Purposeful Summaries- PitAndThePendulum

Avoiding the Curse of the Oil-Rich Nations


It seems counterintuitive to assume that oil-rich countries would find themselves facing conflict after striking it rich, however, that seems to be a common theme among many of them. Stanford professor Terry Karl states that oil-rich countries “eventually become among the most economically troubled, the most authoritarian, and the most conflict-ridden in the world.” Countries such as Nigeria, Chad, Libya, and Venezuela are some of the best examples of this, with Norway being an exception.

The commonality between many of these conflict-ridden countries is that they did not have a well-run or well-established government before they struck it rich. Norway, unsurprisingly, had a functioning and stable government before they struck oil. The ‘resource curse’ as it is commonly known, seems to radically effect countries whose governments are run by individuals solely interested in the acquisition of personal wealth and not the welfare and wellbeing of those within.

‘Hidden’ Species May be Surprisingly Common


It seems counterintuitive that ‘cryptic’ species (creatures that are identical to their species, but differ genetically) could remain so well hidden among their physically identical counterparts.

Reports of cryptic species have grown after the rise of inexpensive DNA sequencing. Cryptic, or hidden, species could have massive effects on the biodiversity of a species population in a certain area. While these hidden species are most common among reptile and insect populations, a further investigation into other species of creatures could reveal more cryptic creatures within their populations. These cryptic creatures, through interbreeding, could potentially increase their species’ chances at survival in ever-changing environments.

Do Tom’s Shoes Really Help People?

It seems counterintuitive to think that buy-one-give-one companies, like Toms, would be dishonest in the policy that has become its most marketable feature. However, it seems that it is difficult to know for sure, as donations of that sort can be risky, since it is impossible to determine exactly what quantity is needed and where. As stated in the article, it is not sustainable to continue to send donated goods to places where they aren’t needed, and they certainly aren’t any help being given to those who already have enough as opposed to those in dire need.

Seeing as Toms itself neglected to offer any sort of commentary in its own defense, its safe to say that they are quite aware of these issues, but are not interested in resolving them.

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