Sunday, October 5, 2008

Readings for October 6, 2008

Japan is experiencing a demographic crisis: the largest part of the population is going to be at or over retirement age soon, the young people needed to maintain Japan's pension system just aren't being created, because the young people aren't getting married as early or having as many children. What's the response? Move to developing Asian countries like the Philippines or Thailand, naturally. The U.S. does not seem to be on this trajectory, and I would suspect it has immigration to thank for that. Japan, this year, announced that they would begin raising the number of gaijin that could study, live, and work here. Probably because they need the bodies.

Here is discussed the fallacy of thinking about Strategic Communication (a synonym for Public Diplomacy) as orchestra. Matt Armstrong would have the group operating less as a symphony and more as an improv outfit, so that flat notes and lines astray of the theme are less noticeable. I like this way of thinking and I can't help but feel like I suggested operating in these terms (granted, I did not know that Public Diplomacy was a State Department entity) a few years back. The more I read Matt Armstrong's blog, the more I feel like there is a community with whom to work using these conceptions.

  • War & Health a blog by Christopher Albon, PhD candidate at UC-Davis
Here's an interesting area of overlap: public health and armed conflict. I like that the author explicitly states he will not rant and rave. I should try to emulate his example.

My internship with the Anti-Prejudice Consortium and my Thesis were focused on understanding how racism in embodied (i.e. how gender might effect understanding racism) and tracing out the history of how racism has been studied over the past century. The most recent research has been on aversive racism, where the agents don't think of themselves as racist yet act in a racially-biased manner consistently. Nicholas D. Kristof introduces the concept to his readers, but doesn't really go anywhere with it, simply suggesting that racism may cost Obama somewhere around 6% of the potential votes for him.

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