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Minh-Ha T. Pham on Twitter: "Folks teaching courses on and/or writing about race + beauty, assign/read Thuy Linh N. Tu's latest essay, "White Like Koreans: The Skin of New Vietnam," a beautifully written, smart essay that looks at the significance of whit
"Folks teaching courses on and/or writing about race + beauty, assign/read Thuy Linh N. Tu's latest essay, "White Like Koreans: The Skin of New Vietnam," a beautifully written, smart essay that looks at the significance of whiteness in VN and Asia that DOESN'T CENTRALIZE the West.

Folks teaching courses on and/or writing abt ethical fashion/garment industry, check out @deniseacruz's gorgeous essay "Splitting the Seams: Transnat'l Feminism and ... Filipino Couture." What ethical production really looks like FROM THE PERSPECTIVE of global south workers.

Another one for race + beauty research that doesn't assume or use a western framework --> S. Heijin Lee's "Beauty Between Empires." Also includes a great discussion of how social media helps/hurts Korean feminism.

Another one for ethical fashion/fast fashion/garment industry researchers: Christina Moon's "Times, Tempos, and Rhythm of Fast Fashion in LA & Seoul" - an ethnographic work that dispels major misconceptions abt fast fashion much of it is made in USA + involves design work)

All of these essays are in the newly published book *Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia* (@NYUpress).

Also: all these women are my friends, my friends are smart, my friends are beautiful writers. Read them, cite them. (I'm not done reading the book . Will have more later.)

PS. I have a chapter in the same book. Drawing on the China Through the Looking Glass exhibition at the Met, I argue that "cultural inspiration" is more than a personal feeling; it's a cultural economic asset that provides protection, recognition, and profit -- for some."

[See also: "Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia, by S. Heijin Lee , Christina H. Moon and Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu
NYU Series in Social and Cultural Analysis"
https://nyupress.org/9781479892846/fashion-and-beauty-in-the-time-of-asia/ ]
race  beauty  fashion  asia  korea  vietnam  whiteness  2019  minh-hapham  sheijinlee  feminism  socialmedia  christinamoon  china  books  thuylinhnguyentu 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
Is "Show Don't Tell" a Universal Truth or a Colonial Relic? | Literary Hub
"In his essay “The Storyteller” (1936), cultural critic Walter Benjamin mourns the death of oral and communal storytelling, taken over in modern history by the novel, the “birthplace of the solitary reader,” and information technology with a rise in capitalism. Yet, what Benjamin posits as the organic evolution of oral, communal practices of storytelling into modern modes of storytelling, consumed by a reader in “privacy,” is in fact, the understanding of a Western history of storytelling as a universal one. As Maggie Awadalla and Paul March-Russell suggest in the introduction to their anthology The Postcolonial Short Story (2012), many non-Western countries did not transition “organically” from oral to written storytelling with a rise in capitalism. For many formerly or currently colonized spaces like South Asia, Africa, Caribbean, American South and Native America, there has always existed a rich, vibrant tradition of oral storytelling, one that was marginalized, often violently, through an imposition of an allegedly modern, white Western language and culture. In their study, Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (1998), Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin defend “orality” not as a cultural precondition that morphed into a more advanced written culture, but orality as a counterpart to writing, where both co-exist, complement and transform each other constantly. This coexistence of oral and written modes of storytelling continues to thrive in postcolonial spaces, including those of Asia and Africa.

In her now-canonical essay “Characteristics of Negro Expression” (1934), Zora Neale Hurston makes a strong case for the use of vernacular—especially dialect and rhythm—in Black writing. In his story collection, Creole Folktales (1988) and equally canonical co-authored essay, “In Praise of Creoleness” (1989), Patrick Chamoiseau offers a manifesto for Caribbean storytelling that aims to free itself of French colonial gaze by transforming Martinican-French literature through a militant use of Creole. And while not through cultural theories or essays, contemporary writers like Salman Rushdie, Vikram Chandra, Roxane Gay, Junot Díaz, and Edwidge Danticat, among others, bring a strong, self-conscious vernacular in their stories. Their fiction questions not only an allegedly mainstream Euro-American storytelling marked by narrative brevity and an economy of words, as lauded by Edgar Allan Poe, John Barth and Francine Prose in their critical writing, but also the dominance of visuality in many fiction writing workshops with their show-don’t-tell credo, bolstered by our cinematic and digital age with its preference for images over sounds."



"James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Sandra Cisneros, Gish Jen, Tiphanie Yanique, ZZ Packer, Rajesh Parameswaran—the list of contemporary writing affirming oral and aural alternatives over a sight-based focus of storytelling is long. And I haven’t even gotten started with poetry-in-color, including an aesthetic legacy of rhythm in writing spawned by Papa Césaire and the Négritude movement. What I’ve explored above is a brief sampler on a multifaceted use of orality that challenges the boundaries of a more standard Euro-American literary English with its emphasis on brevity, clarity, and good grammar. In playing persistently with language, sounds and syntax, multiethnic fiction does not shy away from “writing in scenes,” however, it does dethrone the reign of eyesight to stress the importance of other senses in fiction, and hearing in particular.

That said, the use of vernacular or dialect is far from unique to non-Western writers writing within or outside the West. Time and again, major writers across the world have challenged the status quo of a hegemonic language by using the vernacular in different ways. I’m thinking here of Shakespeare and Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s linguistic innovation within English and French respectively, and of pioneering poets like Kabir who used the vernacular in Bhakti poetry to challenge the rule of Sanskrit in medieval South Asian literature.

And yet, the examples of multiethnic fiction I’ve shared above have all been published in the last couple of decades, following complex literary and historic changes that include mid-20th century’s wave of decolonization that swept the “third world,” the Civil Rights Movement in the US, the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies in the American Academy, and the literary canon wars that followed. This recent, layered, global history has led to a higher visibility of non-white, non-Western voices in the Western metropolitan publication scenes of New York, London and Paris. The content within contemporary multiethnic fiction often talks of identity, home and displacement; they ask questions like who has power and voice and who gets marginalized or silenced, these ideas fleshed out obsessively in stories through plot, theme, form, language, or a combination.

Orality within fiction that is deliberately engaging with power dynamics between the West and non-West—as evident in the title of Rushdie’s story collection East, West—thus becomes more than just a stylistic device or virtuosity with craft. The shift in sensory focus within multiethnic fiction from images to sounds holds a mirror to our contemporary, complex literary history, guiding the reader further to ways in which these stories maybe constructed, read, or deconstructed. Orality here becomes a political stance, an ideological move reminding the reader over and again that what we consume as universal in story craft, literary history, or aesthetic taste is anything but universal."
orality  oraltradition  visual  via:vruba  2018  storytelling  walterbenjamin  culture  tradition  namratapoddar  globalsouth  maggieawadalla  paulmarch-russell  billashcroft  garethgriffiths  helentiffin  vernacular  zoranealehurston  creole  creoleness  folktales  writing  salmanrushdie  vikramchandra  junotdíaz  edwidgedanticat  edgarallanpoe  johnbarth  fancineprose  criticalwriting  howwewrite  literacy  multiliteracies  dialect  rhythm  patrickchamoiseau  caribbean  africa  asia  colonialism  english  alicewalker  imperialism  gishjen  jamesbaldwin  tonimorrison  tiphanieyanique  zzpacker  showdon'ttell  sandracisneros  roxanegay  ajeshparameswaran  négritude  papacésaire  haiti  aural  oral  sight  brevity  clarity  grammar  fiction  aimécésaire  martinique  léopoldsédarsenghor  léondamas  postcolonialism  louis-ferdinandceline  latinamerica  indigenous  canon 
november 2018 by robertogreco
SublimeFrequencies
"SUBLIME FREQUENCIES is a collective of explorers dedicated to acquiring and exposing obscure sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers via film and video, field recordings, radio and short wave transmissions, international folk and pop music, sound anomalies, and other forms of human and natural expression not documented sufficiently through all channels of academic research, the modern recording industry, media, or corporate foundations.

SUBLIME FREQUENCIES is focused on an aesthetic of extra-geography and soulful experience inspired by music and culture, world travel, research, and the pioneering recording labels of the past."

[See also: https://www.instagram.com/sublimefrequencies/ ]

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BaHOtRtF4T8/ ]
asia  world  worldmusic  music  hishammayet  sound  film  video  fieldrecordings  radio 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Adults Have Become Shorter in Many Countries - The New York Times
"Average adult heights in many countries appear to have peaked 30 to 40 years ago and have declined slightly since then, according to a new study that the authors say is based on the largest set of such data ever gathered.

They combined results from 1,472 studies in 200 countries looking at the measured — rather than self-reported or estimated — heights of about 18.6 million people born from 1896 to 1996. The study was published in eLife.

Dutchmen born before 2000 were the world’s tallest, and Guatemalan women born before 1900 were the shortest, the study found. South Korean women and Iranian men had the greatest gains in height over the last century. But Guatemalan women also grew, rising from 4 feet 7 inches to 4 feet 11 inches, on average.

Latvian women are now the world’s tallest.

Height is strongly influenced by the mother’s nourishment during pregnancy, and the child’s during infancy. Height is also linked to overall health and well-being.

Taller people tend on average to live longer and to have fewer cardiac and respiratory problems. Some studies have shown that they receive more education and are paid higher salaries.

American men reached their maximum average height in 1996, and women in 1988. Two of the study’s authors, James Bentham and Majid Ezzati, both of Imperial College, London, speculated that the decline could be because of worsening nutrition standards for poor Americans but conceded that they had not measured the effects of immigration from, for example, Central American countries with substantially shorter citizens.

