OZmating

Spiegel Online (German) apparently followed up on the „ugly duckling“ Mont Isa, Queensland, story I recently wrote about and comes up with some interesting figures regarding the Australian gender balance. When I was told by an Australian friend late last year that „there are hardly any good men in Sydney these days“ I did not […]

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Agency costs and competition.

Dani Rodrik with an Asian update of Robert Putnam’s theory about Italian democracy – what states are for, and why a monopoly of power is a good idea when it comes to governance structures. “When the state does not enforce property rights… the Mafia–or, as happens in this case, the Taliban–will.”

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Öffentliche Personen, private Statements.

Angesichts des neuesten Ausfalls des französischen Präsidenten, der einem unliebsamen Passanten auf der Pariser Landwirtschaftsmesse eine unschöne Aufforderung zum Wechsel seines Aufenthaltsorts an Kopf warf, beschäftigt sich Andreas Schepers auf Spreeblick mit der wohl bedeutendsten Frage der politischen Kommunikation in der neuen medialen Realität: Welche Konsequenzen wird es haben, wenn jede halböffentliche Bemerkung eines Politikers […]

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The digital divides.

The internet is certainly bringing people closer together. But it’s really more – some people than all people. Digital Inspiration has a couple of interesting visualisations of the current (well, recent) global digital divide. It’s also quite interesting to see which parts of the world are using which social networking service (add. diagram by LeMonde)

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Ageismus? Anti-Ageismus?

Spiegel Online: Betagte Schönheiten: Schweiz kürt Miss Altersheim Von wegen Jugendwahn – in der Schweiz wurde zum ersten Mal der Titel „Miss Altersheim“ verliehen. Die Kriterien waren nicht annähernd so streng wie bei den jungen Kolleginnen: Die Schönheiten mussten über 70 sein und alleine gehen können.

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Patches of War.

I don’t know how many black sheep there are in the US army in Iraq today. But I suppose there are a lot who never imagined their fur would even feature a single black patch, because, probably, given normal circumstances, they’d likely have remained white all their lives.

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Handy-Kunde

Zu meiner Zeit, zu meiner Zeit Bestand noch Recht und Billigkeit. Da wurden auch aus Kindern Leute, Aus tugendhaften Mädchen Bräute; Doch alles mit Bescheidenheit. O gute Zeit, o gute Zeit! Es ward kein Jüngling zum Verräter, Und unsre Jungfern freiten später, Sie reizten nicht der Mütter Neid. O gute, Zeit, o gute Zeit! Da […]

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Paris Hilton singt für Hugh Hefner.

Vor einer Woche feierte ich mit ein paar Freunden bei Cappuccino und Frühlingssonne die Wiederaufstellung der Sitzgarnituren vor der kleinen Kneipe am Ende der Straße. Wie bei den meisten akadmischen Stammtischsubstituten begann das Gespräch zunächst recht ernsthaft, um dann doch recht schnell auf die Fragen zu kommen, die vielleicht am ehesten darüber Auskunft geben können, […]

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The best things in life are… on Ebay.

And you thought the best things are free… Via Spreeblick comes this postmodern social commentary – oldstyle friendship, for currently 61,97 Euros – included are 6 handwritten letters, three postcards, 1 birthday gift, one christmas gift, and one surprise (but not a visit). Still, the disclaimer firmly states that some thingsa re still only available […]

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Slavery.

Spiegel Online reports with reference to the Malaysian newspaper Malay Mail (link in German) that police in Malaysia freed eight Indonesian prostitutes who were forced to have intercourse without contraceptives, and become pregnant, so the Malaysian child trafficking ring could sell the babies for about 4,400 to 6,600 Euros to Malaysian clients. The Indonesian women, […]

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Stupid, stupid, stupid idiots!

Lillimarleen links to „pro-gun“ tirade by Rachel Lucas called just like this entry. Rachel furiously tries to point out why previous cases of civil strife, ethnic persecution, or class warfare are valid arguments in favour of uninhibited gun ownership in general, and specifically in the USA – „If you make self-defense illegal, or even problematic, […]

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Desperately Seeking Simplicity

Somehow, I hate to restate something as obvious as this – the world we are living in is an extremely complex system. A system far too complicated for any individual to understand. That’s why we tend to categorize and model the world in order to reduce complexity and gain a little insight into the „underlying […]

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Stalinism.

Andrew Northrup is concerned with the distorted reality that mass media is constructing in our heads, specifcally by the notion that the western public is more and more appalled even by small numbers of wartime casualties, citing an article by Greg Easterbrook who seems to hold this opinion – „[a]s we weep for the Iraqi […]

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Spring Cold.

Sorry for the apparent lack of entries, but even though the weather is brightening up in Southern Germany, I was hit by a pre-spring/post-carnival cold yesterday and so I’m not really in screen-staring mood. And there’s so much I would like to write about – the latest developments re Iraq, my best guess for Bush’s […]

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Turkey in the EU?

Turkey in the EU? Following the EU’s recent de facto decision to open membership talks with Turkey in 2005, those fiercly opposed to Turkish membership will probably be very interested in funding field research of the country’s social reality now. Such research will certainly produce a picture quite different from the one painted by Turkish […]

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A new kind of suicide.
Between two consenting adults.

When I briefly mentioned the cannibalism case revealed by German police in Rotenburg, near Frankfurt, yesterday, I had just heard about it. Normally, I’d say there’s not much more to it than I wrote yesterday. It obviously goes without saying that it is unbelievably sad that things like cannibalism keep occuring on this planet. Most […]

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Hardwired Hirarchy

Thinking about coordination of human activities I can’t help but wonder – do we have a hardwired tendency for hirarchical coordination? Is there some sort of biological reason for people’s need to have an ordered society? Is this simply about assigning responsibilities and easily finding the culprit(s) when the damage occurs or could it possibly […]

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Stuck somewhere in the middle. Growing up these days.

The German weekly „Die Zeit“ this week provides a survey of the consequences of disappearing traditional family structures and socially predetermined gender roles for today’s youngsters. According to the article, socio-athropologists and behavioral biologists alike now claim that kids these days are in dire need for authority and some sort of biographical structure. The price […]

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Sexy beast.

Ok, just another headline. But this is actually an addendum to the last entry and also a reminder to myself. At some point I have to tell you why I believe the „new left“ is not sexy in most countries. As a teaser – it’s about the victory of Oliver Williamson over Karl Marx (or […]

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