the world IS getting better

More people are going to school for longer

Access to the internet is increasing

Solar power is getting cheaper

Beer consumption going up ??? :-)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

details on vox

(via Bill Gates)

Africa – Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a short novel (1899) about Charles Marlow’s life as an ivory transporter down the Congo

The story is a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism

Joseph Conrad acknowledged that Heart of Darkness was in part based on his own experiences during his travels in Africa. In 1890, at the age of 31, he was appointed by a Belgian trading company to serve as the captain of a steamer on the Congo River. …

He reportedly became disillusioned with Imperialism, after witnessing the cruelty and corruption perpetrated by the European companies in the area. …


Leopold II (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909), second King of the Belgians, was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 2 to 15 million Congolese. Yet very few remember him as one of the worst mass killers all time.

A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
– Joseph Stalin

In 2014 Africans are quick to blame European imperialists for … everything.

Yet in 2014 if you see something of QUALITY in sub-Saharan Africa, you assume some foreigner is involved. Africans have been – in the main – very unsuccessful in moving themselves from tribal cultures to modern societies.

Long term, I’m not optimistic for Africa. Despite tremendous economic opportunities.

For example – Bill Gates – Can the Asian Miracle Happen in Africa?

To move forward, Africa needs clean drinking water, education of girls and good leadership.

Will that happen?

In nations like Congo Brazzaville, the richest Africans move money out of the country faster than foreign aid comes in. They steal as much as they can, moving their families to Paris or London.

With African leadership like this, what future for Congo?

Corruption is killing African potential.

The most corrupt nations in the world 2014:

North Korea
South Sudan

One bright spot, I hear, is Rwanda. A British woman living there told me the nation is moving forward rapidly. Internet is faster than in London.

If another dozen nations make progress like Rwanda, over the next ten years, then there is hope. Those nations will thrive, draw business investment. Forcing the corrupt, less efficient nations to compete.

In the end, it’s competition that improves the world.

related – The 10 least corrupt countries in the world:

New Zealand

German Universities now tuition free

Though Germany is a fiscally conservative nation, they’ve decided to invest in students. Education is the future.

All German universities will be free of tuition starting 2014.

free tuition Germany

More equal access to all citizens. The rich are less advantaged than in the past.

How does the tax burden compare with the most expensive nation?

Germany – 39.90%
USA – 22.70%

These tax rates apply to single people with no children, on an average salary for their country.