Unwearable tech How to make money
How to get really rich Correction (‘Tony’ Blair)
Cheating Double standards
16th March for next posting
By reading this post you agree to send two much needed $100 bills to the editorial staff
Unwearable tech A spokescreen at the UK Ministry of Defence yesterday declined to comment repeatedly after crowds of enquirers had gathered, to ask about rumours that British Service personnel have been ordered to avoid wearing Union Jack underpants or panties or bras (in the case of female personnel). However, two newspapers have claimed that a hacker discovered evidence that underwear produced in China but destined for western markets may contain high-tech microminiaturised tracking devices, which would make it possible to follow the movements of wearers from up to five miles away. It is thought that Chinese agents supposed the Union Jack design would be preferentially purchased by or even specifically distributed to members of the armed forces, and that they would be able to follow journeys undertaken by persons of interest. Possibly connected with this news, a notice has recently been seen at a number of military headquarters instructing members of the armed forces that if they receive unsolicited underwear through the post they should immediately drop the material into a bucket of water and then hand that in at the nearest depot of the Royal Military Police, where it will be checked, and if ‘clean’ returned to the original destinee.
OUR NEW FINANCIAL SUPPLEMENT
How to make money An astonishing chance to become rich has attracted puzzlingly little attention in the world’s media (possibly because the journalists who have heard about it are working hard not to share the news). American president Trump has banned the import to that country of solar panels. This is in line with a determination to cut his nation’s trade deficit, especially so far as China is concerned. (According to some sources China is the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels.) The result according to economists, and possibly also in real life, is expected to be a dramatic drop in the price of solar panels due to an enormous glut of unsold product. Where can you lay hands on this supply? At discount stores and car boot sales all over China. What can you do with the stuff? It is not known what the journalists are hoping to do with their supplies but this office has exciting plans, provided Elon Musk has not yet cornered the market. ROOF THE SAHARA with solar panels! Cool the temperature underneath by up to 10 degrees throughout the year, instal greenhouses underneath and use some of the petawatts of electricity generated to pump up water from the rainforests of tropical Africa, become the world’s biggest producer of hydroponic vegetables, earn the lifelong gratitude of the inhabitants, win the Nobel Peace Prize (actually we’re not quite sure yet about that last couple of parts of the project) and be hailed by the UN as Environmental Champion of the decade. And get extremely rich. Start crowdfunding now!
Our financial adviser reports
Two readers have written in asking virtually the same question. (One asks ‘My friends tell me that ethical investment is the hot thing in the money business, which I assume means getting hold of a medical company and squeezing it to get all the goodness out. Which country offers the best opportunities?’; the other asks ‘How can I get rich?’)
The way to achieve true wealth is obviously to acquire the largest assets available at the lowest price possible, either because the seller is dim-witted or ill-advised (possibly by you), as with Russia’s sale of Alaska, or because you are able to determine the price (ideally at zero as in the acquisition of North America by immigrants from Europe, or the British takeover of Australia.) For those with sufficient bargaining power (in whatever form) the best asset class has aways been natural resources, and you should aim for as large an initial holding as your leverage possibilities will allow, in resources such as coal, oil, forests, fish, the indigenous population of whichever territory appears to be within reach and so on. One of the very few planetary resources which has not yet been satisfyingly monetised is the jet stream, or more properly the jet streams. (There are two in each hemisphere.) These cannot be mined in any ordinary sense, but they do constitute a prodigious source of energy. If you happen to control a country over which one of the jet streams passes, then you can quite easily develop it as a massive source of income by passing a law declaring that when passing over your country it must obey environmental directives and pay taxes as set by yourself. (This is merely an updated version of the toll, one of the major features of economic life throughout the middle ages.) If however you are not in this fortunate position you can still hope for a substantial revenue stream by adopting a quite different strategy. Simply set up a company, of which you will be the sole manager, but with competent advertising and sales staff and let it be known that you are working on a project to monetise the jet stream ‘within the next three years’. It will be easy to find experts who will dazzle investors lacking scientific grasp (and/or common sense) and who will play up the fantastic amounts of energy theoretically available while downplaying the fact that you have no practical prospects of deriving profits from them by normal physical or stratospherical principles. You almost certainly will in fact experience an initial influx of capital from wealthy individuals who ‘want to get in early’ and you should very carefully use this to develop the brand, build stylish company headquarters, and to network so far as possible with celebrities, no matter how irrelevant the basis for their celebrity. Your financial success from this point on will depend simply on the effectiveness of your publicity campaign.
