Category Archives: Politics

Squeaky Dolphin

From an article about the anxieties of big data by Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford. 2014 is the year we learned about Squeaky Dolphin. That’s the Pynchon-worthy code name for a secret program created by British intelligence agency GCHQ to monitor … Continue reading

Markets and Public Institutions

The final paragraph of a long piece in the October 24th issue of the London Review of Books by Stefan Collini on the thorough-going marketisation of the British higher education system absolutely nails the massive paradox at the heart of … Continue reading

Avatars of the political process

“Drones are avatars of the the political process: they are instantiations of a set of ideologies and beliefs, made visible by their reification in electromechanical systems. When we talk about drones, we are really talking about the politics that demand, … Continue reading

Austerity – the history of a dangerous idea

With a very punchy opening…

Economics 101

From a lovely piece about the state of the British economy by John Lanchester in the London Review of Books: “About thirty years ago, when Keynes was in the depths of economic unfashionability, going up to a group of macroeconomists … Continue reading

Peckham, Poundland, Post Its and the Peacewall

This is a talk – a Pecha Kucha style one – that I gave at EPIC 2013 in October. I gave it in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. I suspect having a little more time would have helped, but that’s … Continue reading

Participant Observers of Elections

There's a lovely piece in the FT Weekend by Matthew Engel, sometime editor of Wisden and a journalist with a anthropologist's eye for the little details and the broad canvas of life in the British Isles – (see also his wonderful Eleven … Continue reading

Party Pooper

Some cracking commentary on the Blair administration in David Hare's review of Andrew Rawnsley's 'Shakespearian' book, The End of the Party: "Any psychiatrist who began to question the behaviour of a leader permanently surrounded by half-eaten bananas would already have … Continue reading