Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Sensitivity of Embarassment

The Christmas markets of Metro Manila are not for the fainthearted.  The streets, usually crowded already with the high density of population, are extra packed with people doing their last-minute shopping for gifts.  Unlike elsewhere where Christmas is a matter of adopting a foreign culture into a consumerist form, Catholic Philippines are religiously tied to the celebrations.  And when it comes to Christmas, people simply let out.  A taxi driver said it the best, "the Filipinos will be impoverished after the Christmas holidays."

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.