The Wiki Man

Slow road marking on a country road

The consequences of the new EU car speed limit

13 April 2019 9:00 am

A once famous question posed to job-seekers at Microsoft was ‘Why are manhole covers round?’ The question was revealing not…

The uncountable problems with innumerate Brits

30 March 2019 9:00 am

A levels, from the perspective of a ‘choice architect’, are a disaster. While pupils are free to pick and mix…

Are IQ tests really the best way to measure nature vs nurture?

14 March 2019 9:00 am

I have a dim memory from 1970 of a primly dressed distant relative visiting in a Baby Austin. This, I…

We put a man on the moon before wheels on suitcases. What else are we missing?

2 March 2019 9:00 am

The Romans never invented the stirrup. It took 50 years after the invention of canned food for someone to invent…

Video-conferencing could revolutionise how we work – so why have we failed to invest in it properly? [GETTY IMAGES]

We don’t need more technology, we need better technology

16 February 2019 9:00 am

I’d like to propose a new scientific institution: the IUT, or Institute of Underrated Technology. Rather than trying to invent…

Why HS2 doesn’t stand up to the test of time

2 February 2019 9:00 am

In past years, I have been a critic of HS2. I might now change my mind. One simple tweak might…

Modern Corporate Glass Building

The TWaT revolution: office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only

19 January 2019 9:00 am

I recently saw a series of photographs depicting a rural home in China. Pride of place in a grimly furnished…

A principled argument for a hard Brexit

5 January 2019 9:00 am

It has become commonplace for news reports to refer to almost any civic unrest, or even unusual patterns of voting,…

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…