Back to the future

Happy New Year. Here is a Blade- Runner- esque scene, again of Hong Kong, to celebrate. Isn’t it strange to think that its vision of the future is so powerful that it still holds sway despite the film itself being 25 years old?

Authority in the Mediated Age

The lyric Who do you trust? is going round in my head. I need to find the song. This is the kind of thing the internet is good for. Being slightly distrustful of google and its ubiquity, I fire up and try there. Then when that doesn’t work, I tried google, and MSN, and […]

Not to break the mood but…

…my favourite post of the week is Do Helping Professions Help? from the often readable Overcoming Bias. I like it because it asks a hard question about the system in a way that displays a delicate understanding of the rules.

Something that works, kinda

I was in Cambridge on Thursday, seeing some friends. We visited the Fitzwilliam museum, an interesting if flawed establishment. (Don’t hang the Rembrandt so you can’t see the face for the glare of the lights, please, folks.) A few minor carps aside, though, it is interesting how well the museum system works. The works are […]

New Year on the trains

I know I keep blogging about transport but in my defense, it’s important, and no one reads this blog anyway. It is important because it is supremely co-operative: no matter how rich you are, you cannot build your own continent wide railway system, and you need the government to arrange the roads so you can […]

Hard edged thoughts from Asia

A little while ago I was in Hong Kong (cue gratuitous Blade Runner themed pictures of the city at night). On the way back, I read a paper Dilemmas of an Economic Theorist. It was probably a good thing that I was on a plane at the time: the spluttering of disbelief that such egocentric […]

Playing at the weekend

This is a fantastic area of countryside to the West of Exeter. I went walking with some friends on Saturday, and it was lovely: refreshing, beautiful and calming. It made me think about the importance of conserving country- side like this, of managing the transport and planning systems so that people can live close to […]

What works? You wish…

‘What matters is what works’ Tony Blair once declared. I really believe that is true: sadly Tony doesn’t, and I suspect never did. As Ann Clwyd is ejected from her position as Chairperson of the parlimentary labour party thanks to her support for Blair, it is worth highlighting five of the worse examples of Labour’s […]

Polonium Puzzles

Alexander Litvinenko was apparently killed with Polonium 210 and now another poor individual, Mario Scaramella, has been found to have the chemical in his system. While this is clearly tragic, it does raise some questions. Firstly where would you get Polonium 210? It is really rare. The best natural source of Polonium is Uranium ore, […]