Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

Insane USAIN!!!

I have never seen someone DESTROY competition in any  100m and 200m run… ever.

9.69 seconds for the 100m!!! And he slowed down in the last 20 m to THUMP his chest in celebration as he had a ridiculous lead… who knows what his time would have been if he had run that section hard? 9. 5? 9.4?

And then lightening struck twice: 200m in 19.30 seconds! Just look at the lead he had in the below pic.

Its just unbelievable! The world has almost forgotten poor Phelps after this performance.

Insane Usain

Insane Usain

Usain Bolt of Jamaica is 6 ft 5 tall, making him the tallest Olympic Gold sprinter in history… He is almost a freak of nature as guys this tall shouldn’t “bolt” out of the blocks as fast as he does…and take strides as fast as he does…

Michael Johnson says Usain can destroy even the 400m record…and called him “Superman 2”

Even CARL LEWIS with all the dope couldn’t break 100m and 200m world records in his Olympic Gold run.

Ben Johnson with all the steroids could manage just 9.79.

But INSANE USAIN just blew everyone apart.

Hope he wins 5 Golds in next Olympics: 100m, 200m, 100m relay, 400m relay and 400m.

Hell… maybe he should try the long jump too..with his speed, he can cross 9 metres easily in a single leap. After all he is Superman too (pun intended).

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India and China will alter the world: Naipaul

Source: IANS.

Nobel Prize winning author V.S. Naipaul says that India and China “will completely alter the world” although he bemoans there “are no thinkers in India”.

“It’s a rather calamity of India today that there are no thinkers. A big country, a powerful country of a billion people. There are no thinkers in India. What is important today is the economic development of India and China that will completely alter the world,” Naipaul told The New York Times in an interview.

In contrast “nothing that is happening in the Arab world has that capacity”, Naipaul said, adding, “It has capacity for mischief. They are spreading their little wars to Indonesia, the Philippines and all these other places. But that’s just mischief. What’s happening in India and China will bend the world and will change it forever.”

Naipaul, whose writings about the world of Islam and its troubles have been considered prophetic, had a sobering view of the Sep 11 terror attack on America. “What happened on Sep 11 was too astonishing. It is one of a kind, can’t happen again. But in the end it has had no effect on the world. It has just been a spectacle like a bank raid in a western film. They will be caught by the sheriff eventually but they’d raid a few banks,” he said.

On the Arab world he said “intellectually it is a great tyranny. Because it is a tyranny people’s can’t grow intellectually and be on the level of the world they envy. But it has always been like that. Religion has always been a tyranny and it becomes an expression of state power.”

He spoke of his controversial views on Islam with undiminished vehemence. “I became very interested in the Islamic question, and thought I would try to understand it from the roots, ask very simple questions and somehow make a narrative of that discovery,” he said.

He wondered to what extent “people who lock themselves away in belief…shut themselves away from the active busy world?” He said he was also interested in “to what extent without knowing it” they were “parasitic on that world”? He said there were “no thinkers to point out to them where their thoughts and their passion had led them”?

He reiterated his famous observation that as a form of writing the novel is dead. “What I felt was, if you spend your life just writing fiction, you are going to falsify your material,” he said. “And the fictional form was going to force you to do things with the material, to dramatise it in a certain way. I thought nonfiction gave one a chance to explore the world, the other world, the world that one didn’t know fully.”

“I thought if I didn’t have this resource of nonfiction I would have dried up perhaps. I’d have come to the end of my material, and would have done what a writer like Graham Greene did. You know, he took the Graham Greene figure to the Congo, took him to Argentina, took him to Haiti, for no rhyme or reason.”

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Jonathan Power, India overtaking China

Jonathan Power, India overtaking China

Watching India overtaking China
Jonathan Power

May 6, 2004

LONDON – India is now in the middle of what many Chinese would give their right arm for- a general election. Yet China is the power that gets all the attention. When president Richard Nixon first went to China it was widely assumed at the time that the reason he ignored India and courted China was that China had nuclear weapons and could help balance the Soviet Union.

