Skip to main content
A Million Different People from One Day to the Next

Cos it’s a bitter sweet symphony that’s life. Trying make ends meet you’re a slave to money until you die”

I may be asked to write a feature for The Observer this week, so while others use their public holiday to cut the grass, I’m blowing smoke rings and fighting the usual battle with the inspiration fairy, while my wife cuts the grass.



This is of course Monday but it’s not a real Monday. It’s the kind of Monday that most of us would quite happily accept for the rest of our lives but which we only get three times a year, which does seem a little unfair.

When I left school, just as the Vietnam War was finishing my teachers told me that I should find a job in the recreation and leisure industry, because everyone was anticipating a future where we only worked three days a week, if that.

Computers you see, they were going to lead us towards a life of leisure in a world not too far distant from Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis.

It didn’t quite work out that way did it? Computers gave us the ‘just in time’ society, which is a polite way of saying that they finished the work of the industrial revolution and robbed us of any time we had left to be human. The factory whistle, which once reminded the newly-arrived workforce in the ‘satanic mills’ of the 19th century that time was their master and not a space to be filled by the seasons has, in the 21st century, given way to the polite but insistent tone of email arriving in one’s inbox.

Best finish my cigar and listen to ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ by the Verve all over again.


Comments

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…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…