Spot the inconsistency…

Yesterday Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was bitterly critical of the junior doctor’s rejection of the latest employment deal. He claimed the result was undemocratic, saying: “The BMA’s figures show that only 40% of those eligible actually voted against this contract, and a third of BMA members didn’t vote at all.”  Mr Hunt’s Government was elected […]

The role of language

I was struck this week by the sharp contrast in language styles adopted by two of the world’s great tech leaders – Tim Cook and Elon Musk. Tim Cook’s keynote at the WWDC  was full of the kind of language we have long associated with Apple – full of “incredible”, “great”, “changing the world” – […]

Thinking Digitally in Tyneside

This year was something of a turning point for Thinking Digital as the Tyneside-based event, regarded as a kind of home-grown TED since its launch in 2008, this year branched out into satellite events in London and Manchester. The original event was slimmed down from two days to one and there were worries that the […]

The value of a south facing roof

I was very struck today, as I whizzed through the countryside in a Newcastle-bound train, by the number of south-facing roofs bearing solar panels. I wonder how long it will be before we start detecting a difference in value depending on the orientation of houses. And how long before new builds start to align like […]

The future is coming faster than we think

 I’ve just finished belatedly reading An Optimist’s Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson. I say “belatedly” as it was written in 2011 which wouldn’t normally be a problem except that this is about accelerating future technologies (and why they are going to be good for us). It was a very good read, but already there […]

Bots are a transitional technology

Yesterday Facebook announced, as predicted, the launch of a range of tools to facilitate the development of “bots” on its Messenger platform. The argument being made far and wide is that bots are a replacement for apps which have become so numerous that their usefulness to users is plunging and most developers are no longer making […]

Why Musk will get it right with the Tesla 3

  Tesla made headlines last week when the launch of the much-awaited Tesla 3, the economy-priced electric car for the masses, garnered 325,000 pre-orders at $1,000 a pop in the very first week. Some are pointing out that Tesla has missed a lot of deadlines along the way and that the success of the 3 is […]

The era of emulation and what it means for us

What is the next phase for humanity? Robin Hanson set out to answer this question in a thought-provoking and lively talk to London Futurists on March 19th. He argues that humanity has been through several distinct economic growth phases each of which has been “exponential” in character. The first lasted nearly 200,000 years from the moment Homo Sapiens first emerged […]

More promise for solar breakthroughs

The 3D solar towers being developed by MIT illustrate just how much further we have to go in stretching the still new technology of solar power. These experimental towers are up to 20 times as efficient as today’s flat roof panels. If the British Government needed any further evidence that the plans for Hinkley Point are misguided, […]