The rising allure of the tangible
Music, images and information: they’ve all been subsumed by digital technology. However, instead of disappearing, the old paradigms are simply adapting to a wider range of possibilities. The result is a resurgence of the material world.
It may be that the sound quality is better, or it may just be due to the frustration of enjoying music – already an ethereal art form – without having anything to hold on to. Whatever the case, vinyl albums and turntables are making a comeback.
Europe’s boat people
Migration may be as old as humanity, but its most resent manifestation in Europe, with refugees coming from across the Mediterranean Sea, poses unprecedented political problems. Europe’s very identity may be at stake. Willfully ignoring the challenge will only lead to a more rapid demise.
It’s convenient and politically safe to blame the disastrous recent wave of migrants on unscrupulous human traffickers. But in doing so we ignore the real strategic problem of migration as such.
Is the EU finally coming together to map out a policy to manage the increasing number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean? While flawed and in need of deeper considerations, the policy now envisaged is a step in the right direction.
Washington and Moscow are on speaking terms again.
It might be too early to call it cooperation, especially with respect to Ukraine, but they are off to a good start on what promises to be a rough road.
The world is brimming over with hotspots. In order to deal with them sensibly the great powers must cooperate. So it’s only reasonable that the US not try to isolate Russia indefinitely. And Europe must pull its weight.
As the fragile Minsk accords get tested on a daily basis, so do Ukraine’s volunteer battalions protecting Mariupol. A report from the front lines takes a look at the vanguard of Ukraine’s revolution.
For the time being, neither side in Ukraine’s war can benefit from decisive escalation. But both sides stand to gain from low-intensity fighting.
Now that David Cameron is safely ensconced in Downing Street, he will have to live up to his promise to hold a referendum on whether or not to stay in the EU. The potential for disaster is enormous and his task will be to find a right balance.
The 2012 Olympic Games in London were certainly a sports mega-event, but they were also an opportunity for urban renewal. Sites built specifically for the Olympic games were designed to be retrofitted to the city’s needs once the games finished.
In need of money to capture territory and spread their radical ideas, Islamist groups have turned to the cash cow of drug smuggling to finance their endeavors, making strange bedfellows along the way.
Macao is more than just China’s version of Las Vegas. It represents the Communist government’s first flirtation with the Western capitalist system. As such, its fate may be seen as a bellwether for China’s future.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are very close to direct armed conflict against each other. To judge by the new king’s recent moves, the Saudis intend to wait out the Obama presidency and maintain their close relationship with the US.
China is about to create a monopoly out of two huge railroad companies. Despite economies of scale, this could, in the long run, hinder its competitiveness in the sector.
At every summit on climate change nations make pledges to contribute to the financing of initiatives. Over the years, developing countries have become cautious regarding commitments from developed countries, which do not always materialize.