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A short, recent history of Congo

Mapping the war in Congo: mineral wealth, militias and an epic march

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

The interesting thing about most militia focused conflicts in Africa is the way in which they wage their wars against each other. They wage them in the purest form of warfare. They advance on an area and completely destroy its way of life, they take from the people their ability to take care of themselves by disfiguration, and they take away the ability to give birth to their own peoples by way of rape. However, the key to any successful military campaign is the occupation of physical land space and the symbolic measure of controlling the capital. The march on Kinshasa is that symbolic measure. The real generational effect is the massacre of the offending tribes. Such that the Hutus were killing the Tutsi to make themselves dominate, they were pushed out by the Tutsis from the North. Interestingly enough, they settled back around Lake Kivu, which being nourishment for life also is in close proximity to many high demand resources. As the militias continue to fight, at a group-think scale it is easy to gather people and support against a common foe (the evil Hutu's who "started it") but in modern times, we can probably safely assume that natural resources and the wealth that come from the control of them is the real motivator for whomever is behind the ear of the mobilizers. Interesting thing about the typical routes of march on Kinshasa and the Congo is that, yes, they begin on the border locations of Hutu camps but those areas are on both North and South sides of the Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is the world’s tenth largest inland lake, which is also fresh water, which is drinkable, not to mention the fisheries it can host. Aside from the huge advantage that comes from potentially controlling the whole lake, instead of sharing it with Congo, is that large amounts of copper, cobalt, & coltan are located around it. It needs not be said how important those three resources are in today's markets. It also deserves mention that it is known that the Eastern Border with Rwanda supposedly harbors many violent individuals and groups. In the realm of international politics, this could be attributed to the proximity of Rwanda and their assumed intelligence activity in the area, perhaps funding anti Congo and Hutu groups and individuals ala "sleeper cells" that Islamist Terrorist groups are known to use.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 7:10 PM

 This video tells me that having an abundance of natural and mineral resources may not always lead to a country that is successful and rich. If the country is politically or economically unstable it could lead to violence within the area over the valuable goods. Also, the wealth generated from these goods could potentially make only a few people very rich and many other workers who collect these resources poor from low wages. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 12:50 PM

Congo has had wars and the militia has ended up taking a stride towards benefiting the congo. Every history begins and ends with new beginnings. For Congo, their journeys have ended and new ones are starting.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 12:04 PM

A very comprehensive coverage of the past 20 years. I did not realize just how much Rwanda influenced the major problems in the Congo. Having the capital city of Kinshasa so geographically far away from its "trouble border" is probably making it more difficult to control.

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Brunei adopts sharia law amid international outcry

Brunei adopts sharia law amid international outcry | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Brunei has become the first East Asian country to adopt sharia law, despite widespread condemnation from international human rights groups.
Albert Jordan's insight:

Unfortunate but not surprising considering the proximity to Indonesia.  What will be interesting to see is any type of economic sanctions taken towards them or isolation by the western influenced global community.

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Here’s the First Look at the New Satanic Monument Being Built for Oklahoma’s Statehouse | VICE United States

Here’s the First Look at the New Satanic Monument Being Built for Oklahoma’s Statehouse | VICE United States | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
We got exclusive access to the controversial statue of Baphomet.
Albert Jordan's insight:

In a country that preaches religious tolerance at a national scale, the smaller state scale can get a bit more blurry. Placing a Christian themed monument at the statehouse may be tolerated in a largely Christian area even though technically, it may not be allowed there due to separation of church and state. Because the ten commandments was a donation though, technically it is allowed on the grounds. Well this monument to Satan will also be a donation and will certainly be an issue to the locally accepted culture, more than likely spurring a debate on the founding tenets of this country.

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Bombino stormed the Blues Tent with hard desert rock at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz Fest

Bombino stormed the Blues Tent with hard desert rock at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz Fest | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
The Malian blues guitarist and his band played an electrified set in the Blues Tent.
Albert Jordan's insight:

Coming out of Mali prior to the rebellion and French intervention as well as being an ethnic Taureg, Bombino has a sound that seems like it belongs in America. While he sings in a language that is not English, the themes of his music are still rooted in American blues. Common cultural themes are spread across borders as easily as politics. Everyone can relate to the feelings of loss and love and so by using music as a tool for social change, whether or not that is Bombino's aim, is still effective. The power of technology also is fascinating in how an artist can learn of a form of music and then be noticed across the ocean as is in Bombino's case, considering his last album was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.

