IAQ market valued at $7bn in 2011, expected to grow to $9.2bn by 2017. Less growth realized from earlier study - quoted reason is the economic downturn from 2008.
Photos from the port show old Russian trucks, only three docks, not a lot going on. Not a huge base… more nostalgia for former soviet times.
Russia will maintain a significant role in the Syria even after the inevitable ending of the revolution (Assad gone, new formative structures created). The Syrian military is almost exclusively Russian supplied. The military will need to be maintained, even with a new revolutionary command in place. The equipment needs to be serviced, parts procured, etc. The military cannot change overnight - and even if there was a desire to replace Russian arms with another provider, this would be extremely expensive and very time consuming. It is much more likely that a post-revolution government will prioritize healthcare, jobs, and the economy - rather than the military.
Russia will lose out on a lot of things … but they will continue to be an arms supplier to Syria for many years to come.
North Korea is going through some weird changes, kicked off with the death of the god king, followed up by the changes adopted by the new young leader.
The direction feels more Myanmar-like than ever before. Probably for similar reasons. There China was starting to have too much influence, plus the leaders realized they could be more successful (financially, other power) by opening up and adopting limited freedom than by keeping things closed. A closed society is expensive to run, and risky.
NK will surprise - so keep watching for odd announcements.
Humans are pretty dumb as a species today (and were a lot dumber just a few years ago). As a dumb species we do a lot of dumb things, things that could be done a lot smarter.
We do not bother to look up factual information on the Internet, and prefer to celebrate people who appear to have good memories
We do not record meaningful conversations (nor share them outside of ear shot, nor translate them into different languages)
Even through there are seven billion of us on the planet, we seem to operate most of the time that we are either totally alone, or surrounded by just a small group of people
I believe that the human species is undergoing a dramatic transformation right now, one that will surpass all previous moments of enlightenment on earth, including our recent Internet transformation.
(work in progress for longer piece)
Abdoulaye Wade subverted the democratic process by tweaking the rules on being allowed to run a third time, and then badly mistimed his attempt to change the rules to give him a chance of winning the election. He attempted to get the threshold for ‘winning’ in the first round to be just 25% to become president. His timing for the constitutional change was not ideal - just when the Arab Spring was kicking off.
It looks like his time is over, even though he won the largest share of the vote on the first round. Next round it will be “Anyone but Wade” driving the elections.
Fortunately the country does not have a history of violence, coups, etc. Fingers crossed it stays that way :)
The bad guys read the same playbooks as the good guys - and usually have a lot more resources. The Putin youth movement was a response to the revolutionary movements in Ukraine, Georgia - and inspired by the Serbian Otpr movement in 1999/2000.
In the past they would get away with it, because there was no way of broadcasting the truth in such a way as for others to see it and share it. Now, however, it is game over for this kind of hiding.
Even if the election is not too far away, the situation is extremely unstable for Putin’s United Russia, the party of blatant election fraud.
How this plays out… don’t know. The problem is not Putin per se, but the entire system. The opposition is Kremlin appointed - so there is no real opposition. The system at the top has become rotten.
How to change? Double elections in 2012? One run now, and then run a new parliamentary election, forced on the new president in some way? Knock out blow to Putin in the elections in March? Tricky? Strategy will be needed… where is a good-guy Rasputin when you need him… ;)
Eventually Russian voters are going to think: hey, we support stability, but we also see the news, watch hundreds get killed, read about how we Russians are selling the weapons to kill civilians (and we are civilians too). How many more years of Putin-style leadership should we put up with?
This may flip internally and develop a Russian internal context. So not a bad thing - in the short term (again) - if they reject the resolution. The impact may be more beneficial in the medium term (still, it is terrible to watch the civilian bloodshed in Syria :(