I get letters! Cosma: "Eurocentrism in the history of mathematics, the case of the Kerala School" has less explication of the mathematics than I would have liked. (The recent Pingree article in Daedalus is much better in that respect.) They go into detail how earlier European historians systematically belittled the accomplishments of Indian mathematics -- unsurprising but infuriating -- discuss current (lacking) presentations of the material, and propose a possible channel for the flow of Kerala mathematics to Europe in the early modern period, through the Jesuit presence in south India. Their case that this actually happened, however, is in my opinion slight. Strong enough for the plot of a Tim Powers novel, but come on, people. It's not like the Jesuits didn't write letters. They would have had to, for this conduit to work. Dig something up in the archives, and we'll talk.
Acemoglu: let me post their abstract here:
Botswana has had the highest rate of per-capita growth of any country in the world in the last 35 years. This occurred despite adverse initial conditions, including minimal investment during the colonial period and high inequality. Botswana achieved this rapid development by following orthodox economic policies. How Botswana sustained these policies is a puzzle because typically in Africa, "good economics" has proved not to be politically feasible. In this paper we suggest that good policies were chosen in Botswana because good institutions, which we refer to as institutions of private property, were in place. Why did institutions of private property arise in Botswana, but not other African nations? We conjecture that the following factors were important. First, Botswana possessed relatively inclusive pre-colonial institutions, placing constraints on political elites. Second, the effect of British colonialism on Botswana was minimal, and did not destroy these institutions. Third, following independence, maintaining and strengthening institutions of private property were in the economic interests of the elite. Fourth, Botswana is very rich in diamonds, which created enough rents that no group wanted to challenge the status quo at the expense of "rocking the boat". Finally, we emphasize that this situation was reinforced by a number of critical decisions made by the postindependence leaders, particularly Presidents Khama and Masire.I'm interested in the Botswana/Lesotho comparison, since the two nations have common recent cultural roots, less historically divergent than New Englanders and Virginians. Haematoxylin: an important biological stain, made from an obscure dye wood. The amount of trial and error which went into discovering these things is astonishing. Tempskya: it's a Cretaceous fern which converged to a tree, but with a trunk made from many multiple intertwined stems and roots. Anguizola: it's less interesting because it's early. The Silver Roll workers slipped down the memory hole. Some info on strikes and racial clashes, some boosterism. Arthur and Polak: much less interesting than it sounds. Autonomous design programs discover that modules are useful. Tempted to delete it. Martin Wisse: yeah, most of them are. You might need institutional access. Intermarriage: Mike, haven't you been reading the blog? The practical upshot in your case is that your children will be much more likely to be heterogamous themselves, the way (say) Will Baird's family has for the last two hundred years. I don't think Bisin et al. do a convincing job disentangling the effects of geographic localization, in part because their data set is so coarse-grained. (It's a bad sign when you can determine sample sizes from a rate table.) Forward Surgical Teams: in my humble opinion, a more important military concept than "fourth generation warfare" or "the three-block war".