Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Witty bits from what I learned in the UK (1) [Vorbe de duh din ce am învăţat în UK]

I guess it's high time I started a series of blog posts exclusively in English about what I am learning here, hoping that both my colleagues, and our lovely SEI hosts would enjoy reading them. Obviously, it would be pointless to reproduce here lecture notes.

Moreover (to be completely honest to everyone :-), even if I learned by heart all the theories that we're being familiarized with these days, I'll probably forget them sooner or later. But I'll definitely not forget quite a few memorable phrases or ideas.

For the beginning, here's why (put in a nutshell) Communism and planned economy were doomed to fail. As they applied 20th century technologies to a 19th century economy (whose main assets were the hordes of cheap, unskilled labourers), those governments increased productivity up to a point, and even launched the first satellite (1957).

Only that in 20 years from then, much of the technology used to take Yuri Gagarin into space would be available in toy stores, and the Communist regimes simply couldn't make that essential swift from the age of electro-mechanics to the age of electronics.

Basically, many industrial secrets that Soviet spies were stealing from the West remained locked in archives. Information was useless in the absence of people trained to know what to do with it!

An infinity of other (political, economical, social, moral, and so forth) reasons would explain the collapse of Communism, but to put it simply - even to those born after 1989-1991 - here is a brilliant (and unacademic :-) explanation from our Course Director.

His words seem to be as carefully distilled as Scotch whisky: "You find it hard to believe that a Soviet planner could come up with the idea of an iPod." It really is as simple as that...

[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]

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