Since 1998 India has possessed nuclear weapons and can balance China. Slowly Washington is waking up to the fact that the tortoise soon might overtake the hare. Still the investors and the press continue in their old ways. Last year the inflow of foreign capital into China was two and a half times that into India. The press barely covers the Indian election whilst every day there is a story out of Beijing.

This skewed appreciation has been going on since the time of Mao Tse Tung. Whilst in the 1960s and 70s China basked in accolades, India’s economic planners were widely abused. India was mocked for its “Hindu growth rate”. China’s people were fed, housed, clean and tidy, while India’s were ragged, hungry and sinking into a trough of despondency- “a wounded civilization” wrote V.S. Naipaul.

Neville Maxwell of Oxford University was one of the more prominent of the legion of Western intellectuals who in the 1960s and 70s thought China had found the answer to underdevelopment. In 1974, he wrote, “Mao and his party triumphed where Stalin cruelly failed, basically because Mao understood and trusted the peasantry”. It was hog wash.

With the 1981 famine we could see, to use George Watson’s phrase, “the intellectuals were duped”. As Watson exposed the romantic gullibility of Beatrice and Sydney Webb, Stephen Spender and Andre Gide and their glowing reports of the Soviet economy in the 1930s, so too the China seers of the 60s and 70s were held up to the harsh light of day. China had to beg around the world for grain whilst India had managed to survive the savage drought of 1979 without having to import a sack.

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Now with Mao long dead and the capitalistic reforms of Deng Xiaoping well into their stride the story is being repeated but in a more complex way. To many China’s economic progress has been nothing less than spectacular. But inflationary pressures, bad bank loans, a fast increasing maldistribution of income and crime all threaten its economic stability.

India meanwhile has been gradually but with increasing speed loosening up its old Fabian socialist system. After a major economic crisis in 1991, finance minister Manmohan Singh (now Sonia Gandhi’s principal economic advisor) introduced major promarket reforms and fiscal expansion and India’s economy has never looked back. Annual growth averages above 5% and now thanks to a good monsoon is 8%. Singh believes that with more reforms than the present government has so far countenanced an average annual growth rate of 6.5% is sustainable- which is what he privately thinks China’s over-hyped growth rate actually is.

In reality India is better placed for future growth. Its capital markets operate with greater efficiency than do China’s. They are also much more transparent. Companies can raise the money they need. India’s legal system whilst over slow is much more advanced and is able to settle sophisticated and complex cases. Its banking system has relatively few non-performing assets. Its democracy and media are alive and vital which provides a safety valve for the incoherent changes that modern day economic growth brings. India has religious riots, secessionist movements, urban squalor and bitter rural poverty. But the voters know they can throw the rascals out, and regularly do.

Moreover the massive flows of foreign investment into China are a two edged sword. It has become a substitute for domestic entrepreneurship. Few of the Chinese goods we buy are in fact made by indigenous companies. And the few that exist are besieged by regulatory constraints and find it hard to raise domestic capital. Its remaining state owned enterprises remain massive but bloated and possess a frightening number of non-performing loans from China’s vulnerable banking system. It is India that has created world class companies that can compete with the best in the West, often on the cutting edge of software, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

India’s trump cards are its language, English, its emphasis on maths in its schools (begun in Indira Gandhi’s time), and the talents of its diaspora. For decades China has benefited from the wealth and the investment potential of its diaspora and the economic energy of Hong Kong and Taiwan. After years of ignoring its diaspora India is now welcoming them back- and they have much more “intellectual capital” to offer than China’s, much of it coming from Silicon Valley where the Indian contribution has shone.

Watch the tortoise continue its course as the hare starts to lose its breath.

I can be reached by phone +44 7785 351172 and e-mail:

Copyright © 2004 By JONATHAN POWER

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