Another flight, another read. Here are my top pics from last weeks’ Economist.
- Baghot: The Law of Averages. Fascinating article explaining how the UK governance is trying to tackle the silly situation whereby those on benefits could get a higher standard of living than those that work. The idea behind the ordinary man was stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he said (in 2010), “no family should get more from living on benefits than the average family gets from going to work”. The question is, how is the average family defined; and what to do about those whose benefits today are too high? It’s a self evidently simple concept that seems powerful and likely to take root in the public consciousness. A byproduct of this idea is changing how public rental property is managed. It is unfair for council tenants to live in houses that most families can’t afford. So some are being sold off and the tenants are being moved to more modest abodes.
- Science and Technology: Terrestrial ecology. A 30 year old study of North America (“big science”) is about to commence, including all manner of monitoring devices all around the country. Should produce some fascinating data, local and national, about how America is evolving. Should be fun watching this over the next 30 years. I hope I am around long enough to learn.
- Science and Technology: Genetic damage and paternal age: Fascinating research showing that it is the age of the father (not the mother) that dictates the rate of duplication error in DNA replication. Its not the mother since her eggs are all manufactured and stored before she is even born. For the father, the NDA material is copied “to order” (shall we say) and the older he is, the more likely the copier is faulty. As I read the article, I applied it to data and authorship and consumption. Data and its duplication seems to operate the same; the older it is between uses, the more likely it’s integrity, quality and consistency erodes. Maybe mothers would make the best information stewards?