Loss of a literaty icon

(SUD FOTO SERGIO SIANO)I was sadden to find out that my favorite author Umberto Eco passed away recently. Several of his books are among my favorites including Baudolino, Foucault’s Pendulum, The Name of the Rose, and How to travel with a salmon and other essays.

His books were often dense with symbolism, and could read almost like a game, where he dared you to peal back all of the layers. But throughout there was a sense of self-effacement, and joy with the games you can play with words that avoided ever feeling pretentious.

The economist wrote a nice joint obituary for Umberto Eco and Harper Lee who also recently passed away.

Presenting in Bogota Colombia


Last week I presented work I’ve been involved with at IFPRI with the IMPACT model. I explained how the model works and how this tool can be used in conjunction with other tools developed at IFPRI can be applied to the Colombian context to analyze complex issues like the effects of climate change on agricultural prices, land-use, and GHG emmissions.

Take a look at the blogpost I posted about the event at the Global Futures website: http://globalfutures.cgiar.org/2014/12/03/leds-modelling-workshop-adapting-ifpri-tools-and-methodologies-to-the-colombian-policy-context/


Presenting in Buenos Aires

Just posted a blog on the Global Futures website about my trip to Buenos Aires, where I presented work done at IFPRI looking at the potential role of new agricultural technologies in sustainable intensification and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Agricultural Projections at the Cereals Exchange in Buenos Aires – INAI conference Argentina

Migration is Development

Migration is Development

Very interesting article by Peter Sutherland at Project Syndicate illustrating the importance of considering migration in the overall context of economic development. I think that too often we think of economic development interventions with the idea that the people we are trying to help are fixed in location. I think Sutherland makes the important point that we shouldn’t do this. Migration be it international, or national (read urbanization) is neither a good or bad thing in and of itself. But it is a reality. People are often able and willing to move in search of better economic, political, and social opportunities. When we ignore this reality we limit our ability to create effective and sustainable interventions.

Venezuela: Panel Will Investigate Roots of Cancer That Killed Chávez

Venezuela: Panel Will Investigate Roots of Cancer That Killed Chávez

Completely absurd. If the U.S. had the capacity to take out people by inducing cancer in them since the 50s, I am pretty sure that there would be evidence of this spectacular assassination technique. I mean how many problematic leaders would have been targeted before Chavez (Fidel Castro, Manuel Noriega, Sudan Hussein, Ali Khamenei, or Muammar Gaddafi)?

It would be nice if Maduro would move past this ridiculous anti-imperialism, and start to move towards treating Venezuela’s real economic, social, and political problems. I hope that this is indeed what happens, but I am a lot more skeptical this is the direction things will be going under Maduro.