One of the small things I noticed (and enjoyed) in Europe in the last few weeks is the speed of the Internet connections available. Even if one takes the so-called ‘low speed’ option at the hotel (invariably free), the connectivity speeds were far superior to anything I have available in Australia. That matters when large datasets are involved. We often wait minutes for datasets to download here from say the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Watching streaming video is often a case of getting it started, pausing it, and waiting an hour or more for the download to occur so that you can watch it without interruption. Australia is very backward in this regard and the reasons that we are set to become even more disadvantaged are the same reasons that the economy are heading towards recession – a neo-liberal fetish against government spending and an ideological blindness to innovation.