Week Resadieu

by zunguzungu

It’s been an eventful week, so eventful that I’m declaring it only to have ended today and am only now getting around to posting a (fairly weak) set of links.

Sort of a startling figure:

…in the past nine years, more US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action in either the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are official figures from the US Department of Defence, yet somehow they have not been deemed newsworthy to report.

A nice list of the films, tv shows, and books made about the Iraq war.

Still reading newspapers in Kenya:

…how highly prized newspapers still are here—at a time when they’re dying like flies in the U.S. Kenya may be one of the poorest countries in the world (it ranked 149th in per-capita GDP in 2006) but its nearly 40 million citizens, both middle-class and otherwise, have a seemingly unquenchable passion for print.

Why that’s so has something to do with culture. Patrick Quarcoo, a successful Ghanaian entrepreneur who started a new Kenyan newspaper, the Star, in 2007—yes, you read that right, a new daily newspaper—says it was his grandmother who taught him about the significance of print in an African context. “She had no real formal education, but she always used to say in Pidgin English ‘Book no lies,’?” he recalls. “She completely believed in the power of print to shape our destiny.”

That belief continues to be widespread today all over the continent. “People want to see it to believe it,” says Joe Otin, the media research and monitoring director at the Kenyan affiliate of Synovate, a media research and watchdog firm. Each newspaper in Kenya is typically read by fourteen people, and those who can’t afford to buy a paper sometimes “rent” one. My neighborhood news vendor charges the equivalent of thirteen cents for thirty minutes with one of the major dailies, all of which are in English. That compares with fifty cents to buy one, a significant sum even to office workers earning $20 a day, and out of reach for the far more numerous casual workers who generally earn no more than $2.

The erosion of privacy on Facebook, through a timeline of excerpts from their privacy policy:

Facebook Privacy Policy circa 2005:

No personal information that you submit to Thefacebook will be available to any user of the Web Site who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.

Current Facebook Privacy Policy, as of April 2010:

When you connect with an application or website it will have access to General Information about you. The term General Information includes your and your friends’ names, profile pictures, gender, user IDs, connections, and any content shared using the Everyone privacy setting. … The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to “everyone.” … Because it takes two to connect, your privacy settings only control who can see the connection on your profile page. If you are uncomfortable with the connection being publicly available, you should consider removing (or not making) the connection.

And because I’m really lazy, I’m just going to wholesale plunder Caleb Crain’s “What I know about Keynesianism I learned from…” list:

…what I understand of Keynes derives from my reading of articles by Richard Posner, Aaron Swartz, and Paul Krugman, further stimulated by Ben Kunkel’s essay “Full Employment” (excerpt here) and reinforced by articles like this one by Joseph Stiglitz.

Via Ta-Nehisi Coates, America’s historians tear Henry Louis Gates a new one on his silly reparations column.

And via someone, all the old foreign service institute language tapes available online.