Friday, January 25, 2008


After almost not happening, the From Russia: French and Russian master painting 1870-1925 from Moscow and St Peterburg exhibition got secured and is opening tomorrow. It's gonna be pretty busy I think, as tickets to see the show on Saturday or Sunday are booked up until the 22nd of March. Will have to take a day off and go then!

The Economist is being positive this week and argues that the world is more prosperous and peaceful than ever before, and than we want to believe. Examples of nice things:
  • "In 2007 Unicef, the United Nations child-welfare body, said that for the first time in modern history fewer than 10m children were dying each year before the age of five. That is still an awful lot but it represents a fall of a quarter since 1990"
  • "The long march to literacy is nearing an end: three-quarters of people aged 15-25 were literate in 1975; now the rate is nearly nine-tenths."
  • "Last year the global economy entered its fifth year of over 4% annual growth—the longest period of such strong expansion since the early 1970s. Moreover, growth was spread around fairly evenly."
  • "In 1990 those on $1 a day accounted for more than a quarter of the population of developing countries. By 2015, on current rates, the proportion of very poor people should have shrunk to 10%. Moreover, these monetary measures probably understate the real gains from things such as lower child mortality, safer water, literacy and other social achievements."
Being the Economist, they attribute all those benefits to globalisation, the increase in trade and better governments. "Bad government and lack of growth often, though far from always, go together. Whatever the problems of globalisation, they are dwarfed by the penalties of being untouched by it."

I tend to agree.