Maybe I’m being too harsh on professor Easterly. Wait, no I’m not. He becomes petulant when anyone from a fellow blogger to a large multilateral organization doesn’t immediately respond to his criticisms, yet he often ignores the most knowledgeable and thoughtful of his own critics.
Take his series of posts on the rights-based approach to development (or, you know, what Easterly imagines the rights-based approach to be). The professor didn’t even respond to the human rights professionals who commented on his posts. Matthias, one such commenter, repeatedly tried to engage Easterly (here, here, here and here), but to no avail. Finally, throwing in the towel, he wrote:
Unfortunately, neither Bill nor his supporters in this particular debate seem to adapt at all to contrary arguments: they don’t counter them, they don’t adjust their own arguments to take into consideration the counter-arguments, they just keep on building up straw men, and ripping them apart.
That about sums it up.
Alanna Shaikh’s fantastic writing is the only reason to keep Aid Watch in your RSS, and it deserves a much better showcase.