Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Origin of Tiresomeness (the Mental Kind)

Perhaps it is not the specific attributes of certain individuals to feel tired out of the blue, for no reason in particular.  There was no exercise of any sort done recently, nor has there been any particular mental task that required so much thinking that it strains the body for just supplying oxygen to the brain.  A person can just sit there, surf the Internet, be completely passive for a couple of hours, and still manage to feel absolutely tired out in a short period of time.  It really makes the person think about exactly what is causing the energy drain.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

When the World Cares Too Little about Its Man-made Humanitarian Crises

A series of quakes that jolted Nepal and caused massive damages across the country has led to widespread attention to the South Asian country in the recent months.  This is backed by rapidly spread of photographs from the quake zone, showing extensive destruction and difficulties in rebuilding.  Organizations, both official and private from across the world, have been quick to provide the necessary aid to the country.  The author, who has enjoyed his travels to Nepal not that long ago, doubtlessly have his own share of sympathies for tourism-dependent country.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Revival of State Capitalism in the New Global Economic Order

Today, the Russians celebrate the 70th Victory Day, their edition of the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany, with a huge military parade in the Red Square at the center of Moscow, as well as central areas of all major cities that had important roles in the pivotal and brutal conflict.  Given the ongoing standoff in Ukraine, the hitherto Western allies of the Russians will neither be present not pleasantly following the parade from afar.  The presence of the Chinese and Indian leaders at the parade will further establish a view, among the mainstream media at least, of entrenched split of the Allied camp in the 21st century.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Personal Attitudes as Source of Developmental Obstacle

The guidebooks describe the traffic jams of Old Town Dhaka as "mesmerizingly hectic," a place where roads can be blocked off completely with just presence of bicycle rickshaws and nothing else.  Indeed, the narrow, winding lanes of the Old Town, euphemistically termed "roads," can hold no more than one and a half rickshaws by width.  Yet, as the rickshaws navigate the tiny lanes, dodging streetside stands, pedestrians, and other rickshaws in the process, what is noticeable is that the presence of these physical obstacles may not be the biggest obstacles slowing down traffic.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Is Betting on Gambling Still the Right Bet?

Over here in Metro Manila, the construction of new hotels with in-built casinos are not at all abating.  New areas devoted to attracting high-rollers in the names of Entertainment City and City of Dreams have now finished phase 1 of construction and continue to aggressively expand into open lands next to Manila Bay (at least part of which are reclaimed from the sea).  Despite the author's frequent travels within Manila during his time of residence, this development (and the scale and pace of construction) is certainly not previously seen and can be considered unprecedented.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How Can One Tolerate Portraying Past Colonialism as NOT Evil?

For many countries that have some colonial past, the national identity is often supplemented, and in many cases, defined by struggle for freedom and throwing off colonial rule.  That of the US is a great example.  The cherished principles of freedom is evidenced by the early rebels' personal sacrifices in battlefields against the British.  And their struggles are epitomized as heroic in places like the lyrics of the national anthem.  The US is often not the exception but the norm in post-colonial countries, many of which systematically link the idea of nation with pain of colonialism.