Building a car which cannot speed

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~133 times.
A pet cat typing on a computer keyboard.

As part of my MSc, I’m reading a lot of “Leadership” books. They’re all pretty bad – but they have one common thesis; it is essential to improve your company culture. I’m not sure if I agree. I feel completely divorced from most forms of company culture. I find the way that these books talk…

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When your game console becomes your bank

by @edent | # | Read ~107 times.
An Xbox controller.

Before GameStop became a memestock (what even is 2021) – it was the subject of another popular meme. The First National Bank of GameStop. This got me thinking. In the UK, retail banking is (mostly) free. Rather than pay interest to depositors, banks give away free ATM withdrawls, free Direct Debits, free transfers to other…

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Why is it so hard to give digital gifts?

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~114 times.
An eReader with a pen.

I am reading The Digital Transformation Playbook for part of my MSc. It’s a good book, but I found this passage about eBooks a little confusing: what about gift giving? No one I have ever asked has thought that an e-book was an acceptable substitute for a printed book when giving a gift. I’ve received…

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The next disruption of the music industry?

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~122 times.

Another short – and probably incorrect – prediction about disruption. Spotify, for all its tech, isn’t magically disruptive. The business model is similar to a radio station. It pays music publishers based on what songs its listeners’ request. (This is grossly oversimplified. Stick with me.) Spotify buys a product wholesale and then sells it retail.…

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Disintermediate The State

by @edent | # # | 1 comment
The "That's a paddling" meme - saying "Renew your goose tax? That's an API!"

As part of my MSc, I’m being asked to think about “digital disruption” – so here are some personal thoughts about the future of transactions with the state. The UK Government has a lot of APIs to let computers communicate with each other. Most of them are department-to-department. For example, the Ministry of Birds wants…

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What’s the point of a lecturer?

by @edent | # # # # | 7 comments | Read ~236 times.
A young, beardless Terry - wearing graduation robes.

Backstory – I’m doing a taught Masters course. It’s going OK. Mostly. But I’ve been thinking about the nature of university lecturers. This Tweet has been doing the rounds. HI EXCUSE ME, I just found out the the prof for this online course I’m taking *died in 2019* and he’s technically still giving classes since…

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What’s the “Uber” of the Civil Service?

by @edent | # # | 4 comments | Read ~205 times.

There’s a famous quote from Tom Goodwin about the way the world has changed recently: Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting…

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What if British Airways sold passports?

by @edent | # # | 5 comments | Read ~124 times.
A mocked up passport which looks like it has been issued by the fictional country of Wakanda.

This is neither a serious proposal, nor an official proposal. This is just me thinking in public. Governments are a monopoly. There is only one institution which can grant you a passport – Her Majesty’s Passport Office. That’s not quite true, of course. You are free to seek citizenship in other countries. And some countries…

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MSc Notes – 0th Week

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~129 times.

I’m doing an MSc Apprenticeship! As part of my desire to work in the open, these are (semi-regular) weeknotes about what I’ve done / learned / achieved. I tend to be grumpy and curmudgeonly when faced with something I don’t understand – or when I suspect I won’t be good at an activity. So read…

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Book Review: Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy

by @edent | # #
Book cover showing a frog waiting to be eaten.

This is a terribly written book – albeit one with an important message. Eat That Frog is about how to avoid procrastinating. But rather than approach it from a scientific or methodological point of view, Tracy just gives some basic tools for arranging your work day. There are no citations in this book – something…

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