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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ten Issues - 7

1- How America Can Rise Again : The simplest measure of whether a culture is dominant is whether outsiders want to be part of it Any great nation can be judged on two parameters : continued openness to immigration, and a continued concentration of universities that people around the world want to attend.

2- (Hi)Story, Truth and Nation: South Africa is facing the process of developing a new identity for itself and its people, and to deal with its past. Jyoti Mistry looks at the meaning of nations and the nation state in examining this process of creation of a national identity. Story-telling, history and memory play vital parts, particularly in South Africa, in building this "whole". In a story that has no end in sight, she looks at how a country is dealing with its past and stepping into its future.

3- A virtual counter-revolution: The internet has been a great unifier of people, companies and online networks. Powerful forces are threatening to balkanise it. The future of the internet is looking bleak;

4- Power, privilege, corruption, hypocrisy : There is nothing to be proud of India's ranking in the Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index 2009. The country ranked low also in the Bribe Payers Index among emerging economic giants.

5- The Economics of Monogamy and Polygyny : Overview of the the economics surrounding marriage institutions by professor Marina Adshade who teaches a popular undergraduate course called "Economics of Sex and Love," in which students apply the analytical and statistical tools available to economists to examine human sexuality.

6- Creating scientific culture : The first step towards an African culture of science is to make science relevant to local people, says development expert Oyeniyi Akande.

7-Loving the enemy: Al qaeda version of west - 9/11 organizer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed exploited his trial to remind the court of its own human rights obligations, while Osama bin Laden's video statements include appeals to religious pluralism. Al-Qaeda's use of liberal categories is central to its rhetoric on war and justice, writes Faisal Devji.

8- Language, Poetry, and Singularity: A joint Arab-Jewish identity seems an impossibility given the current political situation in the Middle East. And yet it was a reality, exemplified by Arabic-speaking Jews and their writers. In his extensive essay Reuven Snir investigates the complex history of Arab Jews.

9- Fellows Friday with Sunita Nadhamuni: Water and sanitation are among the most crucial issues facing India today, Sunita Nadhamuni notes in her interview with TED. But while these problems are daunting, Sunita says India’s many innovations in managing water can teach the rest of the world a thing or two.

10- An Open Letter to Manmohan Singh : Not everyone is happy with the working of our appointed prime minister due to his apathy towards corruption and the issue becomes large as an IAS officer wrote an open letter in Livemint journal - The government has lost all credibility with the people, and the buck stops with Manmohan Singh;

Quotes:

“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion” - Henry Steele Commager

"Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is a more courageous man than a politician who defies Government." - B. R. Ambedkar

The Buddha said: ‘If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.’

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