Archive for the ‘General’ Category

300th post

One and a half years after starting this blog, I have now published 300 posts.

Thanks again to all readers and commentators! Hope you enjoy reading as much as I do the writing.

I am sorry for the irregular schedule of posting, but if you like to can subscribe to the blog by entering your email address on the right. That way you will get a brief notification every time I upload a new post.

Best wishes from Switzerland,
swissecon

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anniversary

Today, the blog celebrates its first anniversary and I just like to thank all readers and commentators. Thousands of page views and ongoing economic discussions will provide enough incentive to continue the blog. Already, there are more than 225 posts in 66 categories with about 125 comments.

Some readers told me that irregular posting is sometimes inconvenient. I am sorry for that but suggest to subscribe to this blog by entering your email address on the right-hand side. You will not receive any spam and you can unsubscribe any time. Promise.

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How many of you would like to be among the top five percent of the population?

It might surprise you but most of you are already part of this lucky and wealthy minority. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s do the math.

There are some seven billion people living on this planet. Among them, only one billion enjoys living in prosperous Western countries. Thus, if you happen to be a European or North American citizen, welcome to the top 20 percent of the world. Admittedly, there are also many happy and wealthy people in developing and emerging economies. But given that breadlines in most Western countries exceed average per capita incomes in most poor nations, it is reasonable to assume that living in a rich country more or less automatically leads you to the top 20 percent. Even long-term unemployed in Germany for instance get some $13,000 per year in welfare benefits. That is more than three times China’s per capita income. Even when using purchasing power parities, things do not change much. How many Chinese suffer from lacking health care, insufficient nutrition, rudimentary accommodation, and so on? All people in Western countries regard this as subsistence level, which is guaranteed by the state.

So we can focus on the top twenty percent that live in rich Western nations.

Now, if you are more or less healthy, you are already ahead of those roughly 30 percent suffering from various health issues. Furthermore, having attentive parents, friends, and colleagues, enjoying good education and being freed of violence, fear, as well as major social and financial problems, it is truly reasonable to regard you as part of the top quarter in Western nations. This implies you being a member of the top five percent worldwide.

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instapaper

If you happen to be one of people that frequently see interesting articles on the web, but usually don’t have time to read them immediately, check out Instapaper:

The website just asks you to provide any of your email addresses with a password. So, there’s no real registration and everything is for free. Second step is to add a new bookmark to your browser. Instapaper provides you with a simple description how to handle this.

Afterwards, whenever you see an interesting online article, just hit the bookmark icon and Instapaper will save a plain-text version of the article. You can access all your saved articles via the website from any computer. Or, preferably, you have the respective iPhone-/iPad-/iPod-App and enjoy reading with them.

Another great feature of Instapaper is that you can assort your saved articles and share them easily with your friends. Thus, if you like a certain article, your friends will see this in their Instapaper account.

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epic

Epic story. Epic Clint Eastwood. Epic soundtrack. Epic final scene. Epic movie.

If you don’t have this in your DVD collection, you don’t have a DVD collection.

Ranked as the 4th best movie of all time and quoted as Quentin Tarantino’s favorite, this movie is simply a must-have-seen.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

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a 15-minute speech

What to tell Stanford graduates if you only have 15 minutes…and never finished college?

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple and Pixar, was confronted with this challenge some six years ago. The speech he gave is truly worth 15 minutes of your time.

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

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What if some newscaster said how things really are? This video is 35 years old but as fresh as ever.

Quoting Rudi Carrell:

Newscasters always start with ‘Good evening’. Then they need about 15 minutes to explain why it’s not a good evening.

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