[ExI] Italy's Social Capital

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Wed Jun 6 06:06:06 UTC 2007

"Lee Corbin" <lcorbin at rawbw.com>
>>  Well, they did some things. They drained the swamps and started regular
>>  insecticide sprays to eliminate the malaria-carrying mosquitos. There
>>  are still aggressive tiger mosquitos in the summer, but they are no
>>  longer carrying malaria...

>I would like to know if this took place in northern or southern Italy,
>or both.

I'm still smiling about this. When I learned this trivia tidbit from my
colleagues, I stored the bit in my brain as "OK, something Mussolini did
that was useful." But I realized from Serafino's post and Wikipedia, that
they didn't tell me the whole story, the malaria part was simply a
side-effect of Mussolini's rebuilding campaign.


BTW, I think that it does have some economic benefit, but I don't
think it is large. These areas look to me like sleepy resort towns. I
took a long drive through there last Septmeber on the way to give a talk
(at a conference at one of those resort towns). They mostly parallel or
lie on the sea, so Italians go there, and else pass through there, on
the way to the beach.

>>  Sorry, I just came back from Estonia (and Latvia). I remember very well
>>  the Soviet times. In FIFTEEN YEARS Estonia has transformed their country
>>  into an efficient, bouyant, flexible living and working environment that
>>  I think, with the exception of the nonexistence of a country-wide train
>>  system, beats any in the EU and most in the U.S. Fifteen years *starting
>>  from a Soviet-level infrastructure*!

>Very interesting.

What was little reported in the news during the attacks on the Estonian
servers in April was that the sys admins worked quickly, and the
computer servers were functioning normally for people inside of Estonia
within one day. Estonia has a high level IT industry. (Skype is one
example of a product to come out of Estonia.) The NATO experts who were
there were learning from the Estonians. The Estonians didn't need any help
from the technical side, but some political support would have been nice.


I'm sorry I don't have time at the moment to think or elaborate on the
other points.. I'll keep it on the back burner and answer when I can.



Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
INAF Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), Roma, ITALIA
Associate Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute (PSI), Tucson

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