We completed the UK census last week. Online – nice and easy. This once-a-decade occurrence goes back a couple of hundred years, with its roots even further back in the Domesday Book. There are rumblings that it may be the last one, with manual entries by each household giving way to administrative data gathered by the government in other ways. This might make economic sense and be more efficient but I for one like participating in a societal ritual going back that far. It feels very civic rather than invasive, whereas combining and combing my data from different official sources feels less so.
Everywhere you look now there seem to be hints of a sci-fi future emerging in our cities. Will this future be built by the people for the wellbeing of the people, or by corporations for the wellbeing of their bottom-line and shareholders? Or a little of column A, a little of column B?
I started writing this post before Christmas but in light of this week's events in the US the title has become somewhat more emotional and expletive. See if this reminds you of other examples in history. An ego driven leader riles up his followers with a confrontational, sabre-rattling speech after feeding them a steady diet of BS for four years, building on their disaffection and perceived marginalisation, presenting himself as their champion when all he cares about is himself, giving them target groups who are responsible (basically “foreigners” and “liberals” in this case), eroding their trust in conventional national and international institutions, re-writing facts and narratives to suit his purposes. The rhetoric and unsubstantiated claims escalate in the last weeks in a desperate attempt to hold onto power and, hey presto, a deplorable act of violence erupts!
I may add a search bar at some point but for now, you can also navigate posts according to hashtags, grouped below in a way that makes sense to me and evolving as I post more. Expect a mixed bag. Some of the posts will feature the tagged topic as the central focus of the post, others will merely touch on it. If you'd prefer to scroll through a timeline of posts, head to my Archive.