Average heights in North America, Western Europe and Japan rose quickly in the 20th century, then plateaued or shrank slightly, the authors said. African and South Asians have not grown very much and, in some countries, have shrunk slightly.

Africans were taller when the colonial era ended in the 1960s. They may have lost height because of collapsing health care systems, rising population density and less dietary diversity among urbanites, the authors said."

[See also: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13410 ]
humans  evolution  height  netherlands  latvia  2016  korea  iran  nourishment  1996  1988  1960s  health  japan  europe  us  asia  guatemala  jamesbentham  majidezzati 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The Other Valleys
"We live in a bubble, baby.
A bubble’s not reality.
You gotta look outside…

–Eiffel 65

Reading the same sources of information and speaking to the same kinds of people day in and day out results in a rather skewed perspective of life.

That’s what the Other Valleys hopes to change in its own way. Published by Anjali Ramachandran, the goal is to look outside of the comfort zone to bring in news, thoughts and work that are not heard about as often as they probably should be. With a focus on emerging markets, due to onboard the next billion people online by 2020, the Other Valleys is about the multiple pockets of the world outside of Silicon Valley that harbour incredible entrepreneurial businesses and creative projects, and is especially keen on featuring projects by women - current VC investment into female-founded startups is extremely low, and we believe that visibility helps.

Originally started as a weekly newsletter in 2014, this version of Other Valleys hopes to reach even more people, as it continues to showcase global sources of inspiration.

FAQs

Can I submit my project or startup to be featured in the Other Valleys?
Yes - absolutely, as long as it is based in or catering to the emerging markets (broadly Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Far East and the Asia-Pacific region). It could be a technology company, an incubator/accelerator, a creative project, competition or something at the intersection of these. It is more likely to get featured if it has an unusual take on an existing problem. If you'd like to submit a project for consideration, please go here.

Can I submit my book for review?
Yes, though the same rules apply as above! This is an example of a book that suits the audience of this publication, for guidance.

I'd like to sign up to the Other Valleys newsletter - where can I do that? Is there an archive?
That's awesome - please head here to sign up, and the archive is here.

I'd like to follow this blog on Twitter - is that possible?
Glad you asked! Follow us: @othervalleys

I’d like to sponsor or advertise on this blog – who do I contact and can I get details?
Contact anjali AT othervalleys DOT net

I have another question - how can I contact you?
As above: anjali AT othervalleys DOT net"
anjaliramachandran  othervalleys  emergingmarkets  siliconvalley  women  gender  visibility  africa  latinamerica  middleeast  fareast  asia  asia-pacific  technology 
march 2016 by robertogreco
'Mobile reading revolution' takes off in developing world | Books | The Guardian
"Unesco study reports huge growth in adults and children reading books on phones in Africa and the Indian subcontinent"



"Unesco is pointing to a "mobile reading revolution" in developing countries after a year-long study found that adults and children are increasingly reading multiple books and stories on their phones.

Nearly 5,000 people in seven countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe – took part in the research, the largest study of its kind to date, which found that 62% of respondents are reading more, now they can read on their mobile phones. One in three said they read to children from their mobile phones, and 90% of respondents said they would be spending more time reading on their mobile phones in the next year.

The study, says Unesco in its report, found that "people read more when they read on mobile devices, that they enjoy reading more, and that people commonly read books and stories to children from mobile devices".

"The study shows that mobile reading represents a promising, if still underutilised, pathway to text," says the report, for which Unesco partnered with Worldreader – a global not-for-profit organisation that works to bring digital books to readers around the world – and Nokia. "It is not hyperbole to suggest that if every person on the planet understood that his or her mobile phone could be transformed – easily and cheaply – into a library brimming with books, access to text would cease to be such a daunting hurdle to literacy."

The report's author Mark West said that the key conclusion from the study was that "mobile devices can help people develop, sustain and enhance their literacy skills".

"This is important because literacy opens the door to life-changing opportunities and benefits," said West.

Reasons given by respondents for reading on mobiles were convenience, affordability and lack of access to books. In Zimbabwe, for example, Unesco said the cost of reading a book on a mobile was between 5 and 6 cents, while a paperback bestseller would cost around $12 (£7); in Nigeria, a mobile book would cost around 1 or 2 cents, based on a mobile broadband rate of $13 per 500 MB of data, while a child's book would cost between $1 and $5.

Unesco pointed to data from the UN, which shows that of the seven billion people on earth, more than six billion now have access to a working mobile phone. "Collectively, mobile devices are the most ubiquitous information and communication technology in history," says Unesco. "More to the point, they are plentiful in places where books are scarce."

The most popular genre for readers was romance, the survey found, with the "romance" icon on Worldreader Mobile receiving 17% of all 730,787 clicks during the research period. Nineteen of the top 40 books read during the study period were romance novels, with Ravinder Singh's Can Love Happen Twice? the most popular book, followed by the Mills & Boon title The Price of Royal Duty in second, and the Bible in third.

Kwame Nkrumah's The Great African and Nnedi Okorafor's The Girl with the Magic Hands were also among the most read books between April and June 2013, with the most popular search terms over the period "sex", "Bible" and "biology". Chinua Achebe came in fourth, with "Things fall apart", ahead of "love" in fifth. Religion was the second most popular genre, said Unesco.

The survey also found that mobile reading is a "huge tool of empowerment for women", said Worldreader's Nadja Borovac. While 77% of mobile readers in developing countries are male, women spend an average of 207 minutes per month reading on their mobile phones, compared to men's 33 minutes. Unesco's report points out that in sub-Saharan Africa, a woman is 23% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man, with the gap widening in the case of data-enabled phones. "Men use mobiles for reading most, but the most active readers are women," said Borovac.

Almost two-thirds (60%) of respondents cited lack of content as the primary barrier to mobile reading, and a third said they were keen to read to their children from their mobiles if there were more child-friendly material available.

One respondent, Charles, a teacher in Zimbabwe, said he reads to his class from his mobile, and cited lack of printed content as his main reason for turning to his phone. "We live in a remote area where there are no libraries, and the books I have in my own small library are the ones which I have already read. So this is now giving me a chance to choose from a variety of fiction titles," he said.

Borovac said that mobile reading was "not a future phenomenon, but something which is happening today".

"It can really change people's lives," she said. "We work in countries where there is a serious shortage of books but where cell phones are plentiful ... We are hoping people will realise the potential of mobile reading [as a result of the report], and that governments and partners will get behind not only us but other organisations using mobile technology to help provide learning and books, and help improve literacy skills.""
mobile  reading  2014  africa  asia  india  ehtiopia  ghana  kenya  nigeria  pakistan  zimbabwe  unesco  ebooks  publishing 
january 2016 by robertogreco
The City of the Global South and its Insurrections: Algiers, Cairo, Gaza, Chandigarh, and Kowloon | THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE
"On November 10th, I was invited by friend Meriem Chabani to give a small lecture in Paris in the context of the exhibition New South that she curated around six architecture students’ thesis projects engaging cities of the Global South in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Burkina Faso, Morocco and the Canaries. I started writing a digest of this presentation here the next day but the Nov. 13 attacks occurred and I am profoundly sadden to announce that, Amine Ibnolmobarak, the brilliant and kind author of the project for Mecca in this exhibition, was killed in the shootings. Despite the shock of this news and the difficulty to mourn in the maddening noise of the journalistic and political state of emergency, his friends gathered around his family, and remembered with emotion his life in the great hall of the Beaux Arts school last Friday.

The City of the Global South and its Insurrections: Algiers, Cairo, Gaza, Chandigarh, and Kowloon ///

This presentation constitutes a rather shallow examination of five cities’ reciprocal influence between their urban fabric and their insurrections and counter-insurrections operations. In order to make the presentation clearer, I produced a few new maps and thus propose to include my slides here, as well as a few notes to explain them."



"CONCLUSION ///

The criminalizing discourses that took the Kowloon Walled City for object as well as its inhabitants, even if based, to a certain degree on a actual facts, is common to all neighborhoods presented here. These discourses construct an imaginary of these neighborhoods that prepares the policed and/or militarized interventions against the urban fabric and its inhabitants. The insurrections evoked throughout this presentation are sometimes less the historical accomplishment of their inhabitants than a narrative forced upon them in order to (re)gain the full political control of these urban formations. As described in another recent article, the rhetorical use of “bastions” or “strongholds” to talk about these neighborhoods or other similar ones, contributes (more often than not, deliberately) to their transformation or demolition orchestrated by the State, sometimes including the very lives of their inhabitants (like in the case of Gaza)."
algiers  algeria  cairo  egypt  gaza  palestine  chandigahr  india  kowloon  hongkong  china  northafrica  asia  globalsouth  léopoldlambert  cartography  history  cities  urban  urbanism  architecture  design  insurrection  colonialism  decolonization  colonization  lecorbusier  battleofalgiers  alilapointe  tahrir  tahrirsquare  militarization 
december 2015 by robertogreco
From Digital Divide to Language Divide: Language Inclusion for Asia’s Next Billion — Words About Words — Medium
"Thinking through language divides in online platforms and what we can do to reduce them"



"New Internet users who don’t speak majority languages will likely be unable to participate in global Internet culture and conversations as both readers and contributors; as Mark Graham and Matthew Zook have noted, minority languages speakers, especially those from the global south, will experience substantial information inequality online (Young, 2015). Indeed, people’s inability to speak English can significantly afect their very adoption and use of the Internet, even if they are aware of its existence (Pearce et al., 2014)."
anxiaomina  2015  language  languages  inclusion  internet  web  online  accessibility  kevinscannell  stevenbird  aikuma  translation  meedan  socialmedia  twitter  linguistics  katypearce  power  english  scotthale  technology  edbice  digitaldivide  asia 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Failures of Our Global Imagination | Civicist
"The problem with first world problems, and why we need to shift the way we talk about global tech"



"It’s time to abandon the First World/Third World dichotomy. Whether or not this dichotomy was a helpful one at some point in the past, it’s no longer helpful now. The “Third World” has glittering skyscrapers and glowing smartphones, and the “First World” has decaying neighborhoods and entire swaths of the country without broadband. There are very real and important differences between rich and poor countries, and these dynamics play out at the level of international relations, all the way down to the mundane and often humiliating work of applying for visas. But this framing creates a divide that limits our capacity to understand the vast spectra of the way human beings live in the 21st century. I don’t yet have a better vocabulary for this, but I hope someone smarter than me can figure that out. For now, I do use the phrases “developing world,” “global south,” and “poor countries,” but I’d like to have a better framework. Any suggestions?

