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 |

McKinsey: How businesses are using Web 2.0 – one year later

6 Aug 2008 (Wed)

ONLY 21 PERCENT OF the executives surveyed by McKinsey this year (2008) said they are satisfied overall with Web 2.0 tools, while 22 percent voiced clear dissatisfaction. By contrast, over half the executives surveyed by McKinsey last year (2007) said they were pleased with the results of their investments in Internet technologies over the past five years, while a mere 13 percent say they are disappointed with previous investments.

The reason? McKinsey’s findings suggest that companies are coming to understand the difficulty of realizing some of Web 2.0’s benefits. “However, fundamental changes are beginning to take place among the satisfied companies… [They] are not only using more technologies but also leveraging them to change management practices and organizational structures. Some are taking steps to open their corporate “ecosystems” by encouraging customers to join them in developing products and by using new tools to tap distributed knowledge.”

Mix of technologies used is changing: Blogs, RSS, wikis, and podcasts are becoming more common, perhaps because companies have a greater understanding of their value for business (Exhibit 1).

A Changing Mix of Web 2.0 tools

More technologies are in use: Overall, the respondents say that their companies are using 3.4 technologies from an expanded list, versus 2.2 in 2007. Companies use Web 2.0 technologies more frequently for internal than for external purposes, and the rate of deployment remains high for almost all kinds of uses (Exhibit 2).

Web services remains highest used: Respondents rate Web services (software that makes it easier to exchange information and conduct transactions) as the most important tool, with Europeans providing the highest marks. Companies in all regions perceive wikis and blogs as fairly important, and the use of both tools has increased over the past year.

Satisfaction varies markedly by geography: The developed countries of the Asia-Pacific region had the largest percentage of respondents expressing the highest level of overall satisfaction with Web 2.0 tools, and Latin America had the lowest (Exhibit 4).

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