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Rory Sutherland rssWiki man

Rory Sutherland is vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK. He writes The Spectator’s Wiki Man column.

Stained Glass Car 1A

Driven by instinct

29 November 2014

I first discovered Moravec’s Paradox when watching Brief Encounter on television. I was watching the film with my daughter, who was then about seven; she had wandered in and began… Read more

Facebook's Influence In Consumer Consumption Of News Growing

Why does Amazon think my friend is a kidnapper?

22 November 2014

About four years ago, an irate father in Minneapolis walked into his local Target shop with a complaint. He wanted to know why they were sending his daughter, who was… Read more

Wiki

S&M&B&Q: Why aren’t there sex-and-shopping novels for men?

8 November 2014

I never got beyond page 20 in Fifty Shades of Grey. No one got shot in the first chapter, and there were more than four characters, so I rapidly found… Read more

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The best navigation idea I’ve seen since the Tube map

25 October 2014

I stopped using London buses when some coward put doors on them. Twenty years ago, you could board any bus headed in the right direction and when it diverged from… Read more

The Garden of England

Why everywhere should be more like Essex

11 October 2014

Apart from the Wye Valley, where I grew up, there are only two places in Britain I’d consider living: Kent and Essex. Since Kent grabbed the ‘Garden of England’ moniker,… Read more

Red or white… or nothing

Was the phrasing of the Scottish referendum question designed to create division?

27 September 2014

It is a trick which often works on children. Do not tell them to eat vegetables; instead ask whether they want broccoli or spinach. Question such as ‘Red or white?’… Read more

Scotland Prepares For Independence Vote

Why is nationalism OK when prefixed by the word ‘Scottish’ but not ‘British?’

13 September 2014

My second favourite religious joke is an old Jewish joke (which I read in the Harvard Review, so I assume it has passed the political correctness test). Two Jews pass… Read more

Why don’t more non-smokers try e-cigarettes?

30 August 2014

I was waiting on an office forecourt recently puffing on an e-cigarette when a security guard came out. ‘You can’t smoke here,’ he shouted. ‘I’m not, actually,’ I replied. He… Read more

"A peacock is a wankified pheasant"

How oneupmanship wrecks things for everyone

16 August 2014

‘There’s a little bit of a fascist in all of us. For some, the tragedy of human want may provoke an impatient urge to expropriate and centralise economic resources. Others,… Read more

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Four gadgets to take on holiday — and two to leave behind

2 August 2014

One inarguably good thing about electronic publishing is that it solves that old quandary about what books to pack for your holiday — you just take a tablet or Kindle… Read more

WikiWD

Why we’ll never go back to smoking indoors

19 July 2014

What would happen, I wonder, were we to rescind the smoking ban as Nigel Farage wants? My guess is not much. Most restaurants would keep the existing rules. Some pubs… Read more

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Adam Smith is the father of more than one sort of economics

5 July 2014

Gandhi would test his resolve by sleeping between two naked virgins, an avenue not really open to me, as my wife is an Anglican vicar: though Anglicanism imposes almost no… Read more

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The six things that'll change when I rule the world

21 June 2014

But why did the food [in England] stay so bad after refrigerated ships, frozen foods and eventually air-freight deliveries of fresh fish and vegetables had become available? … The answer… Read more

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How user-friendly is your house?

7 June 2014

Old Glaswegian joke: ‘Put your hat and coat on, lassie, I’m off to the pub.’ ‘That’s nice — are you taking me with you?’ ‘No, I’m just switching the central… Read more

Winner of Eurovision, Conchita Wurst Photo: Getty

This strategy won Eurovision. It could also save your life

24 May 2014

Oskar Morgenstern grew up in Vienna, John von Neumann in Budapest. Clearly the same Austro-Hungarian intellectual spirit which gave rise to Zur Theorie der Gesellschaftsspiele and their seminal joint work… Read more

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Why I no longer want to live in America

10 May 2014

A few years ago I would have quite liked to live in America. I’m not sure now. For one thing, most of the things perfected by Americans (convenience, entertainment, technology,… Read more

Will the Google Chromecast finally make face-to-face chats emotionally tolerable?

What do you get if you cross a suitcase with rollerblades?

26 April 2014

A 14-year-old at an American school recently caused a stir when he claimed that the US government could save over $400 million annually on the cost of printer ink if… Read more

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You can buy happiness. Here’s how…

12 April 2014

If you are reading this article online, perhaps you could go to the comments section and let us know what single slightly unusual item you have bought which has brought… Read more

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The engagement-ring theory of property bubbles

29 March 2014

Google ‘the bread market’ and you get 135,000 hits, mostly from specialist food industry websites. Google ‘the property market’, however, and you get over 180 million. ‘The financial markets’ nets you… Read more

The plan with three brains

15 March 2014

This month Daniel Kahneman turned 80. Long revered among experts in the decision sciences, his work reached much wider public attention with the publication of the bestseller Thinking Fast and… Read more

O.J. Simpson Seeks Retrial In Las Vegas Court - Day 5

What the O.J. Simpson jury didn’t know (and schools should teach)

1 March 2014

During the O.J. Simpson trial, the prosecution made much of the fact that Simpson had a record of violence towards his wife. In response, Simpson’s legal team argued that, of… Read more

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Will self-driving cars know what to do in the middle lane?

15 February 2014

I am convinced that when I took my driving test in 1983 I was asked by the examiner, ‘What lane of a three-lane motorway should you use when driving at… Read more

Wiki

What I learned in a Qatari jail cell

1 February 2014

This column nearly didn’t appear. Another 24 hours and I would have trumped the late Jeffrey Bernard with the single sentence ‘Rory Sutherland is in prison.’ Having just spent a… Read more

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How James Goldsmith's wisdom on mistresses could revolutionise mobile phones

18 January 2014

I wouldn’t worry much about the future of the British economy. Because I have a simple plan to make the UK the world’s leading exporter of mobile phones. They will… Read more

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Rory Sutherland: Why don't Americans have kettles?

4 January 2014

I enjoy reading reviews of kitchen gadgetry. Clever new kitchen products are often under-appreciated. Many rituals around food preparation are intended to signal personal effort, rather than to produce edible… Read more