Gabor Steingart – Weltkrieg um Wohlstand

Sunday, December 17. 2006

Several outtakes of this book where already posted on SPON, and within the Spiegel Print Magazine. These articles had convinced me to buy this book as a reading material for my holidays. Flanked by Noam Chomsky’s “Profit over people” I got quite an interesting view on globalization.

The first part of the book (which is not covered by the outtakes) provides necessary background information to fully understand the rest of the book, and already this overview was worth buying the whole book. The first chapters give a decent picture of the historic development of the worlds leading economies. This information is quite helpful for a good understanding of the ongoing changes in our world.

Steingart describes the current situation as very dangerous for Europe and the US. Western Countries have very high social standards, where some Asian countries don’t care at all, but given a free market the goods are distributed all over the globe and compete with each other regardless how they have been manufactured. Countries like China even protect there economies by different actions (like keeping the exchange rates for their currencies artificially down). Because of this situation our high social standards are endangered. The only chance to protect these standard is in Steingart's opinion to establish a free trade region between Europe and the US (which have similar standards) and protect this region against other economies which do not keep up those standards.

In my opinion this book gives a very realistic image of the current globalization process and Steingart's recommendations should not stay unheard.

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Career Killer Google?

Saturday, November 25. 2006

Talking with other students in higher semesters about blogging, there is one question that I get asked quite often: Don’t you think that blogging might endanger your job chances? Lately the German business magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” titles “Karrierekiller Google” (Career-killer Google) and talks about a few examples were a search on Google unveiled unwanted Details about persons, who then didn’t get certain jobs they applied for. Martin Röll discusses the article in his blog and criticizes that the “problem” with Google unveiling information is not approached dialectical. Many careers might be initiated just because of information Google unveiled! Jochen Mai, the author of the article also made a posting on the article in his blog.

My personal approach to this topic is very optimistic – searching for my name on Google will get you quite interesting information on me, but so far there is nothing I’d have problems to justify. Most of the links you will get will lead you to sources, which I can influence. So I think blogging keeps me in control of information that is available on the net (I doubt that someone will really "stalk on me" beyond those many many informations given there) – but if you discover a potential problem feel free to inform me.

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Noam Chomsky – Profit over people

Saturday, September 23. 2006

Shopping for some reading materials I discovered this book. The short synopsis said that Noam Chomsky would outline how badly the concept of neo-liberalism is influencing our world. So this book seemed to be a perfect addition to Gabor Steingart’s “World was on prosperity”. Noam Chomsky has a clear argumentation style and I easily finished the book within a day.

Chomsky is a well known critic of the American government, and so the book mainly centers on incidents related to American politics. I’m quite overwhelmed by the number of examples where U.S. American politics – under the cloak of free trade – manipulated the other for their own profit. “Their Profit” focuses here to profits of U.S. American investors. The neo liberalism seems to have a common thing with communism – there are always ways to manipulate the whole thing to give preferential treatment to selected people. In a democratic system like the one of the U.S. these people seem to be the sponsors of the parties. You could say well – someone has to profit why not those people who can achieve a lot of stuff (like those investors investing their money to help economies grow). But unluckily Chomsky is able to prove that the overall prosperity of economies is influenced negatively by such maneuvers. Therefore nothing is gained. Those investors are often preventing the economies they invest in to gain prosperity. Globalization opponents like ATAC surely love this book because of the huge amount of negative examples. I think globalization can still be something possible, but as long as there are people involved having their own agenda, it will be really difficult to find the most suitable way towards a world economy.

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Thank you for smoking!

Thursday, September 14. 2006

The whole August my friend Katrin and I waited to see this movie. Simply the imagination of a person being a really successful lobbyist for the tobacco industry stirred up our curiosity. Finally on Wednesday we managed to see this movie – and where delighted.

Nick Naylor, chief spokesman for Big Tobacco, makes his living defending the rights of smokers and cigarette makers in today’s neo-puritanical culture. Confronted by health zealots and an opportunistic senator, Nick goes on a PR offensive, spinning away the dangers of cigarettes, but he begins to think about how his work makes him look in the eyes of his young son Joey.

This short plot outline by Fox Searchlight Pictures outlines the plot of that movie. But it is more but just that story - the dialogues are sharp and funny – and (even without making a clear statement against or in favor) the movie has a message:
It’s important to have the chance to decide – and not being patronized!

A contrary few in context of the education of children has a German educator Bernhard Bueb, who was manager of "Schloss Salem" a German elite boarding school.. In my opinion he has some very gross views. Just have a look at the SPON-article (German). But I might get back to this discussion in tome other topics.. I was talking about that extraordinary movie!

Katrin and I enjoyed the movie very much and had many chances to laugh, although some of the jokes were almost to fast to recognize. to get all of the jokes I’m really looking forward to see this movie in English!

Jay’s rating (5/5)

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Thoughts about religion and faith

Monday, September 11. 2006

Through Mario's Blog I found the follwing documentation which throws up a few questions about religion and faith. Remarkable! The title is "The Root of all evil".

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Mad, mad youth.

Tuesday, August 22. 2006

Today a friend of mine drew my attention to a website almost glorifying the vandalism of a car at the summer breeze festival. A person was drunken driving at the festival grounds and almost injures other participants running over a few tents, after having a discussion with those people he leaves his car open and unattended. Within the next day this story spreads around the festival ground and somehow almost everybody seems to know this person and has had problems with him. Then the car of this person becomes target of the arising aggression… So the abandoned car gets demolished by a mob of festival participants. Obviously no one at the festival site was sober enough to prevent this. At the the Wacken-message board a discussion amongst regular festival visitors about right or wrong of this action was initiated.

This discussion and the whole website might be quite interesting for our sociologists around. Some of the “offenders” reveal there identity and are even showing off that they were part of the events.

I would have expected a little more civil courage of people at the festival – in my opinion there is no justification to take the law into one’s own hands.

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Monday, August 14. 2006

It’s a very common thing for artists to spice up their old songs with new voices. If this is done professionally, the results can be quite impressive. A very nice example for this is U2’s song “One” – ok the original version is outstanding but now they manage to get R’n’B-Star Mary J Blige to perform this song as a duet with Bono. In my opinion this spices up the song even more.

In contrary to this planned feature for the song it seems that there are unplanned features, too. Especially on festivals, where a lot of musicians meet – they organize such guest performances. ..but.. if there is not enough preparation… well, I found two “accidents” with Nelly Furtado doing a guest performance lately. The first occurred in 2004 while the band “Sportfreunde Stille” performed at the Comet (award show of the German music television channel Viva). Nelly appears on stage in order to sing the Spanish lyrics of the song "Ich roque", but her shrill voice is only distracts the viewer from the original song. The second happened lately in 2006 at the “Rock im Park”-festival. “Reamonn performed their classic song “Supergirl” and Nelly is there, but she hardly hits a note…

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The Pig and the Box

Wednesday, July 19. 2006

Via I found a link to this neat project of a Canadian artist, who illustrated problems of DRM within a children’s book. I recommend all of my readers to have a look at the book! Have a look at the English or German Version or contribute to the project by translating it!

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