Ratings for a better life

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has a cool tool called the Better Life Index on its website.  It’s very easy to manipulate and uses 11 measures for human happiness to help you decide which country in the world (or at least the ones in the OECD) would be the best place for you to live.  I clicked on my rating for each measure and, not wanting to influence my own choices, refused to look at the interactive graph as it changed after each of my clicks.  Guess what… I still ended up with Canada.  🙂

No dot-com bust now

It wasn’t that long ago that there were legions of skeptics who dismissed the idea of an Internet-driven economy.  For every optimistic start-up entrepreneur and pioneering end-user willing to wager leveraged and real money, there were probably hundreds of thousands people who swore they would never trust, let alone rely on, the Internet to conduct financial transactions.  That was before Amazon survived the dot.com bust and figured out their business model, Google created a whole new category of revenue generation, and Facebook came along to bring a half billion people together.  Seems impossible to believe now that so many of the world’s economies are powered by Internet-based activities.  The fact that those economies are now so interwoven and reliant on the ability to connect with each other through pipes of glass fibers demonstrates that the Internet’s economic impact cannot be overstated.   When the United Nations strikes a committee to discuss the need to police the Internet, you know the world has turned a corner and cannot go back.   And if we needed any more proof that the wealth of nations is bound up in the ability of servers to connect with each other, take a look at this report.   It’s from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), which is an international body that promotes trade and economic growth.  The report is the first I’ve seen that quantifies the economic impact to Egypt’s economy of that government’s successful shutdown of the Internet within their borders for five days during the recent remarkable uprising.   $18M USD per day in a poor nation.  Can you imagine what the impact would be in a rich one?