*The Horn of Africa: State Formation and Decay*, by Christopher Clapham

A splendid book, why can’t the rest of you ****ers write books this good?  Here is one bit:

…the dynamics of clan works in a significantly different way in Somaliland from the way it does in south-central Somalia.  A single clan-family, the Isaaq, occupy the central areas of the territory, and account for by far the greater part of its population.  Though the Isaaq clans, inevitably, are divided both between and within themselves, they provide a reasonably solid ethnic core, that contrasts with the far more mixed and complex composition of southern Somalia, with its two major clan-families, Darood and Hawiye, and the further problems created by the presence of the Digil-Mirifle and other minority groups.  Somaliland is by no means entirely Isaaq…but its demographic structure means that other clans must either accept Isaaq hegemony and work within it, or else reject the Somaliland state altogether.  They cannot expect to control it.  At the same time, the fact that the Isaaq clans — characteristically of Somali clan politics — do not form a single united bloc provides other clans with the opportunity to build alliances with one or another group of the Isaaq.

Have you ever wanted to read about how ethnic groups in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti fit into this same broad picture?  Just exactly how Somalian and Ethiopian history intersect, from the 1970s onwards?  This here is your book.  I’m running to Amazon right now to buy more from this wonderful author.  You can buy it here.


Sometimes you wonder - '****ers' as a taunt and 'I’m running to Amazon right now' sounds a bit different than the Prof. Cowen normally on display at MR.

Think he got hacked?

Nope - but it would not surprise me if had posted during or immediately after a sporting event whose outcome he cared about.

To come up with one of those ever so convincing explanations for why people act the way they do.

But it is strange for Prof. Cowen to be apparently taunting either other authors or everyone. A quaint expression might be along the lines of he was apparently feeling his oats. (And for the MR literalists - I doubt he actually ate any oats immediately before posting, nor is Prof. Cowen a horse, of course, of course.)

I know how it feels.

Or he is just trying to get some returns on the time invested into blogging via the Amazon referal link programme.

Looks like Tyrone snuck on his computer again!

Michelle Obama on ‘leaning in’: "Sometimes that shit doesn’t work"

Tyler Cowen on authorial mediocrity: "why can’t the rest of you ****ers write books this good?

Average is Over Rhetoric

The "Clan" and the culture that goes with it is contrary to individual success or achievement. It is stifling and intimidating. It is exactly this culture that prevents Africans from getting beyond a shithole 3rd world country.

Tyler, blink twice if you’ve been kidnapped.

But do not, for the love of all that is holy, use this tag - blink

Saved by the filter, it appears. Deservedly so, though my browser does support blink tag functionality.

I simply don’t know what to make of this post: not TC’s “voice” but precisely the kind of his eclectic book recommendations which have filled half my shelves. A pair of ducks.

Is this a metaphor for the "clan" at GMU? More broadly, is this a message that diversity divides. Accept the hegemony of the dominant group/clan and work within it by building alliances with one or more members of the dominant group/clan.

The right-wing obsession over the PC culture on college campuses might give one the impression that everyone on college campuses is opposing the dominant group/clan by attempting to restrict communication that implicitly accepts the hegemony of the dominant group/clan and by promoting what's called diversity . Of course that's a false impression, as most college students are there to make good grades in order to get into grad or professional school or get a job upon graduation and to have a good time while doing it, students who have no interest in challenging the hegemony of the dominant group/clan.

I've spent my career resolving differences among people from different clans, and what works best is to be both respectful to and acceptance of the opposing clan and to build alliances with one or more members of the opposing clan. I once had the unfortunate experience of working with a lawyer who announced at the beginning of our conference, a conference intended to resolve differences among the partners in a medical partnership, that he wasn't there to make friends and didn't care if he offended everyone else present. He succeeded on two fronts: the differences were not resolved and the partnership dissolved, and the lawyer made no friends.

The Trump administration's obsession over Iran, primarily the result of the influence of the always-wrong John Bolton, recently led to the arrest of an executive with a large Chinese telecommunications company, and not just any executive, but the daughter of the founder, a highly regarded and influential member of China's business elite. The Trump administration is demanding that China accept the hegemony of the American clan, in trade, international relations, and even fiscal policy. America can no more demand hegemony over China than GMU can demand hegemony over Yale: they are different clans with different dominant groups. If the Trump administration wants to influence China, or if GMU wants to influence Yale, they must work within the dominant group by building alliances within it.

The right-wing obsession over the PC culture on college campuses

Well, if the 'obsession' bothers you, why not write to your pals who control these campuses and tell them to knock it off. The PC culture is astroturf and wouldn't exist at all if the dean of students didn't insist that campus security enforce ordinary disciplinary rules and if employees of the dean of students and the worst sort of faculty weren't promoting bad behavior. It also wouldn't exist if you didn't have a visible corps of students who weren't up to the academic pace, something you can thank the institutional diversicrats as well.

