On Russia (and Italy, too)

From this week’s Economist.

Mr Guriev suggests that the reason Russia has failed to modernise is that its ruling class can pocket rents from things as they are. Serious modernisation threatens them because it would require stronger institutions that would make this harder. This rent-seeking psychology is transmitted right down the bureaucratic chain, with each man taking a slice for himself.

On Writing: Uni-Ball Vision Elite 0.8mm

As a rather compulsive note-taker, I go through a lot of pens. These Japanese pens – to me, as close to perfection as a disposable writing tool can get – came to me via eBay in the US. They’re one of the joys of globalization.

Finally, on writing here: this is my first post written with the iPhone WordPress app.

Praia e vento

“Praia e vento”, beach and wind, says this flag-decorated surfboard, instead of “Ordem e progresso”.

I just thought it was another brilliant iconographic choice by this week’s Economist, even better than the cover image with the rocket-fueled Cristo Redentor.

By the way, here‘s where you can buy this picture and others with the same model and surfboard!

Economist special report on Brazil