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Does democracy stifle economic growth?

TED Talks Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China's authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth -- leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back?

 

This compelling TedTalk explores the links between economic development and governmental style, oversight and influence.  While the speaker mainly discusses politics and economics in the context of China and India, Pakistan, Russia, North and South Korea are all mentioned.      


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 21, 2012 11:11 AM
Democracy can stifle economic growth. War will definitely stifle economic growth. North Korea doesn't look like they're going to stop fighting South Korea, if only they would combine their lands, they would probably be a much better nation as one.
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:17 PM

For Americans the idea that democracy can be anything but sunshine and rainbows is a hard pill to swallow. There is evidence that supports the contrary. Although democracy has the moral high ground, authoritative governments can grow at a faster rate because it does not have to address resistance where democracy fosters debate and dissent. In India, millions of people will not agree on everything and therefore progress can be slow going. 

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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.

 

This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:21 PM

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, November 20, 2013 11:43 AM

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:27 PM

When you take in the way that the British Empire controlled many colonies and tried to spread their culture to such diverse regions, it is no suprise that Pakistan was named essentially by a game of Scrabble.  I suppose the naming is somewhat creative and certainly unique compared to how other countries get their names, yet just picturing a group of colleagues naming a country is strange.  Though the U.K. did grant them independance, how independant were they really if they weren't even given the right to name their own land.

James Hobson's curator insight, November 11, 2014 12:55 PM

(South Asia topic 5)

The name "Pakistan" can be thought of as more of a "Mexicali" or "Calexico" than an "Afghanistan" or "Turkmenistan." In other words, it is an acronym, which I was surprised to learn. Though is can also be translated as "land of the Paks", there is no specific group by that name. Relating back to a previous Scoop, this shows the importance of validation and reasoning, as opposed to 'blind belief.'

I think the use of an acronym for the new nation's name (a toponym) was a very intuitive option to choose; no ethnic group could complain that their name didn't make it into the name of their nation while others' did. This seems to be a form of equal representation.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:28 AM

This article is very interesting as it explains the origin of the name Pakistan. Like many people I assumed that the name had to do with some old ethnic group but in reality its something of an acronym. Interestingly enough Pakistan is incredibly diverse and really only held together by the common Islamic religion. Names which are acronyms are more common place in government plans or cheesy infomercial products rather than the names of countries.     

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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 29, 2014 6:20 PM

I am impressed that McDonald's knows their clientele so well! This is a company that will last since it is very globally conscious and therefore can open a restaurant in any country.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 10, 2014 5:07 PM

McDonald's adjustment to producing a mostly vegetarian menu for locations in India is a smart business move on their part, and once again displays the positive affects of globalization on a company, but may hurt any of the smaller businesses in the area.

 

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 11, 2014 8:03 PM

This article was really interesting to read especially because I have been working at a McDonalds for almost three years now. McDonalds is huge franchise that is known all over the world. Of course my McDonald's does not serve anything for vegetarians. India has various reasons for going meatless. One is that cows are sacred to Hindus. Also, Muslims who live in the country do not eat pork. As opposed to my location who has a top seller of a Big Mac, India's top seller is a McAloo Tikki burger. This burger is made out of a potato based patty as opposed to ground beef. The company is also planning to open another vegetarian location.

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South Asian floods take economic toll

Environmental degradation, seasonally high rainfall, a low elevation profile and climate change combine in a very bad way for Bangladesh.  Flooding, given these geographic characteristics, is essentially a regular occurence.   For a more in-depth look at these issues from the same media outlet, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0iZiivYJc&feature=player_embedded#!


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:41 PM
The people that live here understand that they will have flooding every year. They're smart to build elevated roads so they have some way of transportation over flooded areas. It's weird to think that this is a normal thing for them and for us we close everything down and wait in our houses.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 7, 2012 12:17 AM
In an area already stricken with poverty, the floods manifest the problems. High rains and low elevations cause massive floods in areas such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Most areas do not receive aid, especially the remote areas of the villages.
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 4:55 PM

The "socio-economics of flooding" is a side of the natural disaster we don't normally think about. People most affected by floods tend to live in areas with poor infrastructure and large populations. Their displacement to cities, like Dhaka, has incredible cost. For both the family and the new place they relocate to. 

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Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs

Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Documented by an aid worker, millions of spiders took to the trees to spin their webs after heavy floods inundated Pakistan in 2010.

 

Besides being an aesthetic wonder, this image is a great way to start a discussion about so many distinct issues. The floods of 2010 devastated the human population, killing over 2,000. These same floods also altered the ecosystem as spiders have needed to adapt to their new inundated landscape as well. For the human population, this has had the shocking benefit of lowering the incidents of malaria since the spiders have more effectively limited the mosquito population. Interconnections...geographic information are a spider web of interconnections between nature and humanity.


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Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:07 AM

As cool as it is creepy. I'm reminded of entire fields of spider webs after similar heavy flooding in Australia. I certainty would get nowhere near those trees if this were to happen locally.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 2:29 PM

Intense flooding occurring in December 2010 left 2,000 people dead in Pakistan. The flood waters left both the people, and the insects, with no where to go. Spiders, trying to escape from the flood waters, climbed into trees and bushes in order to avoid drowning. Almost every type of vegetation was covered in webs, making the landscape appear as though it was planed in cotton candy trees. While definitely peculiar, the massive amounts of spider webbing averted a mosquito crisis. While something positive did come from this occurrence, most of the trees were killed since their leaves were smothered by the webbing and unable to collect sunlight. Now the landscape contains little to know shade for the people living their. 

 

When observing geographies, it is important to understand not just the people, but the other organisms that affect a place, and how they too can make an effect. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 16, 2014 8:19 AM

These floods damaged the ecosystems in Pakistan. It also manipulated the natural order of things. With he heavy floods lots of mosquito were attracted by the water and then millions of spiders followed for food. What resulted are these remarkable images. For those who suffer from arachnophobia this may their worst nightmare but it has an odd beauty to it.

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The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world.

 

This two-minute video clip is an effective portal to alternative religious traditions on the South Asian subcontinent.   While students might not at first relate to the theologies of diverse religious traditions, they connect with the underlying ethics of many world religions.  This video is an effective tool to help them gain greater cultural understanding and demystify unfamiliar cultural practices. 


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:25 PM
I like that the Sikh religion allows people of all religions to visit their holy temple. These people seem like good people.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 1:18 AM

I was impressed by the fact that the people of the Sikh religion are very accepting of people who remain outside their system of beliefs.  They acknowledge the fact that there are other religions and don't see any reason to treat them with anything but respect.  These people are most definitely good people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:46 AM

This temple is amazing because it is not only a place of worship but also a huge free eatery. This temple plays a role in the poor relief of the area because all poor people are welcome to come and eat. The fact they welcome those of different faiths as well into this temple of worship is something that is really remarkable because of the fear and distrust many faiths seem to have of one another. If only more places of worship acts as this one.