A little more from A User’s Guide. This is from Ballard’s 1971 essay about Ralph Nader. The important point, though, is that Nader is unloading a powerful sense of anxiety and guilt onto a huge range of commonplace activities. Sooner or later, I would guess, these will crystallize around one major subject, a simple formula…Read More Politicizing your lunch
Chris Dillow complains that too many journalists treat politics as theatre. This reminded me of a book. I recently found my copy of J.G. Ballard’s A User’s Guide to the Millennium, his collected essays and criticism, after moving churned it up to the top of my library. A major theme of these writings, especially the…Read More Politics as theatre? More!
So we’re having a moment about John Boyd: The really interesting thing about the Dom Cummings appointment is that we now have someone in charge of No10 who is a devotee of Col. John Boyd, whose central thesis was to confuse your enemy and do the opposite of what they expect (1/4). — Damian McBride…Read More Round and Round the OODA Loop: Folk Boyd and the Brexiters
Chris Dillow discusses why management jobs seem immune to automation despite all the excitement about AI. The problem, I think, is that the current state-of-the-art is very poorly suited to making strategic decisions, for reasons that are inherent in the way it works, and in the nature of the decisions themselves. So we’re training our…Read More Machine learning and bubbles
So we’re all doing the Iran war scare thing again. Where are the US Navy’s aircraft carriers? As always, there is a useful summary here. Whatever John Bolton may say, Abraham Lincoln didn’t deploy last week. In fact she sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on the 1st of April. She had to sail around this time…Read More A check-in on USN carriers
Annoyingly, Adam Elkus is going to delete this thread. increasingly thinking that the best or only justification at this point for people that aren’t techies learning about computer programs is understanding the way in which the social world is being flattened into categories that computers can understand. — QWRhbSBFbGt1cw== (@Aelkus) April 22, 2019 I…Read More Flattening computers into social categorisers
So, the Huawei oversight report is out and it’s apparently terribly scary. If you’re interested in the content rather than the mood-music there’s a good key points summary here, and if you’re the kind of person who reads this blog, the report itself is here. The point I would like to make, though, is that…Read More If we could only get the same oversight of Facebook we have of Huawei UK
A lot of people seem to believe that the UK can solve its Brexit problems by “just staying in the single market” or a similar form of words. To put it another way, the underlying theory here is that the European Economic Area agreement gives the European single market an existence independent of the European…Read More Can you “just stay in the single market”?
Any discussion of Huawei relating to the Chinese “National Intelligence Law” has to start out from the recognition that all states, always, have tried to weaponize telecommunications systems and have taken considerable legal powers over people and property involved, even where they didn’t create the assets and organizations themselves. Take a look at Section 94,…Read More Enough with the bad faith about Huawei.
I recently read John Grindrod’s Concretopia and re-read Joe Moran’s On Roads one after the other. One thing that struck me: Grindrod’s is the better book, essentially because he goes to the places and talks to the people and avoids the temptation of filling up on old newspaper. Too many people setting out to write…Read More Opinion editorial is the worst historical source imaginable