Friday, July 13, 2007

Assorted ramblings

I’m a little hung over today, so today’s blogging isn’t even trying to be intellectual or well-informed. A few idle comments and observations is all I can manage.

(1) On the way in this morning I passed a building site, outside of which there was a sign saying ‘DO NOT ENTER: STRIKING IN PROGRESS’.

It’s a sad day when even picket lines are made redundant.

(2) I hear tell that a family friend, aged I think 19 and on a gap year in South America – hitherto a sensible girl from what I know – has had an unusual tattoo. On her left buttock is apparently written ‘Woo’ and on the right ‘hoo!’

What I don’t know, and what I don’t want to know, but what my copy-editor’s brain can’t help but wonder, is whether there’s a hyphen.

(3) At the supermarket checkout the other day, after getting my items bleeped through, I was packing them into bags and the guy working the till asked: “And would you like anything else?”

This was at the checkout. There were no unclaimed products within about 20 feet – other than a few issues of Spend Money To Read About How You Can Spend More Money In Our Shop magazine. There were several other people in the queue behind me.

What would have happened if I’d said: “Yes, I’d also like half a dozen eggs and some washing-up liquid please”?

(I’m assuming it wasn’t a chat-up line.)

(4) Should theists who endorse the free will defence against the problem of evil be radical libertarians or even anarchists, on the grounds that freedom is always a greater good than the prevention of harm?

OK, that was a bit more highbrow than I’d intended this post to be. But hey, it’s not as if I’ve answered the question or anything.

(5) Scott Adams notes the difficulty in getting the super-rich to part with their money in tax:

What if the government could give something of value to the rich in return for paying higher taxes? It would have to be something that didn’t cost the government or its citizens any real money. How about extra rights? …
This concept depends on the fact that there aren’t many super rich people in the population. We could grant this tiny group of people some extra rights without even noticing the loss. …
The key is that those extra rights have to have no significant impact on other people.

I think I’ve got it: let them put their faces on the money. I don’t know how changeable US bills are, but in Britain we have varying designs. For instance, the new £20 note features Adam Smith; the previous one had a picture of Edward Elgar, and before that Michael Faraday.

If I had a vast quantity of cash, one of the few things that would really perk me up would be the thought of my vast quantity of cash being a vast quantity of portraits of me as well. And not just my cash: all over the country, ordinary people would carry pictures of me around in their wallets; they would treasure those pictures; they would associate my face with prosperity; indeed, they would feel as though they were sharing in my fantastic wealth – which, thanks to the higher taxes I’d be paying, is of course exactly what they would be doing.

That prospect would excite me a lot more than another billion here or there.

(6) Still bored? Yes, I thought so. Well, you could try the ever-reliable David Thompson’s Friday Ephemera.

Now I must away to the coffee machine. I need build my energy up so that I can start work in a few hours on tomorrow morning’s hangover.

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