what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Morning surf

I gave a link yesterday to an interesting site – Musings of an Amateur Trader – which consistently gives detailed and self-confident assessments of the political and economic health of countries. Wow, I said to myself, this guy really gets around. Now I think I know why – it’s hardly a blog (it contains no profile or statement of purpose) rather the presentations from a risk agency called STRATFOR headed by a financier called George Friedman. Today’s entry is a detailed forecast of political and financial events in 2011 – with the text occasionally indicating STRATFOR’s methods or assessments (when the penny dropped). So this is the real stuff we are getting – for free!
While I was searching for info on them, I came across (a) a long and fascinating post from another forecasting blog on Stratfor reliability and also what looks to be a thoughtful blog by management consultant (!!) John Hagel.

I’m remiss in not having looked at the great Eurotribune website in the last few months – and did some catching up this morning of its diaries. It draws on a group of writers from various parts of Europe and America and does great interviews with people working at the cutting edge of social and economic development - particularly those working on food and farming issues (eg farming sovereignty) and in various African countries (a good series is the 1,000 word intros to those countries and the various garssroot initiatives they have). Good posts on Neo-feudalism and neo-nihilism; a pamphlet on the broken British economic model; and a discussion about trends in financial capitalism.

Clearly I shall have to update the list of favourite links I have on the right hand column of this site!
Now to return to the editing I have been doing of the two papers on China I have recently added to my website. The title I had originally given to my explanation for my resignation from the project there had been Mission Impossible and, when I changed it to Lost in Beijing,I had not realised there had been a steamy film with that title! I had actually been thinking of Bill Murray's Lost in Translation with the sad hotel scenes looking down on a megapolis. Right now I'm working on the other paper - a briefing note on Chinese Administrative Reform. One might ask why - since my website does not get many hits. But I am surprised by the frequency with which I can find a post of mine from this blog on a google search - so I hope that, with a suitable title, the paper (and website) might get a higher profile. Even although I say it myself, its library of papers and references seem to be unique!

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