Case Study: Super Power and Super-City: Part 2 (The Many Schisms Between The United States and Singapore)

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Welcome to Part 2 of our three part exploration of Singapore and the United States; Part 1 is available and Part 3 is en route.

How Are Urbanization Types In The United States and Singapore Different?

The type of urbanization in the two countries is radically different.  The ratio between urban and rural populations changes between countries.

The United States has 17.1% of its population in rural areas and 82.29% of its population in urban areas.  All of Singapore is urbanized.  In comparison to the United States Singapore’s total land area seems little more than rounding error.

In addition the average space that each per individual is drastically different.  In the United States there is an average 29471 square meters of land per citizen.  In Singpore, there are only 138 square meters per resident in the country.

How Does Land Use Affect Consumer Baskets?

The differences in the nations affect the local economics of each country.  The United States and Singapore have different needs because of their different composition of their respective consumer baskets.

The largest difference is housing.  Singapore residents cram into massive apartment buildings.  In America there is a great diversity of homes.  Americans live in everything from apartments in the inner cities, condos in developments, suburban homes with spacious yards, farms with acres of crops, and isolated cabins.  This greater, more inefficient range, of housing coupled with the American value of owning a home means Americans pay more for housing.  Meanwhile, Singaporean residents can spend their extra funds on more food and beverages, health, and recreation.

Part 1, the exploration of the dissimilar populations of the United States and Singapore, is available.

Part 3 is available.: We explore the similarites between Singapore and the United States in our interconnected world.

Sourcing

FAOSTAT. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://faostat.fao.org/site/666/default.aspx&gt;. 

“Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U. S. City Average, by Expenditure Category and Commodity and Service Group.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t01.htm&gt;.

 Singapore Government Statistics. Web. 31 Oct. 2011 <http://www.singstat.gov.sg/news/news/cpifeb2011.pdf>

 “Owning a House Still a ‘core Value,’ May Survey Suggests | Hernando Today.” Hernando Today | Hernando Today. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.

<http://www2.hernandotoday.com/business/business/2011/jul/02/HANEWSO5-owning-a-house-still-a-core-value-may-sur-ar-241296/&gt;. 

Education and The State: The Many Unique Methods of Breeding Culture and Human Capital

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classroom

Education has taken a new form in every civilization it has blessed.  John Dewey, a famed philosopher of modern teaching, identifies education as a societal schooling of the populace, based on principles, “founded upon the intrinsic activities and needs (including original instincts and acquired habits) of the given individual to be educated.”  Each unique civilization cultivates its personalized education system to protect itself and develop its intentions.  The goal of education is to best prepare a nation’s populace to sustain that nation; each spectrum of education, ranging between the athleticism of ancient Sparta, the liberal intellectualism of America, and the specialization of Germany, synergizes a unique educational system based on the necessities of the environment and ethos of the population to meet this goal.

Spartans’ education emphasizes military supremacy.  Rebellious territories and a weak agricultural sector allows King Lycurgus to create the first recognized educational system in the 9th century BC.  His goal is to create indomitable warriors who would be unsurpassable in physical athleticism, unmatchable in military tenacity, and endlessly loyal to Sparta.  In addition to Lycurgus’s objectives, Sparta place value on its fraternity with absolute obedience, valorous courage, and noble self sacrifice.  This Spartan zeitgeist was immortalized by Tyrtseus’s principled thoughts, “It is a noble thing to be in the front of the battle and die bravely fighting for one’s country.” The diehard camaraderie of the nation is the most central aspect of the civilization and that lesson taught throughout the Spartan’s education.  This nation of soldiers was unified by the threat of obliteration and was forged into an unstoppable regional power through its education.

The methods behind Spartan military supremacy are seen through their aggressive practices.  The trials of war began at birth; prospective baby Spartans were analyzed by councils of soldiers.  Babies with any imperfection were killed off or groomed for slavery, so they would not contaminate the race.  Upon boys reaching the age of seven they were put in public barracks, where they would train continuously with other boys in the methods of war.  This is the Spartan school.  Obedience would be infused into the recruit through whips and beatings.  Spartan fraternity was sculpted from the unified purpose of their shared education.  Self sufficiency was impressed in young Spartans; food was deliberately made scarce so the youth would be encouraged to steal their own sustenance.   As children matured into adults they would organize into military legions and receive education the use of heavy weapons.  When the boys reach age twenty they are declared Irenes. They would be promoted to the status of soldiers and spend their careers training with regular raids on the Helots, enslaved farmers, and wars with conflicting city states.  The children’s education straightforwardly trains them to be warriors.  The indomitable warriors of Spartan education are the end product of Lycurgus’s dream.  Future civilizations would learn from the Spartans original educational model.

