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Weeknotes 2022.43

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

The ninth Prime Minister of my lifetime was appointed this week. The first four served over my first 25 years on the planet. Prime Minister Sunak must serve until 2035 if the other five are to match that record. This seems unlikely.

Both the longest and shortest serving Prime Ministers of the last 100 years have been women.

As Helen Lewis put it: “Britain now has a Christian king, a Hindu prime minister, a Muslim mayor of London, and a leader of the opposition who married into a Jewish family. That’s huge!”

I’ve been lecturing in person again this week, a measles session which I do annually. There are typically about 350 people in the group, which is normally the biggest crowd for any of my annual sessions. This year is the first time since 2019 that I’ve delivered it in person to the usual-size audience. I was caught off-guard by the applause at the end, which is something that doesn’t happen when delivering sessions online.

All of the above feels like it was months ago, not this week, and that reflects the pace of life at the moment. October has been my busiest work month in a long while, with only five days (three Sundays and two Saturdays) away from work. I know I’m lucky to be busy… but I also wouldn’t mind a break.

Between May 2014 and October 2017, I placed a series of 28 bets on mostly political issues, many of them fairly long-range predictions, though there were also bets on The X Factor and Wimbledon, so don’t assume this was highbrow stuff.

I started with a stake of £30, and re-wagered the wins for a total of £91.79 in bets placed. The last of the bets settled a few weeks ago, though I had forgotten all about it until I rediscovered my spreadsheet this week.

Of the 28 bets, I won 15, lost 12, and one was refunded as the terms were contingent on something that didn’t happen. My biggest ‘win’ was a profit of £7.50 on a £3 stake for correctly predicting the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum, while my biggest ‘loss’ was £5 for incorrectly predicting Clinton’s victory in the 2016 US election. For the world at large, the ‘wins’ and ‘losses’ accrue differently.

According to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, £30 in 2014 is worth £37.14 today. After my 28 judicious bets, my £30 stake has grown to… £30.90.

My last bet was five years and three weeks ago. I don’t think I’ll bother again.

The images in this post are all AI-generated images for the prompt “digital art of Rishi Sunak delivering a lecture on gambling” created by OpenAI’s D-ALLE 2.

This post was filed under: Weeknotes.

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