Friday, 13 May 2011

How funding decisions get made

A reader in Hampstead ordered 20 copies of the Finland book, Not So Barren or Uncultivated, and would there were more such as him, and I took the books up there on the Tube, thinking this was the cheapest way of getting them there, but then paused in the Oxfam bookshop and spent the money I’d saved (on D. J. Enright’s book on irony, and on a Harry Mathews collection that includes his piece of 61 paragraphs each of which describes someone masturbating; which is more funny and touching than erotic, and good, and which I started reading on the Tube back home with my next-seat neighbour also taking an interest).

Money and books is always an awkward mix. This afternoon I came across the above diagram, from the Wikipedia entry on algorithm, and I am now convinced that this is how the recent Arts Council decisions were made: they input some data from tick-boxes, then applied the formula. No one has offered any better explanation.


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Leatherdykeuk said...

I love the irony of spending the money you saved on a book on irony.

I generally avoid buying books from Oxfam as they've put so many second hand bookshops out of business.

charles said...

Irony breeds, or is self-fulfilling, something like that. I haven't yet read the irony book, and may never get round to doing so. About the Oxfam thing, I really don't know. Should I really be selling my unwanted books to a second-hand dealer rather than giving them to Oxfam?