By Felix Salmon
July 21, 2010
Ars Technica

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Flipboard is pretty amazing — All Things D, iTunes

How internet access is a license to print money for Time Warner Cable — Ars Technica

“I’ve learned to accept that I cannot be an A+ at everything every day… but I’ve also learned that I CAN be an A” — HuffPo

Chinese land values have increased by nearly 800% since 2003, with half that rise occurring over the past two years — Alphaville

A whole book demolishing dubious statistics? Cool! — Slate

Collier on what needs to happen in Afghanistan. Problem is, it won’t happen — NYT


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The gold deposits mentioned in E Congo and the diamond deposits in Sierra Leone are close to the surface and easy to get by “artisanal” miners. If there were any minerals in Afghanistan close to the surface that were worth getting, the Afghans would already be getting them. So this hypothesis can be disposed of.

More likely the “trillion dollars” is in relatively diffuse deposits of minerals that would require significant infrastructure investment to get. I don’t see independent entrepreneurs raising money on AIM or Nasdaq to exploit a nickel or tin deposit in Afghanistan so that they can get shot at while they try to build a crushing plant, a smelter and a hundred mile long road to the nearest point of sale.

The only entity that might possibly provide security and financing for a mining operation in Afghanistan is the People’s Liberation Army. Since China is corrupt, any such mining permitting process would therefore also be corrupt. We don’t need to worry that any Afghan parliamentary commission would uncover or even pretend to investigate how the license was issued.

More likely, of course, is that the “trillion dollars” was calculated using CNBC-type math and that the actual value of the mineral deposits, net of infrastructure, bullets for PLA battalions, etc., is near zero. Which is why no one has ever bothered to even look before now.

Posted by johnhhaskell | Report as abusive

“I’ve learned to accept that I cannot be an A+ at everything every day… but I’ve also learned that I CAN be an A”

This the inevitable result of Grade Inflation in some of our universities.

Posted by DonthelibertDem | Report as abusive