Harry Potter may seem like he lives in a world where wizards wave a wand and receive instant gratification but that's a view that needs to be demolished by the womping willow. Scarcity exists in the magic world just as much as in the muggle world. There are a limited number of tickets to the quidditch world cup, magical creatures only shed so many feathers or hairs to go into wands and not everyone has an invisibility cloak.
JK Rowling's fictional world of magic, the latest instalment of which has just hit the bookshops, has its own central government (the Ministry of Magic), owl postal system, jail, hospital, news media, public transport (both train and bus), not to mention Gringotts Bank and a special wizard currency. There are enough institutions to make Adam Smith salivate.
With scarcity and a monetary system, the Harry Potter series should be a case study for any economics course. Here are the top 10 economic principles in Harry Potter:
For all you LJ Bookcrossers, here's my latest bookray!
PM me or reply here to play, normal rules apply :-) INTERNATIONAL!! Please be prepared to ship anywhere, although I will change the running order to accommodate requests! :-) Journal on receipt :-) Try and read and pass on within a month, otherwise journal again to keep us all informed :-) Enjoy book whilst drinking a nice cup of tea!
Danny Wallace writes engagingly and with honesty. The impetus for his "Join Me" Cult, sorry collective, is the death of his swiss great-uncle Gallus. After the war, Gallus had tried to form a collective of people to live and work on his farm, but only managed to find 3 people, and shortly afterwards gave up the attempt. Danny decides to do something similar, in his Great uncles' memory, and advertises in Loot for people to join him. This is the story of what happened, very funny, very honest. If you like Dave Gormon's books, you'll like this :-)
I've just been back to London for a long weekend, and am trying to untangle my thoughts about being back. I miss London. I miss working on Oxford Circus, having a choice of after work drink venues with friends. I miss the slight superiority you felt about being a 'Londoner' - knowing your way around, having a mental underground map, knowing exactly where to stand on the platform, knowing the quickest way from A to Z. I miss my voluntary work in Soho, I miss Carnaby Street and the South Bank. As I went down into the tube I recognised that hot, slightly underground metallic smell. And the smell brought back many memories of late night London, staying out, coming home, enjoying the feel of being in control in London.
And then I'd forgotten how many people there are in london! So many bodies, so many crowded pavements, and then the telltale signs of impatience and frustration flooded back as I tried to walk faster, overtake people. My feet ached at the end of each day and I could tell that I'd lost my london legs and stamina! And then there were changes. All the redevelopment of Regent Street (and Princes Street / Hanover Street) seems to have been done. The Royal Festival Hall is under wraps, the Nelson Mandela Statue had been moved, which confused my best mate and I, since that is where we were trying to meet on Thursday evening! And then there are small signs, that things have changed since the dreadful events of 7/7. The announcements now warn people about leaving their luggage since this will lead to the station being evacuated. Plus I've never seen so many uniformed police officers patrolling the streets.
I came through City aiport on Thursday, just a few minutes before the memorial at midday. I was just incredibly moved by the 2 minute silence. All the staff from the airport services stood in the councourse, and gradually a deep, deep silence fell. Everyone just sharing the grief of the bombs and their consequences and a nation trying to understand the motivation and thought processes of the young men who murdered so many people.
On Saturday I went to the conference of the organisation I volunteered with for 3 years, and I presented the results of my research. I really miss my work there, and I'm sad that my research phase is coming to an end, even though I'm really ready to finish this stage of my life. I miss my friends there and the organisation so much and I think this contributes to my feeling of insecurity / unease about being in Zurich. I love Zurich as a city, and its got a lot going for it. A and I have a much better quality of life, and more time together, even though I yearn to be in the bustle of London. I sensed after this weekend though, that my unease may well be linked to not yet working in Zurich. I think a lot of our self esteem springs from the work that we do, and the identity that we construct for ourselves through our work. The weekend also helped me in a way to say a more complete goodbye to the London phase of my life, at least for the time being.