The Moniac

Moniac in UK

This is a picture of a Moniac (along with my son Jacob), a hydraulic computer, modelling an economy at a high level. It is a New Zealand cultural and scientific artifact, invented by Bill Phillips. Phillips was a New Zealand economist, but if you read his biography, you discover that before that, he was an adventurer. It is well worth reading about Bill, who was trained largely by observation and had a brilliant, critical mind, unusually coupled with a an inventor's belief in the possible.

This photograph was taken at the science museum in London. But you don't have to travel so far to visit this icon, as there is also one in the Reserve Bank building, in the small museum on the ground floor, which is open to the public. If you have some time between appointments next time you are there I recommend popping in. 


Antibiotic resistance threat to economic stability

Used to treat countless individuals undergoing differing medical treatments, antibiotics can be classified as something that we take for granted. The influx of antimicrobial resistance is amplifying concerns globally. The spread of Candida auris and super-resistant gonorrhoea exemplifies the horrifying reality of antimicrobial resistance. The increased antimicrobial resistance could potentially kill 10 million people over the next thirty years – a 700,000 increase on current deaths directly related to antimicrobial resistance.

As a response to the growing threat, a UN commission has recommended an immediate and well-co-ordinated action plan be implemented and exercised to ensure that we avoid a catastrophic event that would result in dire economic outcomes that the World Bank believes could be equivalent to the global financial crisis of 2008-09.

Although pharmaceutical companies have failed in the past to conjure solutions for pressing medical issues, developments relating to antibiotics have been poor. To restrict antimicrobial resistance doctors often refrain from commonly using novel antibiotics. Novel antibiotics are seen as the last resort and are only used for short periods of time. Unlike other medicines, the price of antibiotics is often set low, giving pharmaceutical companies very minimal motivation to develop their current products further; this has the negative implication of discouraging investors from approaching and potentially working alongside antibiotic firms.

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