Mail Call

We’re back from our little retreat. Over the transom while we were en route:

First, a tireless and Argus-eyed reader has noticed an item at Iran’s Press TV website reporting that Muammar Qaddafi (or however we’re supposed to spell that moniker of his; I never seem to see it the same way twice) has left Libya. Biggish news if true. Here.

Also, a correspondent has sent along a link to an in-depth item over at Half Sigma about why programming is a lousy career. Not being one of those anonymous bloggers, it might be imprudent for me to comment from a personal perspective, so I’ll just suggest that you read it here.

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  1. JK says

    Seems to be some problem with your linkings Malcolm – given the apparent “chaos” in what’s his name’s country and that the Iranian sources have pulled the initial report (due to some confusion over his ultimate destination – I think).

    Anyway, always wanting to help…

    And, it can be kinda perplexing when it comes to “reading and interpreting what one is reading” on al-Jazeera, nevertheless:

    What’s his name’s son says “he (Dad) is in the country” – but other sources indicate he may be having a summit with Hugo C.

    Oh, I did mention it’s chaotic? There are some sources reporting the son is blaming Canada for fomenting Libya’s “problems.”

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink
  2. Kevin Kim says

    I’ll just write his name in IPA from now on: [gǝdáfi].

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    “Blame Canada”, eh? Not without precedent.

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    What an amazing month – perhaps the most consequential month for global affairs since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    It looks like the wacky Qaddafi is on his way out. Who’s next? The humor-challenged Kim Jong-Il?

    That would truly be a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Consequential, yes, though what the consequences will be is far from clear. The Maghreb ain’t Germany.

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink
  6. the one eyed man says

    Agreed. In the fullness of Time, the Truth will be revealed to us all.

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
  7. Kevin Kim says

    There’s a good bit of buzz in the Koreablogosphere about toppling the Kim regime, but the buzz is generally pessimistic. One of the earlier posts, which dealt with why NK isn’t like Egypt, can be found here. Current buzz about Libya centers on Libya/NK disanalogies as well; Libyan citizens have had plenty of access to social networking and other “crowdsourcing” technologies, which is still not the case in North Korea (for more, see here, especially the comments; the post was written just before Libya blew up, and the comments continue the discussion).

    My feeling, based on my having read Kang Chol-hwan’s harrowing The Aquariums of Pyongyang, is that, because information about the rest of the world tends to trickle into NK either through SK or China, news about the revolutions in the Middle East will eventually reach the people, and may have reached them already. Whether this will motivate them to network is another matter, but it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that global events may be impinging, however lightly, on NK citizens’ consciousness.

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Well, while I’ve put a lot of effort into understanding the history, religion, and culture of the Middle East, I certainly can’t say the same when it comes to Korea. All I have are a superficial knowledge of its history, the strategic/security updates I can pick up from the sources I read, and whatever feel for the East I’ve gotten from my long immersion in the Chinese kung-fu community here in New York, and from having spent a little time working in Japan.

    You and Jeffery are the go-to guys for the inside skinny, as far as I’m concerned, and I hope you’ll keep your ears to the ground.

    My impression is that it would be much more difficult for a groundswell to build up over there — mostly due to what seems to be far deeper control and isolation, but I also wonder what role the innate and cultural differences between Arabs and Northeast Asians might play.

    Posted February 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink