Friday, July 31, 2009

economics and thatcher/reagan

I was reminded recently of the "Tell Sid" campaign to get the public to engage in share trading when THatcher was privatising British Telecom, Gas and other utilities.

So here's the questions I'd like to see numerical answers to
1. How much did the great british unwashed public actually buy?
2. How much did they gain in reduced tax or increased services as a result of the new capital and tax revenue the treasury got from the previously state owned businesses
3. how much did we just lose in the recent debacle/creditcrunch/recession

really, was it all a complete waste of time and money (and some lives, viz railway accidents after track privatation)?

basically, did sid sell his birthright for a mess of potage?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

what do the following books have in common?

A secret history (donna tartt)
A fraction of the whole (steve toltz)
Special topics in calamity physics (marisha pessl)
The virgin suicides (jefffrey eugenides)

Answer: no idea but amazon and friends all recommended them to me in the space of a week recently, even though they've mostly been out for a few years...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

free plotware foundation sf plot device #17

what if there was a total eclipse of the earth, which was visible no matter where you stood, on earth?


lets say it lasted 6 minutes - now, imagine the repurcissions for science and religion...

Friday, July 24, 2009

3 scams, a daft idea and a bad pun

1. we should all buy 50 quid cars with a year's mot?tax - we can cash them in for 2000 pounds off a new car in 1 year for scrappage...

2. we should all claim our tamiflu, and then send it to africa (or anywhere else they can't afford to stockpile this stuff) - ditto the vaccine when its out....

3 zittrain (see >article) claims the internet and the PC are generative - well, what about
generative LAW then, eh? bout time!

4. There's a points just south of cambridge where the line splits to Liverpool ST and King's Cross - L&K _ perhaps the people down each side are like the Morloks and the Eloi (Orcs and Elves, or even Daleks and Kaleds, there's an archetype if you like:)
The L and K (live and kill?)....

5. w should start a Cambridge University Breaking and Entering society (CUBE, known as C.U. Jimmy, to scottish members).

Friday, July 03, 2009

working time directive/ethic & political disengagement

I am now abslutely certain that it is Whitehall dogma to ignore the European working time directiove as much as possible and to keep the UK employed population working as many hours, days, weeks, months, years, as possible.
just so as they don't have time to think, or get engaged in politics in the slightest regard

once upon a time, there were alanded gentry, who had lots of time, and they were tories, then there was the English working class movement, which a bunch of self-educated and principled people who engaged in society and cared about things that matter in their segment, formed - partly churchmen, but also womens movements and other movements - these two elements of british society meant we had serious engagement with both self interest, and interest in the larger pictiure for these two mutually dependent facets of a complex whole.

now, noone has time to engage, except a bunch of overpaid, overcompensated career politicians (and many of them are part timeers) and civil servants - how many people actually know a local councillor, or have ever been to ther MPs surgery or even written?

we need to break this down to the way it used to be and one surefire way to do it is to give people time and inventives to use that time, to engage in running things for ourselves....