Tag Archives | Globalization

Embracing ‘The Third Wave’

CharicePempengco00

via Inquirer.net:

One night saw me watching and listening to the performance videos of Charice Pempengco. I realized that Charice, being “the YouTube sensation” that she was once known for, would not have been possible without the Internet. Her success, which is due largely to the exposure that social media has given her, would not have been possible, say, in the 1980s, or even in the early 1990s.

Charice is indeed sensational, one of the few singers who can leave musical greats like David Foster in awe and admiration. And I am obviously a fan, not just of Charice but, as important, of her story. Hers is not the usual Cinderella, rags-to-riches tale, like that of Manny Pacquiao. My admiration for her story stems basically from the fact that whatever she has reached and achieved at this point was made possible by the Internet.

I should hate globalization. That is how I have been taught by dear mentors in the social movements.

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Anti-advertising is the New Advertising

A great essay over at Aeon Magazine reveals how the establishment wants you to know they have gone total anti-establishment and hey, buy our product, we’re on your side!

In 1796, the English physician Edward Jenner injected an eight-year-old boy in Gloucestershire with cowpox. Reasoning that absorbing a small amount of the virus would protect the child from a full-strength attack of smallpox in the future, Jenner’s bold experiment founded the practice of vaccination. Two hundred years later, the marketing industry has cottoned on to Jenner’s insight: a little bit of a disease can be a very useful thing.

If you’re one of the more than 7 million people who have watched the global fast-food chain Chipotle’s latest advertisement, you’ll have experienced this sleight of hand for yourself. The animated short film — accompanied by a smartphone game — depicts a haunting parody of corporate agribusiness: cartoon chickens inflated by robotic antibiotic arms, scarecrow workers displaced by ruthless automata.

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Desperate Letter Describing Chinese Forced Labor Camp Found Inside Halloween Decorations Kit

Imagine if we understood where everything we have came from. Via Oregonian:

The letter came in a box of Halloween decorations purchased at Kmart, a $29.99 graveyard kit. On a Sunday afternoon in October, Julia Keith intended to decorate her home for her daughter’s fifth birthday, days before Halloween. She ripped open the box and threw aside the cellophane. That’s when Keith found it. Scribbled onto paper and folded into eighths, the letter was tucked between two Styrofoam headstones.

“Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”

“People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month).”

“People who work here, suffer punishment 1-3 years averagely, but without Court Sentence (unlaw punishment).

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You Are Still Being Lied To: Howard Zinn’s “Columbus and Western Civilization”

The following is an excerpt of "Columbus and Western Civilization" written by Howard Zinn that appears in the Disinformation anthology You Are Still Being Lied To edited by Russ Kick. Author's Note: In the year 1992, the celebration of Columbus Day was different from previous ones in two ways. First, this was the quincentennial, 500 years after Columbus’ landing in this hemisphere. Second, it was a celebration challenged all over the country by people—many of them native Americans but also others—who had “discovered” a Columbus not worth celebrating, and who were rethinking the traditional glorification of “Western civilization.” I gave this talk at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in October 1991. It was published the following year by the Open Magazine Pamphlet Series with the title “Christopher Columbus & the Myth of Human Progress.” George Orwell, who was a very wise man, wrote: “Who controls the past controls the future. And who controls the present controls the past.” In other words, those who dominate our society are in a position to write our histories. And if they can do that, they can decide our futures. That is why the telling of the Columbus story is important. Let me make a confession. I knew very little about Columbus until about twelve years ago, when I began writing my book A People’s History of the United States. I had a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University—that is, I had the proper training of a historian, and what I knew about Columbus was pretty much what I had learned in elementary school.
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Abandoned Walmart Now America’s Biggest Library

Picture: McAllen Public Library (C)

From destruction comes regeneration. A photo essay via Web Urbanist

There are thousands of abandoned big box stores sitting empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. With each store taking up enough space for 2.5 football fields, Walmart’s use of more than 698 million square feet of land in the U.S. is one of its biggest environmental impacts. But at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something arguably much more useful: the nation’s largest library.

Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States.

The library even has an acoustically separated lounge for teens as well as 6 teen computer labs, 16 public meeting spaces, 14 public study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 children’s computer labs and 2 genealogy computer labs. Other new features include self check-out units, an auditorium, an art gallery, a used bookstore and a cafe.

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Study Pinpoints JFK, LAX, Hawaii Airports As Disease-Spread Hot Spots

In today’s globally interconnected world, terrifying illnesses from across the sea are just a flight away. These are the airports connecting us to them, via Scientific American:

A new study finds that [JFK and LAX], along with Honolulu International Airport, are the most likely to facilitate the spread of a major pandemic.

Researchers at M.I.T. used real traveler patterns, geographical information and airport waiting times to predict what U.S. airports are most likely to spread an epidemic from its origin.

The surprise is that the key airports are not necessarily the largest or busiest. Previous research had focused on how easily pandemics can spread globally via air travel once they were in late stages. In those cases, the largest and best-connected airports are indeed the deadliest hubs. But the new work shows that in the first 10 days of an epidemic, other travel centers might be the spreading hot spots.

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Will Multinational Corporations Eventually Own Everyone’s Land?

Imperialist OctopusGood question. Julian Whitcrosse writes at io9.com:
Hundreds of years ago, European colonists took possession of much of the surface of our planet through unsubtle means: murder, subjugation, and their special move, bringing horrific new diseases. Nowadays, the wealthy and powerful expand their domains less confrontationally, but the effects can still be pretty harmful. Interests in rich countries — mainly multinational corporations (MNCs) make deals with local governments to attain land for their own big-money projects, sometimes evicting locals from their traditional homes and farmland, and contributing to food insecurity. Over the past 10 years, almost 800,000 square miles of land has been bought or leased (eight times the size of Britain), mostly in Asia and Africa....
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The Axis of Indifference In The Media World

BlogothonThe following is an excerpt from my new book Blogothon. It was originally given as a speech to a media conference and has been updated slightly.

Foreign correspondents have always been revered within journalism. That’s why covering Iraq or other wars are assignments so many reporters cultivate. Many see them as a ticket up the media pecking order.

Being “under fire” promise excitement, danger and—let’s face it, on TV —precious “face time.” Going overseas is often a route to more visibility and  better jobs at home on the strength of your “bravery.” War reporting can be the macho oxygen of ambition.

Just as covering a turbulent world is attractive in the ranks, up in the suites of media power  “foreign news” is, according to Michael Wolff, a “nostalgist’s beat” said to turn  off American audiences and tune them out. That’s why decision-makers shutter bureaus and redefine news of the world as news of American power in the world.  (They also realize financial savings by doing so, of course.)

In an age of globalization, as global news grows more important, it is covered less.… Read the rest

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Secret City: Illegal Architecture of Taiwan

TaipeiMany cities in Asia proper, have captured the imaginations of authors, specifically science fiction writers, due in large part due to their disjointed, chaotic, and multi-layered nature. These cities have a tendency to map their histories, migration patterns, linguistic groups and associated economic levels onto the very architecture and design of the city. In Taipei much of the building is done illegally, in ‘secret’ places all around the city, particularly by rural migrants, artists and experimental architects. This has resulted in some very dynamic and cyber-punk worthy designs that further colour the fabric of Taipei. Via Web Urbanist:

Beyond the ‘official city’ of Taipei, where modernization and beautification efforts are glossing over the city’s natural and historical origins, there’s Instant City. Using Taipei’s conventional modern architecture as a platform and energy source, this network of illegal architecture attaches itself ‘like a parasite’ to create unsanctioned urban farms, night markets and other social gathering places.

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