How the Internet has changed the world

Brian’s got a cool new Infographic.

I see a great irony in that figure on how many American documents Wikileaks has put out. You know why it’s mostly American documents? Because in places like Russia, China, Saudia Arabia, North Korea, etc. someone who leaks a document doesn’t face a loss of career and possible jail time, they face being tortured and shot, and maybe not just themselves but their families. Thus my love/hate relationship with the whole Wikileaks thing in the first place.

Democracy on the brink in Romania

Although many people are cynical about it, an enormous amount of political science data shows that it’s in the US and the rest of the world’s best interests to see more democracies around the globe. Democracies tend to be more stable, less warlike, less violent, and more economically stable (yes, believe it or not, even what Greece has been through recently to pales compared to what’s happened under many dictatorships and autocracies). Thus it’s very disheartening from that perspective, as well as a human rights perspective, to see recent goings-on in Romania, which had been on a positive path toward developing a robust democracy. Vladimir Tismaneanu has an in-depth look at the incredible upheavals in Romania over the last year. This bodes poorly not just for Romania, but for the region as a whole.