viernes, 21 de mayo de 2010

Class´ comments

I found this space (blog) an innovative way that let us express our ideas and contrast them with those of our classmates. I had never had this kind of activity in any other class and I think it is a good way to evaluate the follow up.
Regarding the presentations and the final report, I think they are proper for the course, since they help with the accomplishment of the course´s goals
I just have one suggestion and it is regarding the midterm exam, I would have preferred it to be more concrete and focus on some determined topics.

jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010


Since I was a child, I have always heard about the chibcha ethnic. Because of those common comments, I imagined that it had been an important indigenous culture in our country. However, I didn´t know too much about them. Therefore, I decided to close this blog, presenting some important facts about this cultural group that, for my surprise, did not only habit in Colombia but in a vast zone which went from Nicaragua to Ecuador (including Venezuela). It means that this indigenous group was located in the middle of the two most important American indigenous ethnics, the Inca and the Maya. As a consequence of their location, the chibchas received a great influence from these two ethnics
Searching on the web, I found that the chibchas were not an homogenous group, in contrast, they had so many sub-classifications and there were innumerable conflicts and wars among them. The most important chibcha´s sub-ethnic in Colombia was the Muiscas, which were located mainly in Bogota, Antioquia, Popayan and Cartago.
As a general characteristic of the chibcha ethnic, it can be said that they were great gold workers. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before, they were an uneven cultural group and due to that reason it is pretty difficult to mention more general characteristics about them. The last fact, generated that the chibchas ethnics got different development levels, being the most advanced in Colombia, those whose location was Bogota (they were called moscas)
Regarding the religion, I found that this indigenous ethnic had a vague idea about a god and they adored natural phenomena as kind of gods, they had some heroes as well. About the life after death, the chibchas thought that it depended on the behavior that individuals had had in this world.
I wanted to present this topic in the Latin America module because of the importance that indigenous cultures had over this continent. Unfortunately, their legacy has been almost eliminated from our land. Despite the last fact, I invite you to think that indigenous cultures were not inferior cultures that were destined to despair because of their low development. Before the arrival of Europeans to America, those groups had already developed complex forms of social life (there is even some evidence that some indigenous cultures had created a kind of civil code to regulate the social life), religion, work and management.

Bibliography (n.d.). Los Chibchas de Nueva Granada. Retrieved May 20, 2010, from

miércoles, 12 de mayo de 2010

Classmates´ blogs

Having checked some of my classmates´ blogs, I consider that the best one is Daniel Botero´s blog ( As I wrote on his blog, he offers a rich background about the topics he is discussing and he makes clear statements.

Blogs visited:

viernes, 30 de abril de 2010

Is it enough to say sorry to the Stolen Generation?

First of all, I have to say that I consider the Australian aboriginal state policy a total mistake. The policy could have had a benevolent motivation: to insert aboriginals into the civil society in order to contribute to solve their marginality problem. However, the remedy resulted much worse than the disease and two great mistakes were made, from my point of view:
1. The aboriginal insertion to the white civilization should have been an option and not an obligation, as it actually was
2. The insertion should have been an option for the whole family and not just for children, because family disintegration provoked great pain.
Anyway, it is kind of absurd to talk about what could have been, but wasn´t.
I think that to say sorry is, by no means, enough to fix all the pain that state policy generated for aboriginal people. It is a good thing that the Australian government recognizes such a great mistake, but aboriginals need structural programs that help them to leave poverty or at least to live in a more proper condition.
Firstly, it is vital that the Australian government establishes different policies that aim to preserve aboriginals´ cultural expressions, since that culture was weakened during the stolen generation. The fact that aboriginals constitute a low develop society, doesn´t mean that their culture isn´t a valuable one.
The Australian nation has a great debt with aborigines and it has to offers them tangible and beneficial reparation measures
Aboriginals should be given the option to migrate to the city, but after an educational process that teach them about the benefits that it would represent for them. That option should be available for all members of the family, in order to avoid family separation.
For those who don´t want to move from their isolated territories, the government should provide them with not only basic needs covering staff, such as food and clothes; but also with structural long-terms policies, that allowed aboriginals to change their sad fate. Basically, the government should educate those people so that avoid social issues such as alcoholism, sexual abuse and violence; which are so common within aboriginal communities. Moreover, the government ought to create any labor source that absorbs those aborigines that can work, since that policy would represent several benefits: in the way that people find something to do, some social problems like alcoholism will decrease; they would feel productive and they would be able to earn some money that could help them to solve their problems. That labor sources could be related with agricultural activities

