Phrase of the week

April 12, 2014 at 6:30 PMMichele Mottini

I was hoping for a happy ending

My wife, after finishing watching ‘Hamlet’

Posted in: Opinion

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The demise of the newspaper industry

April 5, 2014 at 11:26 AMMichele Mottini

I worked most of my carrier writing software for newspapers’ production. It is an industry that is quickly going to the dumps, at least in the ‘developed’ world.

I just found out that the Fredericksburg, VA ‘Free Lance-Star’ is in Chapter 11. It was the first US newspaper that used the software I worked on, and the very first US customer I visited back in 1997. A family-owned newspaper with a long history, it was a nice business and a good customer. They taught me stuff, and I was even invited at the house of the publisher/owner for lunch.

I understand the reasons why newspaper are gong away, but it is still pretty sad.

Posted in: Opinion

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Repeating the past

April 5, 2014 at 11:11 AMMichele Mottini

I am reading ‘The Sleepwalker: How Europe Went to War in 1914’. It is pretty good, and (ominously?) describe a situation that seems in many ways similar to the current one.

Some choice quotes – page 145:

British policymakers proceeded from the assumption that whereas British imperial interest were ‘vital’ and ‘essential’, German ones were a mere ‘luxury’

Page 163, describing the content of a British Foreign Office report:

But whereas British hegemony was welcomed an enjoyed by all and envied and feared by none….German hegemony would amount to a ‘political dictatorship’ that would be ‘the wreckage of the liberties of Europe’

..view the wars, protectorate, occupations and annexations of imperial Britain as the natural and desirable state of affairs, and the comparatively ineffectual maneuvers  of the Germans as gratuitous and outrageous breaches of the peace.

Page 165:

…during the years 1860-1913, the German share of the world industrial production increased fourfold…. In Britain, the words ‘Made in Germany’ came to carry strong connotation of threat…

Replace ‘Britain’ with ‘USA’ and ‘Germany’ with ‘China’ (or Russia in some cases) and it all sounds pretty familiar.

Posted in: Opinion

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Phrase of the week

April 5, 2014 at 10:51 AMMichele Mottini

Being in love is easy, being married is not

Ma Yili, wife of Chinese actor Wen Zhang,  quoted by The Economist

Posted in: Opinion

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