Got a postcard from one E Robson this morning, who reports that,
"In Stockholm everybody stops at around 3 O'clock for coffee and cake. It is therefore the most civilised city in the world."He also took my advice and went to the Vasa museum, which is cool - even if it makes the (also cool) Mary Rose look a bit scrappy. I'm off to Sweden myself in November.
Am just over half way through proofing History of Christmas, and the cover is apparently due on the Internet shortly. Also finished a very readable, very damning book on cost-benefit analysis and the way it's misused in the US to curtail regulation of health, the environment and so on.
"How can bizarre, hypothetical calculations about tiny sums of money stand in the way of using our knowledge and resources to do the right thing? ... A large, and growing, chunk of our collective resources is already allocated to the militaryon the basis of passionate claims about moral imperatives. Those who care about civilian objectives have to answer in kind, not imagine that they can win the debate with careful spreadsheets and subtle tradeoffs."
Frank Ackerman and Lisa Heinzerling, "Priceless - on knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing", p. 223.I'd love to see the same sort of study focusing on public spending in the UK. I suspect it'd make similarly harrowing reading.