Tag Archives | Globalization

IMF Chief Wants Global Currency

IMFThose on the lookout for signs of a one world government/new world order will be all over this, as reported by ABC News/AP:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, suggested Friday the organization might one day be called on to provide countries with a global reserve currency that would serve as an alternative to the U.S. dollar.

“That day has not yet come, but I think it is intellectually healthy to explore these kinds of ideas now,” he said in a speech on the future mandate of the 186-nation Washington-based lending organization.

Strauss-Kahn said such an asset could be similar to but distinctly different from the IMF’s special drawing rights, or SDRs, the accounting unit that countries use to hold funds within the IMF. It is based on a basket of major currencies.

He said having other alternatives to the dollar “would limit the extent to which the international monetary system as a whole depends on the policies and conditions of a single, albeit dominant, country.”

Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister of France, said that during the recent global financial crisis, the dollar “played its role as a safe haven” asset, and the current international monetary system demonstrated resilience…

[continues at ABC News/AP]

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The Virginia Colonists at Jamestown Practiced Cannibalism

Another chapter from my book 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, inspired by historian Howard Zinn, who passed away earlier this year.

For more me, check out: The Memory Hole.

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Jamestown

During the harsh winter of 1609–1610, British subjects in the famous colony of Jamestown, Virginia, ate their dead and their shit. This fact doesn’t make it into very many U.S. history textbooks, and the state’s official website apparently forgot to mention it in their history section.

When you think about it rationally, this fact should be a part of mainstream history. After all, it demonstrates the strong will to survive among the colonists. It shows the mind-boggling hardships they endured and overcame. Yet the taboo against eating these two items is so overpowering that this episode can’t be mentioned in conventional history.

Luckily, an unconventional historian, Howard Zinn, revealed this fact in his classic, A People’s History of the United States.… Read the rest

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Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe

By Andrew Gavin Marshall for the Centre for Research on Globalization:

Understanding the Nature of the Global Economic Crisis

The people have been lulled into a false sense of safety under the ruse of a perceived “economic recovery.” Unfortunately, what the majority of people think does not make it so, especially when the people making the key decisions think and act to the contrary. The sovereign debt crises that have been unfolding in the past couple years and more recently in Greece, are canaries in the coal mine for the rest of Western “civilization.” The crisis threatens to spread to Spain, Portugal and Ireland; like dominoes, one country after another will collapse into a debt and currency crisis, all the way to America.

In October 2008, the mainstream media and politicians of the Western world were warning of an impending depression if actions were not taken to quickly prevent this.

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Try to Find New Island on a Map: You Can’t, Even Though People Have Lived There for 43,500 Years…

Sounds to me like where Lost takes place. Fascinating story from Annalee Newitz on io9.com:

You can’t find New Island on most maps of the Indian Ocean because its location was a secret for most of the twentieth century. But now one man has chronicled the long, strange history of its ancient inhabitants.

The ruins you see here come from a group known locally as the “Old People,” who probably started living on the island 43,500 years ago. In the modern age, the island was discovered in the late eighteenth century by two convict ships that crashed there on the way to Australia. One of those ships was filled with hundreds of female convicts, who eventually founded their own civilization on the island, based on sexual equality and paganism. Today the island is a bustling place, full of trains and welcoming visitors.

Unfortunately, you can only visit via a website created from the imagination of Lee (Rusty) Mothes, a worldbuilder who loves to draw maps and island landscapes.

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Amazing Rice Field Art In Japan

This story from Hemmy.net is one of the first sites I found taking about this. Since then, the Guardian reported on it. Via Hemmy.net:
Every year, farmers in the rural town Inakadate, Japan create rice field art by using red rice in with their regular rice in special patterns. A few others fields in rural Japan also followed the trend of this beautiful rice field art. Rice Art in Japan
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90 Percent Of Languages Will Be Extinct Next Century

LanguageTreeAlasdair Wilkins writes on io9.com:

Linguist and conservative commentator John McWhorter estimates the 6,000 languages spoken today will dwindle to only 600 next century. He argues that this is part of a process that will confer economic and health benefits to the affected speakers.

