Big data in a historical context

Excellent stuff from Alan Patrick on his Broadstuff blog, talking about the 70s, 80s and 90s versions of big data – or “data”, they were calling it back then… And you know what – you just cannot simulate the minute operation laden details of a shop floor or logistics network reliably. No matter how big…… Continue reading Big data in a historical context

More new and old media pairing

More from Writing on the Wall, by Tom Standage, on how old media is often – for a while – enhanced by the new,  rather than being replaced.  In England in the 1600s, newsletters were distributed about parliamentary and Royal news by mansucript subscription “news letters”. They literally began as letters, which were copied by…… Continue reading More new and old media pairing

New technology boosts the old

As cheerleaders for incumbent media often point out, the old is rarely replaced by the new. Newspapers weren’t killed by radio, radio wasn’t killed by TV, TV wasn’t killed by online video – etc., etc. Sometimes new technology boosts the old. Dipping in again to the excellent Writing on the Wall: Social Media, the First…… Continue reading New technology boosts the old

Change: we’ve been here before

In his book about the start of the First World War, Max Hastings discusses the incredible rate of change – new technologies, ideas, social forces – that were in play in the opening decades of the last century. Reflecting, in 1930, on how dramatic the changes in the world were Winston Churchill said: Scarcely anything material…… Continue reading Change: we’ve been here before

Always look on the brightside of the downside…

Being utterly besotted with the web, and especially the social web, as I am, I tend dislike nay-saying about its significance, and the manifold benefits this thing will bring to society, the world etc. You know the sort of Daily Fail nonsense: Facebook gives you cancer, Twitter rots your brain, bloggers never meet real people.…… Continue reading Always look on the brightside of the downside…

Typograhic history of the City of London

I’m posting a lot of videos recently. Maybe I should be setting up a Tumblr blog for this sort of thing. Maybe not. Anyway, this is a gem: combining three of my interests: typography, London and history, it’s a short film by Michael Bokkowski at Linefeed: A Typographic Survey of the City of London from…… Continue reading Typograhic history of the City of London

Welcome to Mars: electronica/documentary hybrid

One of my favourite things that I have – at least digitally – is a podcast series in twelve parts called Welcome to Mars. A work of pure genius, it combines a series of unscripted monologues by Ken Hollings with some giddying, insanely inspired synth music by Simon James. It says it is about “the…… Continue reading Welcome to Mars: electronica/documentary hybrid