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Connectivity and Contentment

March 28th 2014

The main advantage cited for increasing popular connectivity is the economic one.  Interactions are increasingly taking place online and any up to date economy needs the velocity that connectivity brings.  Indonesia is home to 250 million people, making it the world's fourth most-populous nation. It is also the world's fifteenth largest national economy, despite a gross domestic product per capita that languishes at the lower end of the global rankings.  The country sees the broadband investment of this scale as a key part of realising it’s ambitions and potential.

Whilst connectivity and even economic prowess can be easily quantified, happiness is far more ephemeral.  Some countries are apparently significantly happier than others.  Along with Indonesia, India, Mexico, and Brazil lead the pack, while Russia, South Korea, and Hungary are apparently all pretty miserable. The UK is mid table, a little behind the US and Australia, but pleasingly ahead of France.

It turns out that overall there’s little correlation between income (being GDP per capita) and happiness (being subjective).  The case in point is Singapore.  This country is one of the economic and digital success stories.  There is a relentless push for growth.  If you visit the government website for business (Enterprise One) there are at least 4 funding schemes for startups – not just tax incentives but accelerated schemes ($7 grant for each $3 invested).  It’s a hotbed of success – yet Singapore is amongst the 10 unhappiest countries on the planet, alongside the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan.

So hopefully the Indonesians will recognise that connectivity will bring many benefits, but being beholden solely to the world of Mammon is not one of them.

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