The Wiki Man

The most underpriced Christmas gift you can buy

15 December 2018 9:00 am

During the second Gulf war, simply out of curiosity, I found myself visiting the website of a giant American mercenary…

Technology wastes as much time as it saves

8 December 2018 9:00 am

I have just spent a weekend planning a family trip to Chennai and Hyderabad. Since some of the flights are…

Trump may have a point about fake news

24 November 2018 9:00 am

In recent years, much scrutiny has been paid to the workings of social media algorithms. Driven by escalating competition for…

Sending more people to uni isn’t the answer

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Imagine a world where employers judged applicants solely on their dress. Anyone in frayed clothes or scuffed shoes would never…

John McDonnell’s right – the four-day week could work

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Most people were scandalised by John McDonnell’s proposal to promote a four-day working week. But before we get incensed about…

A non-stop flight to Perth showed me that better beats bigger

13 October 2018 9:00 am

A few weeks ago I flew to Sydney to speak at a conference. The first leg was on the new…

Markets are clever precisely because people are silly

29 September 2018 9:00 am

A month ago I wanted to travel to Bath for a 60th birthday party. From Kent, this either involves a…

Silicon Valley’s weird ideas on how to improve human life

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Which is more diverse: London or Devon? That’s not a trick question. London is much more diverse than Devon. But…

Watch out comrade: big business is turning communist

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Is it me, or is business becoming a teeny-weeny bit Stalinist? Common features include 1) Paranoia about political ideology; 2)…

Why data doesn’t always reveal the truth

18 August 2018 9:00 am

In late 1973 the graduate admissions department at UC Berkeley discovered that for the forthcoming year it had awarded places…

There is nothing that makes you more anxious than being rich

4 August 2018 9:00 am

H.L. Mencken once said that a rich man is anyone who earns more than his wife’s sister’s husband. The anthropologist…

When it comes to new technology, we’re all Luddites at heart

21 July 2018 9:00 am

When I saw my first jogger in Wales in the early 1970s, I assumed he was running away from the…

It doesn’t matter how hard you work – just how busy you look

7 July 2018 9:00 am

The behavioural scientist Dan Ariely once found himself chatting to a locksmith with a curious problem. The better he became…

Is taste all in the mind? Louse crap says it is

23 June 2018 9:00 am

An Iranian friend of mine recently brought me some gaz from Isfahan. Commonly known as Persian nougat, gaz is perhaps…

Why human nature means most economic models are doomed from the start

9 June 2018 9:00 am

History records many well conceived and apparently logical grand plans for the betterment of mankind. Sadly such ideas almost always…

London Bridge station: Netwór Krail’s £1 billion experiential artwork

26 May 2018 9:00 am

In the shadow of the Shard, not far from Borough Market, is a £1 billion public artwork, an allegorical sculpture…

Forget your data – it’s your DNA privacy you should be worried about

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Nearly ten years ago, a lorry driver known only as ‘Michael Harry K’ adopted an extreme response to combating what…

Could an Owl make video conferencing take off?

28 April 2018 9:00 am

When I was ten, the two things we all expected to enjoy by 2020 were flying cars and videotelephony. What…

Where’s the internet revolution they promised us?

14 April 2018 9:00 am

At the risk of sounding like Jean Baudrillard, I would like to suggest that the internet revolution has not yet…

Had 533 people voted differently, the Tories would have a full majority

31 March 2018 9:00 am

Nine years ago, before Cambridge Analytica existed, I caught wind of a research project at Cambridge involving the online measurement…

ISA and pension limits discourage ordinary people from saving

17 March 2018 9:00 am

The maximum amount you can save in an ISA for the tax year 2017-2018 is now £20,000. The maximum annual…

Why I’m not on board with quiet carriages

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Every now and then I try to invent a new scientific unit. I’ll never come up with anything as good…

Reducing activities to their core misses the point

17 February 2018 9:00 am

There may be a very simple evolutionary reason why water does not really taste of anything, as I learned from…

Let’s face it: the Presidents Club was on to something

3 February 2018 9:00 am

There exist in the annals of salesmanship certain ideas that are both highly immoral and wickedly clever. Before P. T.…

A nice, cuddly NHS would be bad for us

20 January 2018 9:00 am

Recently the NHS postponed a large number of non-urgent operations to cope with what is known as the ‘annual winter…