Two Small Island Nations

With a population of a few million people have had a seriously outsized impact on world culture. Here is a good profile of one of them.


  1. Okay, I'll bite: what's the other one?

    1. Ireland, of course.

    2. The 20th largest island in the world—larger than Sri Lanka, 7.5 times the size of Jamaica, and, if you prefer a non-island comparison, almost exactly the same size as Austria—is a "small island"? Okay, if you say so.

    3. Shonk, Shonk, Shonk... Yes, I should have written the new title in the first place. But it ought to have been pretty obvious that I meant small relative to their cultural impact, and not small relative to all the world's islands! I mean, Jamaica itself is huge compared to Governor's Island or Jura, so why didn't you complain about me calling it small?

  2. A famous story from around here tells of a sage who visits an extremely kind and hospitable town, and then wishes that the town would burn down to the ground. "This way, they can leave and spread their kindness to the rest of the world."

    It's sort of true for Jamaica in a way. With some of the highest brain drain and external migration rates in the world, great Jamaicans have made their mark across the world.

    While it is unfortunate that Jamaica has largely stagnated, with an economy growing at a rate 1/4th of the global average, it certainly has made Jamaica's most distinguished men and women strive harder to leave it and make their mark elsewhere.


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