Month: July 2017

Pantries > libraries

Back in May, Kriston Capps ripped into the Little Free Libraries movement, with some decent arguments on his side. Little Free Libraries are tiny huts where people can leave books, or take them, with no money changing hands. They’re intended, Capps says, to be a “heart-warming civic-minded gesture,” but he makes the case that they’re…

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Saving forests saves lives

Wanna read a new scientific paper about deforestation? Two brand new ones came out on Thursday. Read this one first, from Science, if only because it’s only going to be freely available online for two weeks. It’s a fascinating study which shows that if you pay Ugandan forest owners just to keep their forests in…

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Betraying Norman Rockwell

When museums sell off their treasures, one jargon word is unavoidable: “deaccession”. The thing to look out for is how many other jargon words there are. As ever, more = worse. Enter the Berkshire Museum, explaining why it’s selling off the single most valuable piece in its collection, Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barbershop. The piece has…

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People of color aren’t managing foundations’ money. They should be.

Never let it be said that nothing substantive ever comes out of expense-account boondoggles like the Black Corporate Directors Conference. Every so often, a well-placed question can result in positive changes worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Such was the case in 2010, when a conference delegate asked Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen about how…

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Rich people giving to rich people: The good, the bad, and the very, very ugly

Rich people often target their philanthropic donations in the direction of other rich people. Warren Buffett gives billions to Bill Gates; Reid Hoffman gives millions to Mark Zuckerberg. When it’s done well (and Buffett has done it well), this can be an extremely effective exercise in allocative efficiency. Giving away very large sums of money…

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