Correction (‘Tony’ Blair ) [ Journal Headquarters reports] Not for the first time we have to rebut an attempted correction. Two readers apparently thought they could score a point off us by writing in with the information that ‘Tony’ Blair (in MMQQ3, The triumphant Tories) was (according to the official record) a Labour prime minister. We assure them that his appearance in that guise was deliberate. Readers unfamiliar with sarcasm and satire may like to consult von Wilpert’s article Ironie in his Sachwörterbuch der Literatur. Those of a literal turn of mind may be glad of an assurance that Adolf Hitler was not in practice a sozialist, Stalin was not in practice a communist, and the Queen of England is not in practice the ruler of the country and supreme commander of that nation’s military forces. Similarly Father Christmas does not have any children. (Astrophysicists tell us much the same goes for old Father Time.)
One of the threatening black linings on the silvery cloud that is the currently blooming British economy is the fact that for years and years there has been no significant increase in productivity, for example with more bombs per worker emerging from the production lines each year (but of course strictly for export only to states guaranteeing they will not be used for offensive purposes in countries with civilian populations). This has puzzled many pundits who effortlessly fail to notice that wages in real terms have, depending on the sector, either been stationary or falling for more than ten years. This can hardly fail to depress the economy, but just as with capital, you have to put energy into a market to get more energy out. However, there are at last signs of increasing productivity just where it is needed – in the younger generation. (No point trying to boost the productivity of pensioners.) There has been an encouraging rise in cheating productivity in exams in England 2017, admittedly from a low base. (Up from 0.011% to 0.015%.) This is seen as a highly welcome indicator that social trends are changing in the direction increasingly necessary as the British people launch themselves into the struggle to win ‘best possible trade deals’ (indeed ‘such stuff as dreams are made on’) to make up for the imminent collapse – thanks to Brexit – of all those sectors of the economy so far keeping the national nose above water. There is, however, an important caveat. It needs to be pointed out that modern technology in the cheating industry is advancing steadily, and those British figures refer to cheating detected. Bear in mind therefore RVR, the ‘reporting village recalibration.’ In the closing months and weeks of the Vietnam War, American headquarters buoyantly reported encouraging steady reductions in the number of reports about Vietcong guerilla activity in the villages around Saigon. It was realised only shortly before the end that this had been because the Vietcong guerillas had taken over those villages and failed to send in any reports about their activities to American HQ.
‘The bubble reputation’
Some questions could be put to the British establishment’s public face about the Oxfam disgrace. Do they believe that the deplorable conduct of some staff is typical of Oxfam as a whole? If not, do they realise that cutting Oxfam’s funds will result in harm to children, women and men who have been getting vital support which needs to continue? Do they feel it is right to allow harm to be caused to some because others in their group have behaved illegally or morally or both? That is dangerously close to collective punishment, and there it should be pointed out that some of those who would suffer were themselves victims of the original misconduct. But it would be interesting to get their answer to a question of a different sort. Do they think that there should be similarly strong and firm action against other large organisations active in the UK, whose ranks have included individuals who have behaved illegally or immorally or both, in some cases for many years, the National Health Service, for instance? Are there football associations or teams which should prepare for investigation? In particular are there likely to be any punitive moves against that big organisation headed by a man in Rome who wears a white dress, and within which deplorable conduct, by some, goes back decades?