Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Q&A - 5/8

HuffPost

The Chinese talk of Pakistan as an "all-weather friend," reflecting exactly how Pakistanis see them as well. The Chinese in private will go through the list of other close allies and point to their flaws: the North Koreans are seen as erratic, the "crazy younger brother," a scholar at a dinner remarked; Burma or Myanmar has let them down and they can never fully rely on Iran, according to another scholar, as it appears "too keen to be seduced by the U.S.That leaves Pakistan -- and Pakistan alone, in spite of its alliances with Western nations, has stood by China through thick and thin. China has reciprocated with a mixture of emotion and real politik -- it has just signed its biggest defense deal ever according to analysts, which gives Pakistan eight first-class submarines. It is a strange and unlikely love affair.

Interesting

Did not know the relationship was that cozy. Pakis would need a big ally against their arch-rival India, and China would fit that description, for the simple reason them being not India, but the relationship having been that far developed.. It's nice actually. Everyone needs allies - the more the marrier.

News

After four Marines and a sailor were killed by a lone gunman last week, armed civilians have volunteered to stand guard at military recruiting stations around the country — but troops are being warned to keep their distance and alert law enforcement of their presence.

Dude, go home

And don't show up dressed as Batman either.

Jeez.

Comment

American fire-fighters [are] almost eight times more likely to die on the job than other first world firemen.

Not surprising

This Hero Complex issue is related to this post - US culture is based on the necessities arising from a small population inhabiting a large amount space. Even US cultural tug-of-war between prohibition / freedom (letting it happen, letting go) has to do with this - during the containment phase you are holding your ground, building in one place, but there is this huge other space that needs to be populated, then you need to "let it rip" to "make that jump". Heroes, as a concept, are required for the second phase, for hero is the dude who dives right in. The society needs -or needed-, them especially when the country was small. But now, as US becomes more urban, everyone is living in (relatively) close quarters in cities, does the society need some nut dressed as Batman running around trying to save people? Admittedly some good things did come out of the US's early inception dynamic (cultures aren't entirely stupid, like a broken clock, they can show the right time twice a day), such as the pragmatic approach to and even fascination with technology [1] - that's good. But some the other stuff needs to go. Pronto.

Question

How do you get your news?

RSS

This quaint little tech from the 90s.. is still around, and is used for feeds. Anyway - at first I used Google News, along with its app, but the app does not give details offline (offline is the new online duuude). Then I started using an RSS reader app called ... RSS Reader, and subscribed to theguardian, google news, bbc, reuters, huffpost, washingtonpost etc.

Related:

The Culture Code

Stuff White People Like

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[1] Einstein, as in Albert, noticed this relationship as well, he talks about it in The World As I See It.