Archive for the 'History & heritage' Category

New York has the Empire State Building. Think of Paris and the Eiffel Tower comes to mind. Cairo is inseparable from the Pyramids. Singapore has the smaller but not less iconic Merlion. George Town has the Penang Bridge, if you take a liberal view of the city’s boundary and ignore the unpleasant monolith towering over […]

I read a nice little article on the New York Times today on the history of British foreign trade policy during Elizabeth I. Here is an excerpt: Elizabeth’s Islamic policy held off a Catholic invasion, transformed English taste and established a new model for joint stock-investment that would eventually finance the Virginia Company, which founded the first […]

Capital accumulation as an idea sits close to the center of modern economic growth theory. Any introduction into the field will begin with physical capital accumulation, before population growth, technological progress, human capital and even institutions are progressively thrown into the mix to explain the real world. As far as modern macroeconomics is concerned, I […]

The Musée d’Orsay sits by the Seine in Paris. On one of the museum walls is hung a large painting by Thomas Couture. Named Romans during the Decadence, the work demands anybody passing by it to stop, decipher and contemplate Couture’s message for a minute or two. Decadence has statues representing the better Roman spirit […]

Traditions and dogmas rub one another down to a minimum in such centers of varied intercourse; where there are a thousand faiths we are apt to become sceptical of them all. Probably the traders were the first sceptics; they had seen too much to believe too much; and the general disposition of merchants to classify […]

The number 50 is psychologically special to almost everybody. Notwithstanding the debate about the age of Malaysia, whether it was 50 years old or 44 in 2007, we too had a huge celebration for our golden anniversary. Down south this year, Singapore is approaching its 50th anniversary as an independent state. The Singaporean anniversary is […]

This is most obvious in the case of Fascism. The Fascists and National Socialists did not expect inferior classes, or races, or individuals to understand or sympathise with their own goals; their inferior was innate, ineradicable, since it was due to blood, or race, or some other irremovable characteristic; any attempt on the part of […]

Here is a typical pattern used on a typical richly ornate false door. Given how various temples were built sometimes a century apart, I found the commonness as mildly surprising. It suggests innovation was really slow. But it is pretty nonetheless. This is at Angkor Wat. I am unsure of its functions but my readings […]

Since it will be August 31 soon, I think I want to further develop my thinking about the 55 versus 49 years old debate, i.e. how old is Malaysia? I have shared opinion on the matter a number of times over the last, probably six years. I was September 16, before there was September 16 […]

Angkor Thom was the capital of the Khmer Empire, which Bayon is located at the very center of it. Without any exaggeration, this was the heart of the Khmer Empire. At its peak, it was estimated that around a million persons lived here. It was really an experience. Close to 1,000 years later, there I […]

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