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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘former yugoslavia

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO wonders, in the aftermath of companies confiscating bicycles parked on city property, if Toronto should clearly mark off public and private space on its streets.
  • Centauri Dreams studies news that the Stardust probe may have captured bits of the interstellar medium.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports that sun-like Alpha Centauri A and B can both support planets in stable Earth-like orbits.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the impact of changing patterns of snowfall on Arctic ice.
  • Eastern Approaches studies Balkan volunteers in wars abroad, both that of Albanians in the Middle East and of Serbs for Russia in Ukraine.
  • Far Outliers looks at Japan’s farmer-soldiers on the late 19th century Hokkaido frontier.
  • Spacing Toronto favourably reviews the new psychogeography-themed book Unruly Places.
  • Understanding Society points to the massive success of a comparative statistical analysis of historical Eurasian populations.
  • Window on Eurasia links to a photo essay of an empty post-Olympics Sochi.
  • Writing Through the Fog’s Cheri Lucas Rowlands argues that modern social media hinders memoir writing, by making it too easy to publish quickly.
  • Wonkman points out that the problem with subtle homoeroticism in modern popular culture is that, well, it doesn’t need to be subtle any more. What needs to be hidden?

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Crooked Timber’s Daniel Davies writes about the end of his career as a financial analyst.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper discussing the brown dwarfs of 25 Orionis.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that Uranus’ moon system is still evolving, with the moon Cupid being doomed in a relatively short timescale. It also wonders if North Korea is exporting rare earths through China.
  • Far Outliers notes the Ainu legacy in placenames in Japanese-settled Hokkaido.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig examines the complexities surrounding language and dialect and nationality in the Serbo-Croatian speech community in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the terribly high death rate among Europeans in colonial Indonesia, and how drink was used to put things off.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog examines the prevalence of sex-selective abortion in Armenia.
  • Torontoist notes Rob Ford’s many lies and/or incomprehensions about Toronto’s fiscal realities.
  • Towleroad suggests that one way to regularize HIV testing would be to integrate it with dentistry appointments.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a water dispute on the Russian-Azerbaijan border and argues that the election of a pro-Russian cleric to the head of the Ukrainian section of the Russian Orthodox Church is dooming that church to decline.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • Al Jazeera notes the inequitable terms of a trade agreement between the European Union and West Africa, observes that so far north Kazakhstan isn’t vulnerable to Russian irredentism in the same way as east Ukraine, explores the Northern Gateway pipeline controversy, detects Kurdish-Turkmen tension in the city of Kirkuk, and looks at the Japanese-Brazilian community.
  • The Atlantic explains why poor American women increasingly don’t wait for marriage or even relationships to become parents (what else do they have to do?) and notes the successful treatment of a mentally ill bonobo.
  • BusinessWeek notes that authors of best-sellers tend to be successful American presidential candidates, comments on potential problems of Russia’s South Stream pipeline project in Serbia, and notes that more airlines are cutting service to a Venezuela that doesn’t want to pay their costs in scarce American dollars.
  • CBC notes that Scottish independence could cause change in the flag of the United Kingdom, observes the beginning of peace talks in eastern Ukraine, notes the contamination of a salmon river in eastern Quebec by a municipal dump.
  • MacLean’s examines the collapse of the Iraqi military, looks at the psychology of online abusers, and explains the import of some archeological discoveries in Yukon.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • The Big Picture shares pictures of the devastating flooding in the Balkans.
  • Crooked Timber discusses the ethics of immigration, with particular emphasis on the United Kingdom.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of a Neptune-mass planet orbiting nearby brown dwarf Gliese 687.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that increased soot and rising temperatures have been responsible for the shrinkage of the Greenland ice cap since the late 19th century.
  • Far Outliers notes that hundreds of British prisoners of war taken in Singapore were used as forced labourers in the Solomon Islands.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh notes the pressures on the Eurozone for changing policies.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis notes the recent election in India shows the BJP dominating most of India save for the southeast where regionalist parties reign.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a map of his movements around Charlottetown, tracked by social media apps.
  • Steve Munro uses traffic data to suggest that the new articulated buses haven’t improved things on the Bathurst Street route.
  • Torontoist reacts to the recent arrest of a driver of Rob Ford’s Escalade.
  • Transit Toronto examines the various TTC-related locations open for Doors Open this year, including a new streetcar.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that some Tatars in the adjoining republic of Bashkortostan want their territory to secede to Tatarstan.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO has a visual history of the Toronto Islands up.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at GU Piscium b and Beta Pictoris b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper examining two concepts for theoretical nuclear fusion-fueled space drives, one using additional coolant and one not.
  • Eastern Approaches examines the disastrous floods in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Joe. My. God. reports on a study suggesting church attendance is exaggerated by traditional self-reporting methods.
  • Language Log notes the success in the digitization of ancient Persian manuscripts, including of a bilingual Persian/Gujarati Zoroastrian text.
  • Registan notes the influence of the Internet and social media in reshaping Islam in Uzbekistan.
  • Savage Minds features a post by Nick Seaver talking about the ways in which anthropology can get involved with computer-mediated processes, like the algorithms which recommend tunes.
  • Towleroad examines Dolly Parton as a gay icon.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russian academic disinterest in Ukrainian culture and covers the Crimean Tatars’ commemoration of their deportation in the context of Russian occupation.