His main point is that the vast, vast majority of threatened languages are those spoken by isolated indigenous groups, and that these languages are, in fact, a driving force of their isolation. The language barrier prevents the absorption of such groups into the larger society, and this often leaves those affected in significantly worse economic conditions than their neighbors that speak the majority language.

McWhorter outlines how the pursuit of a better life can often mean leaving one’s ancestral language behind:

As people speaking indigenous languages migrate to cities, inevitably they learn globally dominant languages like English and use them in their interactions with one another.

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The World’s Tallest Building: A Symbol of Global Excess in Dubai

Juan Cole writes on Informed Comment:
The world's tallest building, Burj Khalifah or Khalifah Tower, was unveiled in Dubai on Monday: Dubai is a finance hub, the bubble of which has burst, so the building's opening now seems a critique of past excesses more than the triumph originally dreamed of. Now that Dubai is having to be bailed out by its oil-rich sister emirate, Abu Dhabi, the tower had to be named for its ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, rather than retaining its original name, Burj Dubai. Many critics have seen it as a monument to hubris likely to remain mostly empty, as the 21st century Tower of Babel. As you can see, Dubai nevertheless went all out to celebrate the opening. The Burj Khalifah is a symbol of everything wrong with our present moment. Rooted in a finance and real estate bubble, planned as big for the sake of bigness, opulent, now saved from disaster by Abu Dhabi's unsustainable oil revenues, it casts its shadow on a nation of guest workers, many impoverished and exploited. If global warming proceeds at the pace some climate scientists fear, and the seas rise substantially, it may, ironically enough, be all that is visible of the low-lying United Arab Emirates a century from now.
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FDA Continues World Colonization, Opens Another International Facility In Mexico

Mike Adams for Natural News:

In its supposed efforts to improve food safety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the opening of its third Latin American facility located in Mexico City. Since an increasing quantity of fruits, vegetables, and medical devices are being imported into the U.S. from Mexico, FDA officials believe setting up outposts there will improve the food safety process.

Throughout the past year, FDA has opened ten facilities around the globe. Because of numerous recent contamination outbreaks, regulators claim that establishing permanent international offices will improve their ability to operate effectively.

The agency plans to work collaboratively with international governments and food regulators to harmonize regulatory standards, establish new food safety guidelines, and improve product handling safety protocols.

U.S.-based staff is now working in FDA facilities in China, India, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and several European countries. Native regulatory agencies in these countries are still said to be in charge of monitoring food safety, but FDA is there to provide an additional point of control for helping these agencies meet U.S.

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Finally A Truly “World” Wide Web: Non-Latin Web Addresses Debut in 2010

Tom Simonite writes in New Scientist:
GlobalInternetImagine what browsing the web would be like if you had to type out addresses in characters you don’t recognise, from a language you don’t speak. It’s a nightmare that will end for hundreds of millions of people in 2010, when the first web addresses written entirely in non-Latin characters come online.

Net regulator ICANN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — conceded in October that more than half of the 1.6 billion people online use languages with scripts not fully compatible with the Latin alphabet. It is now accepting applications for the first non-Latin top level domains (TLDs) – the part of an address after the final “dot”. The first national domains, counterparts of .uk or .au, should go live in early 2010. So far, 12 nations, using six different scripts, have applied and some have proudly revealed their desired TLD and given a preview of what the future web will look like….

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Alcoholic Monkeys Stealing Booze from Tourists

Get your hands off my drink, you damn dirty ape! Michael Graham Richard writes on Treehunger:
Where Can I Get a Drink Here? Okay, this one is a bit on the light side, but I found it quite interesting as an illustration of the unintended consequences (sometimes really unintended) of introducing non-native species in foreign ecosystems. The video below shows alcoholic monkeys on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. They were brought there from West Africa 300 years ago by slave traders back when the island was a rum-producing colony, and apparently they developed a taste for alcohol from eating fermented sugarcane left in the fields. Nowadays, they satisfy their liquor habit by stealing drinks from tourists:
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