Following on from my previous post about the need for further education to enable Western society to become more intelligent, I believe we can also use this opportunity to rejuvenate the poorer areas of Italy. The only thing which is needed is a decent nationwide fibre optic network. I say only thing because the total cost is estimated to be somewhere around € 20bln, or around 1.5% of GDP.
This is critically important because it allows people to become location independent if they work with information. So they can work in Milan, or Calabria or a village in the Appenines and the result is largely the same. The benefits from moving back to the countryside are that it is currently cheaper to buy or rent a house there and there would be no need to commute, which should free up time to allow more flexibility in working and caring for children or parents. In short, it should make an integrated community easier and the ongoing cost of living cheaper, financially, mentally and physically. Now, the downsde might be the lack of the network effect, in that we don’t bump into people through serendipity and so our network is smaller, but the spread of Facebook, Linkedin, blogs, etc, suggests that we are all already forming our own virtual networks which are complimentary to the real network of contacts which we have.
And these informal networks will probably supersede the formal state and company networks as they are more flexible and react more effectively than a company or state which is encumbered by layers of hierarchical bureaucracy where decisions are not always made on the basis of how effective the outcome is going to be.
But the country needs a fibre optics network to progress. The more I look at it, the more the decision to invest in the rail network seems like investing in horse drawn carts when cars were invented.