Thursday, 27 November 2008

Pirate economics.

This is the fruit of a boring Busniness Studies lesson. I was thinking about pirates and no work had been set so I wondered what happened if I tried to apply normal economics to 18th Century Bucaneers. If anything it's a really simple way of teaching little children the basics of economics. You know the Pirates of the Carribean Role-Playing-Game did teach me a thing or two about trading and diplomacy, even if it was only a game. So did Star Control.

If a pirate ship attacks a navy galleon and plunders a thousand dubloons of treasure and the ship's cannons cost Captain Morgan two hundred gold coins on loan from Holland at 2.1% interest per year. The quest to track down and board a navy galleon took 3 years. After capturing the navy galleon how much proft did Captain Morgan make? Also, the exchange rate between gold coins and dubloons is one chest of dubloons for every two chests of gold coins (chests are of a standard size).
If you don't know what a dubloon is. Look on Wikipedia!

If Captain Morgan makes 20 dubloons a month from plundering sugar, rum, wood and spices from frigates. He has to pay his trusty crew 10 Dubloons a month. And to buy his ship he initially invested 100 dubloons. When on his mighty quest does he break even?
If Captain Morgan sails around Port Royal he can attack up to 7 ships a week for 3 weeks before the navy can respond to the merchant ships's cry for help. After that he must hide in his secret island for 3 weeks before attacking again. If the pirate ship hangs around the shipping lanes it can board two ships every week but is never caught by the navy. Which is most efficient? Or, if Captain Morgan buys two ships, he can have one in Port Royal and one on the shipping lanes. Or is it better to have both ships focusing on the shipping lanes?

If anyone actually works out the answers to those be sure to tell me.
In other news I was wondering if I got a laptop there are a bunch of cheap (£30-ish) GPS adaptors which I could sync with Google Earth and they would perform the same operation as a £600 dedicated handheld or in-car GPS. Of course a laptop is less portable than a handheld but if I bring it on car journeys then it would well replace a normal GPS in-car system. See this website for a way of putting your GPS position on Google Earth.

Also, Audriy (Ukranian boy) showed me this quite controversial Youtube Series the Pinky Show. It's interesting. Clickyit!

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