Thucydides on the prosperity that comes with peace

This is Thucydides writing in 432 BC. Apart from the general description of how stability affects the accumulation of wealth he also gives what is probably the earliest description of the resource curse. … it is evident that the country now called Hellas had in ancient times no settled population; on the contrary, migrations were of frequent occurrence, the several…

Time and money

I’ve been spending quite a few of my mornings running through the centre of Cambridge. A lot of it is beautiful – especially the colleges. And they’re very wealthy: the total endowment of Cambridge’s 31 colleges works out at a little over £4 billion, and their net assets run closer to £7.5 billion. There are many stories to tell about…

Alright on the night

If you don’t practice, it’s not very likely to be. Doing something for real is likely to be the best practice if the stakes aren’t too high, and if you’re likely to get enough goes at it. But if you can’t practise “in the wild,” consider a dress rehearsal, where everything is as close to possible as the real thing.…

Resource recommendation: online card-sorting game maker from Flippity

Flippity.net has a load of clever templates that turn Googlesheets into various educational things. We’ve just used the “Manipulatives” template to make this card-sorting game to help teachers learn about the different levels of our Indonesian literacy curriculum during online training. It’s easy to use, keeps things simple, and just works. Recommended. P.S. Thanks Flippity!

If someone keeps letting you down

Because you’re waiting for their help, but they don’t make time; Or don’t do what they say they’ll do; Or do it badly; Or can’t do the job they’ve been given; Or only do it inconsistently; Or aren’t engaged when you need them to be; Or damage relationships and reputations; Or otherwise hold you or others back… It’s probably time…

UK income inequality by ethnicity: data from the ONS

This article in the Guardian summarises a new set of data from the Office of National Statistics. Here’s the key table on income inequality (based on median hourly income). Main takeaways: Workers of White Irish, Chinese and Indian ethnicity on average earn significantly more than White British. (This gap gets bigger for under 30s – see below). Workers of Pakistani…

Victor Hugo: two faces of political violence

They wanted an end to oppression, an end to tyranny, an end to strife, work for men, education for children, social goodwill towards women, liberty, equality, fraternity, bread for all, an idea for all, a paradise made of this world, progress. And that good, sweet blessed thing, progress, they demanded fearsomely, driven to extremity, to utter distraction, half-naked, with bludgeon…

“What can I do?”

… is the question you’ve been waiting to be asked, and it deserves your full attention. Who’s asking? What are they doing now? What can they do? What could they do? (Should you tell them? Should you ask them to tell you?) What else will it take from you to make it happen? Un-busy yourself, spend some time thinking about…

Five in a row from Seth Godin

Attitudes are skills “No one ever bought anything on an elevator. The elevator pitch isn’t about selling your idea, because a metaphorical elevator is a lousy place to make a pitch. When you feel like you’re being judged and only have a minute to make a first impression, it’s tempting to try to explain the truth and nuance of who…

The next (small) step

In the face of too much to do (which there always will be), too little time (there is never enough), lack of clear information about the present (let alone the future), and uncertainty about what’s going to work (probably the bit that makes your work interesting and important) and how best to do it, what should you do? One answer…