Links I liked

1. The case for smart Republicans

2. A new user’s guide to regression discontinuity

3. A distinctly different view of Darfur

4. This and this book very intereting so far. Stay tuned for reviews.

5. GiveWell, a non-profit that evaluates what charities do the most good, is looking for input on the effectiveness of foreign aid. Want to join their research feedback group? Grad students, academics, aid workers, consultants: contact them here.

4 thoughts on “Links I liked

  1. I delight in the notion of libertarians being able to select which persons are “smart;” indeed, you’ll see a spirited defense of notable dimwit Sarah Palin in Kling’s comments.

    There will be no collection of libertarians in the Democratic Party. This is because “libertarian” is a fancy word for “wants to pay less taxes no matter what.” So the GOP will continue to offer stupid tax cuts, and libertarians will continue to vote for it, no matter how obviously stupid and destructive their policies are. The full-on assault on civil liberties of the Bush years proved without a doubt that libertarians have no ideals other than paying less in taxes. Slip a libertarian a twenty, and you have a vote.

    Anyone who can say, as Kling does, that the Democratic Party, which has a profound history of improving the lives of the poor on every metric imaginable, is engaged in the process of exploiting them — a Party whose current standardbearer is the African-American son of a poor immigrant — has no capacity for an interesting comment of any sort. I continue to be baffled by the esteem in which either Marginal Revolution or Econlog is held.

  2. Oh dear, GiveWell again. I want to like this organization but their approach is appallingly ignorant and inadequate. It is so easy to be critical when you know just about nothing but have great wads of cash and think that you got all that cash because you are super talented.

    From their website: “GiveWell started as a group of donors, employed full-time in the hedge fund industry, discussing how to accomplish as much good as possible.”

  3. I know you’ve linked to GiveWell before (and Elie has commented here), but they’ve got a bad reputation on the internet for unethical behaviour including astroturfing – posting fake comments to promote themselves.

    Wikipedia’s GiveWell entry mentions it, the NYT has done two articles on their unethical internet behaviour (“Founder of a Nonprofit Is Punished by Its Board for Engaging in an Internet Ruse” and “Nonprofit Punishes a 2nd Founder for Ruse’), and Metafilter (a long-running community weblog – see Time’s recent profile) has a long Givewell entry in their wiki.

    These incidents were from just a year ago and the folks involved are still the principle employees. I don’t know what (if anything) has changed, but people should at least be aware of their reputation and unethical behaviour when considering to help them with research.

  4. But where is the distinctly different view on Darfur? He does not say anything about Darfur, instead he uses the “And you are lynching Negroes” type of defense and talks about Iraq and Gaza.