Innovative word of the week: Chimerica
Yesterday on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal (sub req), Harvard Business School professor Niall Ferguson, author of bestselling books like Colossus and Empire, coined a new word to describe the economic relationship between America and China: Chimerica. (The word has the added bonus of sounding a lot like "Chimera," to invoke the Chinese dragon, presumably). Is it just me, or does Chimerica sound like a description of the relationship between East Germany and West Germany during the heyday of the Soviet Union?:
"To understand the current and persistent disconnect between returns on and the cost of capital, think of a single Sino-American economy. Chimerica accounts for only 13% of the world's land surface, but a quarter of its population and fully a third of its GDP. What's more, it's accounted for over 60% of the cumulative growth in world GDP over the past five years.
West Chimericans are wealthy and hedonistic; East Chimericans are much poorer... But the two halves of Chimerica are complementary. West Chimericans are experts in business administration, marketing and finance. East Chimericans specialize in engineering and manufacturing. Profligate West Chimericans cannot get enough of the gadgets mass produced in the East; they save not a penny of their income and are happy to borrow against their fancy houses. Parsimonious East Chimericans live more humbly and cautiously. They would rather save a third of their own income and lend it to the West Chimericans to fund their gadget habit - and keep East Chimericans in jobs."
[image: Berlin Wall Dragon]
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
- How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
- To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
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