In the current NYRB Joan Didion mixes bile and incision beautifully in a long and detailed analysis of the simultaneously etiolated and hyped-up language of ‘the new normal’ in post-Iraq American Politics. Brilliant writing. I learnt a lot from this really meaty VoIP special issue and from this equally meaty essay about standards in ACM… Continue reading Weird American politics and technology standards
Government IT projects are out of control. That’s a given. 30 billion quid is a lot of money (for something visible from space it would be a lot of money – in fact, it would get you quite a long way up your space elevator). I don’t want to trivialise the task of integrating dozens… Continue reading What’s the opposite of sustainable software?
A productive day in town – meeting with interesting people: lunch at Blacks with my lawyer, top secret discussions with a Guardian journo in Farringdon, a chance meeting with a top PERL geezer in Foyles and an expensive glass of wine with the esteemed Phil Gyford. Outstanding.
Wild guess: Jacques Derrida, demon of empiricists and humanists (and newspaper editors) everywhere, will, now that he’s gone, quite soon be reduced to a cuddly, French caricature – a sort of philosophical Jacques Tati: an eccentric, provocative, language-obsessed clown. His unsettling ideas will be neutralised by nostalgia for a period already mostly forgotten. I expect… Continue reading Jacques the clown
Crass television advertising is not dead. In fact we seem to be enjoying a renaissance. To begin with, there are the braindead sponsorship ‘bumpers‘ (I think that’s what they’re called) wrapped around Parkinson‘s new slot on ITV. Tightly framed mouths read ugly little poems clumsiliy themed on ‘plain speaking’ or something – about the silliest… Continue reading Brands brought low
A week ago, Paul Murphy took Ivan and myself on a tour of his favourite East End art galleries. Of course, this involved walking past quite a lot of my favourite East End pubs so it was quite hard work. Anyway, I’ve put a few pics up at Flickr.
Kodak are laying off 600 people in the UK because of digital cameras. Now I feel really bad about finally going digital. It’s easy enough to damn a big firm like Kodak – they should have responded differently to digital, they should have repositioned as a service business for digital consumers, they should have dumped… Continue reading Digital guilt
It’s like this: I want to photograph some embroidered fairies (bear with me). They’re embroidered on paper for framing so they’re pretty flat but have lots of flounces and beads and other pretty stuff that sticks up – this rules out scanning (I’ve tried it – it’s horrible). So I’ve bought a proper copy stand… Continue reading help reproducing fairies
So I’m up late making some improvised business cards for my new thing – which is called Thinner Media (and which doesn’t strictly exist yet and certainly doesn’t have a web site so don’t ask). I’m going to hand the cards out at tomorrow night’s ‘An Internet Decade’, one of a string of ‘the net… Continue reading My new thing
About 6 minutes into this RealMedia stream of Sunday’s The World This Weekend is about the most devastating analysis of the condition of the post-Thatcher Tory Party I’ve yet heard and – remarkably enough – it comes from three prominent Tories (or fellow travelers): Dominic Cummings, Director of The New Frontiers Foundation (and one time… Continue reading Institutionally dead