Case Study: Super Power and Super-City: Part 3 (The Diverse Similarities Between The United States and Singapore)

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How Are The Finances of the United States and Singapore Similar?

Financially these two countries are interconnected in our globalized world.  Here are both countries GDP percentage growths for the last thirty years:

These countries are associated financially.  In 1982, 1991, 2001, and 2009 sharp canyons affect both lines of data.  Each gulf corresponds directly to a specific global recession.  The 1982 dip is backlash from the 1980’s energy crises.  The inflation epidemic of the early 1990’s caused the 1991 recession.  Popping of the internet bubble in 2001 caused a major dip in both countries.  Finally, fallout from the 2008 banking crises is seen in the 2008 and 2009 chasm.

Only in 1998 does Singapore act independently from the United States.  During this year Singapore was negatively influenced by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.  Despite being thousands of miles away from this regional problem there is a noticeable stun in America’s economic growth as well.  These several associated data points mean these countries are financially related.

Are Measurements of Human Capital Similar?

Human capital is an abstract term that attempts to quantify the collective value of the education and habits of a citizenship.  One good indicator of this is Internet usage; access to international data and technologies revolutionizes education at home, in schools, and in the workplace.  Below is a comparison between the United States and Singapore numbers of internet users.

The data is skewed left with a steady incremental increase every year until both counties.  At 2002 for the United States and 2004 for Singapore the data levels off and the numbers of new internet users decreases.  The United States pioneered the Internet, so they have more widely spread usage.  However, Singapore follows the United States timeline closely; during most years the numbers of internet users in Singapore is the same percentage of users the United States had two years prior.  Here is the Internet usages growth compared in relation to each other at this staggered relation:

In this examination the positive values represent when Americans gained more internet users than the Singaporean and the negative values represent when the Singaporeans gained more users than the Americans.  The same internet bubble that exploded in the GDP growth percentages can be seen building in both countries.  Between 1998 and 1999 the Americans lose smaller and smaller incriminates as they rapidly proliferate the first internet startups.  Following two years behind, in 2000 and 2001, Singapore establishes record numbers of internet users as the internet bubble balloons over Eastern Asia.  These statistics are all interconnected just as the countries are.

What Lessons can America take from the Singapore?

The primary lesson from this analysis is that we are all connected.  When America triggered a recession by bankrupting Lehmean Brothers in 2008 it triggered a recession that terrorized Singapore.  Likewise, when the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis rocked Singapore America was also negatively affected.  However, this relationship works both ways.  The Internet has brought a new age of prosperity to America and Singapore.  Perhaps their architecture techniques will return to America and allow us to better utilize our own space.  As the world grows more globalized the altruistic options only proliferate.

Thank you for Reading Part 3 of our Case Study of the populstions  Singapore and the United States: Please Read Part 1 and Part 2 for the full perspective.

Sources

“Inflation, Consumer Prices (annual %) | Data | Table.” Data | The World Bank. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/FP.CPI.TOTL.ZG&gt;.

“List of Recessions in the United States.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 31 Oct. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recessions_in_the_United_States&gt;. 

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Terrorism 2.0: Al Qaeda’s Terrorism Disseminated To New Independent Radicals (The TEA Party of the Middle East)

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20110729 Jihadist websites tempt Mauritanian boys | المواقع الجهادي تغوي الشبان الموريتانيين | Les sites web djihadistes, une tentation pour les jeunes Mauritaniens

Featured: The Recruiting Office For New Terrorists

The Arab Spring is a double-edged sword: on one hand it lays the groundwork for democracy in the Middle East while in other regions untraceable terrorism is proliferated.  This dark threat is Terrorism 2.0.

What is Terrorism 2.0?

Moroccan authorities recently broke up two terrorist cells who were planning to attack police stations, French journalists, and Jewish businesses in Casablanca.  Saudi authorities have worked tirelessly over the last several years and have captured over 149 terrorists as well.

These arrests are notable because these cells never trained with or contacted Al Qaeda.  The only linking thread between the two is their terrifying ideology.  The zeitgeist of terrorist threat has become more nebulous as more independent cells threaten international stability.

Who Are These Independent Terrorists?

They are the foot soldiers of Terrorism 2.0.

Regardless of where new terrorists crop up all recruits have several similar characteristics.  First, they are indignant and horrified by perceived Western aggressions against Islam.  Second, economic, political, and social woes are largely attributed to the “Western menace.” Finally, converts join with fanatic groups to carry out plots of death and destruction.  That is what makes them terrorists.

Al Qaeda previously scooped up these radicals, crafting them into walking bombs.  That was Terrorism 1.0; today we live in a brave new world.  After a decade of full-fledged war against Al Qaeda new converts now have to train themselves because Al Qaeda is too weak to train them.  Members of Terrorism 2.0 plot in Internet forums and work independently from any central organization.

New terrorists have little training, but they are hard to pick out of the larger population.  Al Qaeda is now more of a social movement than a structure organization.  These independent terrorists are just well publicized guerrillas.  Regardless, they are still a notable threat.

Is Islam a Religion For Terrorists?

No.

Islam is inherently a good and ethical religion.  For example, one of the core values Islam stresses alms giving.  Islamic priests preach the same moral qualities that their Christian counterparts do.  The only major distinction between the religions is that Islam believes in religious prophets after Jesus, culminating with Muhammad, and Christians do not.  The majority of followers of the Islamic faith, Muslims, do not subscribe to any part of the extremist philosophy that has made Islam infamous.

Many uneducated critics point to the term of Jihad to justify contempt of Muslims.  Jihad not a reason to hate Islam, instead it is a core justification behind why the faith is a good.  This term has many definitions, ranging from a tough internal struggle to a secular war in the defense of Islam.  At its heart, Jihad is the goal of every Muslims to aspire to do the right thing despite external coercion and internal desires.  This is the same value taught to kindergarteners.  There is nothing inherently threatening about Jihads.

