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Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker

m.newyorker.com
Developing countries required more than capital. They needed practice in making difficult economic decisions. Economic progress was the product of successful habits?and there is no better teacher, Hirschman felt, than a little adversity. He would rather encourage settlers and entrepreneurs at the grass-roots level?and make them learn how to cope with those impediments themselves?than run the risk that aid might infantilize its recipient.
Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker - m.newyorker.com - Your Highlight Location 112-115 | Added on Monday, 22 July 13 04:29:03
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Law and order and the absence of civil strife seem to be obvious preconditions for the gradual and patient accumulation of skills, capital and investors? confidence that must be the foundation for economic progress. We are now told, however, that the presence of war-like Indians in North America and the permanent conflict between them and the Anglo-Saxon settlers was a great advantage, because it made necessary methodical, well-planned, and gradual advances toward an interior which always remained in close logistic and cultural contact with the established communities to the East. In Brazil, on the contrary, the backlands were open and virtually uncontested; the result was that once an excessively vast area had been occupied in an incredibly brief time span the pioneers became isolated and regressed economically and culturally.
Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker - m.newyorker.com - Your Highlight Location 104-109 | Added on Monday, 22 July 13 04:26:35
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Most people would not have left a home in Chevy Chase and the security of a job in Washington to go to a Third World country where armed gangsters roamed the streets, because they would feel certain that Colombia was a mistake. Hirschman believed, as a matter of principle, that it was impossible to know whether Colombia would be a mistake. As it happened, the four years the family spent in Bogotá were among its happiest. Hirschman returned to Latin America again and again during his career, and what he learned there provided the raw material for his most brilliant work. His doubt was a gift, not a curse.
Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker - m.newyorker.com - Your Highlight Location 90-94 | Added on Monday, 22 July 13 04:23:11
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Colorni believed that doubt was creative because it allowed for alternative ways to see the world, and seeing alternatives could steer people out of intractable circles and self-feeding despondency. Doubt, in fact, could motivate: freedom from ideological constraints opened up political strategies, and accepting the limits of what one could know liberated agents from their dependence on the belief that one had to know everything before acting, that conviction was a precondition for action.
Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker - m.newyorker.com - Your Highlight Location 57-60 | Added on Monday, 22 July 13 04:15:45
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The entrepreneur takes risks but does not see himself as a risk-taker, because he operates under the useful delusion that what he?s attempting is not risky.
Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker - m.newyorker.com - Your Highlight Location 32-33 | Added on Monday, 22 July 13 04:12:42
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Creativity always comes as a surprise to us; therefore we can never count on it and we dare not believe in it until it has happened. In other words, we would not consciously engage upon tasks whose success clearly requires that creativity be forthcoming. Hence, the only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity than it will turn out to be.
Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker - m.newyorker.com - Your Highlight Location 26-29 | Added on Monday, 22 July 13 12:49:43
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The Principle of the Hiding Hand,? one of Hirschman?s many memorable essays, drew on an account of the Troy-Greenfield ?folly,? and then presented an even more elaborate series of paradoxes. Hirschman had studied the enormous Karnaphuli Paper Mills, in what was then East Pakistan
Malcolm Gladwell: Albert O. Hirschman and the Power of Failure : The New Yorker - m.newyorker.com - Your Highlight Location 15-17 | Added on Monday, 22 July 13 12:49:31
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