Sunday, December 31, 1989 herstory of THe Economist

1843 Diaspora Scot James Wilson starts the Economist with the goal of throwing out of houses of parliament (then the empire's metahub of world trade) mps funded by vested interest in causing famine and poverty - ie enemies of sdg goals 1 and 2
as a weekly newsletter which he circulates at royal societies and londons tea houses and clubs where city of london "gentlemen "meet = he succeeds in getting repeal of corn laws but not before up to 20% of people in Ireland Starve- consequence terrorism troubles between ireland and london last for another century and a half

Queen Victoria despatches James to see if he can help end poverty in India- he forms chartered bank but dies 12 month into reaching calcutts of dysentery - 110 years later bangladesh village women and brac's james grant school of health scale oral rehydration so that nobody needs to die of dyssentery again

james grant is succeeded by his son in law walter bagehot- many rate one of the 2 happiest economists england has ever born in parallel to scots wilson and adam smith- for about half a century 3 sisters in the wilson family control the shares of the economist and keep james wilson's purpose growing

the 1943 centeneary autobiography of The Economist describes 100 years of work in mediating end of poverty
meanwhile norman macrae survives world war 2 a s teneager navigating airplanes over modern day bangladesh- after being mentored by keynes he spends nearly half a century at the economist trying his best to celebrate east and west south and north collaborations in ending poverty and applying expoential rising tech to this purspoe

when normanmacrae retires his family start up what becomes 20 co-blogs :

These include following associates of GAMES of worldrecordjobs and asks how do you value future of health services?
 -study WRJ Fazle Abed with staff James Grant School of public health, Paul Farmer  1 2Leana Wen  Bloomberg Health student networks- you tell us - how can help Greta and her generation male planet earth sustainable for the next 10 billion children how can restore celebration of arts to every community and every fashion garment worker as well as the world's superstars- guides include Japanese-global team producing and searchers at sice 2004 launch Indira Gandhi Center
Here Viscount Ridley recalls 2010 what it was like in early 1984 to receive copies of The 2025 Report - after 12 years of research at The Economist on the coming net generation and entrepreneurial revolution, my father concluded all will turn out sustainably well from spending 4000 times more in 2030 than 1946 on worldwide communications if and only if we all designed open education as smartest medium ever inverted in across generations

here in washington dc 2015 it feels as if open education is at the tipping point of all future opportunity and threat to millennials and sustainability goals- anyone feel we have urgent connections to make? dc mobile 240 316 8157

Death of a great optimist

Norman Macrae 1923-2010

When I joined the Economist in 1983, Norman Macrae was the deputy editor. He died last week at the age of 87. Soon after I joined the staff, a thing called a computer terminal appeared on my desk and my electric typewriter disappeared. Around that time, Norman wrote a long article that became a book about the future. It was one of the strangest things I had ever read.
It had boundless optimism --
Over the last decade, I have written many articles in The Economist and delivered lectures in nearly 30 countries across the world saying the future should be much more rosy. This book explores the lovely future people could have if only all democrats made the right decisions.
combined with a weird technological vision --
Eventually books, files, television programmes, computer information and telecommunications will merge. We'll have this portable object which is a television screen with first a typewriter, later a voice activator attached. Afterwards it will be minaturised so that your personal access instrument can be carried in your buttonhole, but there will be these cheap terminals around everywhere, more widely than telephones of 1984. The terminals will be used to access databases anywhere in the globe, and will become the brainworker's mobile place of work. Brainworkers, which will increasingly mean all workers, will be able to live in Tahiti if they want to and telecommute daily to the New York or Tokyo or Hamburg office through which they work. In the satellite age costs of transmission will not depend mainly on distance. And knowledge once digitalised can be replicated for use anywhere almost instantly.
and a startlingly fresh economic perspective --
In the 1890s around half of the workforce in countries like the United States were in three occupations: agriculture, domestic service and jobs to do with horse transport. By the 1970s these three were down to 4 per cent of the workforce. If this had been foretold in the 1890s, there would have been a wail. It would have been said that half the population was fit only to be farmworkers, parlourmaids and sweepers-up of horse manure. Where would this half find jobs? The answer was by the 1970s the majority of them were much more fully employed ( because more married women joined the workforce) doing jobs that would have sounded double-Dutch in the 1890s: extracting oil instead of fish out of the North Sea; working as computer programmers, or as television engineers, or as package-holiday tour operators chartering jet aircraft.
When he retired in 1988 he wrote
Some will say [I have] been too optimistic. That is what a 65-year-old like me finds it natural to be. When I joined The Economist in 1949 it seemed unlikely that the world would last long. But here we stand, 40 memory-sodden years on, and what have we done? What we have done - largely because the poorest two-thirds of people are living much longer - is approximately to octuple real gross world product. During the brief civilian working lives of us returning soldiers from the second world war, we have added seven times as much to the world's producing power as was added during all the previous millennia of homo sapien's existence. That may help to explain why some of us sound and write rather tired. It does not explain why anybody in the next generation, to whom we gladly vacate our posts, can dare to sound pessimistic.
He was a rational optimist.