Remember the diversity of ways we use communications technology: that includes connecting with people we care about and depend on. In contrast to narratives about vanity, slacktivism, and luxury when it comes to tech in the middle-class West, so much of the conversation about technology in the global south focuses on information and practical communications, like around agricultural trends and educational material. This is good and important work. But highly pragmatic use cases are just part of the reason anyone has used communications technology. Informal markets from Asia to Africa are filled with music and movies, like a Bluetooth-powered Napster, and people are just as likely to send text messages and Facebook posts to check in with friends and loved ones as they are to access important healthcare information and market reports. These things can coexist.

Like a city, the internet and mobile phones provide for a vast diversity of human needs, which include the basic human need for companionship, support, and access to joy in the face of suffering. Fortunately, this part of the global imagination doesn’t require too much effort: Just think of how everyone you know uses technology, the number of apps, the different ways they laugh, smile, cry, and scowl at what they see behind those plates of glass.

Shifting the narrative is such a critical part of the motivation behind my work with global internet cultures, and the above are just a few ideas for how I think we can do that. But more important than trying to know everything about the world is establishing a culture of knowing that we don’t know. The assumption that we can parachute into a foreign culture with formal expertise and knowledge and make things better has never been acceptable, and it has led to a lot of unnecessary suffering, especially in colonized countries. The fact that people in marginalized parts of the world can now call out misguided attitudes and perceptions about them will go a long way, and those of us with access to media and policy can do well to amplify and extend these voices.

But it is also not possible to know every detail about other people’s lives. Attention is limited, as is time. We can learn everything we can about the day to day of rural Laos, but the conflict in Mali will seem completely opaque. Instead, it’s more important to know that we don’t know, know that we need to listen to those who have greater familiarity, and to know that there are ways to go further. Adopting an attitude of humility and curiosity can take us much farther than an attitude of assuredness and assumption. This seems to me like a good place to start—and if you have other and better ideas, I’d love to hear them."

[Also posted here: https://medium.com/@anxiaostudio/failures-of-our-global-imagination-8648b2336c2c ]
anxiaomina  firstworldproblems  internet  thirdworld  firstworld  diversity  slacktivism  vanity  luxury  technology  globalsouth  communication  asia  africa  latinamerica  mobile  phones  smartphones  selfies  advocacy  refugees  2015  privilege  narrative  empathy  thirdworldproblems 
october 2015 by robertogreco
How developing countries are paying a high price for the global mineral boom | Global development | The Guardian
"Soaring worldwide demand for the minerals used in electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops has left a legacy of social conflict and human rights violations across Asia, Latin America and Africa"
technology  inequality  minerals  mining  2015  economics  capitalism  humanrights  latinamerica  africa  asia  conflict  electronics 
august 2015 by robertogreco
How 50 reporters exposed the World Bank’s broken promises | International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
"At a military camp in a violence-stained region of Central America, a Honduran Army officer informed Sasha Chavkin that he knew the reporter’s itinerary – where Chavkin was going and the people he planned to interview. When Chavkin asked how he had acquired this information, the colonel said simply: “Yo soy un militar.” (“I am a military man.”)

In Kenya’s western highlands, rifle-toting officers from the Kenya Forest Service confronted Anthony Langat and Jacob Kushner as the Nairobi-based reporters tried to interview indigenous peoples who claimed forest rangers had burned them out of their homes. The officers questioned the reporters for nearly an hour, refusing to say whether they were under arrest.

Along the Gulf of Kutch, a manager for one of India’s largest coal-powered plants, flanked by security guards, confronted Barry Yeoman, a freelance magazine journalist: Who was he and what was he doing at the fishing settlement near the plant? When Yeoman tried to sidestep the questions, one of the guards said they already knew who he was: “Aren’t you with ICIJ?”

These kinds of encounters aren’t unusual when it comes to boots-in-the-mud foreign reporting. What’s different is that all these journalists were working together, on the same story, as a part of a reporting partnership involving more than 50 journalists led by ICIJ, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Their subject: How power plants, dams and other big projects bankrolled by the World Bank can harm people and the environment.

Over the course of a decade, the reporting team found, projects financed by the World Bank physically or economically displaced an estimated 3.4 million people. These vulnerable people, often among the poorest in their societies, were forced from their homes, lost land or other assets or saw their livelihoods damaged. During this period, the investigation found, the bank regularly failed to follow its own rules for protecting the people living in the path of development.

To show the human consequences of the bank’s investments, reporters from ICIJ, The Huffington Post and more than 20 other ICIJ media partners reported on the ground in 14 countries. They traveled to isolated villages and urban slums in the Balkans, Asia, Africa and Latin America. They entered areas bloodied by civil conflicts. And they asked tough questions in places where journalists are often watched, questioned and, in some instances, targeted for violence or arrest.

“What connects a lot of the work on the investigation is that people were reporting in places where the local authorities are heavily invested in controversial projects,” says Ben Hallman, an editor and reporter for HuffPost who traveled to the mountains of Peru as a part of the investigation. “These places tend to have weak rule of law, and essentially the system that exists is opposed to you getting out the story. There’s definitely a chilling effect.”

ICIJ is a non-profit news organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. We have a full-time staff of 11 in the U.S., Europe and Latin America and 190 member journalists in 65 countries who team with us on cross-border reporting collaborations.

At ICIJ, we operate on the principle that many stories are too big, too complicated and too global for a lone-wolf muckraker – or even a single news organization – to tackle.

That’s certainly the case with the reporting team’s World Bank Group investigation, which focuses on a sprawling organization with more than 10,000 employees and a PR operation that works hard to deflect negative coverage.

The World Bank Group is owned by 188 member countries, with the U.S. and a few other Western nations holding much of the voting power. It funnels money to governments and corporations with the goal, it says, of ending extreme poverty.

Its push to end poverty is complicated by the reality that dams and other game-changing projects can make things worse rather than better for people nearby. People forced to resettle because of big projects often end up poorer than before. Some face hunger and disease. Even when people aren’t evicted from their homes, projects can destroy or damage their livelihoods. A dam that changes a river flow, for example, can drastically reduce catches for fishing communities.

The World Bank’s “safeguard” rules are supposed to protect people whose lives are disrupted by its investments. Families pushed from their homes must be provided new homes. People whose ability to earn a living has been damaged must get help to restore or replace their livelihoods.

The bank often fails to enforce these rules. In some cases, the World Bank and its private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corp., have financed governments or companies accused of human rights violations such as rape, murder and torture.

In Kenya, for example, indigenous people claim they have been burned out of their homes and evicted from ancestral forests by a World Bank-funded forest conservation program.

“I don’t understand why they chase us like this,” Selly Rotich, a mother of five, told Langat and Kushner in September as she sat outside her scorched home in Kenya’s Embobut Forest."
worldbank  development  kenya  india  honduras  sashachavkin  anthonylangat  jacobkushner  barryyeoman  journalism  balkans  latinamerica  asia  africa  investment  economics  policy  politics  finance 
july 2015 by robertogreco
An Exploration of Orientalism & Asian Cultural Appropriation as Found in American Music (And Why Being a Non-Asian POC Doesn’t Excuse You) | Ube Empress
"May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage month, so it’s time to talk about Orientalism and the appropriation of Asian cultures and Asian bodies, as specifically done by celebrities in music (because really, if I didn’t narrow it down we’d be here for days)."
appropriation  culture  culturalappropriation  asia  poc  2015  orientalism 
june 2015 by robertogreco
What Self-Directed Learning Can Look Like for Underprivileged Children in Asia | MindShift | KQED News
"Unlike at Summerhill, children at Moo Baan Dek have work responsibilities (such as working in the center’s rice fields), but these are freely chosen, and there is a lot of discretion in how they are carried out (e.g., children are encouraged to listen to their bodies if they need a break). Children also collaborate with houseparents on menus and shopping, learning about home economics in the process.

“Once they trust the adults, the adults can help them to do something,” one of the founders, Rajani Dongchai, told Gribble. But after developing this bond, the adults step back so the children can learn to believe in the inherent value of the activities, rather than simply obeying their elders. They step in only when children appear to need help, and then offer it with compassion.

Many of Moo Baan Dek’s students have gone on to higher education and gainful work in occupations that run the gamut from hospital staff to auto mechanics and sales."



"Street Children Apply Themselves to Have an “Education for Life”

Children who work and/or live on New Delhi’s streets struggle to survive, picking up small jobs such as collecting rags, carrying bags, or selling food, while coping with police beatings, predatory adults, and motorists that don’t even brake for them, reflecting their extremely low status in that society.