In America, everyone is educated so they may achieve any lifestyle.  Since its foundation America has been greatly concerned with maintaining equal rights for all valued citizens.  As the country has modernized American unyielding desire for uniformly equal rights enabled education for the entire population.  The American educational system builds on this characteristic with core belief that the United States is a  meritocracy.  Americans call this concept, “rugged individualism.” They believe people must succeed or fail based solely on their own merits.  This belief is reflected in the liberal education model in America.  Regardless of personal inclinations or future plans all students are legally required to be schooled equally in a middle-of the-road education that prepares students a wide variety of careers.  Academic valedictorians and would-be dropouts sit side by side in the idealized American school.

The methodologies of America’s liberal education reflect its stone soup approach.  There are several distinct levels of education, each with the objective of enforcing a broad education upon every citizen.  In this manner every child is given equal opportunities.  Children generally go to preprimary schools at age three where they are taught how to be educated.  Subsequent tiers of education, elementary school and high school, build a foundation of skills which are applicable skills across a range of possible jobs.  After high school students are given the option to continue schooling or start a career.  The American ethos allows young adults to pursue whatever tract of life they want regardless of their action’s financial affordability.  Each citizen has equal rights and therefore decides their own education.  The merit of each student determines their success. The American education system is just framework which fosters student’s merit-based growth.  While success or failure is in the hands of American students other modern countries give far fewer options to their residents.

The German educational model establishes a middle ground between the extremes of the Spartan athleticism and American liberalism.  Since the Prussians dominated German culture nationalism has directed the German zeitgeist and it has become an underlying influence to German education.  Learning revolves around the state; by building the best civility the German society is guarantees its own survival.  Compulsory education forces children to become useful, they are not permitted from abstaining from their unwritten cultural duties, Germans feel, “one may choose among schools, but for most it is unthinkable that children do not go to school.” Everyone learns to maximize their utility.  By having the best collective nation the Germans endeavor to have the best collective human capital.

German schools are more strict than their American counterparts, but they are less war oriented than the Spartans.  German education begins at age six when kids are enrolled in Grundschule to learn basic language and math skills.  During this level of their education secondary school options are compiled by overseeing adults and algorithms.  Second tier of German schooling is branched into four separate paths; Hauptschule, Gesamtschule, Realschule, or Gymnasium.  Each type of education unique; schools like the Hauptschule direct students towards manual labor, the Gesamtschule and the Realschule train students for more complex and intellectual jobs, and the Gymnasium educates the innovators, engineers, and scientists of Germany.  In all of these specialized schools there is a strong emphasize on internships and on the job training to teach student life skills while preparing them for their careers.  The end result of the German education system is a diverse work force full of specialized labors who collaborate to do what is best for the country.  This model limits options, but maximizes potential.

The perceived needs and underlying values of these three societies were met by their respective educations.  Sparta thought warriors were needed and prized fraternity, so soldiers were educated.  America values equal rights and rugged individualism and gave its citizens an education that combines meritocracy with rugged individualism.  The Germans wanted the best worker on the assembly line and best experts fostering the next generation; their multi-tier educational system is a manifestation of these ideals.  Each of these systems of education made their countries powerful and respected by creating a more adaptable population.  The immediate importance of an nationwide education is an empowered citizenry; however, the more significant reward comes from spreading that education at every opportunity to better lives of everyone on Earth.  From this altruism comes joy and prosperity.

Developing Countries Hoodwinked: Ditch (of) Free Trade

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3rd world work force
While free trade is the optimum interdependence policies of developed countries it does not aid developing nations.

Free trade endeavors to help workers in developing countries; the problem is that it cannot succeed in our cut-throat, capitalist world.  When corporations go into developing countries they are not being philanthropic: they want to make money.  In order to succeed in our globalized world, companies purge themselves of humanity and squeeze every last cent out of their production.  This is not necessarily good or bad, it is just how the world of business works.