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Defining 'the South'

Defining 'the South' | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it

"The Southerners were considerably more certain of which states are their own. While the top few Midwest states barely pulled 80 percent of the vote, nearly 90 percent of respondents identified Georgia and Alabama as Southern, and more than 80 percent placed Mississippi and Louisiana in the South. South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina all garnered above 60 percent."


Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

Living in Rhode Island, anything on a map that is "south", is the south. However, from a spatial and or cultural point of view. The traditional South could be considered the states that were on the side of the confederacy during the Civil War or where they have a "southern" accent as opposed to a "Texan" or more "cowboyesque" accent as in the American Southwest. One could also look at trending music and see where country music is most popular and judge by that.

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Elizabeth Lewis's curator insight, May 3, 7:50 AM

Civil War - maps

Cécile C-A's curator insight, May 7, 1:10 PM

Qu'est-ce que le sud? 

A comparer avec le travail de B. Radkin à propos du Midwest:

http://www.radicalcartography.net/index.html?midwest

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 8:56 PM

The South looks different to each state. I've heard some base it off of the accents and some even base it off of BBQ. its funny to see which states consider other states to be part of "The South" and which ines they dont.

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Four unexpected and terrible destinations for the world’s persecuted

Four unexpected and terrible destinations for the world’s persecuted | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Cambodia, where hundreds of thousands of people fled from life under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, may soon be accepting asylum seekers unwanted by Australia. The two countries came to a tentative agreement this week that could eventually see some 2,500 asylum-seekers held on Pacific Islands resettled in the Southeast Asian nation. The motivation for the deal largely stems from internal...
Albert Jordan's insight:

Doing one thing results in another thing being affected. By trying to do right by one group of people may result in negative results for another group. Who do you take care of and who do you say sorry to? One of the factors of political instability in one country is that if it results in widespread violence, refugees are an inevitable consequence and so where do they go? Typically they will head to neighboring countries but many of them try their luck over long distances. While the location may be an upgrade from having to fear landmines, ethnic cleansing, and the like but the economic difference may not be much and these refugees at times end up in the same poverty they left. These groups of people will usually live amongst others like them, creating "ghetto's" that have their own health, infrastructure, and crime problems for the host nation.

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What was Rumi talking about?

What was Rumi talking about? | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it

"Sufi poetry has been largely misunderstood by modern pop culture. The misuse of Sufi poetry is symptomatic of modern culture's combination of materialism with self-spirituality. The theme that runs through the New Age movement is about experiencing the 'Self' because it is the way to experience the 'God' or 'Goddess' within. As noted by Peter Pels in his 1998 article 'Religion, Consumerism and the Modernity of the New Age', the New Age emphasis on self-spirituality is rooted in late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century occultism."


Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

As one cultural element crosses over into a new area and meshes with that native culture, especially in places where the people may not have anything better to do than take what they like about a certain thing and ignore the rest - at times ignoring what it is about completely, the original mutates into something similar but different. This can be seen in many Eastern philosophies as they integrate into American culture.

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Tracey M Benson's curator insight, April 20, 4:42 PM

Very interesting article about interpreting Sufi poetry

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 28, 7:42 AM

unit 3

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China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years

China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

Another example of how one thing can begin in one region, go to another, then another, and then find a new identity as its previous one fades away. As part of what can be said to be a "devlopment" cycle, as a nation goes past manufacturing and into the services sector as well as its populace becoming more secular, the leaders of the church still need to bring in wealth for their coffers. What the missionarys started under colonialism is perhaps starting to pay off. Culture travels just as traded commodities does, by having peoples from different places inter-mingle and the largest motivator of that is global trade bringing people that ordinarily would not have met, together. Or in some cases, bible toting missionaries attempting to "civilize" a "primitive" people. If Jesus doesnt work, there is always opium.. again.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 22, 1:49 PM

unit 3

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, April 28, 12:48 PM

Religion...

