The Book Red Plenty is a fictionalised history, or possibly a work of hard historical science fiction, which covers what it describes as the “fifties’ Soviet dream” but which might be better termed the Soviet sixties – the period from Khrushchev’s consolidation of power to the first crackdown on the dissidents and the intervention in…Read More Review: Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty
Apple’s internal security team may be scary – and especially the name (Worldwide Loyalty Team). But they are as nothing, in terms of creepiness, to this Microsoft web page, which provides the criteria against which MS employees are assessed for their use of humour and the targets they are given to improve. You will not…Read More killer meme watch
Something interesting about the NHS NPfIT project. During my recently completed two-week conference binge, I spoke to people from a British telecommunications company who were fresh, if that’s the word, from tangling with the NHS IT Zombie, and had apparently escaped before it ate their brains with a spoon. I also heard people from a…Read More the problem with NPfIT is the “NP” bit
Reader “Ajay” has a theory that aviators are uniquely unfitted for government. There are a considerable number of data points in his favour. However, here’s a possible counter-example. Ernest Millington has died; he was one of three MPs for the brief Common Wealth Party, a radical leftist group that emerged during the second world war,…Read More party of one
There should be a special term for the phase in the adoption of an idea between the point at which everyone accepts its desirability, and the point at which it wins over other ideas politically. This isn’t the same as the point of implementation; it’s quite possible for your idea to go into practice, but…Read More shooting bits off the zombies
Suddenly, an awful wet crunching and groaning and sick heavy breathing. It’s…huge…festooned in the rags of a once-respectable suit, waving a bladeserver torn from a rack like a child’s toy…dripping with stale blood. No! The NHS IT Zombie has escaped, and it’s fortified itself by eating BT’s brains. Now it’s coming for us. DAATA! it…Read More brrrains!
George Osborne is not getting any better. His latest shaft of brilliance is to threaten everyone with a sterling crisis – Chris Dillow has details and more. The problem here is that for a start, he is deliberately beating the water to drive sharks away from his vulnerable ideological underbelly. The Conservatives’ “economic plan” currently…Read More George Osborne: A National Embarrassment
An unremarked-on aspect of the 1.5% interest rate cut last week. Namely, are we already living in a near-real time planned economy, as Stafford Beer foresaw? It sounds like I must be joking. But how else are we to interpret Sir Terry Leahy’s trip to see the Bank of England and the Treasury? Tesco boasts…Read More tesco value beer
We’ve blogged before about the NHS’s computer project. So I’m not at all happy about this remarkably silly post at Timmeh’s. He takes issue with a post of Richard Murphy’s about bank nationalisation: Yup, the people who brought you the NHS Spine are to be put in charge of developing all banking software in Britain.…Read More is there anything stupid going on at Tim Worstall’s?
So I took my stupid damn idea off to the stupid ideas club. When we got there, guess who? Spyblog was waiting at the rendezvous with some Dutchmen and an Argentine documentarist and half the No2ID members not currently in hospital. And after we made our way through Jock McZanu’s EU Maddie monsoon (GOOD HERE…Read More Organise, and a very wet 2600