I don’t mind, but…

…I generally like talking to students about my work; graduate, undergraduate, heck I’ve even done the odd high school group in the past. But sometimes I wonder why I bother.

This guy came in this morning to tell me about his thesis work on the South Caucasus. He thinks that the entire politics of the region can be explained as a competition for hegemony between the United States, Russia, Turkey and Iran; except that Turkey and Iran are not powerful enough to be real actors, and Turkey is anyway under the control of the United States.

Well, I said, I think there are three fundamental flaws with that analysis; first, there might just possibly be some part played in the politics of the region by indigenous actors, such as the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani governments, as well as the various other armed factions and quasi-statelets on the ground; secondly, in my personal experience, neither the United States nor Russia are monolithic in their foreign policy and any analysis that starts by assuming that they are is deeply flawed; and thirdly, it’s news to me that Ankara’s policy is weak unless determined by Washington; I don’t recall, for instance, that the Americans told the Turks to close their border with Armenia in 1993, and that’s a policy that clearly does have an effect on the ground.

He replied by restating his position and adding in some half-baked obervations from newspaper articles he had read; he clearly had not absorbed a word I said. We parted as friends but I don’t see a glittering career in international relations ahead for him.

One thought on “I don’t mind, but…

  1. I think Notes synchronisation with ActiveSync was only added to Exchange 2010. Could it be that you have an older server? If so, then that probably won’t work with any phone.

    Touchdown is supposed to do notes synchronisation with Exchange 2010 (they suggest that you “re-run the quick configuration to reconnect with the correct protocol”), but I haven’t tried it.

    I tried Touchdown on my HTC Hero and it did seem to do a better job of synchronisation than HTC (even though I don’t have nearly as many mail/contacts as you), but I found the user interface so clunky that I eventually gave up.

    I do use NitroNote, which syncs with Outlook on my PC – and Outlook is synced with Exchange. NitoNote is really cumbersome (you have to connect the cable), but I only update my notes occasionally, so it’s good enough.

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