Linda Rutledge Hudson's curator insight, May 13, 1:07 PM

It's interesting to think there are those who believe crime will diminish because there are more Christians.  I guess that's an infusion of Confucian morality and hope into their Christian ideals.  I hope that this will pave a way for the growth of human rights and more political freedom for China.

 

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Navigating the East China Sea

Navigating the East China Sea | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
How to ease tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over an uninhabited string of islands.

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:
Because China is becoming a world superpower, they are beginning to flex their muscle. China is wanting more and therefore taking more. By having legal territorial control over a few small islands, they can expand their exclusive economic zones and take advantage of any natural resources that may exist there. Another part of this though is that in order to project a naval force out to sea, they must be able to get large ships out of port which requires very deep water. The further out into the Pacific they control, the deeper the water, and where the water is deeper they can establish naval bases or refueling sites, etc.
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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 11:00 AM

There is no easy way to ease tentions betwee these antions and in  return there is no way that they would settle for anything a loss or win against eachother. For example, in the articlr when they talk about the real dangers of the countires not aggreeing is not about the actuall nations going to war but about the extreme nationalism that is apparent with each nation; " The real dangers are not in the intentions of the countries’ leaders but in the potential for miscalculation at lower levels, limited experience in “incident management” and escalation in a climate of competitive nationalism. "

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 1:58 PM

There doesn't seem to be a resolution anywhere in the future. Both sides are saying that they are retaliating against something the other one did. Unless they both agree to just start over it will be constant back-and-forth.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:27 PM

Obviously Chinese and Japanese leaders don't want war. There is no reason for them to argue any longer and these islands may be the answer to their problems.

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China Has Accomplished Something In Global Trade Not Seen Since Colonial Britain

China Has Accomplished Something In Global Trade Not Seen Since Colonial Britain | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
China is a true mega trader.
Albert Jordan's insight:

Even if China's trade rate is slowing, they are still trading at a massive level globally. The map shows the difference between 1990 and 2012. Especially now with emerging and rising markets in Africa and S.America, China will continue a dominance on global trade. Interestingly so, being a "communist" country but one of the biggest benefactors of free trade. While China continues to improve its infrastructure and social policies, more of its money will be spent on consumption which will in turn bring in more imports from other parts of the world instead of primarily being an exporter of goods.

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The Deadliest Animal in the World

The Deadliest Animal in the World | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Bill Gates introduces Mosquito Week on his personal blog, the Gates Notes. Everything posted this week is dedicated to this deadly creature. Mosquitoes carry devastating diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

Mosquito borne illnesses are prevalent in some of the worlds poorest countries. Without the infrastructure to combat the problem, especially in the rural areas of a country - its an issue that continues to cycle through every rainy season and beyond as the leftover rain water sits. Without adequetly dealing with the issue, the most vulnerable of a society will continue to be unintentionally kept down. Without proper infrastructure, the number of doctors without borders doesnt matter.

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Jacques Lebègue's curator insight, May 2, 12:13 AM

"C'est pas la p'tite bête qui manger la grosse". La manger, je ne sais pas, être le vecteur de son décès, c'est plus probable. Les moustiques et le paludisme tuent plus de personnes en 4min que les requins en un an!
On pourrait aussi drastiquement réduire le nombre de décès humains en désormais tous ces humains dotés d'une arme...

16s3d's curator insight, May 2, 12:51 AM

"C'est pas la p'tite bête qui manger la grosse". La manger, je ne sais pas, être le vecteur de son décès, c'est plus probable. Les moustiques et le paludisme tuent plus de personnes en 4min que les requins en un an!
On pourrait aussi drastiquement réduire le nombre de décès humains en désormais tous ces humains dotés d'une arme...

Fathie Kundie's curator insight, May 5, 8:08 AM

ما هو المخلوق الأشد فتكا في العالم؟

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NYTimes Video: China Halts Shipments of Rare Earths

In September, China stopped shipping rare earths, minerals crucial to military, cell phone and green technologies, to countries around the world. A report from the Bureau for International Reporting.

