I’ll kick this week’s picks off with a favourite restaurant. I think I first went to Mildreds 5 years ago this week, when I was in London for QCon last time. I’ve since been back a number of times, most recently this week. My pictures of the food don’t really do it justice, so I won’t add them here - you can see their own ones on Instagram. Every time I’ve eaten there I’ve been extremely impressed, and I’m not surprised they have a long waiting time in the evenings. I was surprised how little on the menu was non-vegan - it was limited to Halloumi, optional cheese on burgers, and dairy milk in coffee.
Highlights for me were the chick’n kebab with a preserved lemon marinade, and the chocolate cherry lava cake (the picture here is a slightly different recipe, but similar theme with the coconut cream and cherry).
2. Paul Mason: The Budget showed Labour has won the spending debate – but a new economic model is needed
I started following Paul Mason a while ago. He’s gone from being a public service broadcaster economics journalist to being a quite a partisan Labour supporter, but with lots of interesting ideas. I need to get back to reading Postcapitalism…
This week we had a new budget in the UK, the first since 2018. Lots of the press was lavishing praise on the govenment for spending some money, turning its back on austerity. Mason takes a more nuanced approach, talking about how this budget relates to Labour’s policies such as the National Investment Bank and plans to invest in social housing.
... there’s a growing consensus that by slashing interest rates and printing money, central banks are contributing to the low-growth environment that Britain and other major countries are trapped in...
We need a whole new economic model – and there is no way we can get one unless Treasury and central bank economists cut the crap they have been talking for more than a decade. Mainstream economics is opposed to borrowing to invest in skills, or to boost public health outcomes, because these are not classed as “investments”.
It’s worth a read. There’s a lot going on in the financial world right now, and it feels like we’re at a tipping point of sorts.
Last week I mentioned being at the QCon conference. This morning I had an email saying that 2 attendees had tested positive for Covid-19, and now I’m going to be working from home for the next week.
There’s a lot of hysteria about the virus at the moment. My local Aldi has got very low stock of a lot of products (all toilet paper and kitchen roll is gone, many fresh vegetables, minced beef, tinned veg, bread, and eggs are running low).
This podcast was recommended by @ricburton and it is an interview with Amesh Adalja from Johns Hopkins. It’s a good overview of this pandemic and how it compares with previous viral outbreaks. I do feel somewhat reassured about it having listened to this, although it sounds like the health systems around the world aren’t that prepared to deal with it.
I feel a lot calmer about the #COVID19 situation after to listening to this discussion between @SamHarrisOrg & @AmeshAA 🦠— $RIC 🐚 (@ricburton) March 11, 2020
South Korea has the highest rate of testing and is showing a serious complication rate of 0.6%. Roughly 4x worse than the flu 🤒 https://t.co/dwNVbeu4kG pic.twitter.com/nZcYQYGCru
A lot of people dismiss Paul Graham, but one thing he does well is writing essays. This meta-essay covers a recipe of sorts for writing. Importance, novelty, correctness and strength. I hope at some stage to get back to writing longer posts, and I’ll bear in mind this advice if I feel like venting my opinions.
5. Gogo Penguin
I seem to be a sucker for jazz trios with piano, bass and drums. Ever since I saw Esbjörn Svensson Trio live, I’ve looked for other groups with a similar dynamism. Gogo Penguin do reference EST on their first album with the track “Seven Sons of Bjorn”, but they never quite live up to the Swedish group. That said, I do enjoy some of their music, and their latest track is worth a listen.
Here’s a couple of other good tracks that I picked out:
Thanks to Steven for recommending them to me about 5 years ago!