Skip to main content
The Age of Reason – Not in My Book

I’m beginning to wonder whether a 21st century society is defined more by its choice of Soap operas than by any sense of national identity or history?

Take New Year’s Eve on television as an example. The choice of viewing is limited to East Enders and Holby City on the BBC or Emmerdale and The Bill on ITV. As an alternative though, you might prefer a festive Brookside but I ask you, is this the best ‘entertainment’ that the broadcasters can offer us? Even worse, does this drivel actually reflect what the population wants to watch on the last evening of 2002?

And then one drives home in the early hours of the New Year and sees that the new neighbours, the ones with the white van in their drive, are having a party, which spills on to the street as a drunken brawl, complete with a noisy dialogue worthy of any of the best soaps.

Am I wrong or is this society, faced by the collapse of any moral imperative, increasingly taking its behavioural cues from the dysfunctional characters in East Enders or Brookside? These episodes feed their audience with an unrelenting diet of poverty, misery, incest, violence and despair and offer little or nothing to make them feel good about life or themselves’. No hope, no aspiration and to quote from a classic ’Blackadder’ line:

“For you Baldric, the Renaissance was something that happened to other people”.

I suspect an element of social engineering at work here, particularly from the BBC, an organisation with its own political agenda and one generously funded by our license fees, whether we like it or not.

Listening to the BBC’s head of political programming speaking at the eSummit on its plans to encourage greater population involvement in politics, I was horrified by the ‘Aunty knows best’ arrogance, which appears to give any broadcaster the right to encourage or influence any part of the political agenda.

But then reality is no longer a function of the world we live in. Reality for many of us lives inside a television set and is populated by 'celebrities', those minor deities who determine what we wear, what we eat and frequently what we think. Simply watch East Enders and one doesn't have to think much further, if at all.

By the way, for more thrilling news on East Enders and Grant Mitchell's 'Secret Love Child' click here.


Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…
The Mandate of Heaven

eGov Monitor Version

“Parliament”, said my distinguished friend “has always leaked like a sieve”.

I’m researching the thorny issue of ‘Confidence in Public Sector Computing’ and we were discussing the dangers presented by the Internet. In his opinion, information security is an oxymoron, which has no place being discussed in a Parliament built upon the uninterrupted flow of information of every kind, from the politically sensitive to the most salacious and mundane.

With the threat of war hanging over us, I asked if MPs should be more aware of the risks that surround this new communications medium? More importantly, shouldn’t the same policies and precautions that any business might use to protect itself and its staff, be available to MPs?

What concerns me is that my well-respected friend mostly considers security in terms of guns, gates and guards. He now uses the Internet almost as much as he uses the telephone and the Fax machine and yet the growing collective t…

Civilisational Data Mining

It’s a new expression I haven’t heard before. ‘Civilisational data mining.’

Let me start by putting it in some context. Every character, you or I have typed into the Google search engine or Facebook over the last decade, means something, to someone or perhaps ‘something,’ if it’s an algorithm.

In May 2014, journalists revealed that the United States National Security Agency, the NSA, was recording and archiving every single cell-phone conversation that took place in the Bahamas. In the process they managed to transform a significant proportion of a society’s day to day interactions into unstructured data; valuable information which can of course be analysed, correlated and transformed for whatever purpose the intelligence agency deems fit.

And today, I read that a GOP-hired data company in the United States has ‘leaked’ personal information, preferences and voting intentions on… wait for it… 198 million US citizens.

Within another decade or so, the cost of sequencing the human genome …