It's a version of Murphy's Law, I believe. You are running late with something and then the technology lets you down as well. That’s what happened when I tried to send this newsletter last night; the website we use for mailing has changed the user interface and I couldn’t make head or tail of it. So, with the editor’s help, here we go again…
There is a theme running through several of our most recent articles -- communication. It’s partly because there has been one of those “World Day of…” anniversaries that the UN sprinkles liberally through the calendar, and because communicating is our core business at MercatorNet. In fact, it’s our only business. Kevin de Souza, an educator who lives in Mumbai, has written a great, practical guide to using the social media, and I have ruminated on the need for silence to enrich our verbal exchanges -- a theme I owe to Pope Benedict in his Letter for World Communications Day (Sunday).
Denyse O’Leary surveys the sport of psychologising political opinion, something in which certain scientists and media hacks seem to be in cahoots. Perhaps I shouldn’t say “hacks”; as Sheila Liaugminas reminds us in her post on interviewing Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza, when we belittle others in word we don’t do ourselves any favours either. Still, a brouhaha over Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao this week came down to a combination of inaccurate reporting and reckless blogging and tweeting that showed how easily the media can destroy a person’s reputation. See Michael Cook’s post on Conjugality.
George Friedman this week asks whether France’s new Socialist president Francois Hollande will play the Gaullist hand. (Isn’t it odd that a French president should be called “Holland”…) In other blogs: Demography has Bollywood coming to the rescue of Indian girl children; Tiger Print gives the thumbs down to political point scoring over First Lady fashion; and Reading Matters has more good books.