 

This 2010 video shows how a primary sector economic activity is reshaping global industry.  Green technologies are dependent on these mining resources and China is the world's rare earth 'superpower.'  Many factories have relocated in China in part because of cheap labor, but also to gain access to these rare earths.   


Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

As the video states, China is now realizing its own domestic needs outweighs the desire to export. China needs to go "green" and fast as well as be able to supply its own domestic corporations with the resources they need to supply their own people. An interesting by product of this internalization though, is that it puts its international competitors at a disadvantage. Almost a win-win for them. Japan is a regional competitor and by lowering the amount available to America and Europe, it forces them to speed time and money looking elsewhere. It is both an economic and strategic move, as the civilian needs are important but so are the military needs of rare earths.

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Paige Therien's curator insight, April 11, 11:25 AM

There are many reasons why manufacturing has moved to places like China.  One relatively unknown piece of this trend is to gain access to rare earths, a crucial component in most of today's technologies, especially of the growing "green" industry, due to their magnetism.  China, who currently creates 95% of the world's supply, has cornered the market of these raw materials through the cessation of exporting them.  With a quickly growing population, China wants to reserve their supply for their own citizens.  Rare earths' role in the green technological revolution is extremely important and China needs as much as they can get if they plan on going down this road in order to decrease pollution.  Around the globe, mining companies are trying to get up and running so they too can insure a steady supply of rare earths for their citizens.  This shift in where such an important raw material sourced from may change the current state of manufacturing greatly.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 7:09 AM

This New York Times video discusses China limiting rare earths exports. Rare earths are the heavy elements which are important components in many technologies as they are the best permanent magnets. By limiting the exports, or just completely denying a country like Japan, China sees two benefits. The first, the country gets to keep most of its rare earth resources for itself. China is on the verge of needing massive amounts of rare earths for its own people as the standard of living rises. Secondly, China is forcing many industries to open their factories in China if they want access to the rare earths China has a monopoly on, opening them up to Chinese taxes and tariffs.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 15, 10:57 AM

This video discusses how rare earths are important for a green future. China has halted its shipments of rare earths, which are used in cellphones, laptops and electric cars. China has the largest population in the world and is wise for not exporting an abundance of its rare earths. It is important that the U.S. starts to mine in places such as California for these minerals. Mining may not be good for the environment, but the path to a green future starts in a mine. 

 

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Why is Rumi the best-selling poet in the US?

Why is Rumi the best-selling poet in the US? | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
An 807-year-old Persian mystic and dervish, Rumi, has a massive following in the US and around the world. Jane Ciabattari explains his enduring influence.
Albert Jordan's insight:

Globalization does not necessarily have to imply billion dollar corporations or cross  border maquiladora trade networks but can sometimes involve the dissipation of culture. Examples being Eastern philosophy, European Architecture, or as this article points out - Persian poetry. The themes of a particular piece of art can still ring true hundreds or thousands years later and as the world metaphorically gets smaller, it is easier to transport obscure things from one place to the next and as a result, spreading mutually appreciated themes such as love and joy.

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Gunmen kidnap over 100 schoolgirls in Nigeria | Al Jazeera America

Gunmen kidnap over 100 schoolgirls in Nigeria | Al Jazeera America | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Abductions blamed on Boko Haram, a rebel group that has attacked hundreds of schools among other targets
Albert Jordan's insight:

What is one way to scare a populace into your way of thinking? Go after the most vulnerable. It is one thing to attack adults. However, to essentially tell these parents that they are going to be incapable of protecting their children is an effective way to coerce them however one would like. Horrifyingly so, by using these young girls they can use them to give birth to more of their own kind essentially creating more soldiers. By destroying the schools, they keep the populace uneducated and by doing so, easily swayed to a certain line of thinking. This is an abhorrent manner of warfare but in certain parts of the world - it is still an effective means. Thankfully by living in the United States, we are not witness to these horrors but for many living in Africa, this is a constant threat. To those who are victims of Boko Haram, it also becomes a question of if the government can not protect us and we can not defeat Boko Haram on our own, then we must join them.

