Archive for the ‘Business and Economy’ Category

The Map Of Minimum Income

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

I found this to be an interesting representation of the minimum income levels in Europe. Not how some countries don’t have any legislation to establish a minimum income.

On Optimism, Inspiration And Leadership In Business

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Simon Sinek talks again about people and business, about confidence, trust and generosity at the workplace.

About Computers And Resources

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Why are we so wasteful? And why don’t we repair anything anymore? I remember a time when people tried to repair anything that got broken, and did not only consider a broken device as an opportunity for justifying buying a newer model. Heck, since I took my first Physics classes I started fixing whatever I got my hands on. Of course, I’m referring here to electrical devices. One of the first things I fixed was a record player, then came vacuum cleaner, and so on. Parts were never an issue, as most complications these older devices would create would require a quick fix.

Later, I even started asking my parents friends if they have broken devices in the house that I could try and fix. One of the first borrowed devices was a rechargeable flashlight that did not hold its charge anymore. I remember it vividly: I took it home, opened it, made some changes to the wiring, and plugged it in the power socket just to immediately blow out the fuse for the entire building. Whoops! But this is how you learn, and learn I did form this experience. I even went back to my Physics teacher to be sure I understood my mistake.

Nowadays, things are not so easy anymore. Sure, devices are much more complicated and even over-engineered. Everything seems to be electronical instead of electrical, even irons or vacuum cleaners. But at the same time, it seems companies don’t make these devices based on the same principles as previously: durability, flexibility, support for spare components.

There are so many examples, but I guess Apple products are as good as any. This article highlights what I’m talking about. It’s not only frustrating not to be able to change components (especially in a computer), but it’s also extremely unfriendly to the environment. I mean, what good does it do to use recyclable materials if you have no way of recycling them?

I’m a ferm believer that the past can offers us opportunities for rediscovering ourselves, be it by its teaching or by its ways. In the same way that knowing your family tree tends to define at least how you see yourself and what your role in the world is, looking at the way we have done things over the decades, simply knowing about the various methods, lets us get an overview and also position our current ways on a map of habits. Not all previous approaches to work, or to device and repair might be acceptable in our current society. But in a world of renewable energy and the appearance of caring for the planet and our legacy, it seems we owe it to ourselves to think about how we could reuse (especially functional) resources we have, and not just get trapped in a consumerist mentality. Self-analysis and analysis of our world can give us some insight about our nature, about how and why we react as we do to shopping impulses and new shinny devices.

Plus, I’m sure there’s still a lot to be said for repair. People need to experience the fun in putting a puzzle together and manding something. So, I’d like to end with a message for everyone who has never tried to fix something (it can be something simple, like a hook that needs to be glued back on the bathroom wall):

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Makes Another Good Point

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Politics is populated by a particular type of people, with a particular view. So why are all other aspects and professions so underrepresented?

If you’re interested, here’s the entire show with Bill Maher.

There Are N Sides To Every Story

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

It is interesting how complex a debate about dept and financial crisis can be. One would expect that whatever has been created by us in a social, financial and economical system, is ultimately visible, clear to mankind and subject to our power of manipulation. While the second part might be true, I’m uncertain there’s even one human left that still has an overview of the complexities and interconnections existent in the current financial system, for example.

Similarly, I can’t really find a view or a person with which I agree 100% on economical issues and the financial crisis. but I believe that we all should explore, as much as possible, all sides and possibilities, and make our own informed decision based on this.

As such, while I don’t agree with some of the ideas proposed by Paul Krugman about the management of the financial crisis, I think I can say that I see eye to eye on issue regarding the role and importance of the government in a state. To highlight these things better and capture some of the ideas Paul Krugman is proposing, I’ve included a couple of interviews with him:

Why Foreign Students Don’t Stay In Germany

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Many study here, and many leave again. This article gives a couple of hints why this is the case: laws that are hard to understand, bureaucracy and xenophobia.

The Current Economic Situation In Europe

Friday, January 20th, 2012

…is highlighted in this article form The Economist. At the same time, some information makes me wonder how the heck do they compute the values, as these do not reflect either the subjective feel of the situation, nor the objective values that are computed at national levels.

Do not forget to explore the interactive map of Europe’s economies here.

Four Rules That Make It Easier To Choose

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The most amazing part is that these rules can probably be adapted for other fields that imply choice, like HCI, GUI design and even visualizations. To some extent, there’s an intersection between this view, and the Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda.

S&P Rating For Romania Again “Junk”

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

To be more exact, everything under the BBB- rating is considered “junk”. And yes, Romania is again under it, which is equivalent with “not recommended for investments”. Yes, the situation is not really what you’d call rosy.

To have a better overview of the situation, here‘s an interactive world map that highlights the major credit ratings for all countries: S&P, Moody’s and Fitch.

Which Degree Is More Valuable?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I believe this read nicely highlights some elements about degrees. Most of all, I like the idea of STEM workers, and how raw knowledge of technology or engineering allows you to tailor yourself on a particular job… at least more than a pure programmer could.