All posts filed under “Vague rhetoric

Stuff that matters: Unpicking the pyramid

Stuff that matters: Unpicking the pyramid

Most things are unnecessary. Most products, most consumption, most politics, most writing, most research, most jobs, most beliefs even, just aren’t useful, for some scope of ‘useful’. I’m sure I’m not the first person to point this out, but most of our civilisation seems to […]

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The asymmetry of the indescribable

The asymmetry of the indescribable

Like the itchy label in my shirt, there’s something which has been niggling away at the back of my mind, ever since I started being exposed to ‘academic fields’, and boundaries between ‘subjects’ (probably as a young child). I’m sure others have expressed it much […]

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Dredging up some old ideas

Dredging up some old ideas

Three essays I’d pretty much forgotten about, written for courses at Cambridge during my Master’s in Technology Policy, linked here for no reason in particular: Peer Treasure: how firms outside the software industry can use open source thinking How can we strengthen links between entrepreneurial […]

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Cross-purposes?

Cross-purposes?

Last week I was at a seminar where a fellow student was outlining some (very interesting) research about how to adapt ‘professional’ products to be usable by a ‘lay’ audience (what functions do you retain, what do you lose, how do you deal with different […]

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Apologies for the delay to this service

Apologies for the delay to this service

You’re owed an apology, dear reader, for the 2-month hiatus with the blog. It’s down to a variety of reasons compounding each other, and alternately forcing me to prioritise other pressing problems, then when I tried seizing the initiative again, frustrating me with technical issues […]

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Interesting parallels

Interesting parallels

Security is about preventing adverse consequences from the intentional and unwarranted actions of others. What this definition basically means is that we want people to behave in a certain way… and security is a way of ensuring that they do so. Bruce Schneier, Beyond Fear […]

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Persuasion & control round-up

Persuasion & control round-up

New Scientist: Recruiting Smell for the Hard Sell Samsung’s coercive atmospherics strategy involves the smell of honeydew melon: THE AIR in Samsung’s flagship electronics store on the upper west side of Manhattan smells like honeydew melon. It is barely perceptible but, together with the soft, […]

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Bye-bye 9rules

Bye-bye 9rules

Around ten months ago, this site was accepted into 9rules, a diverse network of blogs which, at the time, had this aim: 9rules is a community of the best weblogs in the world on a variety of topics. We started 9rules to give passionate writers […]

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Normalising paranoia

Normalising paranoia

This is brilliant. Chloë Coulson, Erland Banggren and Ben Williams, three Ravensbourne graduates, have put together a project looking at the “culture of fear”, the media’s use of this, and how it affects our everyday state of mind. The outcome is a catalogue, WellBeings™ [PDF […]

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The Terminal Bench

The Terminal Bench

Mags L Halliday – author of the Doctor Who novel History 101 – let me know about an ‘interesting’ design tactic being used at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. From the Guardian, by Julia Finch: Flying from the new Heathrow Terminal 5 and facing a lengthy delay? […]

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Friday quote: Precedents (the flipside)

Friday quote: Precedents (the flipside)

As a flipside, perhaps, to the quote on precedents from a couple of weeks ago: If there is something really cool, and you can’t understand why somebody hasn’t done it before, it’s because you haven’t done it yourself. (From Lion Kimbro‘s fascinating How to Make […]

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No photography allowed

No photography allowed

A couple of recent stories on photography of certain items being ‘banned’ – Cory Doctorow on a Magritte exhibition’s hypocrisy, and Jen Graves on a sculpture of which “photography is prohibited” – highlight what makes me tense up and want to scream about so much […]

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Shaping behaviour: Part 2

Shaping behaviour: Part 2

Speedometer, rev counter and fuel and temperature gauges on the dashboard of my 1992 Reliant Scimitar SST. Photo taken on B1098 alongside Sixteen Foot Drain, Isle of Ely, England. In part 1 of ‘Shaping behaviour’, we took a look at ‘sticks and carrots’ as approaches […]

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