10 Oct 2006

Stability as a Function of its Openness



The author of The J Curve, Ian Bremmer was recently on The Daily Show and seemed to be talking alot of sense so it might be a timely read for the likes of Lee Hsien Loong...
With this timely book, political risk consultant Bremmer aims to "describe the political and economic forces that revitalize some states and push others toward collapse." His simple premise is that if one were to graph a nation's stability as a function of its openness, the result would be a "J curve," suggesting that as nations become more open, they become less stable until they eventually surpass their initial levels of stability. In other words, a closed society like Cuba is relatively stable; a more open society like Saudi Arabia is less so; and an extremely open society like the United States is extremely stable. Bremmer expertly distills decades—sometimes centuries—of history as he analyzes 10 countries at different positions on the J curve. North Korea is perhaps the most disturbing example of the left side of the curve, where a closed authoritarian regime produces effective stability; on the right of the curve sit stable countries like Turkey, Israel and India. This leads Bremmer to conclude that political isolation and sanctions often work against their intended results and that globalization is the key to opening closed authoritarian states. Bremmer persuasively illustrates his core thesis without eliding the complexities of global or national politics.



26 comments:

Anonymous said...

doesnt sound like much of a theory to me; if I plot fatness against happiness, I will probably find a J curve too

if his study menas anything, it is that stability is not necessarily good, nor openness necessarily bad; maybe PAP want to remember that

relatively anonymous said...

u said PROBABLY.

which means u doubt your own assertion.

if u use dubious analogies it'll only cloud the initial idea.

Anonymous said...

you are probably right...

relatively anonymous said...

~yawn~

how much doublespeak n word games do we need in this world?

Anonymous said...

probably a lot

relatively anonymous said...

how much?

Anonymous said...

probably we shall never know

relatively anonymous said...

i am satisfied with how this exchange has played out :)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous and relatively anonymous are probably not Muslims.

Anonymous said...

to return to my topic: very fat people are probably not happy, and very thin people are probably not happy, while not fat-not thin people are probably happier; therefore I probably have a J curve

also, very beautiful women have bad fate, and very unbeautiful women also have bad fate; I have discovered another J curve

and ...

unfortunately, academics, authors, reporters... have to make a living; so they keep discovering nice sounding theories which actually have little meaning

searcher said...

Go to youtube and make a search on Ian Bremmer. You get to see 13parts video mentioning the J curve. Enjoy!

foxtroott said...

unfortunately also, some ppl who don't really understand what a j-curve is n what the whole thing is all abt is trying to criticise academics while they themselves offer pathetic generalizations.

very beautiful women have bad fate - wow

and very unbeautiful women also have bad fate - wow wow

i am so impressed, this is so meaningful.

hkwoee said...

i cannot beat jet lee, so i fashioned a jet lee rag doll, i was quite happy afterwards.

r u happy? Anonymous-very unbeautiful women?

soci said...

I usually read but do not respond to annonymous comments but this one...
"to return to my topic: very fat people are probably not happy, and very thin people are probably not happy, while not fat-not thin people are probably happier; therefore I probably have a J curve

also, very beautiful women have bad fate, and very unbeautiful women also have bad fate; I have discovered another J curve

and ...

unfortunately, academics, authors, reporters... have to make a living; so they keep discovering nice sounding theories which actually have little meaning "

needs to be highlighted for its level of ignorance. Yes the word I have used is 'ignorance'. If the commentator has sobered up, I allow you the benefit of the doubt that you have been pissed while posting your comments, try buying the book - reading it then making an assertion regarding its validity and reliability.

Anonymous said...

buying the book; of course that's what the author wants me to do...

now since you guys admire the book so much, do explain to me what's the big deal about "some closed societies are stable; some open ones are stable"; how is that better than "some fat people are unhappy; some thin ones are unhappy“?
maybe people are impressed because they are ignorant and easily impressed

Anonymous said...

those easily impressed should also try the book "the long tail" - starting from Amazon helping to find market for books with narrow appeal, the authors then saw the long tail in everything, just as you can see J curve everywhere

others might prefer to be impressed by Nostradamus, or something called the Jupiter Effect

hkwoee said...

i am satisfied with how this exchange has played out also. :)

foxtroott said...

agreed. whatever that needed to be exposed has already been done. the exchange should have been over where relatively anonymous have left.

it was foolhardy to have tried to engage this fella.

how much doublespeak n abracadabra do we need in this world?

coriander said...

a: X is bad

b: disagree.

a: u guys admire X, wahahahaha.

b: can i not admire X yet still call for a fair evalution of X?

a: according to be not probably not possible. i only deal in absolutes, either u r with me or against.

b: how much do u know abt X?

a: none of your business n i m not going to find out more becos thats what the author wants me to do.

governement of country G : u don't understand our policies.

a: none of your business n i m not going to find out more becos thats what u want me to do, expect the mightly clever me to fall for such a simple trick?

j: i am not going to i make investments becos thats what the banks want me to do.

p: i am not going to work today becos thats what my boss whats me to do.

s: i am not going to wake up today becos thats what numerous ppl wants me to do, hah, do u expect me to fall for that?

bing said...

quote:
[His simple premise is that if one were to graph a nation's stability as a function of its openness, the result would be a "J curve," suggesting that as nations become more open, they become less stable until they eventually surpass their initial levels of stability. ]

meaning when openness increase, initially stability will decrease(according to him, theoretically), but when it reaches a certain level of openess(relatively a lot as compared to the beginning), stability will increase to surpass it's initial level.

YOU r saying it's the same with fatness n happiness.

meaning when fatness increase, initially happiness will decrease, but when it reaches a certain level of fatness(relatively a lot as compared to the beginning), happiness will increase to surpass it's initial level.


wow, so we r all looking at all the wrong places for happiness all this while after all, the only thing we need to do is to make ourselves fat, oh, wrong, correction i mean super fat, cos fat is not enough, u'll be unhappy.

same goes for the opposite.

kudos to your anonymous greatness.

Anonymous said...

you got the curve upside down: very fat people and very thin people are probably unhappy, and not fat not thin people are probably more happy; a J curve

see, ignorant people are easily impressed; maybe I discovered another J curve, ignorance versus impressibility

bing said...

[very fat people and very thin people are probably unhappy]

to start with, your premise is already flawed, so much for ignorance hur, so much for the magniloquence hur.

with all the ad hominem n logical fallacies u have committed u r not worthy to debate with me.

to me anyone who lost their cool in an exchange or consciously resort to commiting logical fallacies(for obvious reasons), it would be taken that that they have lost.

u have fallen.

bing said...

n of cos, i expect u to come back with more rhetorical babble, do carry on.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the attention; I only respond when there is something new to comment on

none of you have provided any explanation why you guys were so impressed with that author's trivial observation; I can only conclude some people are impressed because they are easily impressed

Anonymous said...

aiyah, stop putting words in other ppl's mouth lah, nobody said they were impressed, none of those who have responded swear by what the author said as if it was some sort of holy scripture, they merely called for a fair evalution n understanding of the idea before anyone tries to make hasty conclusions or attacks on it.

u r just trying to polarize the situation and force those who have called for a fair trial into a position of "the worshippers of the author" so that u can brush them aside.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with what you said, but those comments were not "please be fairminded"; they were "you are stupid", thus giving me the impression that they were easily impressed; I am happy to leave the discussion at this