Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Well, Friday will be an outing to l'île Noirmoutier (Noirmoutier Island), a French island off the Atlantic coast. If I had been on top of things I might have gotten a tour of the Airbus factory where they are constructing the A380, the largest passenger plane ever built, but alas...

France 2, the TV station, had a special on India's developing economy, and the attempt of Meetal steel to acquire Alcelor. Couple interesting points: First the Bombay/ Mumbai stock market just passed the symbolic 10,000 point mark for the first time. Second, Indian companies are serving a nitch/market that Occidental companies have been less willing to enter. Indian capitalists are designing products for developing countries like China and Indonesia, like 2,000 $ cars that are affordable for middle class Chinese and Indonesians. According to the guests on the show often developing countries design exclusively for US or European tastes, but increasingly India is developing products specifically for the lower GDP per capita countries.

Another thing that I have been musing about is the reason that the ramparts around Nantes were taken down in the 1700s. I can't get over what a symbolic event this is, why was there such a confidence about the safety of the city that it was judged prudent to take down the walls. The reasoning I have found is that the ramparts were inhibiting the city's growth. But where did the threat that led to the walls being built go? Was it that international commerce had relieved the threat by ending scarcity of food and materials and tying peoples' well being to the European/ international market instead of to local production subject to scarcity that would cause regional instability or fear of it? I'll continue to research...

Isn't this caricatures of Mohamed affair starting to look like the clash of civilizations?


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