When I first arrived in Bhutan, I was invited to help the government’s Department of Information demonstrate the power of technology in an effort to get more government funding. Today, I see that Ericsson have begun work with Bhutan’s education department to install videoconferencing into five remote schools so their students can take lessons from a central group of specialists.
For many years, I’ve looked at open source as the start of a new economy, a way of life, not just a model for software development. My Masters thesis looked at online communities who were volunteering their time to collaborate with like-minded people to create a better version of something that would otherwise be a… Continue reading Print your own house
John L. Murphy has completed a mammoth review of just about every book written on Bhutan. He understands the value of a book written by locals and residents. There are many more books about this amazing country than I knew of, and I’m delighted to see he rated some of my favourites highly – see… Continue reading PopMatters Review
The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris, puts forward the idea that scientists can, and should, contribute to moral debate. Harris believes that the goal of ethics is the well-being of conscious creatures, which is a measurable quantity. Science may not yet have the tools or the understanding to take these measurements, but since they are… Continue reading The Moral Landscape: An attack on tolerance?
I received a letter from the Australian Himalayan Foundation thanking me for my donation of the royalties from Dragon Bones. It confirms that the money will go entirely to the RENEW project to enable disadvantaged young girls from Bhutan to attend school. As I know some of the people involved in the project, I hope… Continue reading Australian Himalayan Foundation
The first royalty cheque for Dragon Bones was for 502 copies sold over 6 months. That’s about 10% of my big goal of 5000 sales. My main driver for selling so many copies (it is a lot for an unknown writer) was to ensure substantial support for Bhutanese organisations. To put this in perspective, my… Continue reading Dragon Bones Supports Education of Bhutanese Girls
The recent ‘Occupy‘ movement has been criticised for not having clear goals. Critics wonder how they are meant to take it seriously if the protesters can’t say what they want? I think that’s harsh. I wonder whether many historical revolutions have had a clear idea of the future beyond toppling the existing regime. It would,… Continue reading Occupy Wall Street for Open Source and Gross National Happiness
I’ve just been watching an old episode of SBS’ Insight where Rajat Ganguly said that terrorism is sometimes analysed as a type of warfare conducted in an asymetrical power relationship. Al-Qaeda didn’t have the same power base as the Western / Christian world they were rebelling against. They couldn’t wage a war on equal footing,… Continue reading Libya vs Al Qaeda
An article on countries that hinder international NGOs starts off with ‘The news didn’t come as a surprise.’ While he may not be surprised, the writer clearly doesn’t agree with the changes. Personally, I can understand why countries would wish to limit NGO actions. International NGOs can’t help but bring biases from their own culture… Continue reading International NGOs Under Attack
Language has always fascinated me. I love the way we can get the same message across with entirely different combinations of sounds and/or gestures. I love that I can have a conversation with a Japanese person that no one around me can understand (though that’s less likely these days). I guess it was this ‘secret… Continue reading Found In Translation