Deforestation, commodities and the lives of South East Asians

The titles above seem to portray the concerns of Europe and the West over deforestation in Asia or specifically South East Asia. The focus is palm oil, the major crop and commodity of Malaysia and Indonesia that contributes a significant portion to their respective GDP.

I wonder if the parties against deforestation always had better solutions for eradicating poverty and improving living standard and lifestyle of the people in these palm oil producing countries. A primary responsibility of a government is creating jobs and providing means for earning a living for its citizens by utilizing available resources. If the resources are natural, then there is no escape, damage is certain.

Continue reading

A blockchain use case: Unlocking ‘Dead Capital’

Dead capital is made up of assets that are not recognized in the financial economy. It is an economic term used to describe property which has no legal recognition.

It is a world where the ownership of assets is difficult to trace
and validate. It is governed by no legally recognizable set of
rules; where the assets’ potentially useful economic attributes
have not been described or organized; where they cannot be used
to obtain surplus value through multiple transactions because
their unfixed nature and uncertainty leave too much room for
misunderstanding, faulty recollection and reversal of agreement.
Where most assets, in short, are dead capital.

Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital

Agriculture is not just a food-producing industry. It is the backbone of the
rural livelihood system and a major source of employment. Moreover, smallholder farmers fill the major share of the global food production.

But, many rural farmers may not even have a savings account. They are located in remote areas and are not high income earners. Banks find it inconvenient and costly to provide services to those unbanked. Continue reading


The meaning of politics according to the Oxford dictionary.


  • The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.
  • The activities of governments concerning the political relations between states.
  • The academic study of government and the state.
  • A particular set of political beliefs or principles.
  • The principles relating to or inherent in a sphere or activity, especially when concerned with power and status.
  • Activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization.

The keywords seem to be government, state, country, power, status, parties and political beliefs or principles. I find this shallow and merely technical. I would say that politics must be build upon the land and nature that sustains lives including humans. It must not be made for administrative borders and the well being of just humans.

If we don’t work to save and secure the environment and ecology, human survival will become uncertain and then politics will be futile. Continue reading

Sharing Economy

We know that people have been sharing and bartering since the earliest civilizations began. So, there is nothing innovative about farmers sharing their tools and we letting our friends to stay over at our place for a night or two. These have more to do with sharing and nothing in terms of business.

It’s different when people do similar things with strangers for a fee. Technology has delivered ease of use and convenience for organizing a wide range of peer-to-peer commercial exchange that has given birth to Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit and many more.

Uber and Lyft, for example, enable individuals to turn their own cars into taxis. These individuals have the liberty to decide when to drive and for how long. For some of them it’s a gig and for many others it’s the main source of income. Airbnb enables residential property owners to turn their properties into hotels and TaskRabbit is your errand boy. Continue reading

REIC: Real Estate Investment Cooperative

REIC is an example of how a community could take charge of its place and with that its culture and destiny. It is a community organized real estate investment fund where everybody from the community could invest and become a member-owner. It’s barn-raising 21st century style where all members have a vote in decision making. REIC is formed upon the belief that when none could do it alone, it could be done by leveraging contribution of a community. Continue reading

Social Progress Index (SPI)

Social Progress Index (SPI) is a new framework used to measure the state of social progress of a country or a region. It has 52 measurement indicators defined within 3 major aspects, these are, Basic human needs, Foundations of well-being and Opportunity. It basically defines what it means and what it takes to be a good society. Continue reading

I Wish : A Democratic Setup

Democracy that is used to form governments has not been working. That’s because the governments formed through democratic process don’t seem to really serve the people for whom they were setup. And that’s because the politicians who were voted to form the governments only have the time to serve themselves, their kin and the political party they belong. It hasn’t been difficult to observe a serious element that corrupts and deviates individuals in politics from the objectives of democratic government. I found this element to be the political parties. I wish for the demise of political parties. Continue reading

Better Banks, not Bigger Banks 2

Bank of North Dakota of USA was found in 1919 by a community of disgruntled farmers who got tired of the unfair practices of big banks and grain companies. Private banks charged them high double-digit interest on their loans. Big grain companies bought their wheat at a standard low price disregarding their grade. The farmers wanted fair price for their grain and credit as needed. So, by politics and state legislature they created Bank of North Dakota as a state financing arm and a state-owned mill to buy from the farmers and sell in the markets. Continue reading

Miracle Seeds?

The field of genetic engineering developed the ability to move genes between cells, organisms and species. An organism such as a bacteria, insect, animal, seed or plant whose genetic material has been altered using the techniques of genetic engineering is called Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). In 1995 WTO ruled that micro organisms and micro-biological processes already existing in nature could be patented. This gave birth to seeds that are genetically engineered to contain a particular gene, patented and privately owned. Continue reading

Social and Solidarity Economy

Peerathorn Seniwong and wife from Bangkok, Thailand lived in poverty without jobs or a home for years. They survived by turning into scavengers who dig through rubbish for recyclable stuff. They exchanged the recyclables for little money at the recycling plants. Experience of extreme poverty urged Seniwong to find a way to help himself climb out of it while helping others who shared similar fate. Continue reading