Monthly Archives: February 2013

Google Glass won’t save humanity – but could show us a larger richer world

Two visions of our technological future are battling it out this week. Google has released a promotional video celebrating the potential of its astonishing, voice-activated heads-up display Google Glass, complete with acrobats on video chat in mid-air. Meanwhile, the new series of Charlie Brooker’s TV show Black Mirror continues with a bleak satire, White Bear, that shows a world where constant use of videophones serves to distance and brutalise, rather than bring us closer together. Continue reading

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Filed under Human nature, Literature, Technology

Voice of a new political rhetoric highlights the need for intellectual humility

There was an important speech in America this week, and it wasn’t made by Barack Obama. The President’s State of the Union address was, once again, a conventional recitation of the technocrat’s creed: state intervention can solve almost everything, so long as smart people like me make it smarter. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Freedom, Politics

Three technological earthquakes are breaking up businesses for the better

WE LIVE in extraordinary times. Robots are cleaning floors, accompanying soldiers into battle and just starting to drive our cars. Artificial intelligence is turning phones into personal assistants. The internet is connecting more of us than ever, in more ways than ever. For all the economic gloom, remarkable technologies are transforming our lives for the better every day.

Sometimes, the true scale of that change can be hard to process. Here are three examples that help remind me of how familiar business models are being torn up and reimagined. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Innovation, Publishing, Technology

Osborne isn’t the cat’s whiskers but we don’t have to give up on austerity

AS THE UK economy skids towards a triple-dip recession, many are looking at George Osborne and his plan A and wondering whether someone else could do better. Osborne’s own cat Freya, for instance. If we saved on Osborne’s salary and, in a spirit of austerity, paid his replacement with Whiskas and the occasional catnip chew toy, would we notice any difference in the quality of decision-making? Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Freedom, Politics