Feeling it…

Malcolm Gladwell has a wonderful article on the art of pitching and in particular the art of pitching as practised by the Popeil and Morris clan in the US in the mid-late 20th Century and epitomised by Ron Popeil, the man who invented the infomercial with products like the Showtime Rotisserie and Grill and the… Read more

We Are Friction

This talk was given at Lovebytes on the 12 Feb 2010. ¬†Thanks to Lisa for the invitation. Tom Armitage gave a talk a few years ago about manners and etiquette which has stayed with me and which, with the recent meme around playfulness and Russell’s talk at Playful last year, got me thinking about how… Read more


This post kinda came out of a presentation I gave at bathcamp and the previous post on The Cost of Knowledge.  That presentation was about how the domain of formal knowledge as presented by academic publications was needlessly costing us as taxpayers millions of pounds a year *and* yet still kept this ‘knowledge’ under copyright… Read more

The cost of knowledge

There has been lots written about knowledge in recent times. How the interenet has made knowledge ‘open’ and how social media is enabling enterprises and individuals to share information cost effectively, reducing the trasncation cost of communicating and socialising to really low levels. And we’ve had the eLearning industry come and (nearly, hopefully, go) and… Read more

Mend it like…

Nice piece in the guardian yesterday about "repair culture" dying out.  The desire for high end premium goods worth repairing has been stripped by the huge market in cheap white goods that have become almost as disposable as bic razors, albeit with a slightly longer life span and trickier to dispose of which in itself… Read more

Problem solving

Skimming Block, originally uploaded by superlocal. I love the Far East.  I love the way they just get on and make stuff and then make more stuff to solve the problems of the initial stuff.  There’s no prevaricating, they just keep making instead of legislating, which is what we’re so good at in Europe.  Here… Read more


Went to the Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock, a rather run down area to the North East of  Cape Town today.  The market is a curated food and design market, which runs every Saturday and whilst it’s a bit stereotypically ‘organic’ [white, wealthy, educated, urban, lefty liberal, crocs wearing…], it’s such a vibrant interesting environment that… Read more

Designing data…

"… with a view to informing decisions and taking action." Maps are perhaps the oldest and best forms of visualising data. Met up with Danny Dorling last night, Professor Danny Dorling to you, master of maps which actually kind of underplays the incredibly important role he has in defining social policy, especially in the UK. … Read more

An attention economy

The attention economy, originally uploaded by JamesB. Too much noise. Secondary signs – the clock, ‘the orange jacket’ – become filters.  How simple would it be to create  a physical IA here that was navigable? What can offline learn from online? And relatedly, how can you create a measure for the ‘negative externalities’ associated with… Read more