Here are two links to help beat back the cynicism you may or may not feel from time to time (or perhaps daily). The first, from Marginal Revolution, asks a question that I have often thought to myself privately. What are some examples of successful government bureaucracies? Since most of us are assaulted daily by poor and inefficient ones, this was a good reminder that they do exist. Granted, this is all subjective. The second comment is interesting as it ties the examples together with a theme of “specificity of purpose”, which makes a lot of sense to me.
The next discusses the potential for a mobile (and ideally open source) payment system for microfinance. It goes on to discuss some parameters that would help and why this would be a good innovation. Innovation is the key word there. My internet travels brings ideas like this to my attention several times a week. Such innovations help counter my cynicism.