Occasional Links 10

International Development:

1) There’s something really wrong when First World diplomats and aid workers who go to the Third World to help the countries avoid interacting with the local culture and realities, prefering instead to lead a life of privilege among the elite and away from the poor.

2) Africa is hip, hot and trendy! So says the New York Times. Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of Global Voices Online, provides his input here.

3) Ok, so I admit that not all computer games are just a waste of time. Here’s an article on serious computer games. PeaceMaker (YouTube here) is a video game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict whose purpose is to promote peace. Foodforce is a UN World Food Programme (WFP) game about distributing food in Niger that has been downloaded over 4 million times! A Force More Powerful is a game that promotes nonviolence. In 3rd World Farmer, one faces the realities of managing an African farm. And finally, Sim Sweatshop seeks to increase awareness of the appalling conditions many workers in the developing world face every day.

4) I hardly have time to watch the TV or catch a movie. There’s too much junk out there and thus I don’t want to waste my time. However, I’m always looking out for meaningful and thought-provoking movies or TV programs – especially as they relate to development issues or current affairs. One recent movie cum documentary that would be of interest to those passionate about development and the environment would of course be Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Another one that’s recently been in the limelight is The Girl in the CafĂ© (check out this blog) which won 3 Emmys recently – including one for the best Made for TV Movie. It’s about… Well, I haven’t seen either movie, but hope to do so soon!

5) How about this: McDonald’s has a Corporate Social Responsibility blog.

Politics & Economics:

6) Immanuel Wallerstein on Five Reasons Why Great Military Powers Lose Wars.

7) Books & Culture on How container ships enabled an economic revolution.

8) People hate Americans because of their freedoms? Or because of their unjust foreign policy?

Progressive Christianity:

9) A new Christian video game uses violence and murder to spread the love of Christ. Hmmm…

Others:

10) Why stereotyping and being prejudiced probably ain’t so bad after all.