DYK? – 4 – Dutch Disease

During the 1960’s huge reserves of natural gas were discovered in Netherlands which resulted in huge revenues and huge windfall profits by export of natural gas.
But this had a very adverse reaction on other sectors of Dutch economy.
Due to huge inflow of money, the cost of production of other goods and services in Dutch economy increased, thus reducing the comparative advantage of these industries. This increase in cost of production was due to strengthening of the currency.
Also, the labor was more attracted towards the energy sector as that was growing and had more opportunities (Direct-deindustrialization). Labor also moved away from the tradable sector to non tradable ones. (Indirect-deindustrialization)
This phenomenon of adverse effect of discovery of a natural resource on the manufacturing sector of an economy is known as Dutch Disease.

Perhaps this understanding can also be applied to why the oil rich nations of the Middle East have no other industries/sectors worth speaking of.

DYK? – 2 – US Foreign Trade

Canada is the biggest US trade partner and NOT China with trade exceeding 560$billion in 2007. Canada supplies agricultural products, energy products including electricity and Uranium. Surprisingly, I could not find what exactly US exports to Canada in return. The trade is almost balanced with the exports and imports evenly matched.

DYK? – 1 – Samizdat

Samizdat is a dissident activity which has its origin in the Soviet block. This activity consisted of reproduction of censored material and passing it from individual to individual. Obviously a very dangerous activity, this was meant to avoid censorship by the state owned media.

Some commentators believe that Wikileaks and online censorship evasion using tools like Tor, Cryptography, Steganography is the twenty first century equivalent of Samizdat.

I am in Love. Again.

Some 3-4 years ago I fell in love with Mozart’s 21st Symphony especially the Andante. Here it is courtesy Youtube:

Often while listening to the song, I felt that this must have been the music reverberating through the universe when God was creating it. It has a majesty that cannot be expressed in words. Truly eternal!

After being crazy about it for a couple of years, as happens in any relationship, the novelty wore off. And one fine day I rediscovered my love when I heard Joshua Bell playing the Andante. God! His violin (which is a 1713 Gibson Stradivarius by the way) can create magic. I could not find the 21st played by Joshua on Youtube but here is he playing Ave Maria.

As the top rated comment rightly puts, “Even Chuck Norris shed a tear.”