On why a multiethnic Europe is nowhere near. Microsoft does Warsaw

So this is what Microsoft Poland (or they advertisers) considered a bit too much for their consumer base:


Lacking a better word, doesn’t it look glorious?

At least, they were tactful enough to do a poor Photoshop job… but come on, couldn’t mighty Microsoft Europe spare a few thousand euros to do a Poland-rated version of the ad?

But see, I learnt something today (it was worth waking up this morning then). First, Poland is as much a racist country as any other country in the world. Nothing bad with it (we are talking civilised racism here, not Hitler or Apartheid style racism discrimination as the UN chart calls it), but they are realistic about their market.

Second, apparently in Poland, if you are going to be different, you can be Asian, but not black (something to do with Polish builders, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen moving to Western Europe and being replaced by Chinese I have heard…)

See, I am as racist as the next, and I do have a network of global friends. Asian, Caucasian, Latino, black, and the like. I’ve got good German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Black and Coloured South African friends (yes, they come in even more versions.) Also Moroccan, Nigerian, Japanese, Filipino, French and some other flavours but we talk of races as what they are, points of anatomical and anthropological difference, not something to stigmatise or never speak about. We are all open about it, and we all agree that being tolerant is the key, reality can never be superseded by good intentions, affirmative actions or bill of rights.

No, it is not representative of the sports fun base to have women sports presenters in the UK. Just go see a game.

No, it is not representative of the estate agent crowd to have a black presenter in Location Location.

No, no matter what you say, Jennifer Lopez doesn’t speak Spanish or represents the Mexican-Americans (but epitomised the American dream).

No, call it what you want but a 45 year old black South African cannot have a degree in engineering because under the Apartheid regime they couldn’t go to uni (as much as I despise it, it is true.)

No, no matter how fast you run, if your family tree has been based in Beijing or Dublin for the last ten generations, you will not overrun a black athlete on the 100m.

No, you can try to bake yourself as much as you want and you will still look like a lobster if your name is Andrew McCain and you like the tanned colour of a Thai man.

And, I have never been to Poland, but I would bet my hat that chances are, one out of three Poles is not black or Asian.

When will we all accept reality as what it is real?



On credit crunch for the under 70, Tim Harford nails this one with a fairy tail

Hobbes, I was just catching up with my feedreader when I got to Tim Harford’s articles. Apparently he’s back on the waves with Radio 4’s More or Less (personally, I like his written material better).

I must take my hat off. I love using the ancient art of metaphor myself to the point that I guess readers lose the plot and listeners start thinking about the shopping list, but Harford has made a really good job in explaining the credit crunch:

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On The Talented Mr. Damon, a pleasant surprise

Hobbes, It has been a while since I wrote my last post. Life is moving fast and my neurons are reaching boiling point.

However, I had a minute today to visit the Futurist.com new project The Futurist on Politics and I found this gem I would like to share with you:

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On the end of nationalism and the raise of value sharing communities

The love it or leave it of nationalists, doesn’t make much sense in a world of ideas, instead of flags. Why would anybody choose to die for a flag? Beyond my knowledge. I don’t think a German United Kingdom would be much different today.

Before you hit at me with the holocaust that followed, let me remind you that the angry and mad ideas of Hitler’s Nazi Germany were nurtured by impossible war reparation demands from the Allied victors (worth almost 37,000 tons of gold, around one-third of the world’s entire above-ground supplies at the time). The huge demands led to the money printing presses working overtime, and from there, a short step away from hyperinflation and social unrest. Culture medium for opportunistic megalomaniacs.

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On Boris Johnson as London Mayor and honest politics

Ten years ago this November, Jesse “The Body” Ventura left his best speedos to his ring mate Hulk Hogan and became Minnesota’s 38th Governor.

Before turning to politics, Mr Ventura the wrestler, turned into acting with mixed success appearing in testosterone fuelled films like Predator, Running Man or Demolition Man.

You will see a pattern here, since exactly 5 years after Ventura, Arnold “Terminator” Schwarzenegger was sworn in also as a 38th Governor, but this time of California, a State of the Union with a GDP in the same range as Spain and Italy. Continue reading

On executive pay and trade union nonsense

Hobbes, this time around the target is Bob Diamond, from Barclays. After 12 years with the bank, he reportedly took home £21m ($42m) in pay and bonuses last year.

The figure includes a miser £250,000 basic salary, plus shares worth up to £14.4m and a £6.5m cash bonus.

The figure includes his basic salary of £250,000, plus shares worth up to £14.9m and a £6.5m cash bonus. Performance-related bonus for the three years ending December 31 was based in the securities unit exceeded a £2bn economic profit target for the period. Continue reading

Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy

I am so glad I was watching Scrubs today. The last few days have come really difficult and it doesn’t look like it is going to get any better over the Easter weekend, on the contrary, most likely the shit will hit the fan and we will be in massive panic mode.

‘Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy’. Sometimes we forget that life is not that easy. Sometimes we forget that what we give for a fact, it is actually joy of the moment. In reality, most of us (me included) are scared of taking responsibility for our actions. What if it was wrong? No pain, no gain, and losing focus takes you nowhere. Beware of cosy places and comfortable situations since if routine doesn’t kill you, it will make you fall into the delusion that what you have is really worth. But is it? Continue reading