Well Known But Not Widely Understood

As we have a three day weekend courtesy of the snow (schools, tube, buses all closed and here in the City I have almost a foot of snow on my terrace) it’s an opportunity to catch up with a few things that might stave off of the early onset of cabin fever.

One of my favourite articles over the last few weeks was from Richard Jones looking at the mathematics that may have contributed to the current financial crisis. I’m just as puzzled as Richard, with some of the best mathematical brains being attracted to the City for over a decade, was it simply the hubris of senior management that led to this conclusion?

The Economist article still leaves me puzzled, though as everything I’ve been describing has been well known for many years. But maybe well known isn’t the same as widely understood.

A similar argument seems to apply to today’s snow. As it is the heaviest for six eighteen years (at this rate it will be up to fifty four years by lunchtime) half the country has come to a standstill with public services making the usual run of excuses about how it was more snow than they are equipped to deal with, or the wrong kind of snow falling in the wrong way. A couple of weeks ago en route to Grenoble the TGV I was sitting on hit some heavy snow and slowed to a shade under 300 km/h, whereas London’s clattery old trains, many of which were built in the days when we had ‘proper’ winters just cannot cope.

While it’s the season to be merry with taxpayers cash, how about investing in something that would benefit the economy, Britain’s transport network for example?

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