What We Are Reading Today: Portuguese Merchants in the Manila Galleon System

What We Are Reading Today: Portuguese Merchants in the Manila Galleon System
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Updated 02 October 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Portuguese Merchants in the Manila Galleon System

What We Are Reading Today: Portuguese Merchants in the Manila Galleon System

Author: Cuauhtaemoc Villamar

In this book, the writer examines the role of Portuguese merchants in the formation of the Manila Galleon as a system of trade founded at the end of the sixteenth century.

The rise of Manila as a crucial transhipment port was not a spontaneous incident. Instead, it came about through a complex combination of circumstances and interconnections that nurtured the establishment of the Manila Galleon system, a trading mechanism that lasted two and half centuries from 1565 until 1815.

The writer analyses the establishment of the regulatory framework of the trade across the Pacific Ocean as a whole setting that provided legality to the transactions, predictability to the transportation and security to the stakeholders, according to a review on goodreads.com

The writer looks both at the Spanish crown strategy in Asia, and the emergence of a network of Portuguese merchants located in Manila and active in the long-distance trade.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Roman Republic of Letters

What We Are Reading Today: The Roman Republic of Letters
Updated 2 min 6 sec ago

What We Are Reading Today: The Roman Republic of Letters

What We Are Reading Today: The Roman Republic of Letters

Author: Katharina Volk 

In The Roman Republic of Letters, Katharina Volk explores a fascinating chapter of intellectual history, focusing on the literary senators of the mid-first century BCE who came to blows over the future of Rome even as they debated philosophy, history, political theory, linguistics, science, and religion.

It was a period of intense cultural flourishing and extreme political unrest—and the agents of each were very often the same people.

Members of the senatorial class, including Cicero, Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, Cato, Varro, and Nigidius Figulus, contributed greatly to the development of Roman scholarship and engaged in a lively and often polemical exchange with one another. 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Animal Farm’ story of a group of farm animals

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Updated 39 min 27 sec ago

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Animal Farm’ story of a group of farm animals

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  • A memorable quote from the book says, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

“Animal Farm” is a satirical and allegorical beast fable written by George Orwell, and first published in 1945 in England.

Unlike other beast fables, Orwell added human characters to show that oppression in animals and humans is one and the same.

The book focusses on farm animals who one day realize the extreme oppression and living conditions they are experiencing under the power exercised by their human farmer.

The animals envision a society where they can live as equals with free will, and they plan a rebellion.

A memorable quote from the book says, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Orwell argues that in 1945 England — when the book was set — moral discrepancies in society were apparent and obvious enough that it seemed like the eternal norm at the time.

The book sheds light on all forms of totalitarianism, and the socio-political repercussions which follow.

The social criticism referred to in “Animal Farm” also extended to the Soviet Union under Communist rule and the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The dystopian theme continues in other Orwell books, such as “1984,” which highlights the future of humanity bereft of justice and equality.

“Animal Farm” sold 250,000 copies when it was first published in 1945. As of today, the book has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide.

George Orwell was the pen name adopted by Eric Arthur Blair who was best known for his political satire. An essayist, novelist, and critic, he was born in India, studied at Eton College, and was buried in England.

He was the pupil of Aldous Huxley, the English writer who set the scene for the dystopian genre.

 

 


What We Are Reading Today: Insectpedia: A Brief Compendium of Insect Lore

What We Are Reading Today: Insectpedia: A Brief  Compendium of Insect Lore
Updated 28 November 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Insectpedia: A Brief Compendium of Insect Lore

What We Are Reading Today: Insectpedia: A Brief  Compendium of Insect Lore

Author: Eric R. Eaton

Insectpedia introduces you to the wonders of the insect world while inviting you to make discoveries of your own.

Featuring dozens of entries on topics ranging from murder hornets and the “insect apocalypse” to pioneering entomologists such as Margaret James Strickland Collins and Douglas Tallamy, this beautifully illustrated, pocket-friendly encyclopedia dispels many common myths about insects while offering new perspectives on the vital relationships we share with these incredible creatures.


What We Are Reading Today: Scientific Parallel Computing

What We Are Reading Today: Scientific Parallel Computing
Updated 28 November 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Scientific Parallel Computing

What We Are Reading Today: Scientific Parallel Computing

Edited by Larkin Ridgway Scott, Terry Clark, And Babak Bagheri

What does Google’s management of billions of Web pages have in common with analysis of a genome with billions of nucleotides? Both apply methods that coordinate many processors to accomplish a single task.

From mining genomes to the World Wide Web, from modeling financial markets to global weather patterns, parallel computing enables computations that would otherwise be impractical if not impossible with sequential approaches alone.

Scientific Parallel Computing is the first textbook to integrate all the fundamentals of parallel computing in a single volume while also providing a basis for a deeper understanding of the subject.


What We Are Reading Today: Microfinance and Its Discontents by Lamia Karim

What We Are Reading Today: Microfinance and Its Discontents by Lamia Karim
Updated 26 November 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Microfinance and Its Discontents by Lamia Karim

What We Are Reading Today: Microfinance and Its Discontents by Lamia Karim

In 2006, the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh won the Nobel Peace Prize for its innovative microfinancing operations.

This path-breaking study of gender, grassroots globalization, and neoliberalism in Bangladesh look critically at the Grameen Bank and three of the leading NGOs in the country.

Amid euphoria over the benefits of microfinance, Lamia Karim offers a timely and sobering perspective on the practical, and possibly detrimental, realities for poor women inducted into microfinance operations.

In a series of ethnographic cases, Karim shows how NGOs use social codes of honor and shame to shape the conduct of women and to further an agenda of capitalist expansion, according to a review on goodreads.com

These unwritten policies subordinate poor women to multiple levels of debt that often lead to increased violence at the household and community levels, thereby weakening women’s ability to resist the onslaught of market forces.