Something strange is going on in Westminster. Actually, a whole lot of strange things are going on in Westminster, but there's one in particular that is leaving me concerned. It's the way that it appears that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has taken on responsibility for policy around the … Continue reading Is Social Media a Public Health Issue?
Our world is dominated by ideas of problems and solutions. Of questions and answers. And I'm beginning to wonder if there are cognitive biases at play that prevent us from being able to contend with the complexity that often arises from the answers that are required to solve seemingly simple questions. The trigger for this … Continue reading The Simple Question Fallacy
So apparently Theresa May has asked her Brexit subcommittee to go away and think a bit harder about their two proposed solutions to the post-Brexit EU border and customs problem. One of the two approaches has been summarised as: A 'highly streamlined' customs arrangement - This would minimise customs checks rather than getting rid of … Continue reading Problem-less solutions
When Chris & I spoke on Sunday evening about the emerging Cambridge Analytica story as we recorded WB40 I was confused. As further revelations have emerged through Carole Cadwalladr's fantastic and dogged reporting (which I have been following for months), I am reminded of the Morrissey lyric "I was happy in the haze of a … Continue reading A state of confusion
Back in the early 1980s my then senior school, Bushey Hall, was faced with closure. The local education authority had proposed that the place should be shut, merged into another school a mile or so up the road. Parents and pupils fought the proposal. We organised. We created a petition, and got many thousands of … Continue reading Appocracy
I'm currently preparing a talk for a group of HR professionals on the subject of AI, machine learning and robots. My opening gambit is going to be that robots have already taken over our houses and have us enslaved. A strong pitch. What are these robots of which I speak? Well, you probably know them … Continue reading The everyday sexism of AI
And so the debate continues to rage about the UK's exit from the European Union. In the last 24 hours, the incomprehensibly complicated nature of the UK's constitutional structure has become illustrated with court rulings about the primacy of parliament in our set up. A judges' ruling on the rule of law gets painted as … Continue reading The European lobster pot
Whatever your views on Britain leaving the European Union, the country is certain now to be entering an extended period of negotiation with the EU and its member nations to unpick the UK from its forty-year relationship. In the past few weeks there has been a repeated claim from various government ministers that we shouldn't be … Continue reading Poker face
It's all change in Government technology circles. The various changes that have happened at the top of the Government Digital Service and elsewhere in recent days signify something, although I'm not entirely sure what. Derek du Preez makes a good stab of it here. All this change got me thinking. For a while now I've been … Continue reading Change leadership
I've never really identified myself as either English or British. Through a fluke of circumstance I happened to be born in Northern Ireland, to a mum & dad who each had one Irish and one Londoner parent. During my teenage years I thought of myself as in some way Irish. I identified with some of … Continue reading A Londoner. A European.