Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter's Tattletale

At the Branagh Theatre movie of the Winter's tale it became very clear that Act V scene 2 is what happens when someone comes round after rehearsal and says to Will S. "It went fairly well, but we ran half an hour over.  You'll need to go through and trim off some of the fat."
Sorry, says Will, I'm busy doing the Tempest next week and I have to do a couple of scenes for Beaumont and Fletcher the week after that, can't do it for a month, you'll just have to run with it as is.
"Can't do that, the overtime rates will kill us. Hey, just for a quick fix, how about if you just skip Act Five scenes two to five and just have an infodump with the comedian? Better than nothing."
OK, says Will, and that's what we got.
It's the only thing that explains why Autolycus has essentially no plot function at all; he was in the scenes that got cut.


Tuesday, February 09, 2016


One further glitch has been added in to my appreciation of historical movies.  Apart from thinking "How unrealistic - they all have good teeth" I have now found myself thinking, every time someone is in a coach, "How unrealistic - the road is so smooth."  In the American colonies, for example, the contract for roadclearing required the contractor to cut all trees on the roadway down to a height of eighteen inches; that was considered fit for purpose. Generally, as one would expect, filmmakers sprinkle snow or dirt over the top of blacktop.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Age whistling in the wind

We are now talking of simplifying the tax system by reducing the number of tax brackets.  While eliminating the inefficiencies of multiple disruptive transitions may have been a progressive reform back in 1916, we are now living in the twenty-first century, and there’s no need to have any brackets at all.  No, not a flat tax – just a continuous curve fitting a simple equation (a logarithmic trendline on the current levels seems a reasonable fit).  We couldn’t do that in 1916, or 1956, because we didn’t all have access to computers or smartphones or pocket calculators.  Now we do. Why are we deliberately hobbling our tax system by pretending we have to add all this up on our fingers? 

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