What we learned this week

  • If you can get past Tim Worstall’s sneering tone and utter lack of compassion, he has some interesting points to make on how that $2 a day figure is derived. And his solution is one I agree with: the universal basic income.
  • After my comments on protest yesterday, artist Jason deCaires’ demonstrates another way of shaming our politicians over their lack of action on the climate. Just down from the Houses of Parliament, his Rising Tide installation has men in suits looking the other way as they are submerged by the Thames twice a day.

decaires rising trid


    1. Interesting. I’ve seen peak stuff data for the British economy, but not globally. Will look into that.

      Yes, I’m not surprised the ONS data shows that correlation, we know there’s a connection there. But it’s only looking at wealth – previous ONS research found that wealth was not in the top three most important factors in overall wellbeing. Those were health, employment status and relationship status.

      Its also important to note that the data is plotted on a log scale, and there’s a real slowdown in how much happiness more wealth creates. If you want to maximise happiness in society, raising the poor out of poverty will make far more difference that giving a rise to the richest.

      There’s some interesting stuff here about wealth too. It’s curious that net wealth correlates with happiness, but the link to income is far weaker. Property ownership shows no correlation either. Seems like what we really like is the reassurance of a large sum in the bank account.

  1. Devastating Murdoch has bought National Geographic, to be honest I though he owned shares. But he just increases his monopoly and takes another publication of the shelf for me anyway. I have seen the Rising Tide installation talked about a lot and love it! I hope it still there in Dec when I am planing a visit.

    1. We’ll have to wait and see. Murdoch is a businessman first, and he’ll want to keep the huge amount of goodwill and respect that National Geographic currently has, otherwise he won’t have a readership. Presumably he can’t go full Fox News on it without blowing his investment.

      But we’ll see. It’s certainly not good news for the scientific grants that NG makes, or for their coverage of climate change.

      What I’m wondering is who thought it was a good idea – that’s just such a bad decision by whoever has been stewarding the NG so far.

      1. A good point well made! I really have not trust for the man and believe his desire to manipulate the public for his own gain had consumed him. But as you say NG has a big following and there would be uproar if the bias crept in, and to be fair the TV channel appears to be doing OK (he a shares in that). But I think your right it’s a waiting game, and maybe they’ll be and off shoot into a new publication, time will tell.

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