Rent v innovation pt 2

Having complained about software companies' arbitrary and self-serving redefinition of what it is to buy a product, I wanted to reflect on the alternatives. I work from home as a freelance writer, so I have more choice about the software I use than the average corporate bod. I also have to pay for it for... Continue Reading →

Rent v innovation: software leads the charge

Software companies' behaviour over licensing epitomises the problematic emergence of extractive capitalism, with trust becoming a growing problem for business. In the early days of the current phase of personal computing, there was some legal clarity about what kind of "thing" software was: it was like a book. You could buy a copy, and use... Continue Reading →

What next with Brexit #437

In the light of recent developments it seems worth making a few non-partisan points about the state we’re in. I say non-partisan. I’m unashamedly against Brexit, but this piece isn’t an argument for or against. Rather it’s an attempt to make sense of a changed reality. We now have an ironic situation where a vote... Continue Reading →

Diversity, identity and brand

The disciplines demanded by a diversity programme make a better starting point for behavioural or cultural change than top-down brand communication Brand thinking has mostly emphasised uniformity as a guiding principle for staff behaviour, organised around a set of declared brand values. The aim is to ensure that brand-supportive behaviour is embedded deep in the... Continue Reading →

When’s that Brexit train a-comin’?

Making political predictions in the current environment seems foolhardy, not least because much could change come the party conference season in the early autumn: Theresa May could be replaced, and Labour could be forced to back Remain. I wouldn't bet on either but in any case here I'm going to try to unpick reality from... Continue Reading →

Four thoughts on good writing

This may be the beginning of an occasional series, building I hope to a useful reflection on the craft of writing. 1 If you want to be a good (or better writer) the best single thing you can do is read widely and carefully. It's obvious, but not said so often: in order to write... Continue Reading →

Bad behaviour?

Has the backlash against social media begun? That might be wishful thinking for those concerned with the negative effects on human consciousness. Then again the fact that this health concern is now being regularly expressed may itself be part of a turning tide. While it's true that Facebook numbers have not entirely collapsed in the... Continue Reading →

Google values: the hornet’s nest gets kicked

In what could be a landmark challenge to employment practice former Google employee James Damore has launched a class action lawsuit accusing the search giant of discrimination against conservatives. (See here for the news story.) Just to be clear, Damore’s views about the (non) capabilities of female engineers are idiotic, and you might say it... Continue Reading →

“I talk to the trees”

What do you see when you look at the picture above? How would you describe it? What’s going on here? If you’re like me, and I suspect the majority of people, you’d start to talk about the dinosaurs, perhaps asking whether they were fighting or playing. But as Laura Ruggles asks in this article, what... Continue Reading →

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