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Archive for April, 2007

Fears of China and its (our) future

Posted by fracardi on April 7, 2007

In this very interesting video-post, Martin Varsavsky points out that Western countries, instead of fearing Chinese lack of civic liberties and its escalating military power, should be much more worried of the ecological impact and of the huge inequalities of the current Chinese economical model. He argues also that the world would be a better place if Western countries will convince / help China to adopt the socio-democratic model of Europe and Japan, instead of the capitalistic US one.

I totally agree. Everyone visiting China could immediately realize that China is today an iper-capitalistic country, with an awesome (and ecologically and socially scaring) freedom for business. No socialist features appear in this society model, as one should expect from a country that still declares itself communist.

However, it is in my opinion impossible to disconnect the building of a socially and ecologically-oriented society from the rise of civic and political liberties. I don’t see how the Chinese Communist party could start adopting social and ecological measures without a clear pressure from the Chinese public opinion. At the end, who can systematically argue on the building of a new dam or the respect of pollution rules in mainland China? Who can teach to 1,3 billion Chinese that they should start adopting differentiated collecting of rubbish or limit the use of their cars? Western countries are just starting doing after 200 hundreds of industrial revolution .Very few countries, US the least, have the moral authority to stand-up.

That’s why I don’t see China adopting, let’s say, a Swedish model, at least until the GDP per capita will grow to 10-15k US$. That’s a very long way to go.

Am I wrong? I hope so, because if not, the future of the current Earth ecosystem has very little chances to survive during the next 100 years.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

The future of languages

Posted by fracardi on April 6, 2007

Given the current pace of globalisation, emigration, mixed-languages couples and tele-learning, the number of spoken languages is drastically falling, but, on the other hand, the number of people who are fluent in more than one language is steadily increasing.

It is obvious (and sad, I know) than in 1000 years very few of the indigenous Brasilian languages will be lost (today still 200 are surviving, out of the 5000 estimate in the pre-colombian age).

It is also obvious that major languages as English, German, French, Mandarin, Japanese will continue to thrive. But what about the languages currently spoken by few hundred-thousands or even few millions people (as Danish or Catalan)?

Posted in Languages | 3 Comments »

Publishing platform vs. advertising platform

Posted by fracardi on April 5, 2007

Interesting post from Scott Karp on the battle for control on the media marketplace, but let be more precise / specific on the wording.

The media business is no longer about creating or even distributing content. It’s about controlling the platforms that create a marketplace for content and advertising.

I would better say that the media business is about controlling the platforms that create a place for publishing content and provide effective / efficient mechanisms to link advertising to content. The difference is not just semantics. The winning platform have to offer both features, not just one. Youtube, for instance, exploded as the best platform to publish video content, but it didn’t provide until now a convincing mechanism to link advertising to content. Same for Flickr re: photos, or DailyMotion again re: video.

But will ever exist a single winning platform for both publishing and advertising? Or the advertising platform (Google search) will always work as a meta-platform of the publishing platform (web as a whole)?

Posted in Media | Leave a Comment »

Gapminder

Posted by fracardi on April 3, 2007

A site with worldwide statistics on key socio-economical indicators, so to not forget how big are social inequalities in our world. Here!

Posted in World | Leave a Comment »