Skip to main content

Advent Calendar

Bit of a disaster today with the power supply on my Advent tower PC having failed. Not a good advert for the make and I'm told they have a bad reputation for this fault. Anyway, I rushed it over to M-Wise in Westbrook for emergency repairs and with luck, Mark will have it working for me again in the morning. I won't bother with the warranty, it's only four months old but you can imagine the grief involved in getting it over to PC World in Canterbury and trying to get something done about it; meanwhile, I can't work properly as a consequence and have to use my backup laptop.

Up to London this morning and guess what, the train sits at Faversham and goes nowhere for a long time while it waits for a stuck train to join it from Dover. Wrong kind of frost I assume and I'm late for a meeting in London again. Lord help us if we get a really bad winter as you may recall from this weblog that South East trains can be relied upon to break down at the first dusting of snow.

In town I'm struck by the fact that every service job I encounter, Smiths, McDonald's and even Hamleys, is run by Polish or possibly Estonian workers. No exaggeration here. At McDonald's I can't help but notice the very attractive Polish girl with a fluent grasp of spoken English that put her native London co-workers to shame. And there you have a challenge for the future that I expressed a week ago. This girl and many like her are often highly educated and prepared to leave their countries to find work in London and the South-east in the tens of thousands. Quite prepared to take the low paid jobs and work-upwards, where does that leave our indigenous workforce where future opportunities for management jobs arise in the service sector? It's an uneasy question which raises a number of politically incorrect thoughts and social challenges that are possibly best left unexpressed in a public forum.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 Nature of Nurture?

Recently, I found myself in a fascinating four-way Twitter exchange, with Professor Adam Rutherford and two other science-minded friends The subject, frequently regarded as a delicate one, genetics and whether there could exist an unknown but contributory genetic factor(s) or influences in determining what we broadly understand or misunderstand as human intelligence.

I won’t discuss this subject in any great detail here, being completely unqualified to do so, but I’ll point you at the document we were discussing, and Rutherford’s excellent new book, ‘A Brief History of Everyone.”

What had sparked my own interest was the story of my own grandfather, Edmond Greville; unless you are an expert on the history of French cinema, you are unlikely to have ever hear of him but he still enjoys an almost cult-like following for his work, half a century after his death.

I've been enjoying the series "Genius" on National Geographic about the life of Albert Einstein. The four of us ha…
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…