Issue 1066

Aug 26, 2013

The billionaires preparing to blow your mind...

 
In this week's Big Issue...
 
  • Multibillionaires are investing in curious things – lab-created meat; weird supersonic tunnel vehicles; rockets; The Washington Post. We’re looking at whether the next really big quantum leaps in technological advancement will come from what appears to be the boyhood fantasies of the super-rich. And we’re wondering if this is a good thing or will the dull things society needs be overlooked for these playthings. Sally Brammall investigates.
  • As a companion piece, we look to Andrew Carnegie. He bestowed millions on philanthropic endeavours in the 19th century. The self-made billionaire of his day (it’s estimated he gave away the equivalent of $100m), there is an anniversary of the opening of some of his libraries coming up. A number of them are amongst those threatened with closure, and fellow Fife man Steven MacKenzie talks to the people there to see if Carnegie’s appetite for spreading learning remains.

And there's more...

  • Letter To My Younger Self features Jeffrey Archer. As you might expect from such a colourful self-publicist, there is much to enjoy in this. From public school, to bankruptcy, to the staggering volume of books he has sold around the world. And words of advice for female smokers.   
  • John Bird considers the state we find ourselves in and looks for ways to make sense of the diet of disaster and noisy, angry world events we are fed. Interesting piece.
  • We are joined by guest columnist Viv Groskop this week. Author and comedian, she is, she says, increasingly mistaken for Theresa May. There follows a very funny dissection of what this means and the future it offers.
  • My Week this week is with Downton star Elizabeth McGovern (that’s Lady Cora, fans). She talks Edinburgh festivals and what comes next in TV’s most watchable, ludicrous drama.
  • After David Miranda’s drama we went looking to see if there are other hidden, unknown traps into which people can fall and be legally held. Our legal eagle Alaric Walmsley plots a course for us.

There is much else, of course. Our featured vendor is Eamonn Kelly, who works in Cambridge. Nigel Havers stole his pitch once. A good read, this. There are details of a new illustrated version of The Hobbit. I’m told that even some adults are interested in The Hobbit.

And those who may be thinking that our crowbarring of Harry Styles onto the cover in order to cynically make something of the heightened interest in One Direction – and so hope to drive sales when we have just a book as a competition prize – how dare you! It’s a number of books.

If you’d like to subscribe to The Big Issue, or if you wish to buy a copy but can’t locate a vendor, email robert.white@bigissue.com

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