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"as far as I'm concerned, Montezuma has always been a prick"

National Characters is a long, multi-part essay about how computer games deal with the concept of nations and turns it into a game mechanic. The author, Troy Goodfellow of strategy gaming blog Flash of Steel, focuses on how the fourteen indistinguishable national factions of the original Sid Meier's Civilization have been treated by different games through the years. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 15, 2011 - 50 comments

Famine in East Africa

With East Africa facing its worst drought in 60 years, affecting more than 11 million people, the United Nations has declared a famine in the region for the first time in a generation. Alan Taylor's In Focus quickly brings home the scale of the suffering, with a link to the CNN article listing several ways to donate.
posted by bwg on Jul 27, 2011 - 33 comments

There is a large film industry in Rocaterrania.

Rocaterrania is a country located in part of what's often known as the North Country of New York State, bordering on Canada. At least, it's there in the mind of Renaldo Kuhler, its creator, who has been imagining -- and sometimes physically creating -- the nation's politics, fashion, and artifacts since he was a teenager on his family's ranch in Colorado just after World War II. The son of Otto Kuhler, who designed the Hiawatha passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road railway, Renaldo needed an escape from ranch life. He invented a nation of forward-looking Eastern European immigrants with a vibrant, distinctly un-American culture. He warns, though, "it is not a Utopia." He has drawn, painted, and been the nation's history. He created its language, Rocaterranski, and alphabet from Yiddish and Spanish and German. Rocaterrania is a large-scale work of fiction but sometimes the way Kuhler speaks, it sounds like he believes it's really there. Kuhler now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and is known about town for his Rocaterranian garb. [more inside]
posted by knile on Jan 7, 2011 - 12 comments

Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong

Prelude to Federation - Like a neocolonial SEZ (or TAZ) Paul Romer, not to be confused with David, posits "less developed countries contract with capitalist nations to set up Hong Kong's for them... that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe import administrative control); rethink citizenship (support residency, but maybe import voice in political affairs); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on cities—on city states like Hong Kong and Singapore)." cf. neocameralism [1, 2, 3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 21, 2009 - 16 comments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60th Anniversary

Sixty years ago on December 10, fifty eight nations created the UN Declaration of Human Rights. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Dec 9, 2008 - 20 comments

I have a boot in my eye! And I am shaped like a boot! To boot!

Satirical maps of Europe from 1914-15.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 6, 2008 - 25 comments

Follows next a period spannin'/ Four long years with James Buchanan...

In honor of the Fourth, I give you the 50 States and their Capitals, the U.S. Presidents, and in hopes for a better future, what the hell, all the Nations of the World. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 3, 2008 - 29 comments

First People's Film Making

Isuma.tv is an amazing video sharing site for indigenous filmmakers. Isuma is perhaps best known for their incredible work on films set in arctic Canada (Atarnarjuat, Journals of Knud Rasmussen and the upcoming Before Tomorrow). Isuma.tv is a fantastic place to work by all sorts of First Nations film makers and is a much needed voice for the generally ignored indigenous artists.

Isuma was last discussed on Metafilter in 2002.
posted by dogbusonline on Apr 30, 2008 - 3 comments

Umm, sorry about the genocide

A Nation Apologizes. (Sydney Morning Herald.) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children. Here the history told from an Aboriginal perspective in Archie Roach's great song "Took The Children Away." (Youtube) (song lyrics).
posted by fourcheesemac on Feb 12, 2008 - 77 comments

Fly your freak flag.

We Are Multicolored. Remix the flags of the world.
posted by me3dia on Oct 25, 2007 - 31 comments

Darfur: 400,000 dead, 2.5 million driven from their homes

Is the Bush administration really serious about NATO and UN protection to stop the Darfur genocide? "Is it only weak and incompetent, or is it two-faced?"

What can U.S. citizens do to help end this genocide? For starters, take to the streets: you can register for an April 30th demonstration on the Golden Gate Bridge & at the Presidio, or in Washington, DC. You can also ask your Rep. to sponsor House Resolution 723, a measure that urges the President to help deploy a NATO bridging force to the Darfur region.
posted by n_s_1 on Apr 26, 2006 - 56 comments

Who owns the internets?

