Wednesday, March 12, 2003

so many things to say today, so little space and time. damn the workload -- i hate examinations.

::Minutia::

i had my last Econ 202 class with Mehmet, Yorugoklu today. thank god it's over. it was a long, painful, drawn out process of patience - because if i didn't possess any i would either walk out and fail the class, or kill the instructor. i just gave him the worst evaluation i've ever given any instructor at the U of C, which is saying something. 'About the best thing about the instructor was clear handwriting.' 'His explanations were repetitive and clearly unhelpful.' 'If i could change anything about this course i would ask for another instructor.' but there's only the final to go and then i'll have all of 203 to look forward to, spring quarter.

Note: Dad! nothing in the mailbox yet...what's going on? =)

::Serious Content::

a couple more comments on the war in Iraq i guess, though i'm sure you and i are both sick and tired of it. i was browsing through The Guardian this morning and found this op-ed on the war. some choice remarks include "...But to pretend that this battle begins and ends in Iraq requires a wilful denial of the context in which it occurs. That context is a blunt attempt by the superpower to reshape the world to suit itself." it also brings up the existence of a pressure group called 'Project for the New American Century' with a disturbing list of signatories including Dick Cheney the elusive Vice-President of the US; and Donald Rumsfield among others. [i'll leave you to go read the article on your own.] its statement of principles, signed in 1997, "...asserts that the key challenge for the US is "to shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests". This requires "a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities". hmm. i reserve comment.

i thought it was an extremely interesting article, really. kudos to the Guardian for being as entertaining as always, and kudos to Mr Evans for bringing the Guardian to my attention all those years way back when i was still going to school every day dressed in a translucent white blouse and a bright green skirt, like an upside-down beansprout. only not that skinny. =)

on to -- Singapore! i received the Economist's City Brief for Singapore this morning - they have an email service i take advantage of. two things immediately came to my attention: the first article was on the unveiling, as it were, of our Budget for the next year. third year in a row we are running a deficit, and those of you who are Singaporean or follow Singaporean news know that this is a big deal. we make a big deal out of always operating in the black. this is an all-kinds-of-bad sign for the economy. how are we coming out of this one? the Economist also as a related article, If War Comes..., that suggests that we are stumbling and will continue to stumble as long as the US is unclear about its intentions toward the Middle East and as long as the war persists if there is one. Unless we are guaranteed our continuous supply of oil. since Singapore imports ALL of its oil, and a large chunk of industry revolves around refining crude and re-exporting it to other parts of the world, we don't need even more serious problems with our oil industry just when everything else is falling apart. both the Economist and the New Yorker have pointed out that the major impact on the economies right now is coming through uncertainty rather than risk, because we have No Way of assessing the end result and long-term impact of the situation we're balanced on the edge of right now. it could go in any of a whole bunch of directions, and assessing probabilities isn't a viable option right now. the longer the uncertainty persists, the harder it's going to be for us to come out of it. we need a miracle, people, and there doesn't seem to be anyone out there who can provide it.

the second thing? --

Valentine's Day is long over, but Singapore is still recovering from its month-long love festival. Faced with a declining birth-rate (young bloods are apparently too busy working), Singapore's government wants to encourage more couples to have children. In February, interested organisations such as the Singapore Tourism Board and the Family Matters! Singapore task force paid a total of S$400,000 ($231,000) to create the first “Romancing Singapore” festival, featuring star-lit movies, concerts, speed-dating events, love-boat cruises and even an “Everlasting Love Candle Light Dinner”. Did it work? Check back in nine months.

Oh, Economist. Oh, Singapore. =) i'm a little sad i missed the star-lit movies [which probably means movies screened outdoors in like the Botanic Gardens or something, eh, Class95? -grins-] but the rest of it's a little...not to my taste. erm. yeah. go for it, PAP, just don't be disappointed when it doesn't really work.








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