Winners Take All: Modern philanthropy means that giving some away is more important than how you got it

Anand Giridharadas was a former McKinsey consultant turned "thought leader," invited to the stages of the best "ideas festivals" and to TED (twice), the author of some very good and successful books, and as a kind of capstone to this career, he was named a fellow to the Aspen Institute, an elite corps of entrepreneurs who are given institutional support and advice as they formulate "win-win" solutions to the world's greatest problems, harnessing the power of markets to lift people out of poverty and oppression. Read the rest

How "philanthropy" is a way for rich people to preserve the inequality that benefits them

Since its publication in August, Anand Giridharadas's Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World has been tearing through the world, changing the way we think about inequality, philanthropy and elites; Giridharadas is an Aspen Institute Fellow who's long traveled in elite circles, but who concluded that the philanthropy of the super-rich isn't just an inadequate substitute for a fairer world -- it's actually part of the system that perpetuates the gross unfairness of mass inequality. Read the rest

Origins of using "so" as a sentence opener

Anand Giridharadas of the New York Times traces the origins of using the word "so" to start sentences, and its widespread adoption.

So, it is widely believed that the recent ascendancy of "so" began in Silicon Valley. The journalist Michael Lewis picked it up when researching his 1999 book The New New Thing: "When a computer programmer answers a question," he wrote, "he often begins with the word 'so.'" Microsoft employees have long argued that the "so" boom began with them.


This logical tinge to "so" has followed it out of software. Starting a sentence with "so" uses the whiff of logic to relay authority. Where "well" vacillates, "so" declaims.

"So" Pushes to the Head of the Line Read the rest

Small, cheap, and not American: the next big thing in mobile

"What if, globally speaking, the iPad is not the next big thing? What if the next big thing is small, cheap and not American?" Anand Giridharadas on the global possibilities involving cheap, accessible, simple cellphones for texting and voicing, "in an age when more humans have access to cellphones than clean toilets." Read the rest

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