Friday, January 27, 2012

From around the interwebs...

Here are some cool things I read recently. I present them here so that you too may read them, and thereby become smarter and more interesting, and thus make more money and have better sex.
No need to thank me.

The one-shot society: Exams in Korea
In The Economist
Korea’s well-educated, hard-working population has powered its economic miracle. The country has risen from barefoot to broadband since 1960, and last year, despite the global slowdown, its economy grew by 6.2%. In the age of the knowledge economy, education is economic destiny. So the system has had far-reaching and beneficial consequences.

Yet it also has huge costs. For a start, high school is hell. Two months before the day of his exams Kim Min-sung, a typical student, was monosyllabic and shy. All the joy seemed to have been squeezed out of him, to make room for facts. His classes lasted from 7am until 4pm, after which he headed straight for the library until midnight. He studied seven days a week. “You get used to it,” he mumbled.

The Butchers of Nigeria - How a corrupt nation bred Boko Haram, the Islamic sect terrorizing the country’s Christians.

Wole Soyinka at The Daily Beast
This horde has remained available to political opportunists and criminal leaders desperate to stave off the day of reckoning. Most are highly placed, highly disgruntled, and thus highly motivated individuals who, having lost out in the power stakes, resort to the manipulation of these products of warped fervor. Their aim is to bring society to its knees, to create a situation of total anarchy that will either break up the nation or bring back the military, which ruled Nigeria in a succession of coups between the mid-1960s and the late ’90s. Again and again they have declared their blunt manifesto—not merely to Islamize the nation but to bring it under a specific kind of fundamentalist strain. Rather than act in defense of Nigeria’s Constitution, past rulers have cosseted the aggressors for short-term political gains. However, those who have tweaked the religious chord are discovering that they have conjured up a Frankenstein.

Why the Chinese save
Sheldon Garon at Foreign Policy Magazine
To be sure, many East and Southeast Asian societies appear culturally disposed toward thrift. But I question the timelessness and uniqueness of so-called Asian values regarding saving and consumption. As heretical as it may sound, the widespread “urge to save” in Asian economies has less to do with their shared “Asianness,” and may be more related to their common adoption of savings promotion practices from other countries.

Pornistan - A brief history of sex
Iqbal Latif at The Iranian
Which is the No. 1 Nation in Sexy Web Searches? i.e. The Pornistan of the world! Google found that of the top 10 countries - searching for sex-related sites - six were Muslim, with Pakistan on the top i.e. The other Muslim countries are Egypt at number 2, Iran at 4, Morocco at 5, Saudi Arabia at 7 and Turkey at 8. Non-Muslim states are Vietnam at 3, India at 6, Philippines at 9 and Poland at 10. Google lifts the veil now and most of the hardcore puritan nations come out unclothed!! Sexual frustrations lead to choked sex sites on Google within most of the Islamic crescent! Even though homosexuality is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom ranks No. 2 for searches for "gay sex," behind the Philippines.

5 things you can learn about India from their action movies
Every shot in Enthiran watches like a blind editor came in and chopped the first and last third off of the scene, regardless of consequence. The movie switches locations before you realized the conversation ended, and new characters pop in for lines, even though you had no idea they were in the room in the first place, or else they leave the scene entirely and the film doesn't bother to show you. The end result is the implication that this entire society has mastered the art of teleportation, but mostly just use it to nag each other across a span of continents.

1 comment:

  1. I like that Korea article. Just posted it up myself. Thanks for linking it!