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This page gathers together indicators of where the human universe (world economy, population, environment, science, technology and politics) is going.

Our aim is to clarify the overall trend, and to cohere a viable, sustainable alternative to the increasingly negative news.

We hope to assist each individual reader to their own understanding of "progress", personal action, and reaction.

Happy reading.


IMF GDP growth forecasts revised for NZ to 4.2% this year, & 2% for 2005 (! RadioNZ 12.25pm Business News 30Sep04) World figure c4.8% 2005, down below c5-6% this year due to oil price rises.

Is Market Demand the Lifeblood of Capitalism? "Tom Osenton explains why the current economic downturn was inevitable thanks to over-production & the saturation of the market, leading to a stagnation of demand" informIT 24Sep04 "..there will be no economic turnaround & no getting back on a growth track"


Electricity shortages repeat / intensify: state intervention (global downturn, technical slowdown + war) confirms historical world system decline.


Long-haul network losses have brought down KPNQwest: "the fastest, most advanced fibre-optic backbone in Europe across an 18 country 25,000 km footprint which connected 60 cities". Can we say history is in reverse when state telecom co's are left to pick up the bulk ICT pieces? Qwest USA survives.


"World faces worsening water crisis"
= lost drink & food > rising competition & territorial wars + electricity shortages

IDG Net NZ site extract, Thursday, 12 July, 2001
IDC: Asia's tech hubs outpacing NZ
NZ's IT market expected to grow by about 4% each year

                Computerworld Staff, Auckland
Singapore and Hong Kong continue to distance themselves from other IT markets in the Asia-Pacific, including New Zealand, with their strong government support for IT, robust telecommunications infrastructures and high PC penetration rates, says market analyst IDC.
Notably, the two Asian markets were among the first in the region to completely liberalise their telecommunication markets, IDC said in a report released last week.
Over the next four years, Singapore's IT market will grow by 13.2% per year to be worth $US6.1 billion in 2005. Hong Kong's IT market will grow at 9.8% per year and be worth $US4.9 billion, IDC says. New Zealand's IT market, by comparison, is expected to grow by about 4% each year from $NZ4.6 billion in 2000 to $NZ5.6 billion in 2005.
Both Asian countries are strongly hardware-oriented, as is typical of Asian markets. Almost 70% of IT spending in Hong Kong currently goes toward hardware products. Singapore is slightly more oriented toward software and services, which make up nearly 50% of IT spending there. New Zealand is a well-developed market, says IDC NZ, in which IT spending on software and services was 51% last year and is expected to reach 56% by 2005.
Hong Kong is still adjusting to being a special administrative region of China, but the size and rapid growth of the mainland China IT market could prove a boost for Hong Kong, according to IDC. Singapore's economy is more tied to the ups and downs of the US market and to investor confidence in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) grouping, of which Singapore is a member, IDC says.

InfoHelp Commentary

NZ IT growth is slower and smaller scale than for its major economic neighbours. Our 1990s free market model is partly responsible for this, whereas we'd be better off understanding 1930s infrastructural development (mid-Depression Labour social investment) to chart a way forward. Establishment of the electricity grid is an historical case in point, that private enterprise would never have afforded and has simply exploited through privatisation. Californian-style power crises are now inevitable with climate change way beyond control, and short-term profit-orientation is wholly to blame.

Getting IT user equipment distributed more effectively in NZ is another economic restraint highlighted here. This could improve with operating system diversification releasing investment funds for network growth. Support is needed for wider skills training, especially in the Linux alternatives.

Click Online commentary

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Edit version: 12:30PM GMT+12 30/09/04