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16 May 2008

Believe It or Not

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:23pm

A bottle of beer may cost half a billion dollars; by next week it could be a billion. Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe reached a terrifying 355,000% in March, with prices doubling roughly once a week. It is probably much higher now. In a vain attempt to keep up, the country has just issued a Z$500m banknote, which is worth some $2 (or less by the time you reach the end of this sentence). The billion-dollar note is surely on its way. After a decade of recession Zimbabwe is reaching all sorts of extremes: it has the fastest-contracting peacetime economy; its people are fleeing both repression and chronic hunger; life-expectancy is plummeting to the mid-20s. Despite all this, Robert Mugabe, the incumbent, expects to win a run-off presidential election on June 27th.

- Source: The Economist

Just the other day, I read how North Koreans (the poor ones, though), on the brink of a severe famine due to food crisis, have started trying tree-bark and grass for food. Although the inaction on the part of the government is understandable - due to its rigid foreign policies and cold international relations - yet it confounded me that situations test humans to the limit. All that superfluous gibberish about "collapse of barriers" notwithstanding, the world is still a definitely divided, apathetically disconnected place.

There certainly are quite a few "believe it or not" things happening in the big, insane, and horrible world out there! Only, they are rather chilling than exciting!

8 Comments | "Believe It or Not" »

  1. By zzzzzzz again:

    27 May 2008, 10:22pm [ Reply ]

    clickable link: Life, Redundant

  2. By zzzzzzzz:

    27 May 2008, 10:19pm [ Reply ]

    trying to make text hyper: fullhyd

  3. By fullhyd.com:

    27 May 2008, 9:02pm [ Reply ]

    You cannot make something a clickable link on fullhyd.com unless you know how to do it :) - it's part of the battle against spam...

  4. By Vijay: Again!

    27 May 2008, 2:25pm [ Reply ]

    Okay, here's the link, once again; have included line breaks to ensure it doesn't get cut at the right margin (hoping it would be usable this time 'round):


    (Vj, how do I make something a clickable link when posting a comment to your blog?)

  5. By Vijay: Link to 'Life, Redundant'

    27 May 2008, 2:13pm [ Reply ]

    Okay, for visitors to this blog who might be wondering which post of Vj's I was referring to in my earlier comment, here's the link to 'Life, Redundant':

  6. By Vijay: It's All About Priorities

    26 May 2008, 7:25pm [ Reply ]

    "A bottle of beer may cost half a billion dollars; by next week it could be a billion."

    Pray, why should alcohol still continue to be a priority even at a billion dollars a bottle?

    This is exactly the problem with our system of economics on the overall—the problem of misplaced priorities.

    To give an example nearer home, for a nation like India, which has been struggling with oil bills over the decades, it would be nothing less than an atrocious luxury to indulge in motor sports. Petrol-guzzling monster bikes must have no place on Indian roads, and a lifestyle that celebrates biking must be identified as anti-national and anti-environmental as well.

    But No, we would rather pride ourselves as a nation that gives its individuals unrestrained freedom to practice their hobbies rather than have stringent rules at least until people become mature enough to manage their own priorities without government intervention, propaganda, coercion, etc.

    As is said, there is enough to satisfy everyone's need but not everyone's greed. And in a globalised world, globalisation by itself being ethics-neutral, it must be all the more easier to ensure that everyone's needs are met promptly. But that is, if and only if we as a race learn to get our priorities right, and quickly at that.

    (p.s.: At this juncture, a relook at VJ's post on redundancies might throw better light on priorities.)

  7. By Incognito!: better believe it!!

    21 May 2008, 9:53pm [ Reply ]

    Well, before we take a jab at international situations, its better to take a look at our own Indian scene. Mumbai is now home to the costliest house ever built worth $1 billion by the Ambanis and in the same city over 30% is covered with the largest slum in Asia - Dharavi!

    News channels are more interested in bollywood than the inflation rates.

    More than 4000 people starve to death each day in India, and yet we have the money to host IPL the costliest sporting event in the history of India.

  8. By Portuguese Man-of-War:

    17 May 2008, 5:29pm [ Reply ]

    There are a hell of a lot of "believe it or not" things happening in the big, insane, and horrible world out there. I recently read a story of a man in some European country who kept his daughter in a cellar of his house for 27 years, from the time she was about 17, and had 7 children with her. The cellar had no windows, and the daughter hadn't seen sunlight for 24 years. And her kids had never seen sunlight. There's more where this came from. The man is now 71, and I think in jail.

    You gave macro-economics and this is a freak case, but the point is think of the most horrible thing, something you can't imagine people doing, and chances are it's happened a million times the last year.

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