What does Altman mean by “very subtle societal misalignments”? Valley gibberish, or does he have something in mind?


Heterodox macroeconomist and campaigner Richard Murphy has produced a Taxing Wealth 2024 report to show how wealth can be taxed fairly in comparison to wages. His worked example restating Rishi Sunak’s tax bill is bang on.

Rishi Sunak’s tax for 2022/23: a Taxing Wealth Report 2024 case study:

The additional tax owing would be £761,378. This is a tax rate of 57% […] The resulting tax liability is fair. What Rishi Sunak paid in 2022/23 was not and was instead an insult to all people who worked for a living and paid much higher rates of tax than the prime minister.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak paid around 23% tax on £2.2M income because most of his income is capital gains and dividends. Investment income enjoys a huge tax subsidy. Had Sunak “earned” a £2.2M wage, he’d have paid roughly 56% tax1 including student loan repayment.

  1. back of the envelope. ↩︎

So far this year - as of 4 February 2024 - on my daily walks, and every single day since 1 January, at least one car has run red lights on a pedestrian crossing.

Wryly amused at our blundering elite who spent the last 45 years doing more damage to our productive industrial infrastructure than Hitler lecture us that we are moving from a post-war to a pre-war status.

The UK political class has used WhatsApp to avoid democratic scrutiny. They weren’t bamboozled by the tech or confounded by advice from their private office. They knew what they were doing. They knew it was wrong. They did it anyway.

Funny how aging TINA neoliberals accuse the kids of being intolerant of diverse opinions

An occasional series of East London chicken shops. Peck! Peck! by Sutton and Sons, Graham Road, Hackney, London E8. Sutton and Sons is a chain of North-East London chip shops.

Two takeaway food shops on a Victorian street in East London with rental e-bike in front and a food delivery rider.

It seems to me British politics reached its nadir some time ago. And now, various Tory wannabees are wrestling in the muddy slops below the bottom of the barrel.

Average car insurance cost in UK nears £1,000 after prices rise 58%

“Like a lot of our expenses, car insurance is getting more costly. And this is likely to be the case for some time. Claiming is one of the biggest factors when it comes to insurers pricing up policies. And with the cost of paying out for claims being considerably high, insurance prices are going to be too.”

From my perspective as an inveterate pedestrian, car driving has got a lot worse in London since the pandemic.

Technicians commission one of the Winter Lights exhibits at Westferry Circus.

In the twilight, bracketed by tall buildings, technicians, barely visible, commission a large, orange-glowing light installation in a public park on a roundabout.

X-risk: when the techno-optimists' AI tells them we need to reduce inequality and establish social democracy.

An occasional series of East London chicken shops. Frisco’s, Beckton Road, Canning Town, London E16. The streaks are wind-blown snow.

A photo of a solitary diner in Frisco's Chicken at night, streaks of windblown snow cross the lens

An occasional series of East London chicken shops. Seoul Bird with a branch of Wagamama above, in Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf, London E14.

Seoul Bird fried chicken restaurant entrance, Wagamama noodle restaurant above, Jubilee place, Canary Wharf, London

Masala apple pie

A nice warming apple pie for when the weather gets colder.


  • 1 teaspoon of chai masala powder. (If you live in the UK, you could do worse than Waitrose sweet garam masala in the Cooks Ingredients range)
  • 2 teaspoons of sweet potato flour. (You’ll find this at East Asian grocers, or substitute with cornflour)
  • 2 level tablespoons of dark muscovado sugar. (If the apples are sweet, you may want to use a bit less), and a little bit more for dusting
  • 4 medium apples (cooking apples, but you can use any not-too-sweet apple you can get your hands on), peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2/3 thumb of ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 sheet of ready-made chilled vegan shortcrust pastry. (Take this out of the fridge before you want to use it)
  • usalted plant butter (for greasing a pie dish)
  • (optional) a couple of threads of saffron in a ristretto-sized volume of warm water


  • Put the chai masala powder, sweet potato flour and muscovado sugar in a large bowl and mix through. Add the chopped apples, the ginger, the lime zest and the lime juice and stir until all the apples are coated.
  • Grease a deep pie dish with a knob of plant butter
  • Line the pie dish with about 2/3 of the shortcrust pastry (reserving 1/3 for the lid)
  • Tip in the apple and spice mixture - ideally you’ve selected a pie dish where the filling rises above the sides
  • Cover the pie with the reserved shortcrust pastry. You can use the back of a teaspoon warmed in hot water to create a nice finish joining the lid to the pie lining
  • If you have some left-over pastry, shape it into small leaf or flower shapes to decorate the pie lid
  • You can “glaze” the pie by brushing a small amount of warm water over the surface of the pie lid - add a thread or two of saffron to the water for a little more oomph
  • Dust a small amount of finely crumbled muscovado sugar over the pie lid
  • Using a sharp knife, poke a couple of holes in the top of the pie around the apex
  • Bake in the middle of a preheated over at 200C (180C fan) for around 45 minutes

This pie is great served warm. Remember, the filling will be hot when you take it out of the oven!

Happy new year. It’s been a cost of living crisis fireworks display so the pigeons are frightened but not totally insane with fear.

2024 approaches. The fireworks are ramping up, and the pigeons are getting unsettled.

Is it possible to create an arbitrary bookmark - not bookmark a post - using the microdotblog API? @help

I thought 15C was too warm for snow at Christmas, then looked up and saw it was a tree in blossom.

Pink blossom on a tree in the grounds of a community centre in the middle of winter