Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Gulag Reflections

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As I mentioned about a week ago, I took it upon myself to read the book The Gulag Archipelago by Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The actual Archipelago series is three volumes, and about 1200 pages. I read the approximately 500 page trimmed-down version of it, making copious highlights along the way.

The book certainly had an impact on me, and I wanted to offer you a smattering of snippets, with remarks along with each one, and perhaps by the time I get to the end, I’ll have some personal insights to offer

I originally was going to break this into multiple parts, due to its length, as well as to satisfy my neurotic need for a large quantity of posts every day. But this post is very long for a reason, and some people will want to consume it all in one sitting. So this will be the only post for twenty-four hours. It took a tremendous amount of work, and it deserves the time.

These snippets are not meant in any way to substitute for the reading of a 500 page book (which itself is less than half the content of the original work), but to instead serve as small jumping-off point for various thoughts and impressions I had. We begin with a description of the ubiquitous and omnipresent risk of being arrested anytime and anywhere during the era of the gulag


Risky Business

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Here is an interesting grid; the x-axis shows the foreign direct investment in percentage terms, and the y-axis shows basically how nasty the place is from a human rights perspective. For instance, the London dot over on the lower right shows good human rights and high foreign investment, whereas the Dubai dot shows pretty high foreign investment but poor human rights. Beijing – – basically the rights suck, and almost no foreign direct investment.