Here is a little bit about me
Greetings. My name is Philip Gray and I was a teacher of mathematics before I retired five years ago. I now act as a freelance mathematics tutor; however I’m not looking for any extra work since I already have more actual and potential pupils than I can reasonably deal with! It seems that higher mathematics has never been so popular.
One of my lifelong loves has been history. I find it fascinating to see how so many situations have evolved, from the birth of powerful empires such as those of Rome and Byzantium to the origins and causes of the last two world wars. In all these cases the end result was caused by a combination of factors rather than a single one, and similarly the success or failure of car manufacturers such as Maserati has hinged so many times on unpredictable happenings or decisions.
Anyone who predicted, 50 years ago, that car manufacture in the 21st-century would be so dominated by manufacturers from the East, whilst the American industry concentrated around the city of Detroit has come virtually to a halt, would probably have been ridiculed. However much of what has happened could probably have been predicted. American manufacturers seem to assume that what the public wanted was an ever changing choice of cars, each one more prestigious than the previous one; planned obsolescence reigned. Then the Japanese manufacturers showed them that what many people truly wanted was safety, economy and above all reliability. Perhaps it was a fashion fator of course; the buying public can be extremely fickle.
It will be interesting to see how many of the current large car manufacturers survive. Tesla have arrived on the scene specialising in electrically driven cars but although their production is minuscule compared to many of the bigger companies their stock exchange valuation exceeds that of any of them! Will they go on to dominate the market in the future or, like the South Sea bubble and the Dutch tulip mania, will they suddenly fail spectacularly one day? The mighty German car industry has just begun a decline, helped along by the emissions scandals, and we are in an era when people are asking, more and more, how much damage cars are doing to the environment. At the same time existing cars are lasting longer and longer; the old days when 35,000 miles on the clock meant a worn out engine and gearbox and an age of over six years meant a subframe corroded beyond repair are thankfully behind us and now people are keeping cars for much longer. Is the age of consumerism coming to an end? Do we really need all the cars that these companies are capable of making?
It would be fascinating to be able to peer into the future; perhaps, however, a study of the past will indicate to us what the future will bring.
If anything on this page interests you in the slightest, and you want to chat about it, complain about it or argue against it, I would love to hear from you. My contact details are at the bottom of this page.
Dr Phillip Gray