Sunday, April 4, 2010

From around the interwebs...

Articles and things that have caught my fancy this week...


A high-income country is not a developed country
Malaysian business writer Lee Wei Lian notes that despite his country's promise of a bright economic future, it still lags badly in many of the cultural aspects that accompany a developed country. According to Lee, Malaysia is stricken by a culture that dissuades innovation, is too obsessed with racial affiliation, and lacks not only pride in helping customers, but also a sense of community responsibility.
An interesting perspective, not only because Lee makes his points in a very Malaysian way (using food analogies), but because it touches upon a question that faces many nations straddling the divide between First and Third World: how do you develop a national culture that perpetuates prosperity and stability?


How spam filters dictated Canadian magazine's fate
Fascinating and funny BBC report how the practice of filtering out spam and obscenity can have unexpected consequences. Innocent words are blocked because they contain rude words within them - such as the English towns of Scunthorpe, Penistone and Tightwater (look closely and you'll see). Or the blocking of emails containing council building applications, due to them containing the word "erection". Or the filter that changed the surname of sprinter Tyson Gay to "Homosexual", since that term was deemed less offensive.


Victoria's Top Cop Defends Action Over Racist Emails
If your wondering why you called the police and they took an eternity to respond while thugs beat you over the head and rob you, perhaps its because they were too busy sending around racist and/or pornographic emails to each other. After the recent allegations of racist treatment towards African youth, this is more news to make us all feel safe and reassured in the state of Victoria.


Fear of a Black C-SPANet
Jon Stewart and The Daily Show have some fun with a racist caller to cable news network C-Span.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Fear of a Black C-SPANet
www.thedailyshow.com
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