Infographics: 600 cities that will shape the world in 2025

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McKinsey Global Institute, one of the world’s most respectable business consulting firms, has actually released this interactive device two years ago, but to date, the database presented is still worth referencing. It includes complete GDP data for 600 cities worldwide (and mostly from developing countries) surveyed in 2010, altogether with their future forecasts in 2025.

As it turns out, most of the 600 cities that will drive future economic growth of the planet are concentrated solely on developing world, with a huge emphasis on major cities around East Asia, particularly China. As many as 216 Chinese cities are included in the list, a few of which may possibly contribute GDP of 1 trillion US$ upwards.

Other than China’s sprawling metropolises? A few hundred less well-known cities, for instance, Chittagong, Huambo, Medan, Vina del Mar, Port Harcourt, Pekanbaru, Kumasi, or Beihai, are also expected to have generated GDP up to 20 billion US$ for each of the cities included, driving the global economic growth not only to a faster pace, but also to a challenging phase many policymakers in Western countries will have to carefully reconsider.

Access more complete data on McKinsey Global Institute.

Get yourself directly to the interactive data set here.

Bonus: the institute even provides a full-version app, with complete data of over 2,600 cities worldwide, available either on iOS or Android. Nevertheless, because the app is easier to download on Apple Store, I will just refer the link instead to the former.

John F. Kennedy’s guide to problem-solving

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All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, not in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. – John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural speech on January 20, 1961.

John F. Kennedy Library has compiled a full list of quotes worth contemplating from one of America’s greatest leaders.

The meaning of life, as explained in doing laundry

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Collect the clothes, collect the shirts, collect the underpants, get them to the washing machine, dry them, iron them neatly, and fold them in your wardrobes, and this is what most of us (but quite a few bizarre exceptions may apply in this world) will end up doing for the rest of our lifetime.

Or take it to a broader scope. Imagine a scenario like these. Wake up, take a bath, grab a breakfast, chase a bus, get to work, 9 to 5, go back home, take another bath, have a dinner, complete your assignments, and go to sleep, or what have you, probably on weekends you are either going to focus solely on your family or on your own solitude, and again, this is also what most of us (unless you are going to be artists) will end up doing for the rest of our lifetime. Until we age, or perhaps until we get our coffins done.

Stop! One moment, probably driven by your existentialist mind-questioning riddles, you start, at one point, to feel a complete irrelevance, a striking absence of meaning manifested in life itself: what sounds utterly absurd, either that I continue with such mundane, inside-my-box, well-arranged pre-programmed life, or that I commence abruptly ending my daily life rituals, and adopt something most will never do?

Maybe at one point you start envisioning that you should get someone else to complete all your tasks, or to imagine that a scientist somewhere create a robot (say, a real-life Doraemon) that grants all your wishes and does all your jobs while you go on and enjoy your day, or even that you wish something else – whoever that being is – to finish what you have yet completed. But, as time goes by, you recognize the absurdity in your thoughts yourself, and as it goes deeper, deeper than Freudian icebergs, you also start to feel, again, the tastelessness of life, this time on a more abyssal level. You find yourself barely reconciled to the fact that all of us, no more than mundane creatures struggling to survive in such cold and indifferent universe, willingly or not, have been entitled to all these ‘obligations’: we can’t always get it completely done. That you once believe you could really solve all the world’s problems, but you won’t. That you think the world, one day, will end up in a happily-ever-after, merry-going state, but that is only what your mind wishes for. That you believe universe itself has been fine-tuned for life, but that is only what we personally conjure. Slowly, you are reconciled to the fact, that you can’t find the peace outside; it all must be sought inside.

Heather Havrilevsky wants to explain, beyond the mundane task of dirty laundry, literally and figuratively, the philosophy of life itself. Read the full article on Aeon Magazine.

Excerpt:

Of course, back when you were single and untroubled by laundry, were you actually progressing steadily toward greatness? No. You were trying to decide whether to order the pastrami or the roast beef for lunch, or you were getting your hair highlighted while flipping impatiently through a heavy fashion magazine, or you were neurotically reviewing your drunken conversation with a guy you met the night before for clues as to whether or not he was interested.

But this is the strange gift that laundry brings to our lives. Its sheer mass, its magnitude, its ceaselessness make us aspire to greatness, even as such aspirations become less and less possible. When faced with such awesome power, we want to rise up, to harness the best within ourselves, to create something inspiring and wise! Why, then, must we spray stain remover on this little white smock instead? Why must our brilliant thoughts lie fallow, as we gather armfuls of laundry from hampers? One thing stands between you and the enviable career, the lasting legacy that you so richly deserve: dirty laundry.

Dirty laundry also prevents you from communing intimately with your spouse. Surely you’d be uncorking a nice bottle of red, pouring it into glasses, and having a gentle and rambling talk about your day, if not for the numbing, impenetrable nothingness of piles of clean laundry, those folded stacks crowding you on your own bed, rendering impulsive affectionate gestures or intimate touches an impossibility.