The new ‘power of now’ and the perils of the hyper-present

With modern technology, living life ‘in the moment’ has never been easier. But this new nowness is far from what earlier advocates had in mind, and might only be distracting us from the planet’s ever more pressing challenges. Continue reading “The new ‘power of now’ and the perils of the hyper-present”

For misogyny on Twitter, silence is easy – and not very helpful

The continued existence of misogyny in the twenty first century is morally repugnant, and the debate over abuse on Twitter reminds us that misogyny can take many guises and subsist in many different contexts. Yet today’s ‘#TwitterSilence’ – a day-long boycott of Twitter led by prominent female newspaper columnists – is undercut by a misunderstanding of the technological and social environment within which this abuse takes place. Continue reading “For misogyny on Twitter, silence is easy – and not very helpful”

How Buzzfeed Could Save Politics

Image

The political journalist Ben Smith surprised many when he joined Buzzfeed as its editor-in-chief in 2011. Buzzfeed has become almost synonymous with the sort of entertaining online ephemera that has spawned such neologisms as ‘lolcats’ and ‘listicles’, costing offices around the world countless hours in lost productivity. Continue reading “How Buzzfeed Could Save Politics”

Future Perfect by Stephen Johnson – book review

futureperfect_stevenjohnson

Published in the Cherwell.

Naming a book Future Perfect is audacious to put it mildly but, with his compelling explanation of how collaboration can drive progress Steven Johnson just about gets away with it. Only through dispersed and diverse networks of action, Johnson argues, can we confront the more intractable challenges of the twenty-first century, such as broken government, the fading publishing industry and income inequality.

Continue reading “Future Perfect by Stephen Johnson – book review”

Olympic Competition Ends With the Modern Pentathlon, or Sports Day Writ Large

Published on The Huffington Post.

As it turned out, it was very appropriate that the last sporting action of London 2012 should be the Modern Pentathlon. It showed the Olympics for what they ultimately are: an international sports day stretched over a fortnight.

Continue reading “Olympic Competition Ends With the Modern Pentathlon, or Sports Day Writ Large”

Golden Glory Still Eludes Great Britain… But the Best is Yet to Come

Danny Boyle and Seb Coe decided to end Friday’s incredible Opening Ceremony with a strong statement. The Olympic flame was brought to the stadium, on a speedboat, by a certain footballer nicknamed ‘Goldenballs’. Picking it up off the boat and into the stadium was Sir Steve Redgrave, a man who won an unprecedented five gold medals during an illustrious rowing career. Redgrave was then joined by six of his compatriots, all of them Olympic champions from Games past, who passed seven golden torches to seven protégés, to ignite the flame.

Continue reading “Golden Glory Still Eludes Great Britain… But the Best is Yet to Come”

Wonder Women: Why Britain’s Female Athletes May Shine the Brightest in London

Published on The Huffington Post.

 

After the flags have come down in Regent Street, the athletes have departed the village, and the nation reflects on Britain’s performance as both host and competitor, a particular observation may dawn on public and punditry alike. The extent of Team GB’s medal table standing may well be due to the disproportionate success of its women athletes.

Continue reading “Wonder Women: Why Britain’s Female Athletes May Shine the Brightest in London”

Let’s Peel the ‘Plastic’ Label off Team GB’s Foreign-born Athletes

Published on The Huffington Post.

 

The media has been expending plenty of column inches and airtime lamenting various aspects of the upcoming Olympic Games. Make no mistake: the failure of G4S to provide the requisite security staff is a true debacle, and lampooning a pitiful British summer has always been fair game. But one of the less helpful stories to have emerged in recent weeks is the discussion of so-called ‘Plastic Brits’: members of the British Olympic team who were born overseas.

Continue reading “Let’s Peel the ‘Plastic’ Label off Team GB’s Foreign-born Athletes”

Creative Licence – the case for a bold BBC under George Entwistle

(C) R/DV/RS

The BBC today announced that its Director of Vision, George Entwistle, has been appointed as its new Director-General. The man he will replace in the role, Mark Thompson, has not had an easy eight-year tenure. All manner of controversies – from outrageous comedians to erroneously-named cats – have provoked gleeful tabloid furore, some of which may have contributed in 2010 to the freezing of the licence fee for six years at the government’s behest.

Continue reading “Creative Licence – the case for a bold BBC under George Entwistle”