An everyday story of leftwing folk

Monday, 24 August 2009

Could you? Would you? On a train?

My ongoing investigation into wireless connectivity continues. On my way to an inter-agency meet, so who knows? Looking at the docs for this, I'm struck by a certain anthropomorphism of the "system". A bit like Marx's commodity fetishism. It has a life all of its own, we are looking at the system's performance somehow divorced from the actions of ourselves or our organisations.

It's that bureaucratic diversion of blame again

Friday, 14 August 2009

Short note

I'm in Bugmans Bar at Warhammer World right now (!) but there's something about the wireless here that my regular email just doesn't like. So just because I can, I thought I'd post here.

In between things that look distressingly like work, I'm beginning on the next long story that's going to be called "Up close and Personalised". It's about (among plenty of other things) identity, and knowing who we are. And who other people and systems think we are and how we cope with it. Hence the name. Personalisation is one of those things that businesses and the state use to guess at who we are, or rather model who we are... I'm put in mind of Pygmalion and the Image - the state builds the model, but then does the model come to "life" and become you. Is all that we are merely the sum of our transactions.


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Cutting a Dash

Cutting a Dash

Anyway one of my colleagues thought this one was "wickedly seditious". I do hope so.

The dashboard is the latest wheeze of technocratic management. An at-a-glance view of the business for managers too busy to ... well ... manage.

The director in this story is a composite of a number of bosses I've experienced/witnessed over the years. I suppose things they had in common included being decent human beings and pretty smart. It's actually quite hard to get to the top if you're a dumb asshole. Anyway, there's a chumminess about senior people that on the one hand flags up "I'm a nice guy", yet at the same time manages to shut down any communication.

It's something to do with speed of delivery (fast) that says "I'm acknowledging your existence, what more do you want?" One of these guys also had a trick with breathing in the middle of sentences, so that he could carry straight through full stops. This made him uninterruptable unless you could unlearn everything you had drummed into you as a kid about being polite.

Anyway. Enjoy.