Social worker Rita Panicker was dismayed that most organizations trying to help these children treated them merely as passive recipients of charity and offered them conventional lessons that did little to help them overcome their specific challenges, instead of empowering them with “education for life.” To offer an alternative, she started the Butterflies program in 1989; its name evokes her desire to help these eight- to 15-year-old children develop wings to fly in freedom wherever they chose.

Its core guiding principle is children’s participation. So the Butterflies educators began by spending weeks on the streets, getting to know the children who wanted to talk, asking them what they wanted to do, and in what areas they wanted help. The program’s distinguishing operating elements include a Children’s Council with decision-making power (which extends to the ability to dismiss staff) and a requirement that the children pay a modest fee for services. The educators relate to the children as friends and colleagues and are affectionately called Elder Brother and Elder Sister.

Most of the children have never even held a pencil when they begin interacting with the program, but Gribble notes that literacy should not be confused with education. In some senses, these children are already highly educated and mature, because they manage to survive on their own and handle complicated, real-life situations on a regular basis. Therefore the Butterflies curriculum “can’t be childish,” he says. Moreover, he explains in “Lifelines,” although the program is accredited through the equivalent of eighth grade, and the children have opportunities to learn subjects such as math, science, Hindi and English, “formal education is not the priority. The priority is to make each child feel trusted, secure and precious. Only then can formal learning take place.”

Educators meet the children at popular contact points around the city (such as the railway station) at mutually agreed times. They offer activities that help the children analyze and question and find things out for themselves. They also bring tin trunks with materials such as exercise books, discussion-provoking cards, and games. The children decide how much, or whether, to engage, and can work on whatever they choose. Anyone is welcome to join in, and some 1,500 children have taken up the offer. Older street children often lead the activities, with the staff remaining in the background, offering assistance as needed.

Many choose to study because no one is requiring them to, Gribble says. He observed children working together “enthusiastically and seriously,” he writes, with a “dignity and purposefulness that perhaps is in part a result of not suffering the humiliation of being obliged to accept charity. … It is moving almost to the point of tears to see a twelve-year-old boy totally committing himself to sounding out letters or practising basic addition.”

The educators also cover subjects that “touch the children emotionally, because those are the subjects that children really want to talk and write about,” Gribble explains. For instance, they may present realistic case studies (e.g., a runaway girl confides that she’s been sexually abused, but the police don’t want to file a report) and ask the children to demonstrate possible responses through dramatic arts.

Success isn’t measured in test scores or the attainment of formal qualifications. It’s considered success if the children trust the adults; learn to read and write (about 60 percent of the children who participate for six months learn to read and write within that time); accomplish personal projects; or go on to high school and find sustaining work. It is also considered success if they become aware of their rights and develop skills that enable them to protect themselves from being cheated and to negotiate for better wages."
asia  education  learning  children  self-directed  self-directedlearning  davidgribble  thailand  bankok  sumerhill  democratic  democracy  democraticschools  streetchildren  nedelhi  moobaandek  lubavangelova  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  schools  ritapaniker  butterflies  india 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Elise goes East: How NPR’s new Seoul bureau chief is using Tumblr to complement her reporting » Nieman Journalism Lab
"Since moving to South Korea in March, Elise Hu has been using Tumblr to document everything from the serious to the silly — and expand her voice beyond the NPR airwaves."



"“I don’t know that I would have room to share that somewhere else besides that platform,” Hu told me by phone from Seoul.

Hu has used the blog to post her stories from East Asia, share information that didn’t make it into her NPR pieces, and to just make observations — both serious and silly — about what it’s like to be an expat living halfway around the world. She moved to Seoul in March, and the blog has attracted more than 7,000 followers, already exceeding her goal of 5,000 for the first year.

In her nearly two months in South Korea, Hu has published a wide array of posts, from an extended Q&A with a professor about Japanese–Korean relations to a series called This Exists, which highlights objects unique to Asia that Americans might not know about. Not to mention this YouTube video that showed her listening to a voicemail message from an irate listener.

The Tumblr has brought Hu tips and feedback from readers — both in the States and in Korea. When she posted her story on the stresses South Korean students face, she received a number of responses from readers who shared stories from their own experiences as students.

“This allows me to have more of a bloggier voice and is more linked to me personally,” Hu said. “It allows me to sort of jump around in the idiosyncratic way that I might just exist as a person, because our more formal blogs don’t have that similar flexibility or voice, so I’ve really appreciated that.”"

[Elise Goes East! http://elisegoeseast.tumblr.com/

"Elise Hu opened up NPR’s first permanent Seoul bureau in March 2015, on the same day the American Ambassador to South Korea was knifed in the face. (That was an interesting day.) The bureau is responsible for both Koreas and Japan, so expect to see behind-the-scenes from the peninsula and the island.

Previously, Elise covered technology for the Washington, D.C.-based network, helped start The Texas Tribune, and reported for several commercial TV stations. She began her journalism career reviewing bars and nightclubs in Taipei, which was a jolly good time. She’s eager to connect with you."]
elisehu  tumblr  npr  journalism  blogging  2015  blogs  asia  korea  southkorea  eastasia  reporting  via:robinsloan 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Why Are Some Cultures More Individualistic Than Others? - NYTimes.com
"AMERICANS and Europeans stand out from the rest of the world for our sense of ourselves as individuals. We like to think of ourselves as unique, autonomous, self-motivated, self-made. As the anthropologist Clifford Geertz observed, this is a peculiar idea.

People in the rest of the world are more likely to understand themselves as interwoven with other people — as interdependent, not independent. In such social worlds, your goal is to fit in and adjust yourself to others, not to stand out. People imagine themselves as part of a larger whole — threads in a web, not lone horsemen on the frontier. In America, we say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In Japan, people say that the nail that stands up gets hammered down.

These are broad brush strokes, but the research demonstrating the differences is remarkably robust and it shows that they have far-reaching consequences. The social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett and his colleagues found that these different orientations toward independence and interdependence affected cognitive processing. For example, Americans are more likely to ignore the context, and Asians to attend to it. Show an image of a large fish swimming among other fish and seaweed fronds, and the Americans will remember the single central fish first. That’s what sticks in their minds. Japanese viewers will begin their recall with the background. They’ll also remember more about the seaweed and other objects in the scene.

Another social psychologist, Hazel Rose Markus, asked people arriving at San Francisco International Airport to fill out a survey and offered them a handful of pens to use, for example four orange and one green; those of European descent more often chose the one pen that stood out, while the Asians chose the one more like the others.

Dr. Markus and her colleagues found that these differences could affect health. Negative affect — feeling bad about yourself — has big, persistent consequences for your body if you are a Westerner. Those effects are less powerful if you are Japanese, possibly because the Japanese are more likely to attribute the feelings to their larger situation and not to blame themselves.

There’s some truth to the modernization hypothesis — that as social worlds become wealthier, they also become more individualistic — but it does not explain the persistent interdependent style of Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

In May, the journal Science published a study, led by a young University of Virginia psychologist, Thomas Talhelm, that ascribed these different orientations to the social worlds created by wheat farming and rice farming. Rice is a finicky crop. Because rice paddies need standing water, they require complex irrigation systems that have to be built and drained each year. One farmer’s water use affects his neighbor’s yield. A community of rice farmers needs to work together in tightly integrated ways.

Not wheat farmers. Wheat needs only rainfall, not irrigation. To plant and harvest it takes half as much work as rice does, and substantially less coordination and cooperation. And historically, Europeans have been wheat farmers and Asians have grown rice.

The authors of the study in Science argue that over thousands of years, rice- and wheat-growing societies developed distinctive cultures: “You do not need to farm rice yourself to inherit rice culture.”

Their test case was China, where the Yangtze River divides northern wheat growers from southern rice growers. The researchers gave Han Chinese from these different regions a series of tasks. They asked, for example, which two of these three belonged together: a bus, a train and train tracks? More analytical, context-insensitive thinkers (the wheat growers) paired the bus and train, because they belong to the same abstract category. More holistic, context-sensitive thinkers (the rice growers) paired the train and train tracks, because they work together.

Asked to draw their social networks, wheat-region subjects drew themselves larger than they drew their friends; subjects from rice-growing regions drew their friends larger than themselves. Asked to describe how they’d behave if a friend caused them to lose money in a business, subjects from the rice region punished their friends less than subjects from the wheat region did. Those in the wheat provinces held more patents; those in the rice provinces had a lower rate of divorce.

I write this from Silicon Valley, where there is little rice. The local wisdom is that all you need is a garage, a good idea and energy, and you can found a company that will change the world. The bold visions presented by entrepreneurs are breathtaking in their optimism, but they hold little space for elders, for longstanding institutions, and for the deep roots of community and interconnection.

Nor is there much rice within the Tea Party. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, declared recently that all a man needed was a horse, a gun and the open land, and he could conquer the world.

Wheat doesn’t grow everywhere. Start-ups won’t solve all our problems. A lone cowboy isn’t much good in the aftermath of a Hurricane Katrina. As we enter a season in which the values of do-it-yourself individualism are likely to dominate our Congress, it is worth remembering that this way of thinking might just be the product of the way our forefathers grew their food and not a fundamental truth about the way that all humans flourish."
culture  2014  individualism  interdependence  society  history  agriculture  rice  wheat  tmluhrmann  siliconvalley  europe  us  asia  africa  japan  gliffordgeertz  hongkong  southkorea  korea  community  china 
december 2014 by robertogreco
BBC - Future - The last unmapped places on Earth
"But even the most detailed maps cannot get around one fundamental problem in the way of creating a near-perfect cartographic representation for any place in the world: the incredible pace of change, both human and nature-made, that characterises life on the planet. Some cities in Asia and Africa, Gupta says, are undergoing so much construction that Google Maps have been unable to keep up. At the same time, natural landscapes are constantly in a state of flux – now, more so than ever. Islands are being devoured by the sea, ice floes are disappearing, shorelines are eroding and forests are being cleared. “The very moment you build a perfect map of the world is the moment it goes out of date,” Gupta says. “The real world will always be a little bit ahead of how we represent it, because change is constant.”

