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Weeknotes 2022.38

A few things I’ve been thinking about this week. The thirty-eighth post of a series.



Nobody tell “pro-growth” Liz Truss, but my taxpayer funded job is terrible for this country’s Gross Domestic Product.

By preventing people from catching serious infections or being harmed by chemical, radiological or biological hazards, I’m sucking millions out of the economy. I’m denying the country all the economic activity which could have been generated from decades of expensive medical treatments, or hugely costly spells in hospital or eye-wateringly costly stays in intensive care or isolation units. All those private companies whose drugs will sell slightly less well, or whose facilities management will have one less bed space to clean, or whose disability aids will have lost a potential customer must be raging at me.

And—which may be worse—I’m reducing productivity by making business focus on protecting their staff and customers from harm, instead of freeing them up to spend more time making widgets.

My entire job is based on the outdated socialist ideology that people’s health is worth something, even while reducing those all-important GDP figures: I’m the scourge of modern capitalist Conservatism, and yet the Treasury pays my wages.

That. Is. A. Disgrace.



Our local Councillors like to shove newsletters through our door every so often. One of the topics they frequently cover is recycling, and specifically, what residents may or may not put in their recycling bin. Their missives often end with the exhortation, “if in doubt, leave it out.”

For years, I’ve wondered whether they meant “if in doubt, leave it out for collection” or “if in doubt, leave it out of your recycling bin”. Both options seem reasonable: one increases the proportion of waste that is collected for recycling rather than landfill; the other protects the purity of the recycling stream.

This week, for no particular reason, I thought I’d search online to try to solve the puzzle. It appears that this is a commonly used slogan across different parts of the UK and is meant to communicate the latter message.

I guess this is proof that slogans don’t need to be clear to be catchy.



The previously mentioned closed branch of Barclays on my route to work is now plastered in Barclays notices headlined “Here to help”—despite that being demonstrably false. Bizarrely, they even say “pop in and arrange a time to talk”.

The small print shows that they’re advertising a seven hour per week service at a local cricket club.



Wendy and I finished watching the ten-part series The First Lady, a historical drama interweaving the lives of Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt. I struggled to get into it at first: it’s difficult to get over the barrier of other people playing characters as familiar as the Obamas, and Kiefer Sutherland as Theodore Roosevelt was… a stretch.

But there is some fantastic acting in there, and we both found that the series gradually got under our skin. It’s worth sticking with.


The images in this post are all AI-generated images for the prompt “a physician and a First Lady of the United States, photographed from behind, sorting mixed recycling in an old-fashioned banking hall” created by OpenAI’s D-ALLE 2. Interesting that the physician is dressed in traditionally male clothing in all cases.

This post was filed under: Weeknotes.

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