Appleton, J. (n.d.). Australia´s "stolen generation" and the extinction of aboriginality. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from Culture Wars:

jueves, 22 de abril de 2010

Best of blogs 2010 awards

After have checked some of the winners blogs of “the best of blogs 2010 awards”, I really liked the Spanish blog: La vuelta al mundo de Asun y Ricardo Nice blog for those who like to travel around the world

Trade Unions

Trade Unions have their inception during the industrial revolution, when labor negotiations were usually in favor of employers, who most of the times mistreated employees and pay them low wages. Nevertheless, since WWII there has been a tendency of European states to benefits their populations with a series of policies that look for their well-being. Those attempts from the European states have contributed to ease troubled relations between employers and employees. The last fact has driven to a situation where trade unions are starting to care about other more structural social problems (not just wage or labor hours bargaining) in Europe and they are having problems when recruiting new members. So many European countries are crossing through a period of “de-unionization” during the last 30 years. Among the causes of the last phenomenon we find: the de-industrialization, the growth of flexible employment and some changes in normative orientation from collectivism towards individualism (Towers & Terry)
In the Nordic countries and Belgium, though there has been some de-unionization process, trade unions still has a relevant role and as it is mentioned in (Towers & Terry), they played a fundamental role withstanding the socioeconomic changes and labor flexibility pressures of the 80´s and 90´s
In Italy and Germany, trade unions are still important as well, basically in institutionalized partnership relations. In Germany, for example, it is so common that managers consult some companies´ decisions with trade unions.
Finally, Portugal, Spain and France have low trade unions rates. What is paradoxical about the last situation is that labor journey in France, for example, is too short and there is a good labor environment for employees in general, despite the low trade unions rates.
To make a comparison between the role of trade unions in Europe and their role in Colombia is quite difficult because as it can be noticed from the last lines, there is not a single role for all European trade unions. However, in general terms we can say that trade unions in Colombia have a more troubled relations with employers (and the government) because they are not realists, and to fulfill their demands would mean destroy the local economy regarding the debate of the minimum wage, for example. It may sound so radical but I think that trade unions do not have a structural vision of the economy and they just look for their interests

• Piette, Jean-Jacques. 2004. “Understanding management German style”. Les Amis de L’ecole de Paris.
• Towers, B., & Terry, M. European Industrial Relations. Blackwell Publishing.
• Trade Unions across Europe. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2010, from Federation of European employers:

domingo, 18 de abril de 2010

E-commerce and Islamism

As it is broadly known, Islamism is a so traditional religion which has a great influence in the politics of Islamic countries. From my personal point of view, Islamic principles have caused some clash between religion and the way the economy advances in modern times.
Undoubtedly, one of the phenomenons that have revolutionized the current global economy is e-commerce, an innovative way of make transactions that have made them cheaper and faster. Moreover, e-commerce has allowed the convergence of myriads of buyers and salespersons around the world in a virtual and instantaneous place.
When these two elements (Islamism and e-commerce) join, one may think that there will be a clash. The article “E-commerce from an Islamic perspective” discus until what extent that clash takes place.
According to the article, Islamism has clear and maybe harsh rules regarding negotiation processes. Actually, those rules proposed by Islamism are the same ones that almost all the societies in the world desire negotiators to fulfill, with the exception of usury, which is not well-regarded in Islamic countries contrary to what happened in the rest of the world, where usury is just as normal as ask for a sales commission. The fact is that Islamism is too rigid when trying to make people to respect bargaining principles and there is when some conflicts arise with e-commerce. For example, Islamism assigned a great importance to the proper recognition of both parties involved in a financial transaction and rejects some kind of marketing strategies that use confusing messages in order to get consumers to buy some products. Regarding the last two concepts, e-commerce may not fulfill Islamic rules.
The clearest challenge for e-commerce to penetrate Islamic nations is the fact that they do not accept usury. That has obliged companies offering products on the web to think about other ways of payment, without using credit cards since they use financial interests and it is not allowed in Islamic nations. One of those ways of payment is letter of credit, for instance.
As conclusion, I think that Islamic nations should either find the way to manipulate things (because use a letter of credit or a credit card is the same thing) in order to incorporate financial innovations within their economic activities while respecting their own rules, or open themselves to the new financial innovations of the world, otherwise they will be in a disadvantageous position since the rest of the world is benefiting from them