Archive for the 'World' Category

History: Niall Ferguson – The 6 killer apps of prosperity

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We finally found some time to watch Niall Ferguson’s Ted Talks presentation with the “killer applications” he also describes in his latest book “Civilization The West and the Rest”

Niall Ferguson starts his presentation outlining his playing field, pointing us to the facts that more than 106 billion people have walked this planet and 94% of those are already dead. Out of those 106 billion 60% were or are Asian and most of them were or are very poor (shortening their life span / economic output). He then bridges over to explain the concept of the “Great Divergence“, that the majority of today’s wealth (US$195 Trillion) was made after 1800 by so-called Westerners and till today 66% of the world’s wealth is owned by these Europeans, North-Americans and Austral-Asians that only make up 19% of the world’s population…

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Guy Fawkes Night 2011

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Tonight it is the 5th of November – Guy Fawkes’ night the 406th – and celebrations of this event are becoming more and more lively particularly in the UK.

Sign of the time?

“…Remember, remember the Fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I know of no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot…”

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Finance: Currency wars and the emerging-market countries

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The threat of a currency war between the US and China is one of the main concerns for the G20 ahead of this month’s meeting in Seoul. This column say that while policymakers appear to grasp some of the issues, they underestimate the impact of quantitative easing by large economies on exchange rates worldwide…

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AIDS: Liberia Vice

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During the last days VBS.TV has made a series of videos available created by them while traveling in Liberia (so far mainly Monrovia and surroundings) and talking to local journalists, war lords, slum inhabitants and other “normal people“. A story about civil war, drugs, AIDS, child soldiers, rape, daily killing, corruption, cannibalism… – it shows how deep the rabbit hole goes in one of the poorest countries and failed states on this planet.

The series comprises 8 short videos with different stations of their “travel” through Liberia of which so far 4 are online on their site.
What they have so far not covered is how much foreign aid is sunk into this country and what actually happens with it…

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Christmas: Adeste fidelis – Venite Adoremus

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Adeste Fideles laeti triumphantes,
Veníte, veníte in Bethlehem.
Natum vidéte, Regem Angelorum:
Veníte adoremus,
Veníte adoremus
Veníte adoremus Dóminum

While the “fidelis” this year like in the years before merely get some kind of fair ground in Bethlehem – if they are allowed to go there with specially arranged package travel or diplomatic passports – one thing is different from the days this song and its lyrics have been composed.

While the shepherds around Bethlehem still speak a language that today is called Arabic (or some local dialects) there would be no “…En grege relicto, Humiles ad cunas Vocati pastores approperant …” (translated in the English version as: See how the shepherds, Summoned to His cradle, Leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear) –
there are guys with machine guns and tanks hindering the shepherds to even get close to the cradle – so Christmas would not happen these days again.

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Life: The role of the state to impact morality

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This video is out of a series of short videos starting with “How to Live a Meaningful Life” up to “Reflects on Goodness” all of them interviews by the great BigThink web site with U.C. Berkeley social psychologist Dacher Keltner.

If you interested in Professor Keltner’s work and that of his colleagues at the…

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