May 23, 2009

Congo Importing Farmers

It's not colonialism if you are invited, right?  (Or, is it the refusal to leave when asked?)  As the article points out there are problems with this plan but it seems potentially more desirable (with the possibility for greater long term local returns) than the wholesale leasing of huge tracts of arable land to sovereign states.

May 12, 2009


Posts have been a bit scarce of late and will be more so in the next few days, as we just had a baby.  We are sleepy, we are excited, we are parents.  

PS - In the meantime If you missed Justin Timberlake on SNL, I'm up late these days, there are a couple of skits that are worth watching - I don't love his music but the guy has skills - that monologue was brilliantly done.  The Geithner opening was a couple minutes too long but funny:

May 5, 2009

Markets in Everything: Home Victories

With the usual apologies to Marginal Revolution, from the AJC:
Georgia, which has beaten New Mexico State by an average of 32 points in three previous meetings, will pay the Aggies $925,000 to come to Athens for another game.

The Bulldogs will play New Mexico State on Nov. 5, 2011, in Sanford Stadium.

Georgia is to pay New Mexico State the $925,000 — believed to be the largest payout UGA has made to a visiting team — by Jan. 31, 2012, according to the contract between the schools, obtained this morning by the AJC.
By my calculations that's an average margin of victory cost of $28,906.25 per point.  Memo to Coach Richt, pull the offense back in the second half and you could save a few hundred thousand dollars the next time contract negotiations come around.

May 4, 2009

Spamming the White Man's Burden

Andy Baio documents the latest development in 419 spam with the receipt of this email:
From: jenifergoodluck (Your Big Fool)
Date: Mon, May 4, 2009 at 6:11 AM
Subject: You Owe Me
Since you haven't fallen for my stupid scam letter let me go ahead and be up front with you.

Because I am a Nigerian, you owe me something. The fact that my decadent forefathers sold their neighbors and relatives into slavery means that you owe me a lot of money, especially if you are white. I will accept $1000 USD from you per month for the next 12 months. That will settle your debt towards me that was created by our forefathers.

Moreover, it is imperative that you begin to acknowledge my inherited right to steal and be corrupt without oppression from anybody's legal system. I am entitled to instant riches at the expense of everyone outside West Africa.

This starts with you, my friend, so start paying up now by Western Union.
Check Andy's post for the full story but his theory is that this call for colonial reparations is actually a hackers retaliation to an earlier more standard 419 email.  Another possibility is that it is viral marketing for either Western Union or Dambisa Moya.