UK spending and the 2015 election

Fri 20 February 2015
Government spending? I don't know what it's all about. I don't know any more about this thing than an economist does, and, God knows, he doesn't know much. -- The Best of Will Rogers The UK will have a general election in May 2015 and a crucial ...

eBooks - HTML and EPUB

Fri 16 January 2015
I've written a novel and I'm in the final stages of revising it. Reading it on the computer screen was acceptable in the first few reviewing passes, but now I feel the need to read it as I read many books - on my phone. Not only does this ...

Scottish referendum polling - retrospective

Tue 18 November 2014
It's two months since Scotland held its referendum and so I thought I'd collect together some data I was looking at back then. I didn't write it up at the time because I'd become a little weary of the whole subject, but now the time feels ...

UK in Recession part 3 - borrowing

Wed 12 November 2014
This is the third post in this series on the UK in recession. This time I'll look at how the deficit (described in my last post) leads to borrowing (PSNB ex) and debt (PSND ex). Unfortunately this means I have to start off with rather dry and possibly boring ...

Cadfael

Mon 27 October 2014
rother Cadfael is a fictional Benedictine monk created by the author Ellis Peters who served as a Herbalist at Shrewsbury Abbey in 12th century England. Against the historical backdrop of "The Anarchy" - a civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maude - Cadfael operated as a detective who solved many ...

UK in Recession part 2 - deficit, income and spending

Tue 21 October 2014
This is the second post in the series. I'll pick up where I left of at the end of the last post and investigate the deficit and how it relates to public sector spending and income in the time period of interest, from 1997 to 2014. As before, I ...

UK in Recession part 1 - GDP and debt

Tue 14 October 2014
Poor analogies, partial information, misunderstandings, oversimplifications and outright lies seem to be too common in any political discussion. I'm not just talking about partisan politicians and the media, but also discussion in online social media and in real life. Such misconceptions are especially troubling concerning the great recession of ...

Mid-life neuroplasticity

Mon 06 October 2014
Eyebrows. They need trimming? Why did the hair dresser ask me that, and why never before? I was told the answer at the Troon real ale festival about a week later. The following morning I ...

But Dad, you might be wrong

Tue 30 September 2014
"But Dad, you might be wrong." I couldn't disagree with my nine year-old son, though I said I'd given the matter much thought. We were walking down the hill from the polling station where I had just cast my vote in the Scottish independence referendum. Two weeks before ...

Voxelands

Thu 25 September 2014
Voxelands is a fork of Minetest which itself is a Free and Open Source (FOSS) reworking of the more famous Minecraft. I enjoyed Minecraft's immersive blocky world and there were lots of interesting mods to enhance ...

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