Growths of industries in developing countries create working class jobs.  This class of jobs is both rudimentary and menial.  Some examples are textiles, agriculture, and manufactured devices.  They do not build human capital or financial gains; they are effectively powerless to better themselves.  Karl Marx mourns them as: “that class of modern wage labourers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour power in order to live.”

These laborers in developing countries, who have opened themselves to free trade, are arrested by wage slavery.  Their occupations pay them just enough to live, but not a cent more.  Free trade, cut-throat capitalism, and nations full of alternative workers guarantee that payrolls will be capped at the living wage.  Budding domestic industries, termed infant industries, are unable to thrive because full-fledged foreign competition steamroll over them.  Once infected by free trade developing countries are in an unfavorable position to ever become developed.

Ayn Rand, the most important philosopher on capitalism, believes that free trade is along the optimal path for economics.  However, she also knows that under free trade, “the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.”  Developed countries are benefited, while developing countries are left by the wayside.

In conclusion, free trade is not the solution for developing nations because it polarizes their populations into numbed working classes, trapped in loops wage slavery and human capital erosion until a new force, perhaps protectionism, stems the drudgery.  If not, developing nations are, “consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.”

United States v. Jones: The Struggle Between Privacy and Big Data

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il divino - there's two types of berets

The Supreme Court Mediates Between Constitutional Rights, Security, and Mechanical Surveillance

Law enforcement is increasingly utilizing man’s best friend: gadgets.

Everything from surveillance cameras to radar guns are common tools in the modern police arsenal.  With the advances in modern technology equipment such as GPS’s, global positioning systems, are increasingly used in the war on crime to track criminal and their transports.  These technological interventions are awakening questions about the legality of using these tools of Big Data for small, potential crimes.  The Supreme Court’s Case of United States v. Jones frames the grand struggle between historic, constitutional rights and security with the modern forces of Big Data and individual’s privacy.

What Is United States v. Jones?

In January 2008 Antione Jones was arrested on the charges of narcotics violations.  Issues arose with the conviction when his lawyer claimed that the police disregarded the Fourth Amendment during the investigation.  The police had used a GPS hidden on Jones’s car to track his movements  The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures or invasions of privacy; police are required to get a warrant for all significant investigations.  There was not a warrant for the GPS.

Were the Police Acting Illegally?

The police are not out of line, the law is just not up to date with the current technology.

There was a precedent for the GPS.  In 1983 the Supreme Court handed down a verdict on United States v. Knotts.  A warrantless radio beeper had been used by the police to track a barrel of chloroform, which was intended to be used for the production of illegal drugs, being transported by Knotts.  The Supreme Court upheld the decision, with the beeper’s evidence, to convict Knotts.  They ruled the police are empowered their abilities to use the latest technology to protect the country.

How is Jones Arguing His Case?

Jones’s case is built on the vast differences between an archaic beeper and a modern GPS.  A beeper plots one journey and had close police supervision.  The modern GPS pinged Jones’s location once every ten minutes for twenty-eight days.  The police obtained 4032 points of reference, but for the majority of the time they are attending to other duties as the data accumulated.

The Supreme Court is concerned that weakening the Fourth Amendment further, by allowing the warrantless use GPS and like technologies, could spell disaster in the Age of Big Data.  This is because GPS location will be common place in every device.  The possibilities for the future are a touch too Orwellian for their tastes; if police are not required to get warrants then every piece of technology could become a people tracker.

What Precisely is Big Data?

Big Data is an umbrella term for analysis and conclusions concerning of massive data sets, these can be everything from secondly GPS pings to every transaction on Wall Street.  Some of the pioneering Big Data studies have already created staggering results; one algorithm derived from Big Data could predict a cell phone user’s positions within a square mile ninety percent of the time.

The possibilities for future applications are endless.

What are the Implications Pertaining To Big Data of United States v. Jones?

If it is ruled that warrants are not needed big data may evolve into a tool of transparent tyranny.  Smart devices will fence in the frontiers of privacy because police and invested third parties will be able to track every step of everybody.  However, corporations and research institutes will more easily be able to use smart devices to explore the new frontier of Big Data and construct world-changing algorithms as fast as possible.

