The Wiki Man

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…

How to make economists fight like ferrets in a sack

6 January 2018 9:00 am

One of the funniest passages of writing I have read in the past few years appears within the pages of…

Design everything for the disabled and you can’t go wrong

16 December 2017 9:00 am

About 30 years ago, BT introduced a telephone handset with enormous keys. It was intended for people with serious visual…

The inventions (and Welsh rarebit mix) that will change your life

2 December 2017 9:00 am

At last. And just what you’ve been waiting for. The official Wiki Man guide to the best gadgets and gizmos…

What we need is a Freedom of Uninformation Act

18 November 2017 9:00 am

One dietary fad that never made sense to me was the campaign against the consumption of eggs. Now call me…

How to stop the Grenfell Tower disaster from happening again? Ask the air industry

4 November 2017 9:00 am

It took a spate of air disasters in the late 1970s, in particular the Portland crash of United Airlines Flight…

When it comes to politics, perception is more important than ‘truth’

21 October 2017 9:00 am

I hate to tell you this, but every time you watch television you are being duped. In fact there are…

The value of raising the threshold of crappiness

7 October 2017 9:00 am

I love anything open late at night. Never mind ‘the sigh of midnight trains in empty stations’; even mundane activities…

Forget free trade – we should be embracing pain-free trade

23 September 2017 9:00 am

You can try to change people’s minds, but this is difficult. You can bribe people to change their behaviour, but…

Migration is complicated. Don’t pretend it’s not

9 September 2017 9:00 am

I expect you’ve already noticed it, but in case you’ve been living in a cave or an economics faculty for…

Want greater diversity in the workplace? Try being less fair

26 August 2017 9:00 am

In its hasty dismissal of James Damore, Google showed a worrying disregard for one of the most important freedoms within…

How Sutherland’s Law of Bad Maths could solve nightmare train commutes

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Imagine for a moment a parallel universe in which shops had mostly not yet been invented, and that all commerce…

How internet paywalls are making us all dumber

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Thanks to meteoric advances in computational power, it is now possible to take abundant data from a wide range of…