Engineers and technologists are not immune from the difficulties that inflation brings. Inflation is a hard-to-predict volatility and shaking is no good for anyone’s processes, let alone ones that rely on fine tuning, like JIT and Lean. To top that, most people in the West are simply too young to have practical experience of managing fast-escalating prices and all their consequences.

How is this novel inflationary period going to unfold?

To paraphrase, it’s easy to make predictions about the past. It remains quite easy to do that in writing because by the time many people read the prediction, the event and the prediction itself are in the past, and it then takes a lot of effort to tell the difference between a statement made before or after the event.

However, I will stake – granted within the framework of past performance being no guide to the future – that so far, I’ve predicted inflation well before the mainstream. As such, my decent track record is...