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English jargon invading the French workplace - Telegraph

English jargon invading the French workplace - Telegraph | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
France's language police powerless to stem a flood of English and franglais from invading the office with jargon such as 'brainstorming'
Albert Jordan's insight:

No surprise that the French have an issue with American influence in their language. With the ability to travel, transport, and communicate ever more quickly - language everywhere is going to become more fused together. Perhaps American should go back to Freedom Fries to show the French, but then we would be lowering ourselves to their level.

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Boubacar Traoré "KarKar" - YouTube

Boubacar Traoré joue chez lui
Albert Jordan's insight:

With many different influences that span different continents, another musician out of Mali shows how colonialism from the past can still affect present day music. Although in a different language, the melody can still impart feelings similar to those that an American delta blues singer may as well. Although different places have different "sounds", the underlying themes of art can generally cross borders and have the same affect.

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Tunisia's street artist

Tunisia's street artist | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it

Following the uprising that toppled the government in 2011, he has become a well known graffiti artist hoping to revive and modernise the ancient art of Arabic calligraphy in Tunisia. He calls his style "calligraffiti".


Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

Considering hip hop is a distinctly American born cultural phenomenon, this goes to show how something that was born of one nations deprived social class can leap to a nation that is very different and still put forth the same message, as well as be used in the same way. Just like in the Bronx when hip hop was just starting off it was used to get people together, in Tunisia it is being used in the same way. Graffiti itself, while seen by many as simple vandalism, can be a powerful symbol of social change. As this artist is doing, using themes from hip hop and taking old Arabic calligraphy, mixing these up and then applying them to the side of a prison which has personal as well as local symbolism - it goes to show that post Arab Spring some places are seeing real change.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 1, 9:39 AM

unit 3

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 2, 12:19 PM

Following the Arab Spring, Karim Jabbari is hoping to help rebuild and recreate Tunisia through his own form of cultural expression which he calls "calligraffiti".  Calligraffiti is a blend of Western Street art and North African Arabic calligraphy.  This artistic expression works to spread messages pertaining to the recreating of the social and political environment of the country and by attracting and empowering Tunisia's youth in this endeavor.  

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 8:24 PM

The video shows how Karim Jabbari, is able to combine folk culture (ancient arabic writing) in with the western graffiti art. He is able to use his art to express political ideals and beliefs

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Saudi Arabia criticises Norway over human rights record

Saudi Arabia criticises Norway over human rights record | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabia has criticised Norway's human rights record, accusing the country of failing to protect its Muslim citizens and not doing enough to counter criticism of the prophet Mohammed.

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

It goes to show that within the UN, many countries that have a seat on relevant and influential councils, are only there as a favor and to make them feel important because they are needed for something else. While every country may have some blemishes on their human rights record, as far as modern times go - Saudi Arabia is probably one of the last countries that should be saying another country needs to change.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 30, 7:35 AM

If we are going to criticize Norway for their cultural values, I think that my main problem with Norway is that they've exported their culture globally and have force the world to listen to the song, "What Does the Fox Say?" I could think of a few other countries that I would be prepared to listen to on the subject of religious tolerance before Saudi Arabia. 

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Lamb - Burger King TV Commercial Ad - YouTube

Media: TV Category: Food Agency: BBDO Brand: Burger King Geo: Australia & NZ, New Zealand Advertising Agency: Colenso BBDO, New Zealand Creative Chairman: Ni...
Albert Jordan's insight:

An American company selling a traditionally American food. Yet, in New Zealand where they do not have much cattle and where it is probably expensive to ship in; they do have a lot of sheep. Therefore, the lamb burger is born. Interestingly enough, this ad was not for American markets.

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U.S. Ambassador Speaks Pidgin English; Nigerians Love It

U.S. Ambassador Speaks Pidgin English; Nigerians Love It | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Pidgin English is a second language for tens of millions of Nigerians, but it's not every day that you hear a diplomat speaking it. The U.S. ambassador recently gave it a shot in a radio interview.

