Friday, May 26, 2017

Why is There So Little Serious Discussions of Africa's Economic Falling Behind among Expats on the Ground?

This blog has not been kind to rural Tanzania or Africa in general.  From criticizing the people's flippant attitude toward money to oddities of everyday life, it has made no effort to conceal that fact that it has portrayed the locations where the author has resided and traveled to in an overwhelmingly negative light.  In the process, much doubt is cast on the future of the continent, much in contrary to the more and more common thesis of "Africa Rising" narrative that is growing prominent in some quarters of popular media and academic world.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Taiwan's Social Progressivism and Impact on New Southward Policy

In one day, there was two polar opposite news coming out of Asia on the issue of gay marriage.  One is the de facto legalization of same-sex marriages in Taiwan's highest court, making the island the first place in Asia to expliciting state that homosexual marriages are as legal as the heterosexual kind.  The other is the public caning of a man caught for gay sex in conservative Aceh province in Indonesia.  The young man is humiliated in front of thousands of spectators, and Western media outlets and general public wasted no time criticizing the act as immoral and barbaric, much to the chagrin of the Islamic local population.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Is Cryptocurrency a Threat to National Sovereignty?

For those interested in the world of investing, the growth in value of BitCoin in the past months and years have truly been exciting.  The virtual currency is not only become well-known through its meteoric growth, but is gradually becoming accepted as a form of payment across multiple businesses in multiple countries.  With increase in confidence that virtual currencies are now being treated much more than just an investment vehicle (like gold,silver, and other rare precious commodities) but a real currency with real transactional value in everyday life, the number of people holding cryptocurrency like BitCoin is bound to increase.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Psychology of Owing and Being Owed

A few months ago at the G20 Summit held in Hangzhou, China, Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, gave an interview to China Central Television on the Summit's sidelines.  One of the key topic of the interview was the recent economic troubles faced by South Africa, especially pertaining to the financial downgrading associated with the recent sacking of the reputable finance minister Pravin Gordhan.  The interviewer questioned Zuma on how the lack of confidence international markets and rating agencies toward South Africa will impact the South African economy in the coming months.

Friday, May 12, 2017

How the Free Market Improves the Service Industry

China, today as it has nearly always been, is a land of food.  People are willing and will spend excessive ants of money on good food, and tend to seek out the next best restaurant that is coming up.  Tens of thousands of restaurateurs battle it out in a city of millions, where good food is rewarded with constant line of patrons willing to wait for hours and days for a taste, while mediocre ones close down in matter of months as they can no longer afford to pay high rents in a expensive real estate market like Shanghai.  The sheer competitiveness of the market means that only the most delicious will survive.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Economic Doubts behind the “One Belt One Road” Initiative

Turn to any non-entertainment TV programs in China these days, and most inevitably touch on a common theme: that of the “One Belt One Road” initiative.  Endless interviews with experts and common people across countries that will benefit from the initiative, coupled with news stories and detailed analyses of the latest projects coming online, give a strong indication that the government, and the government-owned media sources, wants the initiative to be the defining economic and political movement of the country and the wider region in the next decades.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Benefits of Not Being the Family's Embrace

This author grew up around the world.  From taking his first trip outside the country when he was age five, he has rarely stayed in any place for more than a few years before moving to the next location with his family.  Courtesy of such experiences, he never had the opportunity to meet many of his distant relatives, many of whom are still in China, nor had he the chance to step into his ancestral hometown.  One reason among many that pushed him to attend the wedding of his cousin (who he has also not met more than once every half a decade or so) is so that he can at least say hi to these relatives he has only heard about but never met.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lessons from Watching Japanese Porn for Money

Life is about experience, and that experience can come in many different ways, in work, in recreation, and in entertainment.  Sometimes, the boundaries of those three things blur, giving new realizations of how one perceives work, of entertainment, and of what is the difference between "work" and "life."  A paid translation project that the author completed in the last few days is a perfect illustration of this blurring.  Required to submit English subtitles for Japanese adult videos, he was quite surprised, in a brand-new way, of just how porn, work psychology, and a bit more subtly, how human desire and work ethic works.

Below are some of the main lessons learned from this little paid exercise:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Why a Village is “Culturally Purer” than a City

As even the least developed corner of the globe undergoes continual shift of populations off farms and rural villages into the embrace of concrete jungles of urban society, the influence of cities on the overall outlook of the society and its future trajectory is becoming more and more significant.  However, to say that major cities are the primary indicator of a society’s characteristic would exaggerate the role that such cities may play in the overall economic and cultural development of the society in question.  Instead, the primary focus should be on small towns and rural villages, where the poorest of the poor continue to reside.