Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Quote of the Day

Well, if it is the quote of the day it is 14 years too late. Steve Jobs, at the WWDC 1997:

Mistakes will be made, but that's good because it means decisions are being made.

That's my business philosophy. Do. Reflect. Do some more.

 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

When 6.3 mm of rain is too much

A few years ago I passed through the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest place on earth. Not a blade of grass, not a single shrub, not a single creature, just expanses of dry mountainous valleys. They get rain on one day every decade, roughly.

Yesterday was one of those once-a-decade days, and it wreaked havoc.

A similarly wet stretch in early July dumped four years' worth of rain in one day on coastal Antofogasta. That was just a quarter of an inch (more than 6.3 millimeters) but it was still enough to cause collapsed or leaking roofs in homes and businesses that usually have no reason to protect themselves against even minimal precipitation.

Here's a photo I took near where the Atacama Desert starts:

Chile mountain

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Economic Cost of Civil War

Yesterday I crossed the border from reasonably wealthy Costa Rica to dirt-poor Nicaragua. With the power of Google's public data explorer and some World Bank data, I compared historic GDP per capita for the two countries.

 

The 80's were a turbulent time for Nicaragua. Until then the countries had been rather close in economic development and growth.