Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Permanence of Diversity

In the past, this blog has been unequivocal about criticizing the downsides of a particular company called Rocket Internet.  It that process, it has accumulated feedback based on derision and ridicule, most of which by different employees of the company who find themselves, in one way or the other, compatible with everything  that the company seem to represent.  This blog very much continues to stand by those comments made by the previous posts, but does concede that it has lacked the positive coverage that prompted its author to remain (and come back) for quite a long time so far.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Oxymoron of Modern-Day Constitutional Monarchy

On the hotel TV's broadcast of Chinese stations, there was a program on the follies of Chinese emperors of the past.  One particular episode discussed how absolute adoration of the emperor (at least in superficial terms) made the personality of the emperor so lofty and self-righteous to the point that his altered  decision-making patterns turned a peaceful and prosperous nation into one ravaged by war in matter of years.  The professor repeatedly warned the audience of detrimental effects that creating a cult of personality can have on the direction of a polity.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

the Stubborn Resilience of Colonial Economic Arrangements

In Malaysia, there is a often a belief that the tripartite racial division of the country also has a rural-urban dimension.  While the Chinese and Indians make up (almost) a majority in the country's big cities due their traditional roles as businessmen and white collar professionals, the Malays dominate the rural regions, where they have lived and sustained themselves through agriculture for centuries.  The urban-rural nature of the division lead to large income gaps between the Malays and the non-Malays and contribute to under-representation of Malay leaders in the country's economic life.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Portrait of Elitist Existence

Tucked in a little corner of an unmarked road leading into a plain-looking residential neighborhood, a little unassuming row of shops greets guests who may or may not intentionally drove down the one-way street.  At once lost and disoriented, the visitors would be rather surprised that a classy decor in a neat little room would even exist in such a place.  "A brother of a model opened up the place," the author was told as he sat down to have a meal in a shop specializing in crepes.  Despite it being lunch hours on the weekend, the shop seemed empty, with a few quietly chatting away, generating a relaxing ambiance.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Can Tourism Box out Other Industries?

In economics, there is something called "Dutch Disease."  It is an idea that a commodity boom lead to a huge surge in inward investment and the resulting increase in demand of the local currency makes the currency so expensive that it practically kills off all other industries that depend on international markets for survival.  The death of other exporting industries than set off a chain of destruction that wreck havoc on the entire economic system, to the point that only the commodity-producers and their related industries survive as viable portions of the economy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sanitizing the "Organic"

About a year ago, the author spoke to a newly joined foreign coworker of his on the conditions of his current residence.  "It is a very organic place," the coworker remarked with a polite smile, continuing on to mention how cheap the local neighborhoods are for renting out living quarters.  As far as the classic spectrum of safety vs cost is concerned, this coworker is probably taking one extreme end, and in the process internalizing certain risks of personal well-being.  The author, at the time, questioned the wisdom of such decision.