the sides In their wakes I watched held by granite Entrained to a meteor shower beyond Any I had imagined possible the stars Still fixed in their places lighting The great shattered granite walls Of the basin all pale witness Together to fireworks one Plowing the air right over the peaks Fizzing sparks over Fin Dome One shot down just overhead Wow I cried and sat up to look As a great BOOM knocked me into A dark land sparked by fire Fires burning My God I cried oh my God oh my God Struggling to get out of bag into boots On my feet out stumbling around a smell Like autumn leaves burning the past I took up my water bag and crashed about Quenching fires that reignited As I ran to the next oh my God And ran to the stream and stopped thinking That here was the action of my life Putting out fires where there was no wood Vision crisscrossed with afterimages Of the final fall green bolts In every blink of the eye finally I stood in the dark understanding There was no need to hurry I came to a chunk of vivid orange A stone standing alone on a slab A meteorite still glowing with heat I sat down before it I calmed my breathing Cross-legged I watched it glow I put my hand out to it I could feel its heat some distance Away the pure color of fire Films feathering on its surface Incandescent in the night Illuminating the glacial polish Of the slab reflecting in that black Mirror the night quiet the air still Slightly smoky the stars again Fixed in their places the meteor Shower past its peak the stream Chuckling as it had all along Oblivious to the life in the sky A companion of sorts as I watched The burning visitation warm My hands as it filmed over Darkening in its orange Brilliance until it was both orange And black I went to get my sleeping Bag to drape me in my vigil Sleep gone again so many nights Like that but this time justified by My visitor cooling aglow black flakes Crusting over growing Orange darker underneath The moon rose over the jagged peaks Bathed the basin in its cool light Flecked the water in the stream Dark air holding invisible light The meteorite now black over orange Still warm still the center Of all that basin dark on its slab Of polished pale granite In the dawn the rock was purest black Of course I took it home with me And put it on mantelpiece as a Memento of that night and a mark Of where we stand in the world but I will always remember how it felt The night it shot down out of the sky And it glowed orange as I sat beside it And it warmed me like a little sun Purple Mars He crawls out of troubled dreams half-stunned and begging for coffee.

The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly


airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, end world poverty, European colonialism, failed state, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Live Aid, microcredit, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, publication bias, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, structural adjustment programs, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

At Davos in January 2005, British prime minister Tony Blair called for “a big, big push forward” in Africa to reach the Millennium Development Goals, financed by an increase in foreign aid.14 Blair commissioned a “Report for Africa,” which released its findings in March 2005, likewise calling for a “big push.” Gordon Brown and Tony Blair put the cause of ending poverty in Africa at the top of the agenda of the G8 Summit in Scotland in July 2005. Bob Geldof assembled well-known bands for “Live 8” concerts on July 2, 2005, to lobby the G8 leaders to “Make Poverty History” in Africa. Veterans of the 1985 Live Aid concert, such as Elton John and Madonna, performed, as did a younger generation’s bands, such as Coldplay. Hundreds of thousands marched on the G8 Summit for the cause. Live 8’s appeals for helping the poor and its dramatizations of their sufferings were moving, and it is great that rock stars donate their time for the needy and desperate. Yet helping the poor today requires learning from past efforts.

pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman


3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

They told a familiar tale: no work in the village, went to the town, no work in the town, heading north. Here and elsewhere, desertification acts as the trigger; climate change and population growth act as amplifiers; interethnic and tribal conflicts are the political by-product, and WhatsApp provides both an alluring picture of where things might be better—Europe—and a cheap tool for hopping a migration caravan to get there. “In the old days,” says Barbut, “we could just give them a Live Aid concert in Europe or America and then forget about them. But that won’t work anymore. They won’t settle for that. And the problem is now too big.” No walls will permanently hold them back. I interviewed twenty men from at least ten African countries at the International Organization for Migration aid center in Agadez—all had gone to Libya, tried and failed to get to Europe, and returned, but were penniless and unable to get back to their home villages.

Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy


active measures, air freight, airport security, centre right, clean water, computer age, Exxon Valdez, Live Aid, old-boy network, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, urban sprawl

It was sure a big furnace, one of the men thought-big enough to cremate a couple of bodies at the same time-and, judging by the thickness of the insulation, a damned hot one. He pulled down the three-inch thick door, locked it in place, and punched the ignition button. He could hear the gas jetting it and lighting off from the sparkler things inside, followed by the usual voosh. There was nothing unusual about this. Horizon Corporation was always disposing of biological material of one sort or another. Maybe it was live AIDS virus, he thought. The company did a lot of work in that area, he'd read. But for the moment he looked at the papers on his clipboard. Three sheets of paper from the special order that had been faxed in from Kansas, and every line was checked off. All the containers specified were now ashes. Hell, this incinerator even destroyed the metal lids. And up into the sky went the only physical evidence of the Project.