Plight of us lovely huggers amongst the aloof…

We love Thanksgiving. We cook everything. But we’re still learning many things about the American culture. Back home everyone likes to hug and kiss on the cheek. It communicates that you care about someone. But here it is different. My friend tried to give me a Thanksgiving handshake at the gym today. But I went in for a Thanksgiving hug. And he only gave me a Thanksgiving half-hug. A few months ago I was called into Human Resources, and they said: ‘Mr. Mauricio, no more hugging at the office. It is making people uncomfortable.’

— Mr. Mauricio, in ‘Humans of New York

P.S.: I’m a big time hugger. The British around me are definitely not. I’m available for hugs.

Friendship, intimacy, commerce, and the West

In the East, I’ve heard it said, there’s intimacy without friendship; in the West, there’s friendship without intimacy.

Karan Mahajan, in The New Yorker

Continue reading Friendship, intimacy, commerce, and the West

The risk of a ideological war

A lesson from the cold war:

Russia teaches us a very important lesson: losing an ideological war without a fight will ruin you as a nation. The fight is the American way. When we stop fighting for our ideals abroad, we stop fighting for them at home.

Putin’s Real Long Game, January 27, 2017 at 02:59AM

Team Trump vs GOP

The true believers share views that run counter to the Paul Ryan-wing of the GOP on everything from immigration and infrastructure spending, to bullying corporations. They are anti-“corporatists” who want to methodically destroy conventional conservatism.

Trump 101: What he means by “America first”, January 23, 2017 at 03:44PM

… it isn’t over yet.

Institutions & Development

Some countries build benign, efficient institutions that foster economic growth;
others build predatory ones that retard it.

How to fix failed states, January 12, 2017 at 02:53AM

Continue reading Institutions & Development

Multiculturalism vs Assimilation

“… away from multiculturalism and towards assimilation”

Segregation scars parts of Britain, some immigrant groups remain poorly integrated and minorities within them are hostile to liberal values.

Britain’s genius is its ability to integrate newcomers, January 13, 2017 at 06:03PM

Continue reading Multiculturalism vs Assimilation