Holiday diversions, part 1

The Royal Airforce Museum at Hendon is a top day out with the kids – especially now that, like all national museums and galleries – it’s free. It’s a pretty sobering experience too – war is not glorified here (although the ejector seat display is pretty exciting). The most striking thing is how flimsy these aeroplanes… Continue reading Holiday diversions, part 1

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Biotech overload

Glenn Crocker in New Scientist says that too many biotech firms are started and too few allowed to go bust when it becomes evident that they’re not going to work. This unproductive layer of dodgy firms with poor products blocks the creation of the next generation of potentially more successful businesses by soaking up scarce… Continue reading Biotech overload

No. I do not have a Nectar card

Rachel Shabi in The Guardian’s Saturday magazine has got herself all worked up about loyalty cards and RFID tags. She’s probably right to worry. In the advanced economies we’re consumers first, citizens second. We interact with retailers more than with any other institution. What they do with our data is important but they’re unaccountable and… Continue reading No. I do not have a Nectar card

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Berger on Palestine

John Berger is brilliant and infuriating: Bolshevik, poet, monk. The man who gave his Booker Prize money (for G) to the Black Panthers and radicalised a whole generation of art history students through the amazing Ways of Seeing has been a constant witness for the poor and marginalised, especially for peasants and migrants. Never a… Continue reading Berger on Palestine

A new role for Government: bullying the well-off

James Crabtree and Noah Curthoys from the Work Foundation’s iSociety research project have written a report about e-government targets. They think the current goal of getting 100% of government services online by 2005 is silly and they’ve found some funny examples from the official literature to back up their assertion ndash; the seed potato classification… Continue reading A new role for Government: bullying the well-off

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Thinking ahead

At the House of Commons event the other day I ran into a futurist called Susan Clayton. I like futurists. They do important work reminding us to remember our descendants. We don’t (can’t?) think far enough into the future. Our horizons are miserable, collapsed, mean-spirited. Future generations don’t really get a look in – one… Continue reading Thinking ahead

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Early retirement, Mr Kaufman?

You don’t have to be a Dykista (A Dykie?) to think that DCMS Select Committee Chairman Gerald Kaufman’s attack on the corporation yesterday was unprincipled, opportunistic – really a politically disreputable act. I can’t be the only one who’s getting fed up with Kaufman’s unreconstructed, Wilson-era Statism disguised as consumer advocacy or anti-establishment vim or… Continue reading Early retirement, Mr Kaufman?

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