Latest Teaching Company course was Why Economies Rise or Fall by Peter Rodriguez. Good overview of development economics. Not dogmatic: weighs up the various paths to growth, some mostly free market, some with a great deal of state intervention
Has one thing in common with most other economic texts on the subject though. To me, it seems that many economies that have shown great growth have done so through becoming a "workshop of the world": doing a lot of manufacturing for export. It's not clear to me whether there's actually space for many countries to do that at the same time: maybe there's only a certain amount of global manufacturing demand to go round at any given time. If so, maybe it's not possible for every country to get that kind of growth, whatever it does.
However, that's just a theory of mine, it might not be a zero or small sum game. Maybe if every nation became a massive manufacturer, the extra wealth they generated would lead to extra demand, and the world would just have an incredibly massive amount of physical goods going backwards and forwards across it.
Listening + Valentine's Day
Took Girl B to see the LSO Rachmaninoff Valentine's Day Concert, conducted by Neeme Järvi. Liked it a lot, always impressive to see a symphony orchestra in full blast.
Had a good meal out beforehand, went to the Skylon restaurant just downstairs from the Royal Festival Hall which has a nice view of the river.
I enjoyed it, Girl B seemed happy too.
What I'm Watching
Saw Hair on DVD. Musical about hippies who encounter a naive farm boy about to be drafted to Vietnam.
I'm not that into musicals, and it wasn't my choice, but I sat through it and was reasonably entertained.
Saw Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art from Germany at the Saatchi gallery: group exhibition of new-ish German artists. Apparently the name, literally meaning "complete art-work" is a kind of joke, in everyday German it's a mild insult you'd use towards someone who's eccentric or odd.
Very big, diverse selection. Liked some of it a lot, especially Markus Selg's wooden sculptures like Eva, and the bizarrely melded Thomas Helbig sculptures that look like the cast of Dungeons and Dragons put through a transporter malfunction, and Georg Herold's elongated figures.
Overall, I'm impressed by the way they're playing with colour and form to produce some kind of impact. Very little there is just flat-out boring like most British conceptual art.
Also saw the superb Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. Well worth seeing: it's much bigger than their usual small exhibitions with lot of his work. Even though his work is pretty common in London it's great to see everything together.
I think I need a new suit for interviews: my current one is ten years old. Any tips on suit fashions, preferably future-proof to 2022? My current one is dark blue three-button: I'm thinking lightish grey, single-breasted two-button for the next one.
I'm a tiny bit skeptical of Mark and Spencers' classification of suits into Regular Fit, Slim Fit and Super Slim Fit. I suspect at least some fat people must shop there: does that actually mean Total Lardarse Fit, Bit of a Gut Fit, and Thin Fit?
Politics. Don't jump to conclusions, says Sun. Soca music site takedown raises concerns. Why are senior government staff paid through limited companies?
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