The New Money

You have to admit that, when it comes to money, sometimes Mexico’s got a sense of humor. While we in Mexico do have the best-designed money in the world, I’m not so sure that I’m ready for Diego and Frida on my $500 bills.

 

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David Lida » Blog Archive » The Chinese are coming

During the early twentieth century, the Chinese were one of the largest immigrant groups in Mexico, particularly in the North, where they had great success as merchants. Unfortunately, their accomplishment was followed by an anti-Chinese movement, which included racist legislation and even some incidents of riots, desecration of property, and jailing of Chinese for no reason. This monolithic timepiece, on Calle Bucareli in the Colonia Juarez in Mexico City, is known as “the Chinese clock.” It is a replica of one that was given as a gift to the Mexican people by the Emperor of China in 1910, to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.  Anti-Chinese hooligans destroyed it in 1913. The replacement was set in its place in 1921.

via davidlida.com

Will El Hermano Mayor de Leon be Watching You?

Writing in Fast Company, Austin Carr made more than a few scratch their heads in wonder this evening:

Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) announced today that it is rolling out its iris scanning technology to create what it calls "the most secure city in the world." In a partnership with Leon — one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of more than a million — GRI will fill the city with eye-scanners.

Houston-based lawyer Ignacio Pinto-Leon, who is admitted to practice in Mexico as well as New York, smells an urban legend in the making:

  • Leon is a municipality in the state of Guanajuato. I would think the city does not have a budget for the price tag of the technology. The state executive maybe; the federal government for sure. But not a city.
  • City jails house only drunks and prostitutes for up to 36 hours for each infraction.
  • The state and federal government run the real jails. So, the first take of irises on inmates would give a very poor—but probably cheerful—sample.
  • Put  fancy little cameras in public places in Mexico, and most likely they would get stolen quickly. I’m not bashing my countrymen; just guessing. 
  • So, it would flag the "bad guys." Well, the bad guys in Mexico are really bad guys. They have really big guns—we don’t sell guns in Mexico except through the Mexican Secretary of Defense, but have a neighbor nearby who sells everything from grenades and whatnots at good prices. And sometimes the bad guys attack in groups of forty or more. 
  • Kidnappers would routinely include ripping the eyeballs to avoid detection.
  • Is the government going to share the information with stores in the case of shoplifters? Really? Entrepreneurs distrust the government; why would they open their computers to them?
  • The only two sources with information are: the company’s webpage, and a press release published in an online newspaper. The press release is also by the same company and a local partner.
  • No AP, REUTERS, NOTIMEX or any other agency note. Nada.

Having said that, Pinto-Leon commented:

Mexico is Mexico. Few things would surprise me regarding my beloved country. We say that compared to Mexico, Kafka was a costumbrist (Mexico is essentially Kafkian by nature). I don’t know if they have the technology to try it on such a wide population. My guess is that the note is inaccurate. It would be interesting to read more about it. Constitutionally speaking, there could be some freedom of transit and freedom of privacy issues too. 

 

same life — new location

Flags are the standards of national myth.Take a look at the flag pictured at the top of the post. What can we tell about the nation it represents?Obviously, a monarchy. The crown is a dead give-away.And the national creed is not subtle. Right in your face.  Religion.  Union.  Independence.  All in a romance language.It would be understandable if a reader thought he was looking at an early version of a flag from the Kingdom of Italy. But it's not. It is the personal banner of the first ruler of post-independence Mexico: Emporer Agustín de Iturbide.

via www.steveinmexico.blogspot.com