[FORUM] Is mass war in the 21st century likely?

The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer linked to a blog post by one Martin Skold responding to the Crimean crisis. Skold argues that massive wars like the First World War aren’t likely for six reasons. (I quote Maurer’s summary below.)

1. We have nuclear weapons now, and we don’t make light of them.
2. It is more difficult to hold onto conquered territory, and less useful to try.
3. There is no military conscription in most great powers today, and there are demographic and technological reasons why it is unfeasible.
4. The great powers are broke.
5. Finance is globalized.
6. And finally: people are older, richer, more heavily taxed, more heavily subsidized, and more cynical.

Maurer has some issues with these: “The first two points I agree with. The third is incomplete. The penultimate two are incorrect. And the last is irrelevant.” I’d suggest that the last four points could be compressed to a matter of whether or not people want to incur the costs of waging war, whether by going into debt or introducing conscription. He in turn raises the example of Yugoslav republics opting for war instead of a more rational peaceful settlement of their issues, but I’d suggest that choice was made as a product of previous choices, past history, and ongoing developments that included an “apocalypse culture” borne out of disenchantment with the Titoist order. Yugoslav republics opted for war because they wanted to; if things had gone differently, somehow, they wouldn’t have.

War, just like peace, is an option if we want it. So is mass warfare.

Do we want it? Does anyone especially, whether in eastern Europe or East Asia or elsewhere? What will go on, military wise, in the coming years?


Written by Randy McDonald

May 18, 2014 at 3:58 am

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO shares pictures of Church Street up to the 1980s. The street looks surprisingly different, rather less nice.
  • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly describes a week in her life as a writer.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that Stickney crater on Mars’ larger moon Phobos is ancient, 4.2 billion years old.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Tea Party e-mail lists–ones coordinating opposition to Obamacare–also seem to share a lot of pseudo-medical spam.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer continues to write (1, 2) about the Unted States’ undue problems with residential density.
  • Savage Minds’ Alex Golub is unhappy that Lawrence & Wishart, the publishers who hold the English-language copyrights to the works of Marx and Engels, are getting marxists.org to take the material with rights they own off their website.
  • Torontoist describes how, in the 1960s and 1970s, terrorism by expatriate Yugoslav groups–Croats and Serbs alike–was not uncommon in Toronto.
  • Towleroad shares the first single from the new collaboration by Robyn and Röyksopp.
  • Window on Eurasia links to a historian who argues that Russia needs a new pseudo-Stalinist campaign against cosmopolitans.
  • Wonkman points out that changes in staffing in modern companies–specifically, outsourcing–makes it impossible for young people to advance up the ranks as in the days of yore.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the sponsorship by Google of conferences on Internet policy.

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