I see a wasting eternalism in your perspective. You are too old to be that immature, it must be the zeitgeist speaking through you rather than your years of experience.

If you are not willing to walk away, you can't really negotiate, only beg or cajole. These are emotional appeals. They create baggage (psychic pollution) for all involved.

Partnerships-indeed all human associations-dissolving is a creative destruction. We don't need rayward crying cause the story's sad. Seriously, stop. Assuming the other lawyer should be your friend is way retarded.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. He’s bored, and is trolling. I mean rayward. (TC on the other hand is interesting even when not in a good mood.)

In my country, Amazon run to me.

Can this be squared with Ashraf and Galor's paper (https://voxeu.org/article/out-africa-hypothesis-human-genetic-diversity-and-comparative-economic-development) on the genetic diversity of national population?

Wasn't this sort of a use of the word supposed to be toxic masculinity?

I think he might have meant

Possibly, though four * were used. Writer might fit, though author or blogger wouldn't.

And that we are discussing (with at least mock seriousness) whether Prof. Cowen would use fucker (or at least possibly using it) on MR is not a typical situation.

we think ****ers means "readers"
that would fit
its because we like reading good books/the newyorker
and sawing stuff

Possibly, but generally, no one thinks of readers writing books, as that is what authors do.

It is really not clear what group Prof. Cowen is referencing, but authors are responsible for writing books, even when authors can also be readers.

And, of course, Prof. Cowen is an author, and it is easy to see '... why can’t the rest of you ****ers write books this good' as a taunt, to whatever group/noun is intended.

buen punto!
que John McPhee hombre tiene un nuevo libro. Después de que hayamos terminado de aserrar vamos a leerlo.

Friends, what are the odds that someone wanting to write "writers" or "bloggers" would write "****ers" instead of spelling out the actual word? (I know this is the wrong conditional probability to look at, but serves better to illustrate the point).

While this does sound alike a good book, I find that going back and rereading Ryszard Kapuscinski's books on various parts of Africa still illuminating. He was one of the most astute political observers of our time.

Also, how is this book any different than: "Getting Somalia Wrong?: Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State (African Arguments) Paperback – 9 Feb 2012 by Mary Harper" ? Which I've also not read.

But I'm calling B.S. on TC's book, since I once read that most young Africans have no sense of history, so it's unlikely they make such fine distinctions as: "the dynamics of clan works in a significantly different way in Somaliland from the way it does in south-central Somalia". I somehow doubt it, but I admit I could be wrong. It's like the Christians and Muslims here in the Philippines; they often intermarry and the divisions are not that distinct. I think the author is weaving a tall tourist type tale to sell to Westerners, kind of like in Greece two generations ago when small regional differences were exaggerated (don't trust people from region X, or people from region Y are promiscuous, or from region Z are sharp business people, etc, my deceased uncle and aunts knew all these rules).

Bonus trivia: it's said in Greece never trust a Greek Austrian. Yes they exist, blond hair often, we had one in our store as a tenant and she was brilliant, a good looking woman with Germanic looking kids, but my uncle hated her and kicked her out, just before the economy crashed, and now the store has been unrented for years. I bet there's a hobo living in it, would not surprise me, I'll visit in the spring and find out.

One doesn't need to have a sense of history or make fine distinctions to function in society. The society and its dynamics are the framework that the people hang from, and people interact with each other directly but not the underlying structure. Fortunately, people are good at interacting with other people, because they are really bad at understanding the underlying frameworks that organize those interactions. As evidence, we are still talking about philosophies of governments and sociology; if we were any good at knowing how those worked we'd have figured them out millennia ago as they are central to our existence. (Well, that might be overly optimistic, but probably not by much.)

Either he's bitter because Paul Krugman didn't return an email and he thought they were buds now, or he had a stroke and blacked out the first four letters of "writers" for some reason.

Though Prof. Cowen is not above a little excellent repetition, 'writers write' would not be typical of his style.

The takeaway for me is that it’s utterly insane for America to let Somalis into America. That’s been glaringly obvious for a long time to anyone with any sense, but if you’re one of those people to whom it wasn’t obvious, think again.

They are already here dude, in Minnesota and in DC (driving cabs), and probably in the Midwest. When I was in the Dakotas I saw so many different nationalities, Blue Sky country is like a Third World dumping ground.

Are the Somalis behind the daycare fraud in Minnesota from the Isaaq clan or from one of the less-dominant groups? It's not a story that interested the national media, but it would be interesting to know whether the people perpetrating the fraud were top dogs back home, or the opposite. Boldly making other people set fire to their money, is not a trick I associate with people on the losing end of things.

My wife recently gave birth to our third child, in MN as opposed to Northern VA, and the Somali nurses and staff seemed just as pleasant and efficient as any others we have interacted with. Even off duty in the cafeteria talking among themselves they seemed just like everyone else. (We were there for a number of days, so I was in the cafe a great deal.) A little louder than average perhaps, which made their conversations difficult to not eavesdrop on, but otherwise normal.

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