Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

Songs for homesick Britons (part 1 of n for some n)

November 8, 2008

I’m feeling vaguely homesick today and trawling YouTube for music videos. I thought I ‘d share a couple

First are Blur who were pretty much the first band I really loved. They are playing “This Is a Low” which has lyrics based in part on the shipping forecast from Radio 4. Too few songs are based on the shipping forecast. It’s also quite startlingly lovely.

Second up, Billy Bragg singing Between the Wars. My elder sisters used to listen to Billy Bragg quite a lot when I was a kid. My dad seriously hated his voice, to the point were he just wouldn’t shut up about hating Billy Bragg’s voice. I usually start welling up around “Mine is a faith in my fellow man”.

Frenchman steals Britain’s plan, tells Americans

September 21, 2008

Moving briefly off the topic of pure maths to less substantial matters, the world economy is apparently imploding. Many people seem to think the United States of America will emerge from it all with their relative importance somewhat dented.
French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy has written an open letter to the next US President suggesting that if he wants to maintain the country’s importance he do the following:

First, make sure that the patents the new capitalists in Asia are working on — continue to be “made in the USA.” Second, make sure that people in Asia and elsewhere continue to think that Yale and Princeton offer the best possible education for the movers and shakers of the world. And third, ensure that American banks continue to offer the most sophisticated and secure financial services to those in possession of the world’s accrued profits.

Industries relying on science on high-technology (say pharmaceuticals, biotech…), a couple of top universities and big banking? That’s our plan for extending our time as a significant power. He stole it and didn’t even reference it!

Speaking of the old country, I’m flying back to England to visit family tomorrow. Either while I’m gone or when I get back I hope to put up post with some stuff about truth in mathematics, undecidability and Gödel’s theorems.