Monday, December 21, 2009

Intro World Current 103C: Dead Aid

>>Continued from an previous article

Uneasiness in Nicaragua

So, talking about my experience with Globalization. I also have some sort of doubt for rich countries "aiding" developing nations. Not the whole thing itself but I question some part of it. One of the reasons come from my previous experience when I visited there with my college friends from Friends World Program.

We did a several activities including interviewing an JICA's officer at their office Managua. Also we visited a site where a group of American high school kids were helping build houses for the poor locals.

Honestly I was feeling a sort of uneasiness already at this moment. But I wasn't sure if that was from what I simply sensed or just a biased taught comes from my head.

Actually, those US high schoolers were already saying that donating money and things to the Nicaraguan poor doesn't really help them. They said because it just made them wait, instead of working hard on their own to get their needs. And it might be just satisfying the riches' ego that they are doing something "good".

So, I agreed.

Anyway, we gave the Nicaraguan poor no shoes, no clothes, nothing. Instead, we spent time together helping build their houses, piling up bricks and carrying the materials.

We related to them in this way because of an new theory: better teach how to get foods rather than giving the foods.

However, this was only one shot project, so I again got quite confused. I was one of those from rich countries who can move around by transportation. Just like making a stop by when feel like. So I thought, for the locals, it was like that curious outsiders come by, did a thing or two, got satisfied and went back. I remember I was so moved by this field trip.


As a typical middle-class from Japan, I valued very much a kind of cross-cultural experience like this. More youth generations are learning a wide variety of realities and cultural differences. And those new generation are getting linked and sharing thoughts n visions. Some are already starting to work hard to design a better global social structure.

Anyway, so for now, Viva cross-cultural communication!

What you know n don't know, got experiences or not, if you can manage yourself or not, if you can get an emotional attachment or not, everything you think is important.

But before that, I gotta get over my personal challenge that I gotta get better diplomatic skills to communicate smoothly with a certain kind of people.

Alright, then, everybody double genki up in your field!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Intro World Current 103B: 無駄な援助,Dead Aid

>> continued from an previous article

Dambisa Moyo

I strongly sympathize with what Dambisa Moyo says on her book Dead Aid. And I'm also somewhat encouraged that a person like her finally stood up and came out to the global media. I'd like to see n hear more voice like hers in the world politics n economy.

You can check her interviews on youtube:

1. on bloom burg, 3/26/2009
2. at Oxford Literacy Festival, 4/17/2009
3. on Norway's news program, with a Norwegian politician, 4/18/2009

Sacrifice or Cooperation

During my stay in Latin American countries and India, I've heard a lot of a similar voice from locals saying, "we gotta say NO to them". Here, a meaning of "we" stands for those local peasants and/or manual laborers and "them" implies the system of capitalistic people n stuff.

Anyway, the way I understand an social issue like this is, "Leave us alone outsiders, we take care of ourselves on our own. You say aid but you just want more controlling power by taking our natural resource and cash it."

However, one thing I get confused is a reality that an international relation, or call it sacrifice or cooperation, is actually what our nations' prosperity based on. So, it is hard to point out only negative elements of the issue and deny the whole thing since it could possibly denies a base of our daily life.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Intro World Current 103A: Africa Now

taken from

Those who are into an international relation between European n African countries in politics n economy may know already tho, today I wanna talk about Dambisa Moyo.

Elite from Africa

Recently I learned about this London based economist. She is an author of Dead Aid, published in the spring 2009. The book soon became the New York Times Best Seller.

According to Financial Times, "Moyo, who is in her thirties, was born in Zambia. Her father, the son of a South African mineworker, is an academic and anti-corruption campaigner; her mother, the chairwoman of the Indo-Zambian bank."

So she is an wow elite, she got a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and MBA in finance at the American University in DC., a Masters form Harvard University and completed a PhD in Economics at Oxford University.

Excuse me, stay outside.

In her book, she basically says that all the "aid" from rich countries to Africa actually makes Africa's situation much worse. Unfortunately, it causes opposite of a desired result.

The "aid" money Europeans have been put doesn't reach to those in need, but it actually profits a small per cent of politicians n brokers. This eventually cause more corruption n inflation all over, and local operation get taken over by the capital so that peasants can't feed themselves.

Here again, we can see a popular mechanism "the rich get richer n the poor get poorer".

"Most Brits would be irritated if Michael Jackson started offering advice on how to resolve the credit crisis. Americans would be put out if Amy Winehouse went to tell them how to end the housing crisis. I don't see why Africans shouldn't be perturbed for the same reasons", she also says when asked about those Rock stars n Hollywood bigmans campaigning "save Africa".

I big up her for real. Speaking out straight, pointing out whats wrong with policies, n coming up with an alternative. And what I think whats important is that she is African from there. And she used to work for World Bank and Goldman Sachs, so she got reasons n her voice has a lot of meanings.

Turing over what had been said to be common sense about Africa, like "ohh poor Africans, war, hunger, poverty... so misrable. ok, let me aid you". And I think it is so valuable what she says.

In spring 2009, she was selected as The 2009 TIME 100 by Times Magazine.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Introduction World Current 102: Perspective Reconsideration

The force of number: 数の論理

I've thought about what really "common sense" in Japan is. Think think, n re-think. I did understand the idea but I couldn't be sure who really drew the line. And I looked at those who taught us what it is now.

Im talking about the force of number in our system.

I think they are pretty well off in our society. Also their opinion, especially collective opinion, is said to be strong so that their voice tend to get carried out than those peasants out there.

Now we have this mass media. Yomiuri, Asahi, Nikkei, n more. But what is it that a purpose of this mass media?

What if you could manipulate the mass media, what would you wanna publicize? Can be many things, no. And possibly you could make up some stories, add some visual n sound effects, using some applications n pug-ins. That would be some interesting work, no.

Ok, so think, if all that is done to information itself? Who really educated them n why?

Public control: 大衆管理

This gotta be a well planned strategy that we don't even suspect anything anybody. However any form of ruling the mass exist world wide n its systems been around forever.

Alright, now looking at "international news". And think once again, who really are they broadcasting those news? What are they n where do they live? And look at their stockholders.

Now, aren't they, who fund the mass media, all friends? Doesn't matter if news talk about petroleum, energy, nuclear, crops, or investment itself, the mass media all talk with the same perspective.

Back to common sense. Is whatever that is really true or just that you are taught to believe in?

So I guess you jus do what you want n say what you want. Meanwhile, if you are in Japan, don't forget to remain being modest.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Introduction World Current 101: Perspective

Interest in the world

I'm so interested in what's goin on in the world.

During my 20's, I lived in Tennessee, California, Idaho, Costa Rica, Mexico, India, Kyoto, New York, n now I'm in Shitamachi Tokyo. It's been around more than a couple of cultures.

Even after my return to home, I learn a different perspective on the topic with Ken-U and Ma$amatixxx. It's so worthy to have friends like them.

Checking some online news n magazines, I focus on Who does What n How, and read n read trying to see things from more than one perspective as much as possible since Japanese mass media isn't functioning. People in those major companies work their ass off tho. Their TV news n news papers kinda miss digging for Who does What, How n Why. In my eyes, their stand point just isn't supposed to dig, especially, news relating to global politics n economy.

Independent International Journalist

Trying to satisfy my intellectual curiosity about the world, I check

This site really helped me right after the 911 happened. Following the US news channels like CNN n reading Japanese news sites online, but I wasn't getting anything. Then, read his news report. He wasn't saying anything like what the mass media was broadcasting. I slowly came to be certain that his analyses are credible.

If you are interested in world current and can read in Japanese, you gotta check this site.