Instant judgements

There is something very disturbing about the modern habit of making instant judgements about everything, simple or complex. This has been blamed on the 24-hour news cycle which is said to force quicker and quicker stories out for fear that a particular news outlet is going to look slow. It has also been blamed on […]

Seeing with your camera

This photo illustrates a common theme – that modern audiences of anything spend too much time taking pictures of events they are attending rather than looking at them with their own eyes. You hear the criticism levelled by musicians and sportsmen and women as well as by commentators. I think we shouldn’t judge too harshly. […]

Apple gets serious about content

Apple’s acquisition of Texture looks like a pretty shrewd move against the back-drop of “fake news” and worries about social media network enabled “bubbles”. Whether the company can turn Texture, which offers monthly subscriptions for unlimited content for hundreds of participating media, into a text version of iTunes remains to be seen. But having Apple, […]

The answer to post-industrialisation

It’s not hard to see the effects of post-industrialisation in Britain. Today’s Observer carried a vivid account of its effects in Ebbw Vale, a once-thriving steel town. And there are some sensible suggestions about how to deal with the aftermath, as well as the next wave of de-employment which will soon be upon us, brought […]

The wrong way to do driverless cars

I’m a great supporter of driverless cars. I think they have the potential to dramatically change the world, making much better use of resources, revolutionising mobility for all and radically improving our towns and cities. Paradoxically, however, I am not so keen on Phillip Hammond’s announcement that the UK aims to be the first country […]

AI-powered robots and the future

This is a post over which I have been pondering for quite a while. While the debate rages on daily about whether AI (specifically AGI) is humanity’s great saviour or the biggest existential threat we all face, several stories which have emerged over the past few weeks seem to me to cast some light on […]

When the extraordinary becomes ordinary

One sentence in one article I read this last week caused me to sit up and reflect more, I think, than any other: “Carmakers are threatened more by the end of the combustion engine than by Brexit.” Just a throw-away line in a story by Phillip Inman in the Observer on the current state of […]

Inside the echo chamber

The unforeseen nature of Donald Trump’s victory yesterday, and before that of the Brexit Leave Campaign, say something quite profound about the way in which US and UK populations now consume their information and form their views. As the Independent said today, it was the social media “echo chamber” which allowed the pro-Clinton US electorate […]

Spot the inconsistency

Lord Dubs, the Labour peer this year persuaded the government to promise to give sanctuary to vulnerable unaccompanied child refugees with no relatives in the UK. In May he secured a commitment that Britain would give homes to some of the estimated 88,000 child refugees believed to be travelling through Europe, and this was set […]

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 […]