I've been following the news in Myanmar for several years. I conciously noticed Myanmar as one of the most miserable places on this planet the first time around 2000 in San Francisco, when some friends and I went to a Burmese Restaurant. We were part of a supper club, picking the cuisine by following the alphabet and matching it with a country starting with that letter. We picked Burma for B, just to learn that officially it was Myanmar.
It feels like there is nothing we can do to help, but there is! Read on to learn what you can do to help the Burmese people!
In the long tale of Chinese-Tibetan relations, the Chinese authorities decided to regulate reincarnation. While this sounds bizarre at first glance, it makes sense for their pursuit of controlling the Tibetan people. While according to Buddhist believe (almost) everybody is reborn, only few important religious leaders are looked for - like the Dalai Lama. By regulating reincarnation, the Chinese will probably try to control this search process, probably with the goal of nominating the next Dalai Lama themselves. The Slashdot discussion has some insightful comments.
Die Zeit hat einen interessanten Artikel: Inflation gesucht, erschienen am 10.8.2006. Der Artikel beginnt folgendermaßen: "Zinspause in den Vereinigten Staaten, steigende Leitzinsen in Europa. Deutlicher kann das Signal nicht sein, dass die beiden weltweit wichtigsten Zentralbanken, die amerikanische Fed und die Europäische Zentralbank (EZB), völlig verschiedene geldpolitische Strategien verfolgen."
Das Interessante: die Fed hat die letzten 17 Quartale die Zinsen ununterbrochen auf 5.25% erhöht, während die EZB zum vierten Mal, ganz vorsichtig, die Zinsen auf 3% erhöht hat. Ich hätte von der Zeit eine etwas objektivere Darstellung erwartet.
Google has the not so well-known Zeitgeist project that looks at what's going on through the spyglass of searches. They just released the Zeitgeist for 2005, as the end of the year approaches. It shows how the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction correlates with the US presidential elections, or how Wikipedia gained momentum this year.
Hamilton Naki is dead. I learned about it in this week's Economist Obituary. I didn't know who he was before reading this story. He lived in South Africa during apartheid, and was a brilliant surgeon. But he was black and nobody was allowed to know, so officially he was the gardener.
During the next few days, both France and the Netherlands will vote on the EU constitution. A "No" vote in both countries is likely, which Europhiles would see as a disaster. However, I think that a rejection of this constitution would actually be a blessing, and this week's Economist confirms me in this opinion.