Saturday, June 28, 2014

World War I and the End of the "Globalized World"

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Archduke Ferdinand's assassination in Sarajevo, a watershed event that is often considered the beginning of World War I.  After a century, it is perfectly justified that many have forgotten the significance of the event, especially given that modern-day Sarajevo itself has been quickly turned into a virtual American protectorate in the aftermath of the Yugoslavian Wars and ethnic genocides that followed.  But upon closer look, it can easily be argued that WWI marked the end of an era that the modern world is struggling to return to...and the repercussions are still extremely important today.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Premature Death of "Social Ecommerce"

Once upon a time not that long ago, inserting the "social aspect" to the fast-growing industry of online shopping was considered a no-brainer.  Integrate the likes of Facebook and Twitter functions to product pages on ecommerce outlets, and the words of the mouth from one's friends and families, increasingly merging into one biggest online networking presence, will as a collective provide the necessary persuasion to get potential online shoppers to click on those "check-out" buttons.  After all, just as people take friends to go with them on trips to brick-and-mortar retail outlets, they also should for their online counterparts.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The "Political Solution" of National Disunity

With the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inching toward Baghdad, taking valuable oil assets and key cities in the process, the Obama Administration's decision, for now, to clearly rule out direct military assistance to the Iraqi government reflect a long-held sense of dismay among both American politicians and people toward the increasingly volatile situation in that part of the Middle East.  As someone who remained skeptical of the US war effort in Iraq ever since its very inception years ago, the author, perhaps among many others, now sense the coming of renewed chaos in the region through creation of new divisive actors.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Asian Men are less 'manly'?!" Revisited: the Emotional Concerns of Living at "Home"

In one of the earliest (and to this day one of the most read) post of this blog, the author touched upon a personal experience of racial preference among women that come off as deeply disadvantageous to Asian males.  The subject is quite resonating in the recent days here in Taipei as the town is reportedly being graced by the presence of two famed Caucasian pickup artists, who has tallied their victories in Hong Kong and are now making inroads in Taiwan.  The public nature of their exploits, so casually shared through social media and subsequently reinterpreted through mainstream media, are draw huge criticisms.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Psychology of Terror in an Inexperienced Society

It was 1am on a rainy day when the author got into a casually parked cab for a post-drinking ride home.  The cab driver seemed rather tired, prompting a question from the still energetic author to figure out the reason.  "I had like 3 rides from Xizhi to Banqiao just in half a day today."  The driver quipped, nonchalantly exposing the sense of surprise even after completing those 40km, 40min (without traffic), 20 USD (quite a sum for a single ride on a Taiwanese taxi) journeys.  "And all of them were young ladies by themselves...but during the day when the MRT is still operating."  The driver elaborated, referring to Taipei's subway system.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Revisiting June 4, 1989: Implications for Rising Individualism

Two years ago today, this blog posted on the meaning of the Tiananmen Incident for the ethnic Chinese populations living around the world, noting that the failure for resolution, reconciliation, and above all, lack of official apology, continue to be a painful patch of darkness in the minds of millions.  Certainly, this point is all the truer today on the Incident's 25th anniversary than it has ever been.  But as that two-year post has also noted, today's China is no longer the China of 1989, a much more complex place where sheer weight of economic development has wrecked havoc on the very social fabric.