Thursday, January 8, 2009

Famous friends: Alejandro Gaviria

I have many friends who have become important and influential in their own countries (I guess that this is another sign of my own failure). I recently talked with two of them who share a great ability for intelligent, witty, and irreverent writing. However, these two friends differ in one fundamental trait. The first (who shall remain unnamed) decided to put his considerable skills at the services of his country's most powerful figure. The second is Alejandro Gaviria.

Alejandro (who was my colleague at the IDB between 1998 and 2000 and he is now the Dean of the economic school at the Universidad de los Andes) is an amazing guy (he's also the person who introduced me to aguardiente, but I am not sure I should thank him for that). He can do high tech economics but he can also write in non-Greek English and Spanish and even publish articles in literary journals. He could have sat on a series of comfortable government positions, but he decided to act as the conscience of his country and criticize Colombia's most sacred cows, from the very popular president (but I guess he's not among the delirious or obtuse people who criticize the president) to the country's most famous scientist.

So, I was very happy when Alejandro told me that he regularly checks No Original Content.
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