This Month I Learned

Breaking a drought of non-fiction reading, I’ve started on Francis’ Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution (2011). This is part 1 of his history of the evolution of government – the second volume (released this year) extends his argument to the present day. So far, it’s readable and interesting: here is a summary of Fukuyama’s arguments, and here is a useful review.

In today’s links:

Around the world

  • Landline, a weekly TV programme produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, offers a regular, fascinating insight into rural Australia. This week is no exception. For example, this 84-year-old’s home-made mill incorporates parts from almost everything, from old bomber parts to a steam engine. MacGyver (and Mad Max) have nothing on him.
  • And speaking of which, these photos offer a striking look at outback Australia.
  • Trade between emerging nations doesn’t receive anywhere near the press that it probably should. Here is a piece on Chinese business in Ethiopia.

Technology, affecting our lives

Earning a living

And finally

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