A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘luxembourg

[DM] Some links: immigration, cities, small towns, French Canada, Eurasia, China, Brexit, music

Another links post is up over at Demography Matters!

  • Skepticism about immigration in many traditional receiving countries appeared. Frances Woolley at the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative took issue with the argument of Andray Domise after an EKOS poll, that Canadians would not know much about the nature of migration flows. The Conversation observed how the rise of Vox in Spain means that country’s language on immigration is set to change towards greater skepticism. Elsewhere, the SCMP called on South Korea, facing pronounced population aging and workforce shrinkages, to become more open to immigrants and minorities.
  • Cities facing challenges were a recurring theme. This Irish Examiner article, part of a series, considers how the Republic of Ireland’s second city of Cork can best break free from the dominance of Dublin to develop its own potential. Also on Ireland, the NYR Daily looked at how Brexit and a hardened border will hit the Northern Ireland city of Derry, with its Catholic majority and its location neighbouring the Republic. CityLab reported on black migration patterns in different American cities, noting gains in the South, is fascinating. As for the threat of Donald Trump to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities in the United States has widely noted., at least one observer noted that sending undocumented immigrants to cities where they could connect with fellow diasporids and build secure lives might actually be a good solution.
  • Declining rural settlements featured, too. The Guardian reported from the Castilian town of Sayatón, a disappearing town that has become a symbol of depopulating rural Spain. Global News, similarly, noted that the loss by the small Nova Scotia community of Blacks Harbour of its only grocery store presaged perhaps a future of decline. VICE, meanwhile, reported on the very relevant story about how resettled refugees helped revive the Italian town of Sutera, on the island of Sicily. (The Guardian, to its credit, mentioned how immigration played a role in keeping up numbers in Sayatón, though the second generation did not stay.)
  • The position of Francophone minorities in Canada, meanwhile, also popped up at me.
  • This TVO article about the forces facing the École secondaire Confédération in the southern Ontario city of Welland is a fascinating study of minority dynamics. A brief article touches on efforts in the Franco-Manitoban community of Winnipeg to provide temporary shelter for new Francophone immigrants. CBC reported, meanwhile, that Francophones in New Brunswick continue to face pressure, with their numbers despite overall population growth and with Francophones being much more likely to be bilingual than Anglophones. This last fact is a particularly notable issue inasmuch as New Brunswick’s Francophones constitute the second-largest Francophone community outside of Québec, and have traditionally been more resistant to language shift and assimilation than the more numerous Franco-Ontarians.
  • The Eurasia-focused links blog Window on Eurasia pointed to some issues. It considered if the new Russian policy of handing out passports to residents of the Donbas republics is related to a policy of trying to bolster the population of Russia, whether fictively or actually. (I’m skeptical there will be much change, myself: There has already been quite a lot of emigration from the Donbas republics to various destinations, and I suspect that more would see the sort of wholesale migration of entire families, even communities, that would add to Russian numbers but not necessarily alter population pyramids.) Migration within Russia was also touched upon, whether on in an attempt to explain the sharp drop in the ethnic Russian population of Tuva in the 1990s or in the argument of one Muslim community leader in the northern boomtown of Norilsk that a quarter of that city’s population is of Muslim background.
  • Eurasian concerns also featured. The Russian Demographics Blog observed, correctly, that one reason why Ukrainians are more prone to emigration to Europe and points beyond than Russians is that Ukraine has long been included, in whole or in part, in various European states. As well, Marginal Revolution linked to a paper that examines the positions of Jews in the economies of eastern Europe as a “rural service minority”, and observed the substantial demographic shifts occurring in Kazakhstan since independence, with Kazakh majorities appearing throughout the country.
  • JSTOR Daily considered if, between the drop in fertility that developing China was likely to undergo anyway and the continuing resentments of the Chinese, the one-child policy was worth it. I’m inclined to say no, based not least on the evidence of the rapid fall in East Asian fertility outside of China.
  • What will Britons living in the EU-27 do, faced with Brexit? Bloomberg noted the challenge of British immigrant workers in Luxembourg faced with Brexit, as Politico Europe did their counterparts living in Brussels.
  • Finally, at the Inter Press Service, A.D. Mackenzie wrote about an interesting exhibit at the Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration in Paris on the contributions made by immigrants to popular music in Britain and France from the 1960s to the 1980s.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Hamilton, Blacks Harbour, New York City, Byron Bay, Luxembourg

  • Police in Hamilton explain why unauthorized marijuana shops are not easy to shut down. Theirs is a city of laws. Global News reports.
  • The small Nova Scotia community of Blacks Harbour has lost its only grocery store, presaging perhaps a future of decline. Global News reports.
  • New York City is getting congestions pricing for traffic setting a precedent for other cities. VICE reports.
  • Roads and Kingdoms is providing some tips to the Australian surfing resort of Byron Bay.
  • Bloomberg notes the plight of British immigrant workers in Luxembourg faced with Brexit.