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

Diplomacy isnt always do this or do that and we will return in kind, but is instead majority(atleast with smaller nations), getting in and showing the locals that you can relate with them. By showing Nigerians that this well taken care of white man from America was not going to show up and push American interests, but instead, show that he(an extension of America) was going to attempt and speak to them in their language goes miles. Its not much, but atleast trying to win the hearts and minds through cultural attachments instead of throwing money at an issue can be all that is needed for smaller scale geopolitics.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 28, 9:26 AM

This is a great example of cross-cultural interactions.  Pidgin is assumed to be a language of the lower classes and not of the diplomats.  Sometimes the best way to reach be is to meet them where they are at and validate their cultural expressions. 

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 15, 7:01 AM

unt 3

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The white tourist’s burden

The white tourist’s burden | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it

"Growing Western demand for altruistic vacations is feeding the white-savior industrial complex.  Volunteerism presents an escape, a rare encounter with an authenticity sorely missed, hardship palpably and physically felt – for a small price."


Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

Why not take advantage of "I feel guilty because Im doing exponentially better than them?" or the less politically correct term - "white guilt." Arguably this can be seen as the "those that have" feeling guilty and thinking that by volunteering for a few weeks will make them feel better about their rampant consumerism. As the article points out though, this is not a problem solver. You can build homes for people but without giving them a foundation(and education) in how to take "proper" care of themselves, as well as the proper infrastructure to support them, they will continue to beg, or be unable to find work(if there is any) that will give them the security they need to support the house given to them, or take care of any well water that has been established, etc, etc. Unfortunately, many of the volunteers who pay to volunteer do not want to fix the bigger picture but instead want to get a small taste of it so that they can talk about it over cocktails or use their Kodak moment for a new Facebook default.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 23, 3:02 PM

As stated in this article, "Under this program, well-to-do tourists sign up to build schools, clean and restore riverbanks, ring birds and act as caregivers to AIDS orphans for a few weeks. This led to the creation of a profitable industry catering to volunteer tourists. The orphans’ conditions are effectively transformed into a boutique package in which 'saving' them yields profits from tourists. The foreigners’ ability to pay for the privilege of volunteering crowds out local workers."  For a satirical look at this type of tourism, the Onion absolutely delivers.  

Tracey M Benson's curator insight, May 5, 2:59 PM
I have heard from people working long term with schools and orphanages the short term volunteer culture causes more harm than good.Seth Dixon sums this article up:

As stated in this article, "Under this program, well-to-do tourists sign up to build schools, clean and restore riverbanks, ring birds and act as caregivers to AIDS orphans for a few weeks. This led to the creation of a profitable industry catering to volunteer tourists. The orphans’ conditions are effectively transformed into a boutique package in which 'saving' them yields profits from tourists. The foreigners’ ability to pay for the privilege of volunteering crowds out local workers."  For a satirical look at this type of tourism, the Onion absolutely delivers.  

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Singer Steps Into Spotlight as Nation Changes Political Tune

Singer Steps Into Spotlight as Nation Changes Political Tune | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Xaniar Khosravi was permitted to perform four concerts of his love songs in Iran in what was seen as a relaxation of cultural restrictions.
Albert Jordan's insight:

Iran has a lot of influence throughout the Muslim world and because of that, what happens in this country will be observed by other elements and nations in the Middle East. For other areas that follow Iran's example, they too may begin to slowly change their tune and became less extreme culturally at a local local. Music, movies, and other pop culture elements are some of the biggest motivators for social change. Loosening the restrictions on these pieces of society may affect things further on down the generational line and could cross borders as culture is wont to do.

 

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Top 10 Safest Countries In The World In 2014

Top 10 Safest Countries In The World In 2014 | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
This list attempts to pinpoint the 10 safest countries in the world by analyzing the Global Peace Index, or GPI, of each country, taking into consideration homicide rates, levels of violent crime, nuclear capabilities and more.

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

None of these countries are surprising. However, many of them have to deal with neighbors and regional issues. New Zealand, on the other hand, does not really have to deal with much. Essentially being isolated except for a large(not differentiating between usable and non usable land), and some small islands to the north - New Zealander's just do their thing and govern their sheep. It goes to show that while they are connected to the global marketplace, by maintaining a small profile and keeping to themselves, they can still enjoy standards of living comparable to the richest and largest nations on the planet. It also helps to have a small population.

