An interesting little question

So, in 1066 the Normans came and stole the whole country.

We’ve not got a complete land registry for the place today as only those places that have changed hands on the open market in recent centuries are so listed.

But do we know of any one piece of land, an estate, which has been passed on through inheritance only since the 11 th century? Still got some few thousand acres estate – absent Royal Family or Crown Estate holdings – that is identifiably just because ggggg gpa was handy with a broadsword, lance and horse?

Of course, the general pattern of rural landholding is still hugely influenced by the event. But can we point to one particular piece of land and say that’s his directly because that?

These people are mad

Britain will today set a legally-binding target to cut greenhouse gases to “net zero” by 2050, Theresa May has announced.

The Government will set out legislation today to slash emissions despite warnings from Philip Hammond that meeting the target could cost £1trillion.

The move comes after the Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change called for the new legal target to be brought in as soon as possible and to urgently ramp up action to cut emissions.

Hitting net zero – a 100 per cent cut in emissions – will mean an end to heating of homes with traditional gas boilers, more green electricity, and a switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles, walking and cycling.

Every single bit of the science that says it’s worth doing something about climate change also says that we shouldn’t do it by setting emissions targets. So, what do they do?

Sheesh.

If Oxfam were a company it would be dying now

Oxfam abuse victims were sent back to war zones after raising complaints against aid workers, it was claimed in an official report exposing the scale of the scandal that engulfed the charity.

They’re not quite spelling it out here.

If someone complained of sexual abuse by Oxfam staff they would – OK, could – be plucked out of their refugee camp and sent back to what they had been fleeing.

That’s the sort of thing any – consumer facing at least – business wouldn’t survive. Markets having their uses in controlling producer behaviour

Coincidence? I think not

Baron Clement von Franckenstein obituary

OK

In this, he was helped by a lifetime’s experience of introducing himself by that name. Family legend, which he was happy to burnish, had it that Mary Shelley had borrowed it, with a slight amendment, for her book after meeting an ancestor of von Franckenstein’s, who was consul in Geneva when she was there.

Super.

Before turning to acting

Rightie ho

Franckenstein’s first role on camera, improbably, was as an extra in Mel Brooks’s spoof Young Frankenstein (1974).

Whut?

Sir Pterry was right. The million to one shot, it’s a certainty, isn’t it?

Seriously Polly, seriously

How’s the economy? Graphs for growth, per-capita income and public spending are too depressing to go on reading. But he notes there are twice as many billionaires as a decade ago, and 30% have avoided tax by keeping their cash offshore.

The link is to a piece saying that 30% of the billionaires have gone – with their cash – to offshore. that is, the billionaires are no longer here….

Whoo, boy, journos and numbers

The End Violence Against Women coalition (EVAW) cites a 23.1 per cent fall in the number of rape cases taken on by the CPS in the 12 months to 2017/18 from 3,671 to 2,822. This was despite a 16 per cent increase in police recorded rapes to 56,698.

It said this meant that women now have a four per cent chance of their case being heard in court compared with one in five in 2014.

3,648 trials in 2014. And I doubt that means a 20% chance….

A lovely find by BiG

>Aristotle distinguished between friendships based on communal interests and those of soulmates who bonded out of mutual affection. The vast majority of people signed up for MySpace, Rupert Murdoch’s phenomenally successful networking site, fall into the former category. But on present showing that won’t stop its continuing expansion which, as the MySpace generation goes into employment, could eventually extend Murdoch’s influence in ways that would make his grip on satellite television seem parochial.

It was said at the time of purchase that if Murdoch tried to mess with MySpace’s “sharing” culture by commercialising it, punters would simply switch to one of the dozens of clones it has spawned from Bebo.com to the upwardly mobile Cyworld.com, which has taken South Korea by storm and is now taking the battle into MySpace’s backyard in the US. Cyworld points to research showing that MySpace is a “rites-of-passage” site that kids will grow out of while Cyworld is a “real you” experience. It is an interesting, almost Aristotelian, distinction but some argue it may already be too late for competitors to dislodge MySpace, except in niche markets.

John Barrett of TechNewsWorld claims that MySpace is well on the way to becoming what economists call a “natural monopoly”. Users have invested so much social capital in putting up data about themselves it is not worth their changing sites, especially since every new user that MySpace attracts adds to its value as a network of interacting people.

That Green New Deal and travel

I have mentioned I was out and about whilst doing some thinking today. One of the things I was sketching out were the objectives of the Green New Deal. I came up with this. Comments welcome:

The objectives of the Green New Deal shall be:

To create a net zero carbon economy
To protect against habitat and biodiversity loss
To ensure every building in the UK is as energy efficient as feasibly possible, and generates power if that can be accommodated within its design
To promote public transport for all journeys, including and most especially local ones
To encourage the building of new low and no-carbon housing to meet social need
To invest in new methods of power generation, transmission and distribution
To encourage alternative and reduced forms of consumption that reduce the demand on the natural resources of our planet

Etc, etc. Written by the man who did this:

It was pretty wet in Aberystwyth this morning. So, with plenty to read and a couple of computers in tow I caught the train to Pwllheli just to have a cup of tea. More than six hours of train ride for £8.50 – and amazing views.

6 hours on a diesel train for a cup of tea – to save the planet.

Doing the time warp

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Myspace? Where has this spam been the last 10 years?

There’s a bit of this world I still don’t get

I think of myself as someone just deploying their comparative advantage. I’m less bad at scribbling on matters economic than I am at most other things. I also think I’m about 20 – a child in these things.

So, anyway, I’m doing a bit of paid scribbling which requires checking the details of the Simon Ehrlich bet. OK, wikipedia – and I’m listed as one of the sources of the truth about the Simon Ehrlich bet.

Eh?

Yes, yes, obviously, just false modesty, Har Har! Everybody says but no, Tim, you’re really……and it’s not that. The internal conversation in my head really is either well, what the buggery is this complicated world about and aren’t I a minnow? The only time it’s different is when I’m considering something so damned obvious that children still giggling at helium balloons can see this, can’t they?

And then I get really worried. The people actually running the world are in the same position, aren’t they? Either that or there’s a hell of a lot of Dunning Kruger going on. Either rather neatly explaining the state of it…..