Rafe’s Roundup 23 August

STOP PRESS. First traffic lights in Picton. Nigella’s first tweet after incident.

Posts of the week. Global warming is killing the funeral industry.

The PM’s plan for Ford Holden.

Not a post and not quite this week, Grace Collier on the “wage pause” by the public spirited trade unionists in the car industry, in the Fin Review last Friday.

Not a post either but a podcast with a handy review of the PM’s track record in building the nation the last time he had the opportunity.

Kevin the fighter. reaching out to the people folks?

Higher education. Stephen Matchett’s Campus Morning Mail

Things you wanted to know but you were afraid to ask. Geography.

Culture. Stephen Hicks on western civilization.

Energy. This is a repeat because I like it so much. The future of renewables. The future of coal.

Health and beauty. Jumping up in the air. More jumping up in the air. Even more…

Around the town: Small business; Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Quadrant on line, at the IPA, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies and the Sydney Institute.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. Warning, until the new one goes up this afternoon, you will see last weeks edition.

Political. Two boobs and a lady shopper.

Pictorial. Architectural/engineering structures. Flinders Street Station redevelopment. I was told last week that the plans for the original station should have been sent to India but a mixup resulted in Melbourne getting their mosquelike station and some place in India got the station designed for Melbourne (documentation requested).

For nerds. Thomas Hardy on Metaphysics.

Hardy tried to pre-empt criticism of “Jude the Obscure” (1895) by claiming that, like his previous novels, it was about the deadly war between flesh and spirit and the tragedy of unfulfilled aims. His attempt at pre-empting criticism did not work, however, and he was so traumatized by the novel’s reception that he stopped writing novels altogether. Why was “Jude the Obscure” singled out for such strong censure? In this essay, Michael Giffin argues that Hardy’s main problem was his metaphysical confusion. While he claimed to be a humanist, his novel was fatalistic. He never understood that humanism and fatalism are antithetical concepts. It never occurred to him that a fatalistic novel cannot claim to be humanistic novel.

The invisible hand in popular culture, h/t Peter Klein.

The work/welfare tradeoff in the US. Not looking good.

In 1995 the Cato Institute published a groundbreaking study, The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off, which estimated the value of the full package of welfare benefits available to a typical recipient in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It found that not only did the value of such benefits greatly exceed the poverty level, but, because welfare benefits are tax-free, their dollar value was greater than the amount of take-home income a worker would receive from an entry-level job.

Since then, many welfare programs have undergone significant change, but welfare benefits continue to outpace the income that most recipients can expect to earn from an entry-level job, and the balance between welfare and work may actually have grown worse in recent years. This White Paper shows that the current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work.

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13 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 23 August

  1. Leo G

    So, though he’s cut the cord on Ford,
    Holden’s not foldin’?

  2. Lucky for him that all those enthusiasts who flocked to his flag in Geelong were enjoying a day off work from Ford.

  3. manalive

    The Flinders Street competition entries are all pretty awful, Ashton Raggatt McDougall architecture in particular goes over my head.
    The inspiration for most of their plan shapes would seem to come from the human detritus that as a child I would try not to notice on the paving of the ramps and platforms despite the instructions indelibly glazed into the wall tiles “do not spit”.

  4. JohnA

    From Michael Griffin:

    “He never understood that humanism and fatalism are antithetical concepts. It never occurred to him that a fatalistic novel cannot claim to be humanistic novel.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh at this, or pity him, because this statement depends for its sense on a level of unfounded optimism hanging from a solitary skyhook!

  5. egg_

    So, though he’s cut the cord on Ford,
    Holden’s not foldin’?

    Holden’s foldin’ the dollars
    ’cause they’ve got the gubbermint by the collar…

  6. EdgarH

    I know its an old joke but if you like happy endings, it is best to read Thomas Hardy’s books backwards.

  7. Cold-Hands

    The rumour that Melbourne got the plans meant for Mumbai and vice versa have been refuted by researchers both here and in India.

    For Mumbai or Melbourne?
    According to the parallel theory, Fawcett and Ashworth, who won the design competition, sent their rough plans to Stevens for a series of modifications. Their plans had to be altered due to a shortage of space for Flinders Street Station. Stevens is supposed to have finished both sets of plans (including his own of the Victoria Terminus) at around the same time. He sent the wrong plans to Melbourne, resulting in a colossal mix-up. The reason behind this swap — Bombay’s terminus was called Victoria, and Flinders Street Station is in the state of Victoria.

    “One shouldn’t rely on everything that floats on the Internet. FW Stevens was the big boss in those times, he was a consulting architect to the Government of India. So, he could take a call if he learnt of the swap. His name has always been associated with the Victoria Terminus,”

    …One of the most prominent features of Victoria Terminus [Mumbai]is the inclusion of Indian decorative elements. Sir John Lockwood Kipling and his students from Sir JJ School of Art were responsible for these designs. Raosaheb Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya, Assistant Engineer and Stevens’ Man Friday helped execute them. Peacocks, tigers and verandas reflect an overwhelming Indian influence.

    “Stevens was an outstanding architect who went to great lengths to incorporate Indian elements and motifs. ”

    The construction of the two stations began at roughly the same time, giving another factoid to support the swap theory but closer examination determines that there is no truth in the myth.

  8. Samuel J

    Maps 2 and 3 (geography link) are wrong. The UK uses the imperial system. Australia was not invaded by the UK.

  9. James Barlow, NT

    Rafe

    The great thing about Melbourne is the people. The built environment on the other hand is rubbish, no matter how much of a song and dance is made of it. And that’s really what the problem is; too much song and dance, too little action.

    Yours

  10. Poor Old Rafe

    Think of this as a multimedia site Token!

    Thanks Cold Hands, I thought it was too good to be true. It came up in the context of swapping stories strange things that might have happened, like a story about an artist Datillo Rubbo who was sailing from London to South Africa and after a drunken farewell party he was put on a boat to Sydney where he became an important teacher.

  11. Jim Rose

    Rafe, do you have any insight into why the cityslickers are fascinated with trains, high speed trains too.

    We grew up in country towns in tassie. I found cars got you there faster.

    The tasmanian limited took 8 hours to get to hobart when it was 3.5 hours by car

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