Monthly Archives: June 2013

Pie charts and Prejudice: Jane Austen the economist should grace our banknotes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a central banker in possession of a printing press must be in want of a Jane Austen tenner. Sir Mervyn King’s parting suggestion that the author of Emma may soon grace our currency was a cheering piece of news this week, especially in Pride and Prejudice’s bicentennial year. Her fans must now keep a sharp eye on King’s Canadian replacement, in case Mark Carney tries to cast Austen aside and smuggle in Celine Dion or Avril Lavigne instead. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Human nature, Literature

London’s vibrant cityscape needs to escape the clutches of Unesco’s bureaucrats

WESTMINSTER is in danger. At least, that’s what the UN thinks. Unesco’s World Heritage arm wants planned developments to the south of the Thames scaled back because they will interfere with sightlines to the Palace of Westminster. If the intended high-rise buildings at Waterloo, Elephant and Castle and a number of other sites aren’t shrunk, the global bureaucrats warn, London will find itself on the so-called danger list, alongside Afghanistan’s Bamiyan valley and Samarra in Iraq. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Freedom, History

Kickstarting a new relationship between art and business

WHO WANTS to come into space with me? Thanks to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform, that is not a rhetorical question. I’m backing the Arkyd project, which is seeking $1m to launch a small space telescope into orbit. It has already raised more than $890,000, putting it on course to be fully-funded by its deadline on 30 June. If it hits its target, some time in August 2015 I will upload a digital photo to the Arkyd’s screen, where my image will hang against the backdrop of space as the moment is photographed for posterity. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Business, Innovation, Science, Technology

Why entrepreneurs deserve their day in the sun

I DO NOT travel to find comfortable, rich, and hospitable people, or clear sky,” wrote the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. “But if there were any magnet that would point to the countries and the houses where are the persons who are intrinsically rich and powerful, I would sell all, and buy it, and put myself on the road today.” Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Innovation