A happy society? What makes that happen? Where is the good model?
Some dimensions to bring about the conditions
I lived through an amazing transformation in Finland during the 90s. It did require a good level of consensus but it was helped by a crisis.
In the early 90s companies, like Nokia, and the whole country went into shock when overnight a major business partner Soviet Union was lost. It was crisis time. No better time for change. Why wait though…..looming crisis is enough. Luckily Nokia had already taken steps to broaden the market space and then had a very open mind to new potential revenue generators. A confluence of factors came together to build a very solid foundation for a global position.
The country had to tighten its collective belt to overcome the situation. Finland was lucky to have a couple of very strong, articulate, knowledgeable and teflonlike politicians who did not waver from a strong message of suffer now and benefit later. Esko Aho as prime minister and Iiro Viinanen as finance minister. Those were tough times. One can look at the numbers and believe that it was bad politics. The thing is that it was during that crisis time that Finland established the means for growth and repositioning.
That’s just a bit on where Finland came from and some of the tough decisions that led it to where it is today.
Finland rates high in education, innovation, and many other dimensions. During a talk some seven years ago I spoke to an innovation audience a little bit about Finland and Nokia and I mentioned a time magazine cover which alluded to something [gotta check what it was exactly] about how poorly Finland faired in the music industry or was it the opposite that there was some band that was recognized? Don’t remember but the point is that I said I think that if Finland wins in the Eurovision song contest then we know that this one country adulation has gone a step too far. Well you know what happened last year. I was trying to suggest to this Australian audience that maybe it was time to take that ‘adulation spot’….hmmm not quite yet. (more…)
I am – it would seem – allergic to red wine and most probably also to white wine. It is either the tannins or the preservatives, not sure which or both. This predicament is truly annoying as I love red wine. Especially the full bodied ones. I do drink red wine though. For a moment I thought I had done some clever allergy combating by drinking a bit on a regular basis. Bliss! Lately though the allergic reaction is back.
I am positive about it though and say to myself: “It is 1st of September in Sydney, this means that spring just sprung”. As an aside isn’t it cute that the seasons go by the calendar month. In Finland, the country I was born in, we know spring by things that happen in the nature, the snow melting, the leaves, the crocuses, the distinct sandy smell on my hands. In fact I have never heard of anyone else having sand smelling hands….
As it is spring in Australia it might be that the nature is at play somehow, I just cannot see it, by the pollen in the air and that’s what the reactions are all about. I have now not had any red wine for some days and no reaction… Haven’t lost hope just yet, maybe I’ll react again tomorrow and hence have proven my theory that it is not really the red wine coming back to give me a hard time.
Hard time indeed. Once every month or so, although lately more, I have one day of sneezing. When I sneeze I break the ear drums of others, in particular in the car. I also get really exhausted. Someone said to me that sneezes are like little heart attacks. It is no wonder then. I sneezed about 100 times on Friday and was pooped.
Illusions and cycles and beliefs….cannot believe the amount of disagreement
Since my arrival in Sydney in 1988 this is the coldest and wettest winter….I don’t want to debate cycles and illusions and beliefs about that. Just a very practical observation. When so much water comes down that a city is not built for it – there are problems.
Over the last two days we had water flowing in through the roof – luckily we caught that one and it is getting a good fix for the back flow of torrential rains. Spreading the water from the drains etc. We also had water flow into our under house storage, which is not unusual when there is a lot of water. This time though we – despite plastic boxing for years – found 3 boxes of “to be saved” things soaking. Children’s nursery rhymes in Finnish and English destroyed.
I love my books. I have a hard time letting go of them. We did donate about eight large boxes over the last some weeks. Sniff. There is something tactile, sensual even, they are a sign of moments in life, they mean more than the story in the book. They are about life and thoughts as they unfold.
We’re lucky that one of our neighbors has stored a number of boxes of books I shipped from Finland when my father passed away. He – Antero Jaurola – was a collector of Nobel prize winner books. They are all in Finnish. Bar Sillanpaa‘s books the books are all translations. In culling my books I chucked out many translations.
Thank you Duncan and Ethel for storing those books so long.
I do have some in electronic format too.
Currently I am reading a story about muses and the artists – by Francine Prose. I am reading this one on my mac. I also bought wisdom of the crowds as an electronic book but bought the real thing too The relationship between the artist and the muse is intriguing. A life long passion. No matter what the situation or age difference or what ever.
So what do climate change and books have to do with each other? Nothing much. Electronic books don’t need storage and this book on muses is on my laptop…and issues of storage on it are chronic.
So no matter what storage one has it is an issue and climate change is making one of them tricky.
Symptoms of what problem?
Just in the last few years I have encountered numerous problems with packaging and I do wonder why it is so hard to think it through and make it easy.
1/ Toothpaste is packaged mostly [one major well known brand in Oz anyway] in carton tubes, which hide the look of the tube inside. I cannot stand the tube with the small cap as it is always messy. And I cannot see what sort of tube is inside the packaging. So I chose other brands where I know what I am buying. So draw me a picture…. toothpaste packaging for the dummies…
2/ Headsets and many other things sold at airport electronic goods stores are packaged in heat sealed plastic containers, which are impossible to open without scissors, which one does not have. So remember to ask the seller to open it or you will not be using the purchase in a hurry.
3/ Food containers are getting there. And so are the tools available at home to open just about the nastiest of packages. I love the one that has various size possibilities to create a lever around glass jar lids.
4/ Not huge on make-up but I have got some nail polish. The nail polish has a beautiful cover on top of the real lid and when one tries to open the polish the beauty does the rounds on the real lid and nothing opens.
5/ Tiny toothpaste tubes in airline kits have very tight lids which are at times really tricky to open. A struggle with toothpaste in an airplane WC while the queue gets longer… not my idea of fun.
6/ Wine corks. Some of them are so tight that the travel kit opener has a tough time opening them. Hotel room. Away from home. Wouldn’t mind a glass of wine while reading…. go to corner store, have a friendly chat with store keeper as feeling elated already by the quiet moment with the book and the glass of wine. Arrive in room, prepare bath, or what ever, go to open bottle….call reception for help and then really need that bath. Alternatively, buy Australian wine with screw tops [many Oz marks seem to have those].
In general I wonder about the amount of plastic still used to surround the products.
Are we suffering again for the minority, which do not travel, carry scissors and tools everywhere, who steal in hotels so they are not kitted out or are these just an excuse to not innovate?
=> happy to say that many of these issues have seen progress over the few years since I wrote this [comment Aug 09]
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