Skip to main content
Margate, European City of Culture 2004

£20 million that is apparently the predicted total cost of opening a Turner Centre ( £7 million for the building) with no Turner paintings in the seaside town of Margate, better known for its amusement arcades, Dreamland amusement park (now closed) and celebration of ‘Chav’ culture than for any notable appreciation of art.



Ironically, Turner painted many of his most famous sunset scenes on this stretch of the Kent coastline and on many evening during the year, one can understand why as they can be breathtaking as the sun descends into the sea in the West.



A Cunning Plan?

Why the fiscally challenged planners at Kent County Council in conjunction with Thanet Council, believe that opening a gallery in a famous artist’s name, with none of his paintings on display, will suddenly transform Margate into a cultural Mecca and attract hordes of cultural day-trippers is anyone’s guess. It’s all rather like the fiasco of positioning the Royal Armouries in Leeds and not London with the net result that it’s losing money hand over fist because nobody wishes to visit Leeds when it’s cheaper and easier to visit sites such as the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.

On the opposite side of the bay to the new Turner centre is the once and still famous Nayland Rock Hotel. In another century it was an exclusive home for the privileged tourist visiting the popular seaside Margate resort. Today, it’s a processing centre for refugees, mostly dispossesed Africans and Iraqis, who have injected an unwanted multicultural theme on an already disadvantaged area of the country, which goes a long way to explain the activities of the British National Party in Margate.

£20 million pounds for the Turner Centre means higher poll tax bills for the local population, already double that I paid in London last year and £20 million wasted, when it could have been put to much better use on other schemes, such as revitalising the crumbling façade of Margate seafront or knocking down the clock tower traffic lights; another on of the council's universally despised "bright ideas".

What comes next I wonder, the "Hanging Gardens of Cliftonville"?

If I want culture, then I’ll visit the Turner exhibition at the Tate Gallery and if I want noise, lager and fish and chips then I’ll visit Margate. Anyway and if I’m right, Turner painted many of his scenes further West in the village of Birchington, a home to many well-know artists of the 19th century, so perhaps the council should start building there instead!

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…

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 …

The Big Steal

I’m not here to predict the future;” quipped the novelist, Ray Bradbury. “I’m here to prevent it.” And the future looks much like one where giant corporations who hold the most data, the fastest servers, and the greatest processing power will drive all economic growth into the second half of the century.

We live in an unprecedented time. This in the sense that nobody knows what the world will look like in twenty years; one where making confident forecasts in the face of new technologies becomes a real challenge. Before this decade is over, business leaders will face regular and complex decisions about protecting their critical information and systems as more of the existing solutions they have relied upon are exposed as inadequate.

The few real certainties we have available surround the uninterrupted march of Moore’s Law - the notion that the number of transistors in the top-of-the-line processors doubles approximately every two years - and the unpredictability of human nature. Exper…