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Jacques Lebègue's curator insight, May 2, 12:19 AM

L'indice de paix global agrège des facteurs comme le taux d'homicide, celui de crimes violents et autres. On a un bon modèle pas lui, tout près: la Belgique, n°10 de ce classement. En règle générale, à l'exception notable de la Nouvelle-Zélande, il vaut vivre au nord de l'hémisphère nord...

16s3d's curator insight, May 2, 12:50 AM

L'indice de paix global agrège des facteurs comme le taux d'homicide, celui de crimes violents et autres. On a un bon modèle pas lui, tout près: la Belgique, n°10 de ce classement. En règle générale, à l'exception notable de la Nouvelle-Zélande, il vaut vivre au nord de l'hémisphère nord...

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NYTimes Video: Transforming Gulou

NYTimes Video: Transforming Gulou | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
A government-initiated redevelopment plan will transform one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing into a polished tourist attraction.

 

This 2010 video showcases one of China's urban transformation projects.  Urban revitalization plans are not without critics, especially those who see the cultural transformation of a neighborhood they deem worthy of historical preservation. 


Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's insight:

Progression or destruction? Out with the old and in with the new or the selling of ones soul? Of course those that are affected or disagree will say one thing and those that wish to develop will say another. While many will see this as a desecration of the past; at some point at a larger scale change must come. It is important to realize that China needs to do something with its people, whom are only multiplying. Much of the old towns and structures are not up to modern day standards of safety. As more people need to support themselves and their dependents, they will need jobs. The main, larger cities, can only support so much. 

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, November 27, 2011 7:15 PM
I am not quite sure I believe this transformation in going to be a good decision. Currently there are residents living in poverty with a life lived in public setting. They now are thinking about building "homes for the rich" Well, if there are poor residents living in this area now how will they be able to maintain a lifestyle in these "high-rise buildings"? This transformation seems to be benefiting Beijing for a gain more tourists not bettering the life of those current residents. It is also sacrificing the heritage and taking away its historic value.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2011 2:48 PM
This is a an example of "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 6:50 AM

This video explains how gentrification is alive and well in Beijing. The government has been tearing down old neighborhoods and redeveloping them into expensive touristy areas. The locals obviously hate the redevelopment since it has destroyed old historical parts of the city and forced their relocation. The government redevelopment is understandable because this is prime real estate near downtown Beijing and maximizing the economics of this area makes sense. Gulou is one of these neighborhoods and highly historic. Fortunately, it appears Gulou has been granted a reprieve from remodeling, but the gentrification of high value property in Beijing will likely never be done.

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Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style

Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
Chinese immigrants adapted their cuisine over time to appeal to American palates. So Americans looking for familiar dishes in China won't find many. But a new restaurant in Shanghai hopes to change that — offering expats a taste of home and introducing locals to foreign treats like fortune cookies.
Albert Jordan's insight:

Interesting to see a cultural icon go from its home origin to a new place, evolve, then go back home and become foreign. The palettes of  each culture become evident in how the flavor has changed. Americans have an obsession with things being sweet and so as the Americanized "Chinese food" appeared in Shanghai, locals enjoyed it but had some reservations about its sweetness. Many Americans think a fortune cookie is a cultural treat from the far east when, in this article, it is considered horrific.

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Coca-Cola sales beat estimates as China volumes soar

Coca-Cola sales beat estimates as China volumes soar | Albert Jordan | Scoop.it
(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue as it ramped up spending on marketing and advertising, boosting sales in emerging markets such as China.Coca-Cola, like PepsiCo
Albert Jordan's insight:

Globalization. Coca-Cola may be an American company but they are a globally traded commodity and if they can make even more money selling in other countries then they most certainly will. As demand lowers in one area, they must go out and find(or create) new demand somewhere else. Considering China is a rising(or risen) economic power, the people that live there are going to want more luxury items. Coca-Cola will be more than happy to import that for them, and as American culture goes, it will not hurt to have an American staple sold in a country that is a direct competitor for global influence.

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