Categories
Japan News

Japan net vs gross debt to GDP

245% vs. 41%. A very different narrative than what is in the mainstream press.

“Japanese government owes debt of 1,269.1 trillion yen, and owns assets of 822.2 trillion yen, therefore the net debt is 447 trillion yen at the end of March, 2013. The net debt relative to GDP ratio is about 90 percent.

As of December 31, 2014, the BOJ holds JGBs worth 254 trillion yen. If we subtract this from the net debt, the net debt relative to GDP ratio becomes 41 percent.”

Japan’s Fiscal Situation Is Not As Bad As Many Assume

Categories
News

US as Nation of Privilege Versus Rule of Law

Noah Smith: “The U.S. is slowly becoming a country where income and race determine the degree to which a citizen is bound by the law of the land. That’s true privilege. That’s the dangerous kind. Dangerous for those on the bottom of the privilege system, but ultimately dangerous for those on the top as well.”

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-08-28/nation-of-privilege-versus-rule-of-la

Categories
Internet News

danah boyd on whistleblowing

danah boyd:

“I want to live in a society that is willing to critically interrogate how power is operationalized and how institutions and the rule of law function as a check to power. To me, this is an essential aspect of democracy. Unchecked power is how dictatorships emerge.”

Whistleblowing Is the New Civil Disobedience

Categories
China Internet News

The Economist on the Internet in China

Gady Epstein, who is the China Correspondent for The Economist has put together a large 14-page special report on the Internet in China. I strongly recommend it.

Gady was also on this week’s Sinica Podcast talking about this special report, which I also strongly recommend: Gady Epstein on The Internet (in China)

Special report: China and the internet

China’s internet: A giant cage
The internet was expected to help democratise China. Instead, it has enabled the authoritarian state to get a firmer grip, says Gady Epstein. But for how long?

The machinery of control: Cat and mouse
How China makes sure its internet abides by the rules

Microblogs: Small beginnings
Microblogs are a potentially powerful force for change, but they have to tread carefully

The Great Firewall: The art of concealment
Chinese screening of online material from abroad is becoming ever more sophisticated

E-commerce: Ours, all ours
A wealth of internet businesses with Chinese characteristics

Cyber-hacking: Masters of the cyber-universe
China’s state-sponsored hackers are ubiquitous—and totally unabashed

Internet controls in other countries: To each their own
China’s model for controlling the internet is being adopted elsewhere

Assessing the effects: A curse disguised as a blessing?
The internet may be delaying the radical changes China needs

Shutting down the internet: Thou shalt not kill
Turning off the entire internet is a nuclear option best not exercised

Categories
News

Seeking Asian Female documentary

I just heard the piece on the documentary, Seeking Asian Female, which was excerpted on This American Life as well as the Snap Judgement radio show (audio here).

Fascinating look at “yellow fever” by documentary film-maker, Debbie Lum, who is an Asian female herself (married to a non-Asian, she admits.) The part of me that is Japanese-American certainly has seen a lot of non-Asian Americans who are unusually fascinated with Asians of the opposite sex.

However, traveling a lot across Asia for many years, what I see is that people all over the world are fascinated by the ‘other’, by the ‘exotic’. This is not limited to West vs. East. It happens in Asia between Asians. And because almost everyone in Asia is Asian, the structures (Caucasian/Asian) set up by the documentary don’t fit in Asia.

I think it’s really valuable that this documentary was made (I haven’t even seen it yet!) because I think it will generate discussion about our fascination for the ‘other.’