Intelligent Burocracy

This is a Snippet from "The World is flat"

"As venture capitalist John Doerr once remarked to me 'You talk to the leadership in China and they are all engineers, and they get what is going on immediately. The Americans don't, because they are all lawyers'. Added Bill Gates: ' The Chinese have risk taking down, hard work down, education, and when you meet with Chinese politicians, they are all scientists and engineers. You can have a numeric discussion with them - --"

The Gini Coefficient

The Gini Coefficient measurs inequality in countries ( A high Gini coefficient means high inequality. The lowest Gini coefficient among industrialized countries has Norwegia with 19, many countries in Latin America are high upto 60, the extremest measured values. China went up from values in the 20 during communism to a 44 by the Deng reforms ( The West European Countries have lower Gini coefficients than the USA.

Freeman J. Dyson

I just finished reading the book "The Sun, the Genome and the Internet", a passionate plea of an astrophysicist in his 80s that only science can bring freedom and prosperity to humankind:

An interesting point is that he tells that the alliance between science and craft industry was that what made the former so developing in the 20th century. His hypothesis is that only a strong development in solar energy combined with genetic technology and the extension of the internet to all individuum will be able to resolve the problems of a world with 6 billion people.

Why I could not team up with the Republicans

I am quite concerned about several aspects in the politic of the democratic candidates for the presidency, especially their tendency against globalization and in support of American protectionism. Another problem I have with them is their huge dependency from public sector unions.  But look to the attached YouGov polls published in the Economist!

One of the points is striking and alarming:  To the question if creationism should be taught in public schools, 80% of Republican voters answered yes, but also 50% of Democratic voters.  Devastating!

Rosa nel pugno non finito?

Sembra che c'è ancora possibilità di formare una sinistra italiana libertaria. Dopo la partita della maggioranza dei DS per il compromesso storico bonsai, alcuni dei dissident sembrano a non voler pietrificarsi con la sinistra cubana die Bertinotti & Co.  Angius sta lavorando col SDI per il nuovo Partito Socialista, nella lettera allegata esponenti dei Radicali e dello SDI chiamano per la doppia tessera fra le loro organizzazioni.

Electric Cars

Electric cars | Wingless migration |

Both, the Spiegel and the Economist were writing about new initiatives to foster electric cars in these weeks.  The more interesting one in the Spiegel, cited by the Economist was about a Shai Agassi  (Ex Number 2 from SAP) project to create an infrastructure that would make a real use of electric cars possible (,1518,514256,00.html).

DSpace User Group Meeting In Rome

From October 16-17 my group co-organized and hostend the DSpace Usergroup meeting 2007. ( My colleague Imma Subirats was one of the pillars of the entire organization. I got quite excited about DSpace and the possibilities to adapt it to Agricultural Open Archives.
I was also intrigued by the connections between DSpace and the MIT Simile project that brings a "semantic dimension" into the DSpace development.

Speech of President Koehler for "Tag der Deutschen Einheit 2007"

Attached you will find the speech of Bundespraesidend Koehler for the German National Day 2007. I like it. What I most like is the title. I also agree that we have the tackle the problem that the globalization creates dispartment within the countries more than between the countries. We have tobe careful that the globalization loosers in the rich countries do not turn against globalization (see .

Opening Access - CGIAR meeting

During the e-agriculture week at FAO Headquarter, I participated in a CGIAR workshop on "opening Access to Agricultural research. I think there is big confusion among various stakeholders about the linkings between research, technology deployment and Extension. It seems to me that there is a tendency to apply criteria, which have value for extension and technology deployment (relating to the end users i.e) also on research. I still think that research should be as much as possible independent from application szenario, but should resolve scientific problems.

AGRIS Expert Consultation

September 23 and 24I took part in the organization of the second expert consultation on Information Systems in Agricultural Science and Technology was hold in Rome at FAO HQ.
A very interesting part of the conference were country reports from (among others) Egypt, Peru, Madagascar and Thailand.


Sometimes superstition creates great culture, really only sometimes? And what is culture?

I am just back from visiting the "terracotta soldiers" at the tomb of Qin Shi Huan, the first emperor and representative of the Quin dynasty. As generally known he was buried with more than 7000 Terracotta soldiers to be mighty also in the afterlife. He was also buried with 100 s of acrobats, chefs and all the other people that were necessary to assure the used lifestyle of the emperor. I am not knowledgeable enough for being sure if at the end really only the terracotta duplicates have been buried or also the living people who had that function.

...from now on I should be mighty and rich

...and I should also have many girlfriends :-). I bought a big black Dragonhorse at the museum of the city wall of Xi'an. As I bought the big black one (for the office), I got also the smaller white one (for home) and I got also the little pink one for having many concubines. So I should be completely settled. At least if I would believe in Feng Shui theories; if it does not work out I will surely have failed to put the Dragonhorse in the right ankle to the sun, the moon, or the star in a specific day or some other site settings were wrong.