A few years ago in Malaysia I found myself reading the national paper, the New Straits Times. There was a…
If you are a Spectator subscriber, the plastic wrapper in which your magazine arrived this morning is probably already in…
I came face to face with the real banking problem a month ago when speaking in Oxford to an audience…
True or not, there is a persistent story about a former Duke of Devonshire who, seeing some silver napkin rings…
A friend of mine once spent a week on a vast luxury yacht cruising the Mediterranean. It was all jolly…
A fortnightly column on technology and the web
Rory Sutherland on technology
Two interesting news items coincided the other week
It was the biggest technological story of the month and I missed it.
A fortnight ago, I wrote about the arbitrary metrics applied to train travel — and how a trivial reduction in journey time, a measure with little relationship to human pleasure or productivity, has been used to justify the insane cost of a new rail link to Birmingham
I recently stumbled on a Wikipedia page on American diner lingo: ‘sunny side up’, ‘pigs in a blanket’, ‘peel it off the wall’ and so on.
The phone-hacking scandal may bring restraint to Britain’s redtop journalists and relief to a few thousand minor celebrities but, for the country’s 59.99 million unfamous people, it will merely make technology a little more irritating.
I would have more sympathy for criticism of consumer culture were it not for the people who voice it — usually the type who owns a second home in Tuscany but is horrified that their cleaner has two televisions.
This is from a 2007 blog, listing the Chinese politburo: Hu Jintao, 62, President of the People’s Republic of China, graduate of Tsinghua University, Beijing, Department of Water Conservancy Engineering.
I won’t write about Twitter or superinjunctions this week except to say that no broadsheet newspaper could have given such prominence to a story of a footballer’s grubby affair had it not been able to do so under the pretence of discussing the ‘profound legal implications’.
Judging by the television channels in international hotels, Europeans must think Anglo-Saxons are the most boring people in the world.
I am writing this in the brown-carpeted lounge of Phoenix Sky Harbor, which claims to be America’s friendliest airport — and indeed that may well be so.
I’m off to California next week to visit relatives in Los Angeles, but we are flying into Phoenix first.
‘You’re never alone with a Strand’, created by the S.H. Benson agency in 1959, is now famous as the most unsuccessful advertisement ever. With its raincoated figure standing alone on Albert Bridge, seeking solace from some unseen misfortune by drawing on a Strand cigarette, it was admired on artistic grounds until it emerged that the imagery depressed not only viewers but also sales. In our defence (S.H. Benson later merged with Ogilvy & Mather), the Strand was also a lousy-tasting cigarette.
According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, every alien race in the universe has independently invented an intoxicating drink called ‘jinantonix’ or at least something that sounds very similar.
About a month ago at a conference I was shown an analysis of customer satisfaction surveys from a large hotel in the United States.
‘Here at Chymorvah we have few rules, but please note that as Christians we have a deep regard for marriage (being the union of one man to one woman for life to the exclusion of all others).
One argument levelled against command economies by people such as Hayek is that, without the information contained in market prices, it is almost impossible to allocate resources efficiently. In other words, there can be no ‘from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs’ without some price mechanism to reveal what those abilities and needs might be.
To play this joke, you need a friend who’s flying abroad.
The building is somewhere on the Pembrokeshire coast, the only one in the world, and I have never managed to find it.