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Development as self-discovery
I used to talk about how I wished I could get a fortune-teller to read my palm and tell me what career I should pursue, "rather than some long torturous journey of self-discovery." Never happened. The journey's been good, anyway. A couple of things I've read have, explicitly or implicitly, triggered the self-discovery theme again.

Dani Rodrik on "self-discovery in practice" in Ethiopia: "...entrepreneurship in a developing country consists of discovering the underlying cost structure--what can and cannot be produced profitably. Initial investors in a new line of economic activity face a great amount of uncertainty, since foreign technology always needs some local adaptation. Plus, their cost discovery soon becomes public knowledge--everyone can observe whether their projects are successful or not--so the social value they generate exceeds their private costs."

Random internet commentors on Kenya's new media bill: this bill has received a lot of negative media attention in Kenya, due to increased government censorship powers in the bill. The comments section of this post has attracted a lot of smart, well-informed Kenyans. Interestingly, they don't seem to trust the media much more than they trust the government (see comments about the media's "hate propagation" during the post-election violence.) Anyway, no specific key phrases here, it's just fascinating to watch democracy evolve through debate and power struggle. And the debate is as much about Kenyan identity as about any abstract principles of democracy, because if those principles had no purchase on people's values, they'd never take root.

last timestamped: 03:54:44 07-Jan-2009
in categories:Commerce/InternationalDevelopment, Other/Politik





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