Who owns the internets? The 2005 World Summit on the Information Information Societies seems to have left a number of nations with a bad taste in their mouth. ICANN emerged the apparent winner. Of course, you can always blame Bush. (first phase of wsis previously discussed here)
posted by es_de_bah on Dec 3, 2005 - 25 comments

Keep Internet out of UN control, says US

The Bush administration is backing a US Senate resolution to stop the UN in its plans to try and move some control of the Internet away from the US -- A new resolution introduced in the U.S. Senate offers political backing to the Bush administration by slamming a United Nations effort to exert more influence over the Internet. Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, said his nonbinding resolution would protect the Internet from a takeover by the United Nations that's scheduled to be discussed at a summit in Tunisia next month.
posted by zouhair on Oct 20, 2005 - 102 comments

The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire

The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire.
posted by plep on Jul 8, 2005 - 11 comments

Micronations, from Hasbro!

Micronations have existed for some time. Some were a frauds and shams. Some were seized or destroyed. Some for profit and others for promotion. Australia had a rash of them. Meanwhile others were lost dreams that others wish to resurrect. Some were created for artistic reasons. Some were meant as protests both playful and serious. Some dedicated to old ideas and others to new ones.
posted by Vaska on Dec 23, 2004 - 27 comments

Country Studies

Country Studies: a comprehensive description and analysis of the country or region's historical setting, geography, society, economy, political system, and foreign policy.
posted by hama7 on Feb 8, 2004 - 11 comments

Were from the UN and we're here to help!

Were from the UN and we're here to help! Question: If you're a UN Weapons Inspector and a man jumps into your vehicle screaming "Save me! Save me!" clutching notebooks to his chest what do you do? The answer is simple, you turn him over to the Iraqi authorities who now claim to have "no information on the incident." This ought to foster more cooperation from Iraqi scientists...good work Blix and Co.
posted by RevGreg on Jan 25, 2003 - 54 comments

Make and run your own country...

NationStates.net allows you to create your own country, decide how it starts out by answering a short questionary, and then it gives you issues to solve (one per day, though you can set it to two per day). How you answer those issues determines how your country fares, the type of country it is, and many other things. You can join the UN and elect a regional representative, create your own region that you and your friends can migrate to (all new nations start out in The Pacific, which is consequentially the largest region in NationStates, but you can move wherever you want).
posted by sailoreagle on Jan 3, 2003 - 51 comments

Anti-immigrant parties gain support in Europe

Anti-immigrant parties gain support in Europe as they tap long-standing fears about security and the dilution of national identity. The deep running concern, as in Israel, is that their countries are involuntarily becoming multicultural as guest workers and refugees, mostly Muslim, establish themselves in residence. There are about 15 million Muslims in Europe, making Islam the the continent's largest non-Christian religion. How important is national identity? What would become of democratic values in a Europeann country with Muslim population explosion? How would it affect their economy, as the immigrants are largely unskilled, heavily relying on the welfare system?
posted by semmi on Mar 29, 2002 - 9 comments

And You Thought You Knew Your European Flags:

And You Thought You Knew Your European Flags: A depressing little exercise, guaranteed to expose the ignoramus in each and every one of us. Some of the countries themselves were news to me; never mind the friggin' flags![via Bifurcated Rivets]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 19, 2002 - 19 comments

50 Muslim nations demand UN probe Afghan 'massacre'

50 Muslim nations demand UN probe Afghan 'massacre' Should Saudi Arabia name a special prosecutor?
posted by Postroad on Jan 12, 2002 - 0 comments

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation...

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation... the place for places down on their luck. Of course, I can't help but mention that if you think Georgia's flag blows, do I have a few new flags to add to the list. And take a look at all the overlap going on in Burma! How's an advocate of the repressed to decided?

As for a possible hook for the discussion: what do you think of such movements?
posted by silusGROK on Jun 26, 2001 - 11 comments


Popluation Reference Bureau

Popluation Reference Bureau What an amazing site! You can find the populations of almost any country in the world here. It does not stop there, there is a mountain of information on the country's politics and policies. Take two seconds and I am sure you will be amazed at this site. It is nice to see that some groups are using the net to help inform people!
posted by aj100 on Jun 20, 2001 - 17 comments

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