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Predicting the future from the social media swamp

About 20 years ago my techno-utopian friends in California began to have a strange glint in their eye. It’s the sort of glint people acquire after joining a religious cult, and they were obsessed with a new idea. What they believed was that with so many people now communicating via the internet, what they called a “Hive Mind” was beginning to emerge. And from this we could derive people’s thoughts and intentions.

The Cult of the Business Guru, and the pop psychology anecdotalists that business doesn’t need

“Some people can only think in anecdotes, it appears, and are deft at using them as a social currency. In recent years, it is this group that has been in the ascendancy in many organisations.”

How Malcolm Gladwell created the template for modern business fads. Read more at The Daily Telegraph.

The Mood Police: when Wellness and Wokeness collide

So you thought you’d broken the ice with that quick chat at Costa this morning with the new hire – but your wristband has buzzed and now the human resources manager wants you to call them urgently. You’ve been too assertive, they warn…

Self-driving cars are going nowhere

In this column at the Daily Telegraph, I explain why so little progress has been made in autonomous driving, and […]

Like kicking dead whales down a beach: understanding the Great Hydrogen Delusion

Engineers will rarely tell you something is impossible, even when your proposal is a very bad idea. Computer scientists at Stanford and MIT in the 1970s came up with a wonderful expression for this, an assignment that was technically feasible, but highly undesirable. They called it “kicking a dead whale down a beach”. The folklore compendium The Hacker’s Dictionary defines this as a “slow, difficult, and disgusting process”.

Yes, you can do it like that. But you really don’t want to…