If the Supreme Court rules warrants are needed, which is the morally correct decision, and then our Fourth Amendment rights will be upheld at the expense of world-changing big data.  Invested third parties, searching to profit or learn from the Big Data we all produce, will find it increasingly hard to ascertain the statistics needed to make workable algorithms because the stronger Fourth Amendment will protect smart device users more broadly.   Big Data’s growth will be stunted because analysts simply will not have the data necessary to make quantitative decisions.

The decades of the twenty-first century will be named by the technologies dominating them; 2000-2009 will be the Age of the Internet and 2010-2019 will be the Age of Big Data.  Here, with United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court is adding their personal footnote for the future of America.

Case Study: Super Power and Super-City: Part 1 (The Zeitgeists and Populations of The United States and Singapore)

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SIngapore
Every country is unique.  For example the United States is a titan in the world markets, dominates the global economy, and plays a massive role in international policy.  Meanwhile, the microscopic Singapore is a tiny mosquito buzzing around the elephant United States; its has its own agenda and it’s own unique traits.  These two nations have radical differences in aspects of their population, domestic economies, and land usage while sharing stunning similarities in the fields of industry growth and human capital strengthening; the United States and Singapore prove how despite nations being culturally different that they share an socioeconomic fate.

What is the Population’s Dynamic in the United States?

The United States’s population is appears uniform until a closer look is taken.  Generally, the country produces a uniform citizenship at roughly 20 million citizens for every lustrum.  After the 60 years old benchmark the amounts of citizens is skewed right with not even a million above 90 years of age due to human life constraints.  In total there are roughly 309 million Americans.

American population is heavily marked by its history.  There are two notable bulges in the population, between the ages of 45 and 59 and between 15 and 29.  These differentiations are the baby boomers and their offspring.  Soldiers returning from World War Two founded large families and kicked off a population boom on an unprecedented scale.  The core of the veteran’s children were born between 1950 and 1965.   These children are in the 45-59 year of age in the chart.  The children of the baby boomers are born between 1981 and 1995.  They comprise of the younger age mean between the ages of 15 and 29.  It is little surprise that in the United States that the median age of births is roughly 30.5 in the United States, which is also the mean age difference between these two generations.

What is the Population’s Dynamic of Singapore?

Singapore is a different story than the United States.  Her uneven population growth grows a mode between 20 and 29.  The data is most heavily skewed right.  There is also a small skew to the left for the younger generations.  In total there are roughly 4.84 million people.

Singapore’s population growth was swollen by the country’s conflicting population control polices.  As the Singaporean baby boomers, following World War Two, filled up the country during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  The government feared overpopulation of the small city state.  Following the Family Planning and Population Board Act of 1965 measures were taken to drastically reduced population growth.  Easy access to abortions, government funded voluntary sterilizations, and Orwellian slogans of “Stop at Two” filled the culture.  The effects of these measures can be seen in the relatively low populations between those aged 30 and 45.

By the early 1980’s new leadership feared the anti baby measures had been too effective.  Contradicting legislation was enacted.  Educated mother were encouraged with cash subsidies to have a third child.  For those who wanted to get abortion stringent guidelines and compulsory counseling.  The late 1980’s measures culminated with the slogan “Have Three or More (if you can afford it)3 in 1986.  This year rests directly between the populations aged 20 and 29, currently the years with the highest populations for Singaporean males and females.

Parts 2 is available: We explore the differences between the urbanizations, consumer baskets, and effects of these differences of these these polar extremes.

Part 3 is available.: We explore the similarites between Singapore and the United States in our interconnected world.

Sourcing

Graphs: “International Programs – – U.S. Census Bureau.” Census Bureau Home Page. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/country.php&gt;. 

1-“List of Countries by Population.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population&gt;. 

2-“Stop At Two Campaign Singapore | ‘Stop at 2’ Campaign Works Too Well; Singapore Urges New Baby Boom – Los Angeles Times.” Featured Articles From The Los Angeles Times. 21 June 1987. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://articles.latimes.com/1987-06-21/news/mn-8983_1_baby-boom&gt;. 

3- “Population Control in Singapore.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_Singapore&gt;.

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