A rather lazy blog entry about random things

It’s been a very hectic week at work, so instead of writing a long-ish blog entry about random stuff, today I would like to post a few random interesting links. Sorry for being lazy, but my overworked brain needs a few days of rest before I can write intelligibly again 🙂

– The results of readers’ votes for top 5 public intellectuals in the Prospect/FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals are out, and while the ‘winners’ did not surprise me, I am disappointed that this list excludes great Vietnamese monk Thich Naht Hanh, one of the few monks whom I deeply respect. Thich Naht Hanh’s Buddhist talks are very accessible to non-Buddhists: The True, The Beautiful and the Good and Practices for the Twenty-first Century are two of my favorites.

– Recently I came across another cool article dripping with sarcasm about Bush called “The War on Terror In Translation”. This one made me chuckle a few times.

– If you haven’t been to the downloads page of this site, please take a look. In the past few months, I have copied, uploaded, and translated quite a few articles or books that may interest visitors of this blog. Some articles are related to my earlier blog entries, while some others are on my “to do” list for this blog, i.e. stuff that I want to talk about in the future at some point. One of the latest downloads I added is Foreign Policy’s very interesting Here Today, Gone Tomorrow article about 16 ideas or institutions that may not be around 35 years from now (the original is here but you need to be a paid subscriber to read the entire thing).

– Speaking of Foreign Policy, it’s a great magazine that’s full of excellent, timely, and interesting articles. This article about energy independence is well worth a read to anyone who is concerned about high oil prices (and who isn’t?).

– Similarly, I have been adding a lot of links (see the right menu) to this blog. Some sites I recently discovered that became favorites include EconLog, a very cool economics blog that makes economics both informative and interesting for non-economists (often in a nicely concise fashion too – this short article about a common fallacy is a great example). And if you think economics is a very boring field that has little relevance to your life, the Freakonomics Blog will change your mind. Last but not least, posts on socially conscious blogs like WorldChanging are reaffirming my belief in the power of the Internet as the world’s potentially most powerful ‘tool’ to change the world at the grassroots level – without waiting for government assistance. It’s comforting to see that while politicians and governments argue over the fine print of inscrutable legal documents, people are taking initiatives to help their communities and the environment.