The New York Observer on Startup Life (Boston, NYC, & Bay Area)

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who spent two years in Boston working on his start-up and is now in the process of moving to New York for a new project called Breadpig, said he spoke at Angel Bootcamp and was astonished to see the number of angels who had shown up. It was an encouraging sign for Boston, he said, which always seemed to him like it would be a perfect place for early-stage start-ups if only there were more angels.

"You give these college kids a cool environment where they can go out and get drinks when they need to and hang out with people like them who are working on similar kinds of problems, and then give them funding to live off of—that's pretty much the stew," said Mr. Ohanian, who has invested in three Boston-based start-ups as an angel. "The missing component for Boston, really, is just that there aren't many people funding these kids hanging out in their apartments."

I still think of you oh so fondly, Boston (Cambridge, really, but even saying that I really mean Somerville). Hug.

Blighted Pakistan: Swamped, bruised and resentful

Into the void have stepped aid organisations, local and international, as well as Islamic charities, some of which are hardliners. Among the religious outfits active in flood relief is Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a supposedly banned group linked to the horrific November 2008 terrorist attack on civilian targets in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital.

Such groups may now gain in popularity at the expense of the national government, led by the secular Pakistan Peoples Party, and the provincial government of North-West Frontier, run by the Awami National Party, which is also secular. Pakistanis have not been inclined to back religious groups in elections that were held fairly, but the generally hapless and lofty rule of the two secular forces since they came to power early in 2008 is worrying.

As if Pakistan didn't already have enough problems caused by this horrendous natural disaster.

Charming Donk-umentary (Donkey Documentary) from Lamu, off the coast of Kenya

A documentary about a small island with 24,000 people, 6,000 donkeys, and just 2 cars.

Lamu, just off the coast of Kenya, is "the donkey capital of Africa." It is a place where there are donkey traffic jams, where the largest humanitarian organization is a donkey sanctuary, where donkeys are the key to earning a living, and where a young boy's fondest dream is to one day have a donkey of his own.

Negative Reaction to Charity Campaign: German Millionaires Criticize Gates' 'Giving Pledge'

SPIEGEL: But doesn't the money that is donated serve the common good?

Krämer: It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires. So it's not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide. That's a development that I find really bad. What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?

SPIEGEL: It is their money at the end of the day.

Krämer: In this case, 40 superwealthy people want to decide what their money will be used for. That runs counter to the democratically legitimate state. In the end the billionaires are indulging in hobbies that might be in the common good, but are very personal.

This multimillionaire has an interesting point of view, though a very non-American one. A German has every right to expect the state to best serve the needs of the people, because it often does fulfill most of them -- from education to healthcare to roads. Not so in the States.

What's curious is that he still encourages wealthy Germans to donate, but "not in this form. It would make more sense, for example, to work with and donate to established organizations" -- presumably the Gates Foundation, which no doubt is a recipient of funds from the 'Giving Pledge' counts as an established organization...