I'm sure we're supposed to be skeptical of billionaire private-sector space but the faces in this video are so affecting. And that nervous pose everyone falls into. Hands clasped, looking up, nervous and hopeful. It's so vulnerable. It's lovely.
I did a presentation about 'digital transformation' yesterday. The usual stuff.
I often use this quote:
"It’s just change management. It’s not complicated; it’s just hard."
It's from a long piece about the transformation of the Democratic election machine, and, as I was presenting it I realised how it also now illustrates something else - you have to keep going.
It's hard, it's very hard, because you don't just recreate your organisation and then stop, you have to keep doing it, you have to keep going. Because now, it seems, the Democratic organisation has fallen behind. They were convinced they were the best, so they got complacent. Centrally-planned, non-responsive, unwilling to change.
Possibly as Will Davies points out (tweets quoted below) they were falling between two stools - attempting to add digital tooling to conventional thinking. You can't do that. You can't have the best of both worlds. You have to go the full Cummings.
In fact, what we need, more than anything is Dominic Cummings For Good.
"Problem with allowing data analytics to dictate a political campaign is you risk falling between two stools: (tweet)
a) traditional political campaigning (that Clinton clearly snubbed)
b) proper nihilistic Cummings-style mathematics (tweet)
Cummings’ argument is: to do data analytics properly, employ only people with no experience in politics whatsoever. (tweet)
Whereas it sounds like Clinton had seasoned campaign managers staring at data, ending up with the worst of both worlds. (tweet)"
December 14, 2016 | Permalink
(Not quite today, September 1996 apparently)
Tom recently pointed this out from the Wired archives. He was editing a bit of it and I must have sent this in. I don't remember it to be honest. I dimly remember working on a project for a nascent train timetable business and seeing this secret online timetable system in a warehouse in Derby, near the station. And reading it back I can see myself trying to capture some sort of unjustifiably angry tone. Strange.
Also odd to see myself writing something from the fag-end of British Rail, just as the nostalgistes try to revive it:
"Porn, gambling and railway timetables: three dead-cert killer Internet apps. Sure enough, online gambling is booming after overcoming regulatory hurdles by secreting servers in places like Belize (see www.vegas.com/wagernet/, for example), while porn is, well, pretty much ubiquitous.
But you just try to use the Web to check what time the first London train gets into Derby. Go on. I challenge you. (It is possible, BTW. Start at www.germany.net/.) But back here in the UK, aside from some localised timetables maintained by exasperated philanthropists (thank you to Brian Meek for www.kcl.ac.uk/kis/off_campus/rail/railindx.html), the national train timetable remains marooned in an off-line siding.
Internal politics within BR's rotting carcass are to blame. If the newly-formed train operating companies and Railtrack would only stop bickering for a moment (see www.rail.co.uk/ for their assorted corporate detritus), the entire timetable could be up on the Web next week for a relative pittance.
What makes the whole debacle doubly galling is that, somewhere within the remnants of BR, there is rumoured to reside just such an online timetabling system. There's even an application that lets you check real arrival times as displayed on station indicator boards around the country. Could it be that the train operators simply don't want anyone knowing how punctual (or otherwise) their trains are? I dunno, but I'm mighty pissed off with them all for denying me access to information that would help me to use their services. Utterly insane."
December 13, 2016 | Permalink
I've just been playing with radio.garden. Fantastic. Ended up listening to Radio Rostov which I don't think I would have done otherwise. I especially like the use of static when it's thinking/trying to find a signal. As I've found to my own cost with my own stupid audio projects, silence is a bad failure mode. You don't know if something's trying or broken. Static says 'I'm not doing what you want yet, but I'm doing something".
December 12, 2016 | Permalink
Earlier in the year I wrote about the 72 Seasons app. It kicked off a small experiment in blogging rhythm. An experiment now sadly abandoned. This morning I received the most polite and considered request to write something on here that I've ever had - it was from the makers of said app who asked me to inform you that there was now a new version. It's here! And here. Well done them.
December 09, 2016 | Permalink
As Rachel's tweet points out, one of the fascinating bits about this story about Sodexo using drones to surveil mining employees is that initially it was Sodexo trying to get The Guardian to run it - because someone thought it made them look forward-looking and innovative.
That's where we're at right now.
We're in that phase with a bunch of technologies where corporations don't know if things make them look cool or evil.
December 08, 2016 | Permalink
I haven't got that far. But I do have a little li.st of alarm bells. Things that might not be fatal on their own but that just send a little shiver of concern down the spine. It's mostly language at the moment, because that's what I run into first.
Anything less than 5 years old called 'MySomething'
Anything less than 5 years old called 'OneSomething'
The use of Wordles
There must be more...
December 06, 2016 | Permalink