Links I liked: mobiles v coke; Obama’s Mandela moment etc

Are mobiles the new Coca Cola? Mobile phones are held up as the most promising aspect of new technology in terms of helping poor people improve their lives, but some new research suggests people are cutting back on food and other essentials to pay for the all important status symbol. See here for a summary of the research and discussion.

A promising new website called African Arguments Online, hosted by the Royal African Society and the Social Science Research Council, promises to provide ‘the most vigorous debates on Africa available on the web’.

Why is the Hudson airplane rescue a metaphor for the financial bailout? See here

Hyperactive Yale blogger Chris Blattman tries to ‘dream like an engineer’ on African infrastructure here

Top Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee brilliantly captures the historical significance of¬†the Mandela moment of Obama’s inauguration¬†here. I thought Obama’s speech showed a real recognition that campaigning may be conducted in poetry, but governing is done in prose (a line originally coined by Mario Cuomo, I believe).

And just because I like the title, how about ‘markets punish UK for saving markets‘. The UK government bails out the banks at huge cost to the taxpayer. Financial analysts say ‘ooh look, a big deficit’ and start dumping sterling and shares. In the immortal words of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, ‘if you want a friend, get a dog.’

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