[URBAN NOTE] Five cities links: Hamilton, Detroit, Luxembourg, Lisbon, Comrat

  • Mark McNeil at the Hamilton Spectator notes that real estate prices in Hamilton, often thought of as Toronto’s less expensive bedroom community, are also rising very quickly.
  • The VICE article takes a look at the man who created Detroit’s African Bead Museum.
  • The former red-light district of Luxembourg City is also maneuvering to take advantage of the post-Brexit resettlement of Europeans financiers. Bloomberg reports.
  • Architectuul looks at how architects in Lisbon are trying to take advantage of their changing city, to help make it more accessible to all.
  • The Guardian has a photo essay focusing on Comrat, a decidedly Soviet-influenced city that is the capital of the autonomous region of Gagauzia, in Moldova.

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: ancient stars, Great Filter, Luxembourg, uploading, beacons for ET

  • Matt Williams at Universe Today notes that the discovery, by a team of astronomers based in the Canaries, of J0815+4729, an ancient metal-poor star in the Galactic Halo some 13.5 billion years old.
  • Fraser Cain at Universe Today shares a video making the argument that finding extraterrestrial life would be bad for us, since it would suggest the Great Filter lies in our future.
  • David Schrieberg at Forbes notes early signs that the decision of Luxembourg to market itself as a headquarters for the commercial space industry is paying off.
  • Beth Elderkin at Gizmodo interviews a collection of experts to see if the possibility of uploading a human mind, as depicted in (among others) Altered Carbon, is possible. Most seem to think something is imaginable, actually.
  • At Wired, Stephen Wolfram expands upon a blog post of his to consider what sort of archive, containing what sort of information, might be suitable as a beacon for future extraterrestrial civilizations after we are gone.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait considers the real possibility that extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua may have been ejected from the system of a dying star.
  • Centauri Dreams notes new efforts to determine brown dwarf demographics.
  • Crooked Timber shares some research on the rise and fall of Keynesianism after the financial crisis.
  • Hornet Stories shares a decidedly NSFW article about gay sex in Berlin.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the surprisingly high frequency of interspecies sex in the wild.
  • Language Hat notes new efforts to promote the status of the Luxembourgish language in the grand duchy.
  • The LRB Blog notes how a chess tournament hosted in Saudi Arabia has failed badly from the PR perspective.
  • What role does the novelist have in a world where the television serial is moving in on the territory of literature? The NYR Daily considers.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on John Lyons’ book Balcony over Jerusalem, the controversy over the book, and the Middle East generally.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the ominous import of the decent drone attack in Syria against Russian forces.
  • Drew Rowsome praises the 2016 play Mustard, currently playing again at the Tarragon, as a modern-day classic.
  • Spacing features a review of a fantastic-sounding book about the architecture of Las Vegas.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the impact of the very rapid rotation of pulsars about their very shape.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO shares pictures of Toronto’s Polar Bear Dip swimmers.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly describes the culture shock associated with renting an apartment in Paris.
  • Centauri Dreams’ Paul Gilster looks at close encounters between stars in our galaxy.
  • Crooked Timber started a thread aimed at sharing the best political theory and philosophy papers published in recent years.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to papers (1, 2) examining how patterns of dust in protoplanetary disks of young stars might reveal the existence of planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper examining Hadley-like cells in the atmosphere of Venus and notes the decay of China’s rustbelt northeast.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that, rather than preside over civic same-sex marriages, fourteen counties in Florida have abolished court weddings.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig looks at Old Church Slavonic and its alphabets.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the success of the mall in Bangladesh and the decline of the Russian ruble.
  • Savage Minds takes a final look at Zora Neale Hurston as an ethnographer and looks at the relationship of ethnography with writing.
  • Spacing Toronto links to the latest newsletter from Fort York.
  • Strange Maps describes Europe’s “blue banana” conurbation.
  • Towleroad notes marriage equality in Luxembourg and the political uses of homophobia in Slovakia.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that foreigners can now serve in the Russian military, suggests Russia seeks Ukraine’s fragmentation, and warns Putin’s entourage might try to get rid of him to save themselves.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Claus Vistesen at Alpha Sources notes that the Italian economy has slipped back into recession.
  • blogTO identifies ten secret things in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at gas giants with very unusual, even misaligned, orbits around their local suns.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one study on the internal geology of silicon-carbon worlds and to another on the moderating impact of oceans on planetary climates.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the Indian military buildup in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and links to a study suggesting that even the very early Earth might have been hospitable towards life.
  • Geocurrents features a guest post from Will Rayner pointing out ways in which statistics can lie (Luxembourg looks very wealthy, but this is an artifact of a huge day-commuter workforce coming from outside of its frontiers).
  • Joe. My. God. reports that the Egyptian police seem to be using Grindr to hunt down gay men for arrests.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the ethnographic justification for the Soviet invasion and partition of Poland.
  • Spacing Toronto points to an upcoming photo exhibit showcasing Toronto’s tower neighbourhoods.
  • Torontoist reports on the success of urban agriculture as an experiment in New York City.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the deteriorating situation of Crimean Tatars and suggests Russia is preparing to move into the Baltic States.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO lists five classic Toronto signs at risk of disappearing.
  • Centauri Dreams discusses plans for really, really big telescope arrays.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that young star HD 169142 appears to be forming both a brown dwarf and its own planetary system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the use of a laser by the US Navy to accelerate a projectile to speeds of one thousand kilometres a second.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel reports on the last major uprising of the Ainu against the Japanese, in 1789.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a report from some American homophobes claiming that lesbians, owing to their left-wing ideological commitments, are a big threat than gay men.
  • Language Log examines a sign blending Mandarin and Cantonese.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a news report suggesting readers absorb less from online reading than they do from paper.
  • Peter Rukavina maps his travels over the summer.
  • Spacing Toronto notes concerns over the cost of the high-speed rail connection to Pearson airport.
  • Torontoist notes Rob Ford’s newest conflict of interest allegations.
  • Towleroad talks about Luxembourg’s openly gay prime minister, set to marry his partner.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes problems regarding the protection of eagles and religious freedom issues regarding holding eagle feathers for religious reasons.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on claims by activists that Russia must federalize or disintegrate.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Big Picture shares pictures of Muslims around the world celebrating the beginning of Ramadan.
  • BlogTO notes that RuPaul recently visited Toronto.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait explores the star SBW1, a star about to go supernova.
  • D-Brief and io9 both report on the recent successful womb transplants in Sweden.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that, on re-analysis, the very old star HIP13044 does not have a hot Jupiter.
  • Geocurrents’ Asya Pereltsvaig notes the prominence of Ukrainian ultranationalists–the Svoboda party–in the ongoing protests in Ukraine.
  • Joe. My. God., Towleroad, and the Volokh Conspiracy all note the recent passage of very strongly anti-gay laws in Nigeria, laws which prohibit even social gatherings. David Mixner’s analysis at Towleroad should be read.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is skeptical about the excessive hyping of masculinity by authors claiming to be very masculine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer takes a look at how Syrian refugees are doing. (Surprising fact: apparently one-third of people living in Lebanon are Syrian refugees.>
  • Towleroad notes that Luxembourg is likely to get marriage equality by the end of the year and links to a Vice documentary on hidden gay life in Russia.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the recent conviction of a Mauritanian on charges of apostasy. He now faces the death penalty.
  • Window on Eurasia links to a Russian magazine article summarizing the many failed opportunities of Russia to be an enthusiastic colonial power, from Tobago to Thailand to Tabriz and even off-world.

