Incoherence in Government

A story in this morning’s Guardian perfectly illustrates the policy incoherence that runs to the heart of the current government. It concerns Britain’s National Cycling network, a linked chain of over 16,500 miles of cycleways which are used by half the number of people who currently use the trains each year. Sustrans, the organisation responsible for […]

Amazon warehouse accidents total 440. What’s the story?

According to a BBC news story “Amazon warehouse accidents total 440”. While this is obviously bad news for the people involved, is it good or bad compared to the industry as a whole? The tenor of the story implies it is bad news. But then the details of the story don’t quite back that up. […]

Climate disaster and how to avoid it

Today the IPCC came out with its sternest warning yet about the dangers the world faces if global warming isn’t held to 1.5degC. The thing is, we already know how Governments can do this. They tax the things they want less of and incentivise the things they want more of. This is simple and it […]

Picking stocks

Many years ago when my boys were young teenagers we used to have to take them off every Saturday to play Warhammer, the strategy game you play in person with others with characters you bought and lovingly painted yourself. It became a big obsession with both of them, rivalling even Pokemon and I got to […]

Remaking Post-Industrial Cities

Interesting talk this lunchtime at the RSA from Don Carter about his new book Remaking Post-Industrial Cities, which looks at 10 cities in the US and Europe and charts their decline and recovery.  Carter looks at the history of the cities in three phases: The industrial powerhouse phase, from 1865 to 1945 Renaissance, from 1946 […]

Elon Musk: good news or bad news?

The outcome of the SEC investigation into Elon Musk’s wayward tweet on taking Tesla private could turn out to be either very good, or very bad.  The requirement by the SEC that Musk and Tesla each pay $20m in fines is trivial for both. The instruction to hire an independent chairman to oversee Musk is […]

Climate Change: too true to be good

Great summary today at the RSA of climate change from Environment Agency head Sir James Bevan. He was concise and chilling on the enormity of the challenge of climate change and the catastrophic consequences of failure to act decisively.  Sadly, but predictably, he was less impressive in his assessment of the progress being made in […]

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, […]