January 2015 - Page 2

The New State Nobody Saw Coming

The Islamic State (IS) has achieved many of its territorial and organizational goals during the past year. Operating both on the Syrian and on the Iraqi fronts, it has expended territorially, acquired new financial resources and grown in number its recruits. The rapid and vicious expansion of this well-organized Sunni jihadist group has taken by surprise the Iraqi government and it has de facto split the country between the IS, the Iraqi central government and the Kurds. The already precarious stability and unity of Iraq has been broken by the IS and to date, the country is trapped in a
3 mins read
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Dragon Ready to Forge Ahead: Will China overtake US?

January 27, 2015
The Chinese juggernaut is expected to overtake the American eagle by 2021 in terms of GDP, according to The Economist’s latest estimates (Aug 2014). In fact, China already outpaced the U.S. as the world’s largest manufacturing power in 2010. Since then, it has been further widening its lead, according to the 2013 UN research. Notwithstanding a small dent in its recent growth trend line, partly owing to a slowdown in export demand from key markets (e.g. U.S. and EU), China has been able to achieve its growth target of 7.5% in the second quarter of 2014. Yet a fleet of
4 mins read
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All That Glitters Is Not Gold

January 27, 2015
China’s fundamentals may not be as strong as you’ve been told. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. The fix is in: China will be the next superpower. We’ve been told the economic projections all assure it, but do they? The same projections were made for the Eastern bloc in the 1960s, Japan in the 1980s, and the Asian Tigers in the 1990s. In each of those decades the conventional wisdom, particularly in the United States, whipped policymakers into a frenzy over the implications of dizzying growth numbers. And yet to varying degrees, history has proven the conventional wisdom wrong. Just
4 mins read
872 views

Causality and Big Data

January 26, 2015
“You see there is only one constant. One universal. It is the only real truth: Causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect.“ The Frenchman America Online’s 2006 crisis and Edward Snowden’s disclosure got great amounts of public attention, criticizing surveillance parameters and the ethics of big data usage. In this article, I want to look beyond privacy and rather talk about institutionalization. The first thing we should ask is fundamentally how does a search engine work? As any statistical correlation study, big data also starts with sampling but rather than random distribution it collects everything possible where sampling becomes equal to
3 mins read
1.2K views

Decentralization of Production and Customization Culture

January 26, 2015
“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Henry Ford Fordism, named after Henry Ford, refers to a modern economic system built on a standardized form of mass production using assembly lines. It was preceded by Frederick Winslow Taylor’s scientific management techniques whose objectives were to improve efficiency and achieve economies of scale. Thereafter, benefiting from standardized production methods, outsourcing models were developed and became a trend to reduce labor costs. As a result mass production became a major factor of international trade. Three years ago I wanted to produce
3 mins read
2K views

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