Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Peter Singer

Today I went to the first of Peter Singer's Uehiro lectures. I turned up at 4pm, to help arrange things and direct people around, and it was jsut as well because the place did begin filling up from then - there were still seats in the main theatre at the recommended arrival time (4:30), but late arrivals had to make do with a video link up from another room.

He didn't really say much new about global poverty to be honest - though I was shocked to learn the one billion people living on less than a dollar a day is measured by purchasing power parity. Other than that, this lecture was largely setting the scene, though he also argued - against libertarian claims that we don't owe the Third World anything since we didn't inflict harm on them - that we may have harmed the world's poorer countries through colonization, global trade practices (including buying natural resources off blatantly corrupt governments) and global warming.

A particularly pleasant surprise was finding my old (in two senses) tute partner Stuart and his wife in the audience. They were in Oxford for a few days, and took me out for dinner in the KA - in return for which I was able to tip them off about Sen's public lecture in the Sheldonian tomorrow. (UPDATE: report here)

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