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 →

The mind of the reader

Sensitivity to context has long been a cardinal virtue in writing, a prerequisite both in creative and business work. In the second part of this short essay on good writing I want to look at how creative writers address context, and how business communication frequently gets it wrong. Business writing always starts with three (deceptively)... Continue Reading →

Backward and forward

The brand discussion will continue, but first a short diversion into the future of technology. Something strange has happened. I pulled my lovely Nexus 7 tablet out of my bag and found the screen cracked, the touch sensitivity more or less destroyed. I don’t know how, have no recollection of any impact, and it was... Continue Reading →

The best writing tools

This blog is mostly about pretty high minded things, but it can’t hurt occasionally to deviate into the practical. I make my living as a commercial writer. I’m old enough to remember typewriters, and though I had one at college I hated using it. Correcting mistakes (and I made a lot of mistakes) was just... Continue Reading →

Getting it wrong

Why do we get things wrong? Obviously we get things wrong when we have only partial information, or we have to make a judgement about unpredictable forces, and that kind of mistake isn’t particularly interesting. On the other hand it’s apparent that we can often get things wrong because we’re half-blinded by our prejudices or... Continue Reading →

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