How Should We View Terrorism 2.0?

The independent terrorists are the TEA Party of the Middle East.

Both are simply religious fanatics acting on rampant bigotry.  For example, both share anti-Semitic targets and religiously conservative methodologies.  Only the specific religion of the two is different; the TEA Party has Christianity while the Muslim terrorists have Islam.  Both faiths are equally dangerous in these wrong hands.

Only once Jihad is polarized to the point of suicide bombings does it become dangerous.  Of course, Christianity is also dangerous once it has been weaponized by the TEA Party and fired upon minorities, such as the homosexual population.

Terrorism 2.0 is already epidemic in the Middle East.

My question is will Terrorism 2.0 develop in the TEA Party? Many speculate it already has.

India Invades Tablet Market: $35 “Aakash” Goes Viral In India’s Education system

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Apple’s Ipad 2: $499

Amazon’s Fire: $199

India’s Aakash: $35

Connecting 220 million students with the world’s cheapest tablet: Priceless.

India - Kids - 063

India drives to connect rural students

What is The “Aakash“?

It is a low-cost, high-performance computer tablet, price at $35 per device.

It is designed to proliferate knowledge through education in India, especially in rural regions. Despite its rock bottom price it still displays a 7 inch screen, plays high-definition video, streams video chatting, hosts word processing, runs Android 2.2 operation system, possesses 32 gigabyte memory, uses GPRS for connecting to the Internet from anywhere, and uses WiFi for Youtube streaming in hot spots. The Indian government will subsidized each table down to $35.  This is ideal for university students because it allows them to build better human capital with their limited resources.  Previously, many have been cut off from the rest of the world due nonexistent infrastructure.

The English translation of Aakask is “sky.”  This tablet’s release will mark the beginning of a new dawn in education in India and the world.

What Does Aakash Mean For The Tablet Market?

Datawind, the private company manufacturing Aakash, announced that the tablet will be priced at $60 dollars for the commercial market. It will be on shelves by November.  This will encroach on the tablet war already progressing in India; currently Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7 holds just under half the market and less than one in five tablets is an Apple Ipad.  Dozens of other models struggle for niches.  The vanguard shipment of Aakash tablets numbers 100,000.  When this large-scale field test proves successful eight to ten million more will be bought by the Indian government.

Undercutting the more expensive tablets the Aakash will force innovation and a price war.  Aakash forces a technological survival of the fittest; the best and cheapest technologies will overthrow the more expensive models.  The economist term for this is creative destruction.

Unless other companies build a better tablet they very simply will be locked out of the market.  The cunning Indian government will disseminate cheaper and higher quality tablets, with internet access, by forcing the hand of the private sector.

What Does This Mean for the Future of Indian Education?

At the unveiling today Kapil Sibal, the Indian Human Resource Minister, aptly described Aakash’s historic significance,

“There are some moments in history that will be milestones recognised by future generations. This is one such milestone. Today, we see the beginning of a dream realised, a dream in which every student in every corner of this country will have access to technology that defines the 21st Century.”

By bringing the world to the fingertips of their students schools towards increasing the quality of education exponentially.  Answers to impossible questions will be just a click away.

It also forces the hand of Western education.  Already, towns and cities across the Western world have already launched similar educational initiative.  This is not enough; every statistic points to American and European students falling behind their Chinese and Indian counterparts.  Many American colleges already distribute laptops, tablets must be given to the coming classes if American schools are to stay competitive.  Otherwise, American education will fall victim to creative destruction.

“LizaMoon” Virus: Eclipsing Internet Security

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Next generation virus, “Lizamoon,” has launched a new terror campaign infecting over half a million web pages, directing users unknowingly to infected domains where damaging virus soft ware, disguised as an AV scan, infects the computer.  Over 28,000 websites have been completely overrun, leading to over three million Google searches being deemed hazardous.  All infected users are forced to buy their electronic freedom from the iron grip of the virus, causing the anarchists who launched it to profit greatly.  The internet plague penetrates firewall and other defenses using a mass blind SQL injection, which exploits faulty code accessible from the home page to eliminate all information and reconfigure the webpage to redirect viewers.  So far the specific failings in the protection have not been fixed and currently only 17 of the 43 major cyber defense operators have been able to syntheses adequate defenses.  It is unknown how many more sites are vulnerable, or have already been infected.

This will mean a new age of cyber warfare, with civilians being drawn into the conflict and unwittingly weaponized by the anarchists. Currently, all except the largest internet entities only have minimal protection against SQL style attacks and only if they are up to date on their security.  This widespread attack has already begun to have copycat followers, launching undocumented attacks across the internet.  This is resulting in increased cyber defense spending from many of the mid to small tier sites, while other are corrupted and leashed upon the internet.  This move to the next round of cyber warfare will mean empowerment of both the side of the ardent defenders of security and the greedy anarchists both will have increased funds and lethality.  Those left behind the cutting edge will be increasing vulnerable.

For the average American this means a general retreat from the openness of the internet into protective web of networks, which can protect themselves and users against these bandits’ attacks.  Specific secured sites will exclusively link to each other, walling off users from generally accessing the potentially lethal web.  Facebook has already began constructing a unified network, composed of itself, CNN, and many other organizations who have fully incorporated the Facebook Like button.  Google is in the opening stages of constructing its own network, with its launch of the +1 button, their version of the Facebook like button.  This will mean a general culling of the free bloggers of the internet and ardent defenders of free speech such as Wikileaks.  A new more secure age is in the future of the internet, but we will all be a little less free.

 

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