In that sense, the entire world is undermapped, and it will always remain that way. A birds-eye view of a city tells you it’s there, but not how to navigate through all corners of it. A foldout map is a relic of the time it went to print, unable to take into account earthquake destruction, new roads or renegotiated borders. And Google Maps can provide turn-by-turn instructions for biking from London to Brighton, but fails utterly when asked to do the same for traversing a Brazilian favela or the Gobi desert’s dunes.

Even our best maps, then, are merely more up to date and truer to place than others. Our age-old quest to capture uncharted land and space will never end."
maps  mapping  2014  cartography  change  cities  urban  urbanism  africa  asia  nature 
december 2014 by robertogreco
How Different Cultures Understand Time - Business Insider
"Both the linear-active northerner and the multi-active Latin think that they manage time in the best way possible. In some Eastern cultures, however, the adaptation of humans to time is seen as a viable alternative. In these cultures, time is viewed neither as linear nor event–relationship related, but as cyclic. Each day the sun rises and sets, the seasons follow one another, the heavenly bodies revolve around us, people grow old and die, but their children reconstitute the process. We know this cycle has gone on for 100,000 years and more. Cyclical time is not a scarce commodity. There seems always to be an unlimited supply of it just around the next bend. As they say in the East, when God made time, He made plenty of it.

It’s not surprising, then, that business decisions are arrived at in a different way from in the West. Westerners often expect an Asian to make a quick decision or to treat a current deal on its present merits, irrespective of what has happened in the past. Asians cannot do this. The past formulates the contextual back- ground to the present decision, about which in any case, as Asians, they must think long term—their hands are tied in many ways. Americans see time passing without decisions being made or actions performed as having been “wasted.” Asians do not see time as racing away unutilized in a linear future, but coming around again in a circle, where the same opportunities, risks and dangers will re- present themselves when people are so many days, weeks or months wiser. As proof of the veracity of the cyclical nature of time, how often do we (in the West) say, “If I had known then what I know now, I would never have done what I did?”

Figure 4.6 compares the speed of Western action chains with Asian reflection. The American, German and Swiss go home satisfied that all tasks have been completed. The French or Italian might leave some “mopping up” for the following day. John Paul Fieg, author of A Common Core: Thais and Americans, describing the Thai attitude toward time, saw it as a pool one could gradually walk around. This metaphor applies to most Asians, who, instead of tackling problems immediately in sequential fashion, circle around them for a few days or weeks before committing themselves. After a suitable period of reflection, tasks A, D and F may indeed seem worthy of pursuing (refer to Figure 4.6). Tasks B, C and E may be quietly dropped. Contemplation of the whole scene has indicated, however, that task G, perhaps not even envisaged at all earlier on, might be the most significant of all.

In a Buddhist culture (e.g., Thailand, Tibet), not only time but also life itself goes around in a circle. Whatever we plan, however we organize our particular world, generation follows generation; governments and rulers will succeed each other; crops will be harvested; monsoons, earthquakes and other catastrophes will recur; taxes will be paid; the sun and moon will rise and set; stocks and shares will rise and fall. Even the Americans will not change such events, certainly not by rushing things."



"Cultures observing both linear and cyclic concepts of time see the past as something we have put behind us and the future as something that lies before us. In Madagascar, the opposite is the case (see Figure 4.7). The Malagasy imagine the future as flowing into the back of their heads, or passing them from behind, then becoming the past as it stretches out in front of them. The past is in front of their eyes because it is visible, known and influential. They can look at it, enjoy it, learn from it, even “play” with it. The Malagasy people spend an inordinate amount of time consulting their ancestors, exhuming their bones, even partying with them.

By contrast, the Malagasy consider the future unknowable. It is behind their head where they do not have eyes. Their plans for this unknown area will be far from meticulous, for what can they be based on? Buses in Madagascar leave, not according to a predetermined timetable, but when the bus is full. The situation triggers the event. Not only does this make economic sense, but it is also the time that most passengers have chosen to leave. Consequently, in Madagascar stocks are not replenished until shelves are empty, filling stations order gas only when they run dry, and hordes of would-be passengers at the airport find that, in spite of their tickets, in reality everybody is wait-listed. The actual assignation of seats takes place between the opening of the check-in desk and the (eventual) departure of the plane."
time  communication  perception  culture  2014  richardlewis  via:blubirding  past  present  future  planning  priorities  madagascar  us  uk  asia  japan  china  thailand  italy  spain  españa  switzerland  northamerica  cycles  howwethink  scheduling  schedules 
september 2014 by robertogreco
3quarksdaily: Sam Hamill Interviewed
"Shadab: What is the translator’s first allegiance: the original poem in all its cultural specificity (context, tradition-based allusions, nuanced language) or the poem’s more “translatable” aspect— its essence and meaning from a universal viewpoint?

Sam: Each translation brings its own particular challenges. Every translation is unique. Many classical Chinese poems can be translated in a very literal way—like Tao Te Ching for instance. And yet we have perfectly awful translations of it from people like Stephen Mitchell when the translator intrudes on the text. It’s a delicate dance. Mitchell reads no Chinese, so he simply invents and interprets from what others have done. I go through the poems character by character and try to make the poem a poem in English that is true to the original. We can’t replicate the 5 or 7-syllable line of classical Chinese poetry, nor mirror the interior and exterior rhymes, so I seek a speaking music in English to convey the sense of rhythm in our own tongue. In my Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese, there are a variety of styles and distinctly different voices. We lose a lot of nuance and subtlety when bringing them into English.

Shadab: What are some of the glaring and subtle differences between the Western tradition of poetry and the Eastern, in your experience as a translator?

Sam: This would take a book to answer properly. Chinese is rhyme-rich, while English is rhyme poor. Chinese and Japanese poets use “pillow words,” a fixed epithet that gives a double-meaning. When our Asian poet speaks of “clouds and rain,” it may be about weather, but it also may be about sex. Clouds are masculine, rain is feminine. And individual Chinese characters often contain two or three or even four distinct meanings all at once, so the translator must choose a primary single meaning in English and “dumb it down” for the western reader. Classical Chinese poetry is chanted, not simply spoken. Classical Japanese poetry is loaded with sensibility, nuance and social awareness and often makes use of “honkadori,” “shadows and echoes” of classics both Japanese and Chinese. Translation is a provisional conclusion and great poetry needs to be translated freshly for each generation.

Shadab: What can we learn from Eastern aesthetics— in particular, the Chinese tradition?

Sam: Confucian exactitude of language, Taoist-Buddhist “non-attachment,” and most of all something about great human character at its core. Rexroth called Tu Fu “the greatest non-epic, non-dramatic poet ever,” and I think that reflects what he saw as Tu Fu’s character. As Heraclitus says, “Our character is our fate.” I think most classical Chinese poets would concur. I could make a similar case for Basho or Saigyo in Japanese.

Shadab: Is there such a thing as a “poem for all times”?

Sam: Sure. “Ode to the West Wind” would be a great poem in any language any day. Same with the great Zen poets or Rilke’s “Archaic Bust of Apollo” or… I could make a very long list.

Shadab: Are poets duty-bound to include a political consciousness/conscience in their work?

Sam: “Duty-bound?” I think not. But it’s almost impossible to write “apolitical” poetry in a world in which everything has political ties either directly or indirectly. A simple love poem is loaded with politics: is it heterosexual love we celebrate today? Is the “she” submissive or assertive? Is the “he” passive or dominant? Is “she” objectified or are her complexities reflected in the poetry? We’d have no “romance” in our poetry were it not for the meeting of Arabic and European tradition in Provence in the 12th century. I can’t imagine a poetry without conscience. Poetry, because it’s meant to communicate, is a social medium. Art is a social activity because it reaches out. Whether it’s Hopper or Goya, Plath or Rich or Gary Snyder, there is a social engagement that reflects back on culture and history.

Shadab: Is activist poetry effective as a catalyst for change in our times?

Sam: The “women’s movement” of the 60s and 70s was mostly begun by poets: Margaret Atwood, Adrienne Rich, Robin Morgan, Susan Griffin, et alia. They were inspired by Sappho, by Akhmatova, etc. Poetry has almost always been a part of social revolution. Think of the great poets of the Spanish resistance to fascism or the role of poets in Latin America and elsewhere. Nazim Hikmet struck terror into the hearts of his oppressors.

Shadab: How would you define the term world poet? Has America produced such a poet?

Sam: Whitman. He was read all over Latin America before we northerns realized how important he was. And to a lesser degree, Ezra Pound, and many of the post-modern poets transcend our borders.

Shadab: You once said: “You can’t write about character and the human condition and be apolitical—that’s not the kind of world we’ve ever lived in.”
Unlike most politically inclined poets, “apolitical” poets, such as the supremely popular former poet laureate Billy Collins (and a number of others), seem to have received tremendous success in earning laurels and even money. Why is that?

Sam: They entertain the lowest common denominator. They ask (or demand) almost nothing from their audience. They are the Edgar Guests of our age. They also ask very little of themselves, and certainly nothing the least bit revolutionary. They don’t present any threat to the status quo. Billy Collins was Poet Laureate when the USA invaded Iraq. But you’ll find no protest in his poetry."



