Relatively better isn’t the same as good

November 19, 2009

New Zealand tops Transparency International’s 2009 corruption perception index.

The others in the top 10 are: Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands and Australia, Canada and Iceland which are 8th equal.

The countries at the bottom are: Chad, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Corruption is a form of oppression and this map shows how widespread it is:

While it’s good to be relatively good, what really matters is not how good we are perceived to be relative to anyone else but how good we are fullstop.

A score of 9.4 does mean we’re perceived to be pretty good.

That makes it more likely that other countries and other people will trust us and our institutions.

But we need to be vigilant to ensure that reality matches the perception.

Hat tip: Poneke.


September 12 in history

September 12, 2009

On September 12:

1575 English explorer Henry Hudson was born.

1846 Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.

    

1848 Switzerland became a federal state.

1888 French entertainer Maurice Chevalier was born.

1913 USA athlete Jesse Owens was born.

Center

1943 Sri Lankan-born Canadian author Michael Ondaatje was born.

1981 the All Blacks and Springboks played the third test at Eden park in spite of flour bombs which were dropped from the air.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


Naked walkers not wanted

April 28, 2009

Skinny dipping is one of life’s pleasures and given a warm and secluded river, lake or beach it’s one which can be enjoyed without scaring the horses, or people because should someone come upon the naked swimmer any body bits likely to cause offence can be kept under water.

The appeal of naked tramping isn’t quite so obvious, especially given the danger of sun burn, and I can understand why the people of rural Switzerland have voted to ban bare walkers

The cantonal government recommended the ban after citizens objected to encountering walkers wearing nothing but hiking boots and socks.

“The reactions of the population have shown that such appearances over a large area are perceived as thoroughly disturbing and irritating,” the government said in a statement.

One of the interesting points is that the walkers are German but baring it all in Switzerland. Don’t they dare do it at home, or is there something about the alpine air which lends them to shed their inhibitions and their clothes? 

UPDATE: NZ Conservative  posts on this and has a photo too.


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