Recent financial crisis is a “hyperlink” crisis – BG Yeo

9 Dec 2008 (Tue)

THE RECENT FINANCIAL CRISIS is “hyperlink” crisis, said BG George Yeo in a speech at the Global Governance Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore on 5 December 2008. Opportunities and problems can arise when the world is linked so closely together:

“When we talk about globalisation, we are talking about the way in which we bring different complex operating systems together. It is like the internet. The internet was an ARPA discovery. That by each operating system accepting a certain protocol, TCP/IP, different systems could interconnect even though they have different legacies and different deep programmes. Built upon this, through hyperlinks, we could communicate as if we belonged to a common system….

The recent financial crisis is a crisis of that hyperlink, or an aspect of that hyperlink. The global imbalance – so much has been written about it, this is not the subject which I am going to talk about tonight. Except that the financial crisis is a problem of the higher system which links us all together….

“If we look at globalisation today, it is really an American construct, the hyperlink – the HTML language, the XML language – is basically an American language. It is expressed in accounting rules, financial rules, the way armies are organised, industrial standards, financial standards and so on. The problem is when the US becomes excessive in this missionary zeal. Political scientists like Kissinger talk about the dual strain in American foreign policy. There is the national interest which defines the foreign policy of all countries, but there is in American foreign policy always an additional strain, a call to an American ideal, a desire to spread the word, to democratise the world. To a point, that is very attractive and to an extent it enables the world to be globalised. But beyond a point, when you start intruding into the deep operating system of particular countries or tribes, it creates problems.

“When America goes into Iraq and tries to democratise Iraqi society as if it has no legacy…

“Coming back to the issue of global governance – America has to lead, but America has to lead in a way which acknowledges the diversity of the human family…

If we are all the same, something is very wrong. Countries are different, tribes are different, cultures are different, and in global governance, the basic building block must acknowledge that diversity and that difference. But that which binds us all together, that hyperlink, that for a long time will be American in its essence.”

Note: If you’re on Facebook, see his Facebook note and read the comments there.

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Posted by J.K. in News, Possibilities, Problems, Singapore, Technology | View Comments |

A demographic winter for Whites worldwide

9 Dec 2008 (Tue)

GLOBAL WHITE POPULATION is expected to plummet from a high water mark of 27.86% in 1950 to a single digit (9.76%) by 2060, according to this video (3:56 mins) by the National Policy Institute (NPI), a think tank based in Augusta, Georgia in the United States. Blacks or sub-saharan Africans, on the other hand, will be up dramatically from the 8.97% in 1950 to 25.38% by 2060.

The other groups measured in the study were the Central Asians (Indians), East Asians (Chinese and Japanese), the Southeast Asians, Arabic (north Africa and Middle East) and Amerindian-Mestizo (Mexican and Central America). All these groups will experience a population growth.

Question: Why is global white population declining and not the other groups? Does this have anything to do with the legal recognition of same-sex couples worldwide among predominantly white nations in modern history, besides general reluctance to have babies (see Causes of “Sub-fertility replacement” on Wikipedia)?

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Posted by J.K. in News, Possibilities, Problems, Video | View Comments |

US newspaper industry struggles for survival

9 Dec 2008 (Tue)

TROUBLING TIMES AHEAD. The Tribune Co., the second largest US newspaper publisher in terms of revenue and the third in terms of circulation, filed for bankruptcy Monday in the latest blow to the struggling newspaper industry — according to AFP, as reported on Google News.

The media giant is the owner of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant and several other papers. It also operates 23 television stations.

“…factors beyond our control have created a perfect storm — a precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy coupled with a credit crisis that makes it extremely difficult to support our debt.”

“Like many US newspapers, the Tribune has been grappling with declining circulation, a loss of readership to online media, and a steep drop in print advertising revenue.

“The New York Times reported last week that another debt-ridden major US newspaper chain, the McClatchy Co., is seeking to sell one of its flagship newspapers, The Miami Herald.

“And the New York Times itself has not been immune to the crisis gripping the newspaper industry. The paper reported Monday that the New York Times Co. plans to borrow up to 225 million dollars against its mid-Manhattan headquarters building to ease a potential cash flow squeeze.”

September Update: See also “Dow Jones shutting down FEER” and “Journalists Losing Jobs at Three Times Rate of Average Workers“.

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Posted by J.K. in *Roundups, Business, Media, News, Possibilities, Problems | View Comments |

Generation “We” for Singapore Malays

29 Nov 2008 (Sat)

ARE YOU MALAY, a Millennial (born between 1978 and 2000), and a New Media expert, entrepreneur, innovator, researcher, practitioner or student? Why not join this new media group for Singapore Malays set up by Hazman Aziz?

The group exists as a platform for discussion, advocacy and action to uplift, improve, and perhaps solve Singapore Malay issues using New Media.

For more details on Millennials (a.k.a Generation “We”), check out this thought-provoking American video:

It’s interesting to see how problems (in this case, various crises in the USA such as the 9/11 incident, Hurricane Katrina and the recent subprime financial crisis) can be effective triggers for deeper learning and a firmer resolve to unite and to collaborate among the young. It would be even more interesting to see if a Generation “We” New Media group could be set up across race and religions in Asia, and NOT just for Malays in Singapore. Hey, Hazman, would you be game to do this?

An extract from Sarah Burris’ blog:

GenWe was Greenberg’s project to help the Millennial Generation empower itself against much scrutiny. The book also makes the case that Millennials are:

  • Dedicated to improving the common good over individual gain, a sentiment that crosses all racial, ideological and partisan lines.
  • Reject fundamental principles of modern conservatism – primary focus on individual rights and trickle down economics.
  • Welcome innovation and are eager to establish a new paradigm.
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Posted by J.K. in Asia, Design, Possibilities, Problems, Psychology, Singapore, Social Media | View Comments |

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