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Opening up

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Today Estonia, and many other European countries are opening up some of the COVID-19 quarantine measures. For me, it seems strange, than in evaluating choosing the measures to be opened there is almost now discussion on how important or even critical the activity is for society and people. What is the damage if this activity is not available. For example, dentists and hairdressers were both opened only today. Swimming pools are opened, but schools are not. Opening up football leagues or holding the Olympics seems to be among TOP-3 topics in the news.
To provoke a discussion around this question I drew a graph. This is the type of two dimensional diagram that should be the basis on deciding on quarantine measures. Naturally, this includes only a very limited number of activities and we can argue about the importance of activities but I am sure that everybody agrees for example that: - Food processing is more important than making toys - School is more important than hobbies - Dentist …

How we will beat the virus

I am not a virologist nor do I have a medical education so the analysis underneath should be taken as an idea or a suggestion. I am a hobby-historian, follow news actively and I can take credit for the fact that I bought face-mask already in January. Then they were freely available, cost 0,1eur a piece and everybody thought that I have a paranoia when I bought them.

So how we will beat the virus. It is actually quite straightforward. States, cities and families have always beat diseases in principally the same way: by raising the level of hygiene. Typhus and cholera was beaten by cleaning the water and building proper sewage systems. Washing hands, washing teeth, wearing underwear, vaccination, following strict rules in food production - all these measures have served us by eliminating the risk of getting one or more diseases. Mind you, some countries have not implemented these measures and thus bare the consequences: cholera in Haiti, hepatitis in India etc.

With Covid-19 the situati…

How the coronavirus related quarantine will influence the economy

We have now been working from home for a little more than a week due to the coronavirus quarantine. Based on this first experience it is possible to make some predictions on how the situation will influence the economy in the near future. The results might look a bit scary, but the logic is quite straightforward.

Very important thing to understand about how the economy works is the concept that "Your spending is someones income". Meaning that in the big picture money is not something physical, but an abstract concept - it is more like a measurement unit that measures value or work. Therefore saving money is different from saving something physical. If you save for example sugar then you will later have more sugar that you can then spend. If you save money then this is away from the overall process of economics and if you don't pay the others, then the others will not pay your salary.

Now when we have the first real experience on remote working and living, we can look at …

The technical innovation that might help us avoid the climate crisis and extinction of species ....and this is not the usual stuff.

I have been following the climate crisis and other global threats to humankind since 2008. It has actually been quite depressing. If you remember then in 2008 the global threats that everybody was talking about were:
- Peak Oil
- Food crisis
- Exponential growth of population
- Global warming.

The only one of those, that has been "solved" or actually postponed a little (by inventing economically viable fracking), is Peak Oil. Unfortunately, this postponing has made the problems of global warming and extinction of species now much worse.
 Overall between 2008-2019 all indicators of global warming and the extinction of species have followed the pessimistic patterns. The situation is bad and becoming worse fast.

 The fundamental problem why humans are not doing anything about reducing CO2 or methane emissions is, that doing so would conflict with (the perception of) how good our lives are. As for most of us, better lives mean more things and more travelling. So "better liv…

Is there a relation between good universities and average salaries?

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This map is courtesy to Jakub Marian and can be found here: https://jakubmarian.com/number-of-top-ranked-universities-by-country-in-europe/
(You can also find many other interesting maps on jakubmarian.com!)


The latest map from Wikipedia showing the average net salaries in European countries

These two together in one graph:Good universities => higher salaries!

Last mile delivery revolution in Estonia

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The revolutions that change the government tend to be noisy and bloody affairs, but the revolutions in technology and economics happen rather silently. This is because true technical revolutions happen when people start to take a new phenomenon as a normal everyday thing and don't even notice that they changed their behaviour. And one such thing is now happening in Estonia - the radical change in the last mile delivery. As an indicator, here is a list of changes that have happened in the last 5 years:

There are now 3 parcel terminal networks operating in Estonia. Omniva, SmartPOST and DPD. Therefore there is competition and prices are driven down. Most E-shops are integrated with some or all of them.
There are at least 5 online grocery supermarkets that offer home delivery: Selver, Coop, Fresh and Go, Barbora (the shop previously known as Maxima) and Prisma. One of the latest innovations is done by Coop, who offers grocery lockers that are refrigerated and to where you can order f…

Average salary and ease of doing business

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One of the main parameters of an economy is the average net salary and I have been following that on my blog for some months now. Here is my short post about the last comparison: http://www.pilveraal.ee/2018/06/euroopa-keskmise-palga-areng-2018.html

As I work in a data and IT company Solita and am surrounded by data scientists, engineers and developers, then I cannot only settle with following the stats but want to find the reasons for some economies doing better than the others.

As a first step, let's see if the countries Ease of doing business ranking is related to the average net salary or can predict the change of the salary. If there is a correlation then it gives a clear message that working with the things that are measured by the Ease of doing business index makes people richer. No political discussion needed just copy what countries on the top of the list are doing and you get rich. :-)

 Underneath you will find the graphs for the EEA/EU countries on that, but I will jump…