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The lesson everyone should have learned  

“I trust that we will not hear again the argument that what happens in Afghanistan is of no relevance to someone living in Alabama, Amsterdam or Auckland.” Jim Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, hopes governments now understand the need for vastly increased funding for development aid. The bank is proposing to double aid to $100 billion a year, to meet the goal of halving extreme poverty globally by 2015 (a deadline that has already been extended once).

A better suggestion box  

Dan Gillmor has some interesting thoughts on using the power of the network to combat terrorism, and other problems. “When the stakes are this high, and the threat this different, we should be looking for the best ideas wherever they originate. I’m betting that the center won’t hold if we waste the power at the edges.”

Curiouser and curiouser  

Greek authorities have arrested 12 British plane spotters on charges of spying. I’m not surprised that another country has no comprehension that there are Britons whose idea of fun is standing in an airport car park with a pair of binoculars, recording airplane numbers. This is a contemporary outgrowth of the far more common trainspotting (which has nothing to do with Irving Welsh’s book). Trainspotters, incidentally, are known as gricers (and this has apparently been extended to include tram and trolleybus spotters). I haven’t a clue on the derivation of the word.

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