[LINK] “The Anomalous Success of Luxembourg”

GeoCurrentEvents’ Martin Lewis notes how Luxembourg is a success story in multiple ways. For instance, it has successfully forged a national identity distinct from that of its neighbours, including the Germany that was at one point a co-lingual polity.

Unlike Belgium, Luxembourg has been able to generate a fairly solid sense of national identity. This process was helped by the partitions of the formerly multi-lingual Grand Duchy, whose French-speaking areas were annexed by France and Belgium. The German-speaking rump-state sought to culturally differentiate itself from Germany by elevating its own local dialect to a national language after World War II. From a linguistic standpoint, Luxembourgish (Letzeburgesch, locally) is a French-influenced variant of a group of local Germanic dialects known as Moselle Franconian. The boundaries between Germanic dialects do not correspond with national boundaries anywhere in the greater Netherlands, as the 1890 German dialect map posted above shows. Local dialects, however, are in decline, gradually being replaced by national languages. Outside of Luxembourg, Moselle Franconian is yielding to standard German to the east and north and French to the south and west. Inside the country, it is thriving. Due both to its national status and to the fact that speakers of standard German cannot generally understand it, Luxembourgish is now classified as a language rather than a mere dialect.

After noting Luxembourg’s status as a tax shelter, Lewis notes how Luxemourg and other microstates are at once vestiges of the feudal past and key components of the post-modern world-system.

Europe’s feudal remnants, incongruous bits of territory that escaped state-building aggregation, are often viewed as quaint anachronisms. But Luxembourg and Lichtenstein can also be viewed as highly important and utterly modern geo-political formations: small places that have leveraged their anomalous sovereignty into lucrative positions in the global financial system. Whether the roles that they have carved out for themselves serve the interests of the world at large is another question.

Go, read.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm