Driving Our Man Machines Towards Distraction: Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows”

The Sunday Times described it as a “bold reactionary book” – and so it is. I’ve just finished reading Nicholas Carr‘s The Shallows (subtitle: How the internet is changing the way we read, think and remember). Its main point is a simple one: the Internet is a medium that revolves around distraction and our usageContinue reading “Driving Our Man Machines Towards Distraction: Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows””

Creative Qual Provides Fuel, Not The Chequered Flag

Start The Week: Creativity, with Jonah Lehrer and others A fascinating Start The Week this morning dealt with the subject of creativity, with that prolific interpreter of science for the masses, Jonah Lehrer discussing his new book. (OK, my bookshelf is now officially going to collapse with all these tomes I need to read). AboveContinue reading “Creative Qual Provides Fuel, Not The Chequered Flag”

A Nice Throw-Back: Ads That Are Actually Funny

I had a week in the USA this month and caught this series of ads in between my son’s Lego Ninjago cartoons. There are several in the campaign and nearly all are laugh-out-loud funny. Great job by Grey New York. The acting is spot on. What also makes it is the director having an acuteContinue reading “A Nice Throw-Back: Ads That Are Actually Funny”

Fuel “panic”: when laissez-faire crisis management met the rational herd

We’ve seen over the last week a great illustration of why government and companies ought to listen to behavioural economists – and social researchers generally for that matter. I bought fuel on the way into my meeting in London on Friday, though my tank had enough petrol to get me there and back. Why? NotContinue reading “Fuel “panic”: when laissez-faire crisis management met the rational herd”

Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles

Stuffed like a museum coypu with fieldwork last month, January was a vintage period for methodological learnings for me: new experiences and new twists on familiar ones in front of the Great British Public. Unlike the coypu, I’ll be living off the experiences for a while. The first one to muse on is this: howContinue reading “Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles”

Boiling it down should make you sweat

Diane Abbott‘s twitter controversy last week was something of a storm in a teacup (white or black tea, it certainly could have done with some more sweetener in it). But what interested me was her defence: that it was hard to capture the context – discourses about the legacy of colonialist thinking – in 140Continue reading “Boiling it down should make you sweat”

How you can visualise data with an MIT research budget – wow

If you can stop him talking about his kids, he can be quite interesting. Thanks to Dutch social media expert Jaap den Dulk (twitter: @dulk) for the link to this talk from MIT Media Lab researcher Deb Roy earlier in 2011. Jaap gave a talk this morning as part of the ICG webinar on socialContinue reading “How you can visualise data with an MIT research budget – wow”

Highlight of the week: Soviet-era posters on the dangers of alcohol, in Creative Review

I’ve been a sucker for Soviet-era Russian posters ever since seeing a Stenberg Brothers exhibition of Russian film posters in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in 1998. Imagine my delight then this week when Creative Review tweeted (@CreativeReview) a series of public information posters mainly from the 30s, 40s and 50s on the perils of boozeContinue reading “Highlight of the week: Soviet-era posters on the dangers of alcohol, in Creative Review”

Everybody will be doing behavioural economics in qual

Do you see what I did there? The title’s speculative, but no more so than the communication to the American public by Barack Obama’s team two weeks before the 2008 Presidential Election, to get the vote out: “A Record Turnout Is Expected.” The Obama campaign realised that, at that stage in the campaign, detailed messagesContinue reading “Everybody will be doing behavioural economics in qual”

Kahneman and the real meaning of Man Utd’s 6-1 defeat

As a Man Utd fan since the days of George Best (I am just about that old – I precociously started supporting them aged 3 in 1973), I was of course pretty disappointed by the events at Old Trafford on Sunday: BBC match report on Man Utd 1-6 Man City. But more interesting to meContinue reading “Kahneman and the real meaning of Man Utd’s 6-1 defeat”