Friday, October 15, 2010
In and beyond transition - some blogs
I’ve already remarked (in more of the French sense of noticing!) that, for a blog from the Carpathian mountains, I do not say very much about the life going on here and I have vowed to do something about this. Three reasons make this difficult – first I have not so far found very much on the internet about Romania or neighbouring countries in the English language. Secondly I do live a bit of a hermit’s life both here in the fairly remote mountain village and in Bucharest and rarely therefore pick up much about what is happening in the wider society – although it is difficult not to notice the growing angry demonstrations against the austerity measures which are a feature of central Bucharest. And I am, finally, spending a lot of time with the new books which keep arriving here - so many still unread (I like the reference in Nassim Taleb’s great The Black Swan to Umberto Eco’s antilibrary – „read books are far less valuable than unread ones” ).
So, with these excuses, let me mention some blogs I have recently discovered which do try to cover issues in my part of the world. First a useful (if intermittent) one by someone who seems to live in America but has a deep interest in Romania
Her latest posts are about the judicial system here. Then an excellent blog on central europe as a whole by an Economist journalist, Edward Lucas And a Brit living in Poland has a blog about Polish politics - with some interesting recent blogs about the continuing influence in that country of neo-liberalism (and the damage it has done) and an overview of how the various central european economies have been hit recently. Today’s Spiegel has a worrying piece about the new level which neo-nazism has reached in Budapest.
Ironically – despite the geographical distance and the censorship - I can follow in much more easily events and discussions in China than I can in the (wider) Balkans here! There are so many excellent blogs, sites and, indeed, photojournalism. Every day China Digital Times sends me references and angry chinese blogger is one of the more powerful of literally hundreds blogs in English. I particularly like the blog from a female traveller in the Chinese countryside. But the easy access I have to English documents means inevitably I spend most of my time following the scribblings from UK Think Tanks – and today I came across what looks a very useful analysis of the quango phenomenon