"Sam: A poet’s first duty is to open his or her heart and stand naked in the act of revelation. I wouldn’t be a poet laureate even if asked. My “master” is revolution—nonviolent anti-capitalist humane revolution. The greatest threat to the world today is American imperialism, just as it was a hundred years ago. The body count is almost beyond comprehension—millions dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, genocide against Palestinian peoples whose lands are being stolen day by day, 30,000 gun deaths in the USA every year, drone bombings of children in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the sabotage of democratic governments in Latin American and elsewhere, sweatshops in Indonesia and China… the list goes on and on. Who will listen to the cries of the world? Who will dare speak for those who have been silenced?"
samhamill  poetry  capitalism  pacifism  imperialism  2014  interviews  activism  writing  politics  billycollins  translation  waltwhitman  garysnyder  margaretatwood  adrennerich  robinmorgan  susangriffith  basho  rilke  zen  buddhism  sappho  language  taoteching  asia  saigyo  tufu  taosim  confucianism  non-attachment  kennethrexroth 
september 2014 by robertogreco
When Tokyo Was a Slum – The Informal City Dialogues
"Alongside the futuristic visage of skyscraper Tokyo, a human-scale city lies along rambling roads, where mom-and-pop stores sell soap and sandals, and private homes double as independent shops engaged in local trades like printmaking and woodworking.

This is incremental Tokyo, the foundation upon which the world’s most modern city is built.

Like much of the city, these small hamlets were smoldering ash pits 70 years ago, reduced to rubble by the bombs of Allied forces during World War II. When the war ended, Tokyo’s municipal government, bankrupt and in crisis mode, was in no condition to launch a citywide reconstruction effort. So, without ever stating it explicitly, it nevertheless made one thing clear: The citizens would rebuild the city. Government would provide the infrastructure, but beyond that, the residents would be free to build what they needed on the footprint of the city that once was, neighborhood by neighborhood."



"These mixed-use habitats and low-rise, high-density neighborhoods emerged by default, not design. But though the city didn’t plan them, it considered them legitimate and supported them. Sewage systems, water, electricity and roads were later infused into all parts of Tokyo, leaving no neighborhood behind, regardless of how slummy or messy it looked. Even the traditionally discriminated-against Burakumin areas were eventually provided access to state-of-the-art public services and amenities.

The notion that infrastructure must be adapted to the built environment, rather than the other way around, is a simple yet revolutionary idea. The Tokyo model, combining housing development by local actors and infrastructure from various agencies, explains why that city has some of the best infrastructure in the world today, not to mention a housing stock of great variety and bustling mixed-use neighborhoods.

The House Is a Tool

The relationship between the city’s urban form and its vibrant economy is best illustrated by the idea of homes as tools of production. Many of the houses built in the postwar period in Tokyo were based on the template of the traditional Japanese house, in which a single structure can serve as a shop, workshop, dormitory or family house — and possibly all of those things at once. Official statistics illustrate the scale of the home-based economy. As late as the 1970s, factories employing fewer than 20 employees accounted for 20 percent of the workers and 12.6 percent of the national output in Japan. In Tokyo alone, 99.5 percent of factories had fewer than 300 workers and employed 74 percent of all factory workers, according to economist Takeshi Hayashi. What these numbers tell us is that the Japanese miracle was built not only by large-scale factories, but also relied on a vast web of small producers that often worked from their neighborhoods and their homes."



"For the people who live in Dharavi, this is not only the best possible outcome, it’s their only option. Most residents of Dharavi cannot possibly afford to move to other parts of Mumbai. Their futures will rise or fall with the fate of their neighborhood, which is why the Tokyo model, which values and cultivates neighborhoods like theirs, is probably their best hope for economic and social advancement.

That prosperity, however, depends on the local authorities heeding the lessons of Tokyo. Neighborhoods like Dharavi are already served by various NGOs and foundations. The residents are doing their part. The only missing piece is the support of city authorities, whose attitude toward such settlements sets back the city of Mumbai as a whole.

What’s more, the Tokyo model is simply an elegant one that follows the path of least resistance, allowing order and mess to naturally combine as they would without top-down intervention. It’s hard to imagine a better example of “development” in its most holistic dimension: Houses, neighborhoods, economies and communities all rising in concert with one another. The environment is deeply connected to processes of collective growth, because people, objects and lived spaces are all knit together by the impulse to constantly improve and transform. Through this process, with very little capital, we see how user-generated neighborhoods invest in the idea of growth and mobility, where self-interest and successful urbanism are one and the same."

[Tagging this with Teddy Cruz because it reminds me of his study of Tijuana and his recommendation that we learn from patterns of growth and development there.]
postwar  mixeduse  lowrise  density  mimbai  takeshihayashi  cities  organic  organicism  home-basedeconomy  production  manufacturing  factories  openstudioproject  cafes  homeoffice  homefactory  homeworkshop  homes  infrastructure  redevelopment  development  dharavi  slums  mobility  economics  middleclass  collectivism  technology  neighborhoods  asia  informality  informal  cottageindustries  2013  urban  urbanism  growth  change  government  tokyo  japan  history 
july 2013 by robertogreco
'Boys will be boys' in U.S., but not in Asia
"A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children -- one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia."
asia  culture  development  gender  boys  adhd  taiwan  us  southkorea  china  psychology  behavior  2013  self-regulation  self-control 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Border Studies
"Border Studies is a haphazard collection of visual inspiration from New Territories, an experimental studio for research and production based in Shanghai.

Threads: Asia, art, landscapes, cultural remixing, the aesthetics and problematics of exploration, anthropomorphism and future anxieties, absurd and arresting images"
asia  art  blogs  tumblr  culture  culturalremixing  aesthetics  exploration  anthropomorphism  absurd  images  newterritiories  borderstudies  china  samanthaculp 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Sugared & Spiced
":What is Sugared & Spiced?
A food + travel blog based in Shanghai.

When and why did it get started?
August 2010. For the love of eating, photographing, and sharing.

What camera do you use?
Ricoh GRD4.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Shanghai?
Hard to say, but you can check my list of “favorites” to get some ideas.

How do you eat so much?
One simply does not resist good food.

Are you fat?
Plump like a watermelon.

Do you get paid to eat?
Nope, but I do get invited to taste, and if that’s the case I always put a note upfront in red for your information.

How should I navigate this blog?
For restaurants in Shanghai, use archives by cuisine, by time of day, by location, and by price. For restaurants and travel entries outside of Shanghai, click on any of the city names on the righthand column under “travels”."
lcproject  cafes  bali  beijing  hongkong  tokyo  seoul  taipei  srg  blogs  china  food  asia  shanghai  travel  thirdspaces  thirdplaces  openstudioproject 
july 2012 by robertogreco
A Taste of Vietnam on Vimeo
"We were invited last month to explore the food in Vietnam. This is that two week trip condensed into three minutes. Enjoy."
food  video  asia  travel  vietnam 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Battle Over Zomia - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Scholars are enchanted by the notion of this anarchic region in Asia. But how real is it?"

"He [James C. Scott] argues that those many minority ethnic groups were, in a sense, barbarians by design, using their culture, farming practices, egalitarian political structures, prophet-led rebellions, and even their lack of writing systems to put distance between themselves and the states that wished to engulf them.

As Scott develops his thesis, concepts that many scholars might hold dear vanish. Longstanding notions about the meaning of ethnic identity: Poof, gone. The idea that being "civilized" is superior to being uncivilized. Poof. The perception that absence of a written language signals a group's failure to advance. Poof.

Instead, Scott asserts, "ethnic identities in the hills are politically crafted and designed to position a group vis-à-vis others in competition for power and resources.""
zomia  jamescscott  anarchism  asia  society  culture  academia  anthropology  history  2011  books  southeastasia  civilization  classideas  uncivilized 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Where Have All the Girls Gone? - By Mara Hvistendahl | Foreign Policy
"what happens to women is only part of story. Demographically speaking, women matter less & less. By 2013, an estimated 1 in 10 men in China will lack a female counterpart. By late 2020s, that figure could jump to 1 in 5. There are many possible scenarios for how these men will cope w/out women…several of them involve rising rates of unrest. Already Columbia U economist Edlund & colleagues at Chinese U of HK have found link btwn large share of males in young adult population & an increase in crime in China. Doomsday analysts need look no further than America's history: Murder rates soared in male-dominated Wild West.

4 decades ago, Western advocacy of sex selection yielded tragic results. But if we continue to ignore that legacy & remain paralyzed by heated US abortion politics, we're compounding that mistake. Indian public health activist George, indeed, says waiting to act is no longer an option: If the world does "not see 10 years ahead to where we're headed, we're lost.""
2011  population  gender  asia  us  policy  birthrates  women  girls  china  india  sexselection  unintendedconsequences 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Human Rights Last - By Gary J. Bass | Foreign Policy
"In Zimbabwe and many other countries far from Beijing, China's hand is increasingly conspicuous these days, and its choice of friends, like the thuggish Mugabe, is increasingly under scrutiny. It used to be that the Western world lectured China most extensively about its poor human rights record at home, for detaining dissenters and silencing free speech. But as China's power and influence grow, the Chinese government now finds itself weathering criticism for its support of cruel regimes around the world -- from accusations, as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and others have put it, that "Beijing is financing, diplomatically protecting and supplying the arms for the first genocide of the 21st century" in Darfur…"For the first time, China's foreign position on human rights outweighs the world's concern for China's domestic human rights."
china  foreignpolicy  humanrights  africa  asia  influence  genocide  sudan  zimbabwe 
february 2011 by robertogreco
NYC Public School Parents: What Finland and Asia tell us about real education reform
"And yet what lesson have the Obama administration and its allies in the DC think thanks and corporate and foundation world taken from the PISA results? That there needs to be even more high-stakes testing, based on uniform core standards, that teachers should be evaluated and laid off primarily on the basis of their student test scores, and that it's fine if class sizes are increased.

