Wednesday, November 13, 2013

“The Indian Ocean will be the true nexus of world power and conflict in the coming years”

Robert David Kaplan

Said : Robert David Kaplan, an American journalist, in his book 'Mansoon' as reported by  his colleague Antonia Colibasanu in her post of Nov. 11, 2013 titled "India: the Pivot of the 21st Century."

Antonia describes the recent meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, China and India - on Nov. 10 on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting - as noteworthy especially since the three countries’ prime ministers have recently held bilateral meetings. She has linked this meeting between Sergei Lavrov, Salman Khurshid and Wang Yi in New Delhi with the growing importance of the Indian Ocean in the global politics of the 21st century. She feels that India has the strategic importance in the Indian Ocean geography and can be termed as "the natural pivot state of our century."

According to Antonia : "China’s interest in deepwater ports in friendly countries along the Indian Ocean coastline is notable and worthy of monitoring, as Beijing seeking to consolidate a presence it can use for civilian and military purposes. This aligns with the strategy China is pursuing in the South China Sea." She quotes Kaplan, who notes : “China, through the combination of its economic and military power, will undermine the sovereignty of countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, all of which are de facto or de jure U.S. allies.”

Kaplan, in his guest lecture at the Carnegie Council's Public Affairs Program on November 1, 2010, spoke on his book "Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power." His remarks provide a good base of Antnia's observations in her blog. Kalpan, concluding his lecture, had said : "Vietnam looks like it will emerge like France or England in the 20th century, as a major ally of the United States in the South China Sea. The South China Sea will be somewhat of a diplomatic battleground. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and other countries, all have claims over it. The world we are entering in is going to be one of a kind of Metternichian balance of power, where India, China, the United States, Vietnam, and other countries will leverage and cooperate with each other in some points, come into conflict in others. It will be a world where the center of strategic gravity will move from Europe to the southern rim land of Eurasia."

Robert D. Kaplan is Chief Geopolitical Analyst for Stratfor, a private global intelligence firm, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. He has been a foreign correspondent for The Atlantic for over a quarter century. He is the author of 14 books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages. Kaplan was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as among the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers".

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"The one sure prediction : All predictions will be proven wrong"

Prof. Henry Kautz

Said : Prof. Henry Kautz - Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Rochester Data Science Institute at the University of Rochester - speaking on the impact of AI on society during the IJCAI-13, the Twenty-third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence held in Beijing, China from August 3-9, 2013.

According to Kautz's presentation, technology is shaping society… by making it fatter. He presented a slide showing the rapid rise in the rate of obesity, especially in the technologically developed countries. 

"We are remarkably bad at predicting the form technology will take, and how it will change our lives. We rarely envision the actual as even one of the possible futures," he said in relation to being pessimistic about predicting the future. "Future must be almost upon us before we can see it coming providing us a short window to act to change the outcome," he added.
Kautz illustrated several pros and cons if Artificial Intelligence (AI) was achieved. He concluded showing the following slide.

Monday, November 4, 2013

“Please, open your markets. Invest in Pakistan. Make profits, and help drive our economic development.”

Foreign Minister Westerwelle with Chief Minister
Sharif, State Secretary Herkes of the Federal
Economics Ministry and Stefan Dircks of the
Association of German Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (DIHK)

Said : Chief Minister of Punjab, Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif (Brother of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) on October 30, 2013 at the launch of 'Pakistan Days' in Berlin - an event in organized by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Pakistan German Business Forum.

According to Germany's Federal Foreign Office, more than 300 participants from Pakistan and Germany gathered at the House of German Business in Berlin to work together on deepening German‑Pakistan trade relations. The discussions centered on the search for new markets and fresh opportunities open to investors and businesses in the two countries.

The German Foreign Minister Westerwelle advised the Government of Pakistan to "continue its reform policy, even if some of the necessary steps will be unpopular, like raising the tax base or restructuring public enterprises.”

Germany is an important market for Pakistan’s businesses selling medical instruments and jewelry as well as textiles and agricultural products.