Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rodrigo y Gabriela on Guitars

Saw Rodrigo y Gabriela on BBC2's Glastonbury coverage - after having turned away from the England-Germany game. Originally meeting in a thrash metal band, the Mexican duo play some of the fastest, but most rhythmic spanish guitar I've heard in a while. Check out some video:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Moral compasses

Porn industry economics vs Economic economics. Who's getting shafted the most?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Foxconn suicides - who's responsibility?

Not sure what to make of the whole Foxconn movements. It sounds like the cracks in the system are showing:

"The unrest at Foxconn ... and strikes at factories linked to Honda have highlighted growing pressure for better labour conditions in the “factory of the world”."

But also, reading on, that plastering over the cracks is maybe just seen as someone else's job:

" one option was to sell all its dormitories to the government and rent them back for its staff as needed.

“If a worker in Taiwan commits suicide because of emotional problems his employer won’t be held responsible, but we are taken to task in China because they are living and sleeping in our dormitories,”"

So it's OK for people to commit suicide so long as the state pays for it?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Iran distancing from the Euro too?

Amusingly interesting if true...

02:59: Iran is bailing on the sickly euro. According to state-run TV, the Central Bank of Iran is converting forex reserves totaling 45 billion euros into dollars and gold.

We can’t help but chuckle. In 2006, the mullahs in Tehran made a huge deal about opening their own oil bourse that would trade in euros. It took them until 2008 to get their act together and open the thing. Now their founding premise is falling to pieces.

Balancing the global scales

For "substantial" news, and not just headlines on which monkey has won the X-Factor, my main source these days is the FT. Sure, you need a free reg if you want to read more than a little, but so far my appetite for world news seems to be inside the "free" parameters.

The last few days have been fairly gloomy, at least from a developed country's POV. As the weights begin to balance, the inequality in developing countries slowly comes into line with the inequality elsewhere. We begin to see the end of cheap labour, and rising demand for higher-value foods.

As everything lines up and begins globally connected, will we begin to understand all of the cheap foundations our lifestyles are based on? That closer-to-home balance of making money versus spending it - can the two continue to square up without fundamental psychological implications?

Are we living in a status bubble?