This will be my last post of 2014, so I figured I’d pull together a collection of some recent news items that you may not yet have come across. I’m not sure what these all have in common except to remind us that the conventional wisdom we so often hear is also often wrong. (To read the full story for any of these, just click on the embedded links.)
A suburban world: The emerging world is becoming suburban. Its leaders should welcome that, but avoid the West’s mistakes – Despite all the talk about people moving to cities (meaning downtowns), “[in] the emerging world almost every metropolis is growing in size faster than in population.” See, for example, this suburb of Buenos Aires.
America’s New First Screen– “It has finally happened: Mobile has bumped TV as America’s first screen.”
The USPS spends far more on city mail carriers than rural ones – to be precise, “city carriers’ compensation costs averaged 58 cents per delivery point, while rural carriers’ averaged 49 cents”
Jack Ma explains why China’s education system fails to produce innovators – “Ma’s argument is that China’s education system doesn’t give students enough time or encouragement to just mess around, have fun, and experiment.” (Jack Ma is the founder/CEO of Alibaba and now the richest man in Asia.)
Estonian e-residency – “E-residency is a state-issued secure digital identity for non-residents that allows digital authentication and the digital signing of documents.” Considering how easy it is to do this kind of thing, we’ll start to see more of this kind of thing and it will really mess up traditional understanding of the nation-state and citizenship.
Everything you think you know about the news is probably wrong – “Around the world, people have a pretty good sense of the life expectancy of their country’s inhabitants. When it comes to most other social statistics, they have no idea.”
Obama Is a Republican – A view in the American Conservative magazine that many conservatives “saw in him a classic conservative temperament: someone who avoided lofty rhetoric, an ambitious agenda, and a Utopian vision that would conflict with human nature, real-world barriers to radical reform, and the American system of government.”
Voters Know Themselves Better Than the Pollsters Do– This fall’s “elections provide further ammunition for the idea that we should pay less attention to polls of voters’ intentions, and more to polls asking them who they think will win.”
Costa Rica is number one – “If you’re looking for a change of scenery and considering moving to a new country, you may want to consider Costa Rica. According to the Happy Planet Index (HPI), it’s the happiest country on Earth.”
42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills – “Nearly 20 percent of U.S. consumers have unpaid medical debts, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”
The Art of Not Working at Work – “At first, the ability to check email, read ESPN, or browse Zappos while on the job may feel like a luxury. But in time, many crave more meaningful — and more demanding — responsibilities.”
I wish you all happy holidays and a wonderful new year – and fun, fulfillment and more insights 🙂
© 2014 Norman Jacknis