This past week has been pretty busy. Wednesday I went with a couple friends to see Mick Cox speak about "Barack Obama and the End of the American Empire." It was a really interesting talk. I won't go into much detail (I can't really do him justice) but it covered the issue of China's (frantically paced) growth the how that will affect America's standing in the global political environment and economy. His was a tone of caution, sure China is rising but the fact remains that the US is the dominant super-power. He also spent some time talking about the implications of the rise of the East for Europe. That reminds me that one of his most interesting points, and perhaps the one that will stick with me the most, is the issue of defining "The East." As he said, when one says "The West," you know what they mean. We can relatively easily define the West both geographically and, more importantly, politically. Not so with the East. Is Japan part of the East? Geographically sure, but politically it's a powerful part of the West. What about South Korea? Etc.
So that was the lecture. Afterward we headed upstairs a reception which was nice. They had some odd cracker type snacks and wine in a room that was way too small for the number of people who came.
After the reception we headed to George IV to meet up with some classmates for an EC 270 pub night! It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a bunch of people from the course who I hadn't yet had a chance to meet. My class (the 1 hour afternoon thing I had) was a majority American so I enjoyed getting to meet a lot of the international students taking the course. I met people from South Africa, the Netherlands, Venezuela, and maybe France but I'm not sure about that. When George IV closed a small group of us headed off to see Big Ben at night which was really amazing. I only had my phone with me, so the picture above is awful, but I may go back one night with a better camera. It was pretty impressive to see. They turned the lights off while we were there (I can't remember what time it was when they did that, but it happened like clockwork. Sorry, couldn't help myself there.)
The lights shutting off served as a pretty blatant metaphor for the end of my fun, seeing as from the moment I woke up Thursday till noon Friday I did nothing but study for the final exam.