In a speech, Duncan recently said that "Many high-performing education systems, especially in Asia," Duncan says, "have substantially larger classes than the United States."

What he did not mention is that Finland based its success largely upon smaller class sizes; nor the way in which many experts in Asian education recognize the heavy costs of their test-based accountability systems, and the way in which their schools undermine the ability ofstudents to develop as creative and innovate thinkers -- which their future economic growth will depend upon."
research  asia  finland  testing  standardizedtesting  standardization  teaching  learning  policy  nclb  schools  schooling  us  china  pisa  comparison  korea  arneduncan  2011  barackobama  georgewill  business  democracy  rttt  classsize  pasisahlberg  politics  economics  money  misguidedenergy  respect  training  salaries 
january 2011 by robertogreco
U.S. Schools Are Still Ahead—Way Ahead - BusinessWeek
"The Journal article was simply bizarre, yet it is true that education in China and India is very challenging and fiercely competitive. Children are brought up to believe that education is everything, that it will make the difference between success and starvation. So from their early years they work long and hard. Most of their childhood is spent memorizing books on advanced subjects."

"The independence and social skills American children develop give them a huge advantage when they join the workforce. They learn to experiment, challenge norms, and take risks. They can think for themselves, and they can innovate. This is why America remains the world leader in innovation; why Chinese and Indians invest their life savings to send their children to expensive U.S. schools when they can. India and China are changing, and as the next generations of students become like American ones, they too are beginning to innovate. So far, their education systems have held them back."

[Also at: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2011/tc20110112_006501.htm ]
vivekwadhwa  education  schools  policy  innovation  china  india  asia  criticalthinking  risktaking  tcsnmy  advantage  politics 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Mongolian Diptychs Tell of Profound Change: A Yin and Sim Chi Yin Talk About His Work - NYTimes.com
"A Yin is documenting his home province of Inner Mongolia. He is a self-taught anthropologist-photographer who has made it his mission to record the last of the nomads there. The phenomenal changes he captures tell the broader story of China’s transformation. A Yin was cited by the National Geographic All Roads Film Project in 2007. Sim Chi Yin, a photographer and writer based in Beijing, interviewed A Yin for Lens. Their conversation has been translated from Mandarin."
photography  mongolia  culture  asia  china  urban  rural  tradition  clothing  fashion  urbanism  society  transformation  migration  nomads  nomadism  identity  innermongolia  lifestyle 
december 2010 by robertogreco
The depression map: genes, culture, serotonin, and a side of pathogens | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Maps can tell surprising stories. About a year ago, Northwestern University psychologist Joan Chiao pondered a set of global maps that confounded conventional notions of what depression is, why we get it, and how genes — the so-called “depression gene” in particular — interact with environment and culture."
depression  asia  culture  psychology  genes  genetics  environment  science  maps  mapping 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Is Humanitarian Design the New Imperialism? | Co.Design
"I know almost all of my Gen Y students want to do [humanitarian design] because their value system is into doing good globally. Young designers in consultancies & corporations want to do it for same reason."

[response by Emily Pilloton: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1661885/are-humanitarian-designers-imperialists-project-h-responds ]
humanitarianism  ideo  imperialism  brucenussbaum  asia  africa  2010  community  criticism  culture  design  development  humanitarian  ethics  sustainability  colonialism  collaborative  innovation  projecth  politics  technology  olpc  emilypilloton  brasil  india  acumen  bias  business  tcsnmy  projecthdesign  brazil 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Advice for Teachers Scorned | Beyond School
"East Asia is blessed by Confucianism. When Han Dynasty...put political support behind [his] teachings...unknowingly rooted in Chinese spirit a devotion to education & scholarship...teachers, students, & schools.
politics  unschooling  schools  education  teaching  clayburell  confucius  confucianism  asia  china  korea  japan  respect  learning  academics  teachers  students  choices  braindrain  eastasia  priorities 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Along The Grand Trunk Road: Coming Of Age In India And Pakistan : NPR
"An ancient road spans South Asia, connecting the present and the past in a dynamic -- and sometimes dangerous -- part of the world. NPR journalists travel the route and tell the stories of young people living there, who make up the majority of the populations in India and Pakistan."
pakistan  sms  world  npr  travel  grandtrunkroad  literacy  mobile  india  southasia  asia  history  culture 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Wikipedia’s ‘Terra Incognita’ - Idea of the Day Blog - NYTimes.com
"Today’s idea: More Wikipedia articles are written about fictional places like Middle Earth than about many countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia, a new map reveals. Behold the “terra incognita” of the Internet."
wikipedia  geography  latinamerica  middleearth  fiction  places  maps  mapping  africa  asia  terraincognita 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Why Academic Excellence Doesn't Cut It Any More | Beyond School
"First, your grades might get you in the door, but they won’t get you up the ladder. (And in this Age of Defining-Down “Success,” even getting in the door shouldn’t be taken for granted. Having a job at all, in other words, may be the “new” success. Just ask the 1-in-5 Americans currently unemployed or under-employed.)

