The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (3)


(Part 1)

(Part 2)

Most citizens of the LEZ, myself formerly included, know very little of the Government’s expenditures when it comes to its thousands of arcane tax measures. We hear about big ticket spending on things like Rejuv technology, or about money transfers from the Global Government to our municipalities, to help pay for our recreation centres and experimental bakeries. From time to time we even see a piece in the news about alleged over-spending on agricultural subsidies.

But we do not hear, for example, about the enhanced deductibility of Publishing Input Expenditures (PIE) for publications with at-least-80-per-cent1 Amphitran content, or the special advance tax refund for new, small, first-time publishers with qualifying PIE.

We remain unaware of the fact that, on Amphitran, those bardic gossips and newsmongers that call themselves “Crooning Roamers” qualify for a Global tax credit on expenses related to their cultural output, in addition to being eligible for an LEZ-wide credit that is almost but not exactly the same thing. We don’t see headlines to the effect that the Cultural Expenses Tax Credit will be raised by 10-per-cent, and made refundable, exclusively for the Crooning Roamers, who as a group have never been defined in law, and who have perhaps been receiving tax support to date solely based on the Bureau of Tax Collection and Enforcement’s (BTCE) unwillingness to contest their claims, which for a Government accustomed to accounting in the quintillions, amount to mere peanuts.

We do not hear that if one produces anything which can be argued to fall within the vague definition of Amphitran “cultural output”2, then, due to the overlap of various measures, you’re looking at about a 60-per-cent subsidy rate – even if the content is, objectively speaking, utter crap. Continue reading “The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (3)”

Conditional Holidays are Always Less Than What They Seem (2/4)


Part 1

Nonchalant and all that, I waited until the last moment to look up at the welcome interlopers.

Ibrander,” said a poised, throaty, laughing voice, “won’t you introduce me?”

They stopped in front of the bench, my third cousin Ibrander1 (who detests Loddi, making me instantly suspicious of his coming over) and a tall, glossy person who was all rich brown hair and expressive mouth and hand gestures. One hand was on Ibrander’s arm but she still managed to be gesturing with it. Her clothes were nothing less than dashing – a wide hat and a one-piece dress suit in cream, its tailored A-line skirt skewing physics by ending in a sway. This was one case where I didn’t have to worry about the polite game that people played of trying to guess-without-guessing whether someone was visiting in-holo only. She was most definitely in person. Continue reading “Conditional Holidays are Always Less Than What They Seem (2/4)”

Conditional Holidays are Always Less than What They Seem (1/4)


Loddi Frisket is a black hole of neuroses. His very existence centres on an unstable singularity, which sucks in anxieties, crises, and the most outlandishly negative possibilities. From prior experience I can attest that his event horizon fluctuates around a diameter of approximately 15 metres. Sometimes the emotional debris which gathers on his accretion disk is an accurate enough warning that I can reverse course, and get away before his attention fixes on me. Sometimes it is not enough.

To give you a sense of just what I am dealing with, Loddi once asked me if I would rather lose my heart (and dignity) to a psychopathic baker, or flee the civilized world, giving up everything from clean pillow shams to NutriPills, only to waste away in boondocks replete with SABs1 and smugglers.

In my humble opinion, the baker of Loddi’s bipolar love was not psychopathic (I still buy rolls there), but merely possessed of poor judgement, seeing as she countenanced his Gothic style of flirting in the first place. Furthermore, it is well known that the Carwallian smugglers (the only smugglers within 50 lightyears to whom Loddi could have possibly been referring) live very well in their off-planet colonies, though the latter are admittedly remote places. Politics may be laissez-faire over in the Esten Economic Zone but they still don’t want blatant crime polluting the fine views and real estate values of the elite.

Continue reading “Conditional Holidays are Always Less than What They Seem (1/4)”

The Loidial Trade in Medium-Sized Domestic Animals


An excerpt

Unlike the cosine, which has grown tarnished and shriveled with the oxidation of centuries, the Law of Large Numbers (LLN) has kept remarkably well. As I crept through my apartment over the course of the next few days, expecting a black and orange and mud-coloured assault at every step, I recited the Law to myself.

The LLN states that, when one has the results of a large number of trials from a sample that is representative of a given population, the average of said results should be close to the expected value of the population entire. This sample average will tend closer to the population average as more trials are performed. Since the average number of humans killed or injured by klars per Old Earth Lunar Year (OELY) in the past few decades was precisely zero, and this constituted a good number of trials, the LLN would have me believe that I was safe. I should have gone forth boldly, and stopped slouching so much.

But under these circumstances – as close as I thought I would ever get to experiencing the antique ‘horror’ genre, in which I have precisely zero interest – it was difficult to convince myself that klars had not simply been saving the lives of the same number of human as they killed every year, thus ensuring a neutral profile for the species entire. Having an invisible beast with untrimmed, inch-long claws in one’s living quarters has this sort of effect.

Read more of Part 2 >>

Begin with Part 1 >>

Econ Poetry


If I could teach

The whole country one thing

It would be:

Don’t let your expenses increase

In tandem with your income.

Well, no, that’s a lie –

I would also say:

Forget government deficits,

Follow debt to GDP.

But who would care

For econ poetry?

What I Learned From Wrestling with Confidential MicroData in a Pseudo-Bunker


https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/AHHIY.gif

127 pages, dozens of hectic emails, millions of observations, 4 Censuses of Population and 1 National Household Survey (NHS) later, and still I could give you the findings of my paper in a few points. Consequently, I somewhat resent this culmination of my degree, which ran to more than twice its recommended length.

In 1986, 36.9% of Canadian women did not have a high school diploma.

By 2011 only 8.9% of Canadian women did not have a high school diploma.

At least there are some interesting insights into how some things in Canada have changed between 1986 and 2011. I examined the individual files of women from these censuses and the NHS, and on their files, the number of children in their census family.

  1. Among the total sample of women aged 25-50, higher education had a negative effect on the number of children present. This lessened over time.
  2. Among women aged 35-50, after 1986 higher education had a positive effect on the number of children.
  3. Lesser-educated women may have children earlier than well-educated women, but completed family sizes are turning out to be very similar.
  4. Women aged 35-50 show higher mean numbers of children, an indicator of how women are having children later in life. But this is not true of immigrants. Foreign-born women are probably having their children earlier.
  5. Women’s wages have a clear negative correlation with the number of children.
  6. If a woman is in a common law union, this has a large negative effect on the average number of children in the family.

From 1986 to 2011, the portion of women with college degrees rose from 27.5% to 38.7%.

I’m going to spend some time on voodoo rituals to gain the goodwill of my unknown grader, who will suddenly receive 127 pages (a good 77 more pages than he/she would have likely anticipated) of unfamiliar tosh which simply works toward articulating those 6 points. And although those points form my Conclusion, I found the little facts in italics to be more interesting than the meat and potatoes of my work. It’s the small things, right?

Between 1986 and 2011 the portion of women with degrees above the Bachelor’s level rose from 3.5% to 10.6%.

I hope this essay chokes on my dust as I fly to Japan.