rules & unsolicited advice

“Presidents are only presidents”

Our election night here in France was febrile. As I listened to the results (and finished Sharon Astyk’s book during the dull bits on the box) a tremendous storm raged outside and the power went down several times. That has has not happened here in seven years. All very Macbeth-like. I don’t suppose you need […]

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Money to burn

Passing through London this week, I found the atmosphere to be even more crazed and febrile than is normal even at this time of year. I think I know why: City of London staff (ie the financial hub part of London) have been promised a record £21 billion in bonuses. Some of the biggest deal-makers […]

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Cough, splutter, choke…..

Every time I open my computer these days another monstrosity makes me choke on my cocopops. On Monday it was reading the loony-tunes head of Saatchi and Saatchi talk about “war as a brand” (see below). Today I started to read Wally Olins – another eminence of design and communications universe – reply to the […]

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Send in the Canadians

Ivorybill’s Iraq Journal, a great piece of writing from Kurdistan in Daily Kos, includes this sublime conversation with Ahmed, one of the cab drivers who drove him from Turkey to Kurdish Iraq. “Ahmed’s contact with people outside of Iraq has mostly been with the foreign telecom engineers who erected the (mobile phone) system. The first […]

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Not quite so new

It’s twenty years since Stuart Jane and I made this book for Thames and Hudson. One of the bright young things whose work we put in a book for the first time was James Dyson. By 1986, his patented G-Force vacuum cleaner was being produced in Japan but was not selling well. That early version […]

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Why Englishmen do it with their socks on

Did you know this? “In the old days, women exposed their adulterous husbands by marking their left and right socks”. I never heard this before. But this makes me a minority among Englishmen, I now realise, because they (we) have been ridiculed for decades for making love with our socks on. (Thanks to Lucas Verweij […]

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To sit or not to sit?

Allan Chochinov, editor of Core77, drew my attention to a remarkably cheap – in fact, free – way to increase patient satisfaction in hospitals. According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, patients perceive that health providers (their term) who sit during an evaluation “are their bedside for longer than those who stand – – for […]

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To my friends at Microsoft

Someone programmed Word to flash this pop-up at me Every…. Single…. Time…. that I press “Save” whilst typing. “You have 22 days remaining until the Microsoft Office Test Drive expires. To order your copy of Office 2004, click Buy Now”. This happens every 30 seconds or so. Now whether or not I have a license […]

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Brace! Brace! Have a nice day!

My lonely campaign against the concept and practice of “emotional design” is failing. I learned with horror this morning that an International Journal of Emotional Labour and Organisations has been launched, and that it is for people who study emotionology. A journal and an ‘ology in one day: The fight is lost. A history of […]

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