Choice in politics

Choice is good, the Labour party tells us. That simple if rather dubious maxim appears to be guiding many of their reforms in health and education. Now we hear that Gordon Brown wants to spend a huge amount of money to replace Britain’s nuclear deterrent. So how about this: could we please have the choice […]

Parking as a constrained resource optimisation

London has a problem. There are too many cars. This has several consequences. Firstly it is difficult to get anywhere fast, at least between 6.30 and 21.00. Secondly, it is hard to park, and often expensive when you can. The problem has been managed partly through charging and partly through rationning. Nevertheless, some people feel […]

The Gentle antis vs. the strong pros

Thinking about the Olympics recently, and the fact that I’m going to pay for some of it (via my council tax, thanks Ken), I was reminded of the power of the few versus the many — if the few are vocal enough and the many are only mildly concerned. 5 million people who don’t want […]

Canadian musings

It has taken me a little while to come up with anything approaching a coherent set of thoughts on Montreal, and this is definitely a first cut. Part of the interest in Quebec (sprinkle accents over that) of course lies in the mixture of American and French influences. The ferocious consumption and competition of the […]

Adding up the Tate

A friend and I went to see the rehang of the Tate Modern yesterday. It’s interesting, perhaps flawed in places, – whoever decided that it would be good to hang the futurists in a big gaggle high up on one wall should be taken out and re-educated, – but compared with, say, MOMA in New […]

Copy me, mash me up

Reading the customarily histrionic ramblings on boingboing about copyright, The lady doth protest too much springs to mind. As always, the game needs to balance the needs of the various players. Large media companies want as long and as restrictive a copyright law as possible. Consumers want the legitimate freedom to copy something, once purchased, […]