And second, we don’t see you as a GPA, because we see the rest of you daily. How you walk and who you walk with, how you sit and how you compose your face, where your eyes go and don’t go, what comes (and doesn’t come) out of your mouth — all of things things are very obvious codes that we decode daily. And when you leave us, others with the power to pull you up or keep you down will take our place, and they’ll read those same codes."
grades  grading  clayburell  social  socialintelligence  attitude  tcsnmy  teaching  success  entitlement  privilege  asia  us  india 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: *The End of Influence*
"Asian export-led growth model must transform itself to domestic consumption & prosperity models. American borrow&import model will also have to shift to a model of consumption-at-the-level-you-produce...the need to keep confidence of those who have the money that their money is well placed in the US serves as a constraint on US policy in a way that it has never been before." ... "authors describe the various stimulus attempts as something that will "buy time," but will not be sufficient to alter this basic trajectory." In the comments: "Our greatest assets are our current inefficiencies: we can tap into cost reduction, such as, reducing military spending (a free good to the rest of the world), reducing the cost of medical care (you may once again, although you do not want to do this, have to participate in managed care), improving energy efficiency (our balance of payments problem is largely due to energy imports). Hey, if you are fat, you don't have to eat as much to get in shape."
economics  money  us  asia  china  future  policy  exports  imports  books  military  healthcare  2009  marginalrevolution  debt  borrowing  change  consumption 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Far Eastern Economic Review | Will Japan Ever Grow Up?
"In liberal, more individualistic societies, maturity connotes the cultivation of independence, while in communitarian Japan, maturity depends entirely on social recognition..."Japanese education is mind pollution," a 2008 Nobel laureate in physics, Toshihide Masukawa, lectured the minister of education...singularly geared toward memorizing correct answer, to be parroted in examination...students are given no room to think, no incentive to ponder possibilities & differences. Education extinguishes creativity & the life of the mind. Most Japanese Nobel laureates in the sciences had done their work in America. Almost all of them profess that their work could not have been done in Japan, where there is rarely support for the kind of work that takes risks and leads to breakthroughs...What is taught and learned at university is of little concern; it is the ability to enter that matters...The self for Japan and the Japanese is determined by what others think."
japan  economics  via:adamgreenfield  future  politics  children  culture  education  parenting  universities  colleges  schools  schooling  conformity  sociology  globalism  learning  creativity  asia  china  schooliness  deschooling  unschooling  tcsnmy  innovation  decline  society  criticalthinking  testing  admissions 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Senior City-zens: The World's 10 Oldest Still-Inhabited Cities | WebUrbanist
"Urban society may seem a modern phenomenon but cities have been around for a lot longer than one might think. Indeed, once nomadic tribes began to settle in one location, they saw that it was good, became fruitful, and multiplied. Decades, centuries and millennia passed while war, climate change and human migration all took their toll. Relatively few ancient cities have managed to survive the test of time. Here are 10 that have not only survived, but continue to thrive."
culture  architecture  history  archaeology  asia  civilization  cities  urban  ancient  geography  world  travel 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Think Again: Asia's Rise - By Minxin Pei | Foreign Policy
"Asia is pouring money into higher ed...But Asian unis will not become world's leading centers of learning & research anytime soon. None of world's top 10 unis is in Asia, only U of Tokyo...[in] top 20. In last 30 years, only 8 Asians (7 Japanese) have won Nobel Prize in sciences...region's hierarchical culture, centralized bureaucracy, weak private unis & emphasis on rote learning & test-taking will continue to hobble its efforts to clone US finest research institutions...even Asia's much-touted numerical advantage is < it seems. China supposedly graduates 600,000 engineering majors /year, India... 350,000,...US...70,000 engineering...suggest an Asian edge in generating brainpower...[but] misleading. 1/2 of China's engineering grads & 2/3 of India's have assoc degrees. Once quality is factored in, Asia's lead disappears...human resource managers in multinational companies consider only 10% of Chinese & 25% of Indian engineers even "employable," compared w/ 81% of American engineers."
asia  china  india  economics  future  power  world  global  us  policy  japan  education  engineering  innovation  creativity  testing  assessment  rotelearning  geopolitics  politics  globalism  korea  universities  colleges  schools  competition  hierarchy  quality  bureaucracy  rote 
june 2009 by robertogreco
EyeWitness to History - history through the eyes of those who lived it
"Your ringside seat to history - from the Ancient World to the present. History through the eyes of those who lived it, presented by Ibis Communications, Inc. a digital publisher of educational programming."
history  reference  education  socialstudies  world  ancient  middleages  medieval  renaissance  us  europe  asia  tcsnmy 
june 2009 by robertogreco
World Digital Library
"The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.
education  art  culture  online  history  books  research  media  maps  information  visualization  reference  world  international  archives  libraries  unesco  resources  digitization  images  classideas  latinamerica  middleeast  asia  europe  us  northamerica  caribbean  africa  timelines  timeline  primarysources  mapping  interactive 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: Why is Asia doing so badly?
"So far it seems that the least leveraged parts of the world -- all things considered -- are South America and sub-Saharan Africa. Brazil, Chile, and Peru are a few of the countries which, in relative terms, are suffering least. If you wish to understand the course of events, keep your eye on those locales."
chile  brasil  economics  tylercowen  greatrepression  asia  crisis  2009  finance  banking  southamerica  africa  perú  brazil 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Dharavi: User-Generated City | airoots/eirut
"Why is it that Dharavi exercises so much fascination for architects, urbanists, researchers, students and journalists from all over the world? Is it because it is the “largest slum in Asia”? Is it because it is under imminent threat of being redeveloped? Is it because it is worth billions? Is it because the global media loves to recycle stereotypes of victimhood and third world poverty? These tired clichés and false alarms have filled the news for some time. But it is time to reload our browsers."
mumbai  india  cities  user-generated  usergenerated  dharavi  asia  slums  post-industrial  hybridspace  place  design  architecture  self-development  ingenuity  capitalism  knowledge  wikipedia  growth  typology  streets  authenticity  development 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: What is mystery ingredient X? - "Some Asian cultures or immigrant groups come close to finding this ingredient." Tyler Cowen responds to Arnold Kling's...
"I don't think we have a recipe that says, "Take a child of two non-college educated parents, add primary education ingredient X, bake, and out comes a college-capable high school graduate." The mystery ingredient X has yet to be discovered."
asia  culture  parenting  education  society  poverty 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Taipei Times - What Asia can learn from the US
"In US, school isn't just institution for higher learning; it is place for personal growth. US teaches her minors method of not just obtaining data, but acquiring knowledge...wonderful thing that students in US question instructors & refuse to treat textb
asia  us  education  creativity  culture  learning  life  perspective  schools  society 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Dyslexia has a language barrier | Research | EducationGuardian.co.uk
"New research by US and Chinese scientists challenges our interpretation of how it is possible to be dyslexic in one language but not another. It shows that readers of Chinese use a different part of their brains to readers of English."
language  education  dyslexia  learning  china  japan  asia  english  brain 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Aliens: Teaching Asian Schoolchildren How to Talk to Aliens
"A traveling alien exhibit makes its way to the Miraikan, a science museum in Tokyo, in March...The best part? The exhibition teaches kids that aliens exist and suggests ways of communicating with them. Hooray for cross-cultural understanding."
children  museums  aliens  exhibits  tokyo  japan  asia  communication 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Yingzi: If English was written like Chinese
"The English spelling system is such a pain, we'd might as well switch to hanzi-- Chinese characters. How should we go about it?"
analogy  asia  china  chinese  culture  design  dialect  english  writing  languages  linguistics  symbols  tutorial  pictograms  humor  characters  words  radicals  reasoning  via:mattwebb 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Human Cloning - Ethics - New York Times
"American and European researchers have made most of the progress so far in biotechnology. Yet they still face one very large obstacle — God, as defined by some Western religions."
science  research  cloning  religion  culture  asia  west  us  europe  biotechnology  genetics 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Faith and politics | The new wars of religion | Economist.com
"Ironically, America, the model for much choice-based religion, has often seemed stuck in the secular era, declaring war on state-sponsored terror, only to discover the main weapon of militant Islamism is often the ballot box."
atheism  religion  war  politics  government  policy  us  asia  europe  science  islam  christianity  future  secularism  guyfawkes  terrorism 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Malacca Strait Pirates - Article Text, page 1 - National Geographic Magazine
"Modern pirates have long plagued Southeast Asia’s Strait of Malacca, robbing sailors, kidnapping crews, and stealing entire ships."
piracy  pirates  images  photography  oceans  crime  culture  shipping  ships  transportation  asia  international 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Blog Archive » Korean kids' digital life
"Interesting read that previews some of the things that are sure to hit us in the near future. How will you react when you will find ot your kids solve their math problems surfing on the knowledge-based economy?"
korea  technology  future  culture  society  mobile  phones  internet  computers  web  online  youth  asia  children  teens  social 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Mobile television | Screen test | Economist.com
"Lessons from South Korea's experiment with mobile TV"
asia  korea  mobile  phones  television  tv 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Ozbus, London to Sydney Bus Travel
"We are an adventure travel company like no other! We operate a regular overland service for backpackers travelling between London and Sydney."
australia  england  uk  sydney  travel  london  asia 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Saffo: journal: 03.16.02007 Spaceship Singapore
"The lesson for the rest of us is obvious: we either apply the lessons being learned today in Singapore to the challenge of rescuing Spaceship Earth, or the best we can hope is to be lucky enough to live on a Spaceship Island surrounded by a sea of troubl
cities  sustainability  asia  singapore  environment  resources 
july 2007 by robertogreco
IFTF's Future Now: The China Pessimists Speak Out
"The piece goes on to lay out all the hidden instabilities hidden underneath the great roaring engine that is the Chinese economy - environmental degradation, demographic imbalance due to the one-child policy, rural AIDS, etc."
china  asia  future  economics  politics  health  environment  sustainability  growth  development  demographics  people  policy 
may 2007 by robertogreco
The Next American City - Economic Development: Metropolis from Scratch: South Korea's New Songdo City
"Brasilia, Brazil: not livable. America’s 1960s federally-sponsored “New Towns”: not economically sustainable. The history of planned cities is strewn with the memories of failed projects and utopias that worked better as blueprints than as neighbor
cities  ubicomp  urban  urbanism  design  architecture  planning  korea  us  asia 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: China skepticism
"China in the 20th century had two major revolutions, a civil war, a World War, The Great Leap Forward [sic], mass starvation, the Cultural Revolution, arguably the most tyrannical dictator ever and he didn't even brush his teeth, and now they will go fro
economics  china  asia  us  politics  industry  policy  future  society  history 
march 2007 by robertogreco
A College Education Without Job Prospects - New York Times
"But as graduates complain about a lack of jobs, companies across India see a lack of skilled applicants. The contradiction is explained, experts say, by the poor quality of undergraduate education."
education  universities  colleges  india  asia  outsourcing  competition  jobs  quality  learning 
december 2006 by robertogreco
The Man in Seat Sixty-One...
"this website will tell you how to travel overland comfortably & affordably where you might think that air was now the only option."
transportation  travel  trains  europe  us  asia  americas  latinamerica  reference  rail 
november 2006 by robertogreco
La vida es bella
"Este BLOG lo dedico a publicar cosas que me resulten interesantes, cosas importantes que pasen en mi vida ó simplemente cosas que tengo ganas de compartir con quienes lo visiten ..."
argentina  china  humor  blogs  asia 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Archinect : News : Steven Holl Architects wins invited competition for ‘Floating Skyscraper’ in Shenzhen, China
"As a vision of tropical sustainability for the 21st century, the Vanke Center incorporates several new sustainable elements designed specifically for the development. The floating buildings create a flexible area of shaded landscape underneath the buildi
architecture  design  horizontal  marine  china  asia  sustainability 
october 2006 by robertogreco
PingMag - The Tokyo-based magazine about "Design and Making Things" » Archive » Game Boys for Play Girls! games & gender by Babsi
Barbara ‘Babsi’ Lippe enjoyed a typical postmodern childhood filled with cartoons, action figures, comics and video-games. The latter in particular had a great impact on her life: she has just finished a 1000 page PhD thesis about Games and Gender! Pi
videogames  design  art  illustration  games  play  japan  us  comics  cartoons  animation  gender  asia  europe  west  girls  nintendo  women  pingmag 
august 2006 by robertogreco
the cool hunter - KIDS REPUBLIC - a children's bookstore in Beijing
"No longer just the world’s ‘workroom’, China is rapidly becoming an international hot spot with a growing middle class hungry for western luxuries and comforts. Beijing kids are the latest to be treated to some western style indulgence with Kids Re
architecture  art  books  children  asia  china  education  fun  design  color  furniture  space 
august 2006 by robertogreco
REALTOKYO
"cultural search engine"
asia  art  culture  events  design  film  guides  japan  music  tokyo  travel 
june 2006 by robertogreco
jeansnow.net - A Guide to Design and Pop Culture in Tokyo
"Jean Snow lives and breathes design and pop culture in Tokyo -- sustained by an unhealthy addiction to magazines and frequent visits to his favorites cafes. He has reported on these obsessions for the following online/offline publications:"
blogs  japan  tokyo  travel  architecture  art  asia  design  culture  daily  jeansnow 
june 2006 by robertogreco
AP Wire | 04/26/2006 | Last ninja: 'Be able to kill your students'
"The teachings of Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi echo through my head as he entreats me to attack a blackbelted disciple with a practice sword. "Always be able to kill your students," he says."
asia  culture  education  history  japan  ninja  society  learning 
april 2006 by robertogreco
Cynical-C Blog: A Dash of North Korean Videos on a Rainy Boring Monday
"A few videos from inside North Korea from YouTube and Google Video"
video  asia  korea 
march 2006 by robertogreco
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