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The Next Ragged University Events...

9th October Edinburgh Ragged University: Come along to the Counting House at 7pm to hear ‘Slow Leadership; Reframing Your Leadership Behaviour' by Don Ledingham - plus - ‘Welcome to the Mid-life Revolution' by Andy Ferguson....

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16th October Manchester Ragged University: Come along to the Castle Hotel at 7pm to listen to Simon Ward talk about '‘The Ragged Schools of Angel Meadow' - plus - 'Exploring the Dream of the Earth; my first person inquiry of discovery and understanding' by Helena Kettleborough....

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13th November Edinburgh Ragged University: Come along to the Counting House at 7pm to listen to ‘3D Printing: no-hype, promise, just extraordinary art and design!’ by Ann Marie Shillito - plus - 'Cerebral Diabetes and the Reversal of the Flynn Effect' by Mike McInnes....

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The Stepford Nannies: How “Choice Architecture” is Building a Perfect Society by Paul Whittaker

Over the last few years a methodology of social control has emerged whose claims of effectiveness, despite being rather modest in some respects, still appear to represent a significant breakthrough in the ability of governments to make society behave in the manner in which they desire. This methodology is known as Nudge Theory and it has been embraced on both sides of the Atlantic by David Cameron and Barak Obama and the craze seems to be spreading to other European countries.

To date the overwhelming majority of Nudge Theory’s applications have been (almost smotheringly) benevolent, for example the British “Behavioural Insight Team’s” first task was to improve the uptake of loft insulation. With the subsidies which already existed to encourage the uptake of insulation going almost completely unheeded the Nudge Unit attacked the point of inertia – subsidising the insulation companies to clear people’s lofts for them, rather than subsidising the installation of the insulation itself. As a result, uptake increased five-fold, which is good both for the individuals energy bills and for the environment.

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We Fund

we fund

Wefund is a crowd-funding platform for creative projects. Wefund launched on 5th October 2010 as the first crowd-funding platform to emerge in the UK, focusing on creativity in all forms. We help people find (paying) audiences for their work.

By making patronage into a retail experience, we are creating a new generation of mini-patrons who realise their own collective power. It is our hope that you visit as a consumer, soon become a backer and before too long decide to become a creator yourself. Wefund was founded by Michael Troughton, a lawyer, in response to the new austere reality in arts funding in the UK.

In 2011, wefund won Website of the Year from the Good Web Guide and came second in the Tech Entrepreneurs investment competition. The founder of that competition, film financier, investor and entrepreneur, Martin Warner, joined the company soon after as Chairman.

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Is Economics a Dismal Science? by Alex Dunedin

A famous quote is that of Thomas Carlyle stating economics as the dismal science. Thomas Carlyle complained that society had become mechanical and lost much of its humanity because of the abstraction of ‘real things’ into monetary terms.

In fact, there appears much gloom around the fabled world of money and exchange, and as someone who is outside of this field of study I wrestle with just what it all means and what is the practical nature of economics (also known as political economy).

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The Story Of A Poacher: Bob Redwater Aged 16

By this time I’d owned the Airsporter rifle for a couple of months and my marksmanship was improving all of the time. Practice makes perfect. Confidence was essential in being a successful hunter. Knowing the killing range of a weapon was important and made it less likely to wound a creature. My right eye was my master eye which meant it was unnecessary to close my left eye to line up the sights.
This made a shot quicker when looking along the Barrel to line up the fore sight with the back sight. I also adjusted the trigger so it needed a very light squeeze to shoot the gun. I found I could shoot more accurately by squeezing the trigger as soon as the sights lined up rather than try to hold the sights on the target. The rifle weighed about 7 pounds.

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Trees Not Trash has landed in Scotland! by Kate Gilliam

We have started the first of TNT Edinburgh’s community green spaces, on a stretch of unused land adjacent to the Union Canal in the Shandon area of Edinburgh. This piece of land is generally overgrown with a forest of stinging nettles, so we are transforming it into usable growing space. We have chosen this spot for its high pedestrian traffic and proximity to water, and have so far enjoyed great support and met many keen gardeners who have been dropping by to help out with our Sunday gardening days! We garden every Sunday from 11am onwards.

So far we have built 3 vegetable beds, and have planted crops chosen for their winter hardiness: kale, black radishes, oriental greens, spinach, cauliflower and rocket. We have also planted an apple tree and a berry bush and plan on much more.

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Rest In Pieces: The Competition Commission by Alex Dunedin

John Robertson, member of the Cross Party Energy and Climate Change committee went on public record saying: “The biggest opacity is the profit making itself, if you look at the bill you get through the door, the understanding you have of it. There is a need for the companies to explain how they make their profit and where; also make it easy for the consumer to understand their bill. We can see what is happening on the retail side, but not on the generation side of the equation.

The companies are jealously guarding their information. It is strange that you have six large companies, who all charge roughly the same, have roughly the same increases in price, and yet they are all meant to be in competition with each other”

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