Browsing All Posts filed under »Uncategorized«

292 – A tragic destiny: Subhas Chandra Bose

June 28, 2014 by


I’m not sure how many people outside India know of Subhas Chandra Bose[1] – a major leader of this country’s independence movement who, after escaping from The British Raj at the onset of WWII, set up the Provisional Government of Free India as well as the India National Army (INA) in the shadow of Japan. […]

291 – The ambiguity which is China

June 23, 2014 by


QIU Xiaolong has published another “Chief Inspector CHEN” mystery with the title “Enigma of China.” There is nothing wrong with the book – except the title, which was probably chosen to lure jaded readers. Let me explain. The term “enigma” coms from the Greek (αινιγμα) via Latin, and means: “A dark, obscure, or inexplicable saying; […]

290 – The Confucian ruler as pupil

June 18, 2014 by


Confucius is the “usual suspect” when it comes to what’s good or bad about Asia’s past, present, and future. I’ve often felt that this ancient philosopher is being made to carry too much weight. I’ve just come across a instance of Confucianism as process, rather than as content, and this reading has made me think […]

289 – Heidi or Renxin?

June 1, 2014 by


Le promeneur d’oiseaux (The man who walked birds) is a movie that plays in Beijing and Guilin, China. Philip Muyl, a French director, wrote the play and directed a fully Chinese cast. The story has many elements recalling the character of Heidi, the Swiss girl who changes the world around her. Yet, the story is, […]

288 – 1914 – 1918: And where were the citizens?

June 1, 2014 by


One hundred years ago, WWI broke out. Out of the blue, the Western-based “concert of nations” failed catastrophically. The ensuing war transformed the world. Despite the avalanche of writings on this singularity in world history already on the market, on this centennial occasion historians have churned out reams of new titles (many of them clones […]

287 – Massimo’s choice (actually, his pledge)

April 9, 2014 by


Massimo PIGLIUCCI , a professor of philosophy of science as well as ecology, has published a pledge in his blog Scientia Salon. Under the provocative title: The history of garbage is scholarship, he argues that i. a. part of the scientific output is, well, garbage, or as he puts it more politely: “I cannot begin […]

286 – Allow me a wry smile

March 31, 2014 by


It is not often one gets an unassailable chance to gloat and bask in the warmth of self-congratulation – to have an « I told you so » moment. I have just been handed one. But first reality check: this is my final destination: Meanwhile, this is how it feels The World Bank has […]

285 – Measuring sea-level change caused by ice-sheet melt

March 29, 2014 by


There is no question that sea levels change over millennia. This is how Northern Europe looked about 15’000 years ago.   Without going into the issue of what causes current sea-level change (or what to do about it – if anything), we can use satellite data to assess in unimpeachable fashion current sea-level changes induced […]


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