Characters, units and natural kinds: an introduction by Wagner G

By Wagner G

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By Wagner G

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The expert, who understands the principles of buoyancy, knows that full lungs have the same effect as a life preserver—that is, they will stop your descent. Therefore, the expert breathes normally and follows his student into the water. As the beginner struggles to descend the expert grabs one of his shoulders and guides him down. As they continue lower the beginner, who has forgotten that his ears need to be equalized by squeezing his nostrils and blowing through his nose—to expel the air in his eustachian tube—feels as if his ears are about to explode.

World population will reach a landmark in 2008: for the first time in history the urban population will equal the rural population of the world, and from then on the majority of the world population will be urban. The world population is expected to be 70 percent urban in 2050. 4 billion in 2050. By midcentury the world’s urban population will likely be the same size as the world’s total population in 2004 [my italics]. Furthermore, most of the population growth expected in urban areas will be concentrated in the cities and towns of the less developed regions.

I lost the argument that day, but as sorry as I am to say it, history proved me right. A large part of the problem with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s decision making, at least from my point of view, stemmed from their inability, or their outright refusal, to take a more holistic view of their businesses. Had they looked at their entire operation—that is, studied the nature of their business—they would have had a better sense of how they needed to manage the risks they had assumed, the capital they had deployed, and the strategies they had pursued.

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