GAFA — the extractive industries of the mind

In the 20th century ‘globalisation’ was heralded as the future, but a subtlety that is lost in the ether is that this was only if we didn’t offshore the means of production. Obviously, we did. We are in an age where the ‘means of production’ is [largely] in our minds (intellectual endeavour from capital markets…

Data is not the new oil. Data > Oil

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data” says The Economist “Data is the new oil”, said Clive Humby and many others Some people have described why it is and that it’ll be a new currency. 2014 Wired said it was and that “data infrastructure should become a profit centre” In 2012 Forbes asked “Is…

Ecocide

It’s almost as if “Destroying the Earth should be viewed as a crime.” The UN and Interpol report that environmental crime is a growing threat to security and natural resources,  is now the world’s fourth largest illicit enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking and has outstripped the illegal trade in small arms. More:…

The tweetable scientific method

Reposting from my tweet: ■ Observe→Question→Hypothesise→Create tests →Test→Adapt→More tests→Generalise→Repeat↺ [The Tweetable Scientific Method]  

The porous city

This is not a thought piece, it’s a call to action. We have failed to create smart cities. We have failed to create truly scalable and sustainable mechanisms to enable our cities and countries to benefit from the internet age. We are not addressing the challenges we face, from housing to healthcare, from taxation to…

Welcome back Philae!

To celebrate the news: Click the green flag and press S to start …. then press space bar to launch Philae. Arrow keys for left and right. Up arrow for thrust. If it all goes weird, hit R to reset. Hit the red landing site to get points, but not too fast or you’ll pop! You…

When/where did you first see Bladerunner?

I first saw Bladerunner in 1984, at the Albacon science fiction convention at the Central Hotel in Glasgow. I was 13, on my first solo trip away from home (Whiting Bay, Arran, pop.700) to the “big city” (Glasgow, pop.700,000). I was already terrified of being in a city. Sitting in a dark room with a…

Maxipok Zero – a quadrillion lives are in your hands

A quadrillion lives are in your hands. We often hear people talk of “protecting future generations”,and there is certainly a lot of value in thinking of your children and grandchildren when thinking about the future – it makes it personal. But there is an additional way of thinking about this, which carries equal moral authority…

New role at the Open Data Institute

During the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the creator of the web tweeted “This is for everyone” to millions of people around the world. Decades since their invention, we are still discovering and unlocking value from the innovations catalysed by the open web, open internet, and open source. The Open Data Institute‘s mission is to demonstrate and…

The utterance of a cosmological model?

“On 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the Earth. 2011 sees the fiftieth anniversary of that event…” As part of my ongoing work on Binary Dust, I am speaking at Heavenly Discourses on Sunday 16th October 16:45 – 18:00. PANEL: Music I’ll be presenting…

Those are my stars…

Calling Virgin Galactic: “if we could get our political leaders to have a summit meeting in space, life on Earth would be markedly different” Alex Evans reflects “during a break in an all-day meeting of senior policymakers at the United Nations, on the subject of ‘global sustainability’. Know what? The room had no windows”   On…

Educational biomes?

I’ve got some thoughts about a different way to create a distributed education. One I think could break through silo’s in our Psychogeography and Biogeography. Please bear with me and, of course, if someone has already done this, please let me know! Background [or skip the background] A familiar problem but always a new one…

Periodicity

Building on this two things: 1) add the cyclic patterns for every form of centralisation->decentralisation technology | politics | finance | energy | cosmology | art | religion | etc… 2) look to see if there’s a damping factor Are we dealing with periodicity that has diminishing amplitude? ie. thinking in a political/government sense: do…

Fixing paths when moving wordpress

Keywords: WordPress, HostPapa, managed hosting, image upload, fix, migration I recently moved a friend’s blog to a managed (virtual) hosting solution (hostPapa in this case) and it all worked fine apart from the fact they couldn’t upload images via the wordpress UI. In the WP-Admin site, if went to edit a page, then tried to…

Obsfuscation as a method of closed data

Things wrong with Companies House Crown Copyright data disclosure (which allows free copying) Get the DVD rom of the data – SIGH £30 for a copy of the data – PARTIAL WIN (it’s accessible) £1200 if you want to actually save the data – FAIL Crown Copyright Data is in a closed format –  FAIL…

a bit more than toothache

<not for the squemish…> I consider myself to have a high tolerance (albeit a low threshold) for pain: I can usually accept it and work my way through it when it arrives. Having experienced kidney stones and dental abscesses before, I know roughly where some of my own limits are. My experience over the last…

Δten / Δ10 / delta10

Many late night discussions over the last year from FOWA, IT@Cork, eTech, Green:net to Geekyoto, and with the AMEE team have led me to think on topics like “digital inheritance” (e.g. what if you could inherit your grandfather’s iPod?) dematerialisation (digital products and products transforming into services) desiring what we need (as opposed to the…

Remarkable insights

The Long Now essay by Daniel Hillis on “Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine” contains some fantastic, inspiring nuggets, which I couldn’t resist quoting from … they really remind me of conversations at Jodrell Bank. “… we planned to connect the processors in a 20-dimensional hypercube …” “In retrospect, if we had had any understanding…

Not at all pleased about this…

Blogs are very useful to gratuitously vent one’s disappointments out into the Ether… Dear Bicycle Thieves, As a thief you’ll never consider that you are taking peoples belongings, not just “objects” to convert into cash. I don’t even consider myself particularly materialistic, but I did love my bike. You’ve not made me angry – you’ve…

Jodrell Bank, 50 years on …

This year is the 50th anniversary of Jodrell Bank. Today is also a landmark day for Jodrell Bank – the whole science team are moving from on-site, to Manchester University. While this is probably very practical, I can’t help feeling sad that this unique and historic research establishment is dramatically shifting its identity. I worked…

Archives of some things

Notes to aid my own memory Date Title 2004-03-29 BBC Charter Review feedback for WMF 2004-03-01 “Primer” on Internet Broadcasting for VET 2004-02-28 “EFF Response – Music Licensing” (hublog feedback) 2004-02-20 “To a scribe” ARCHIVE 1993-2003 2003-12-02 IMA Awards – Virgin Radio win 2003-01-01 Broadcast Engineering Article 2002-04-01 Streaming Handbook launches 2001-12-01 Radio Academy – Online Radio 2001-02-02 Communications…