As Thomas is making his usual round of introductions for this, the forty-ninth episode of the Small Data Forum podcast, he comments on Sam’s status as a published author. “Published author you too!” booms Sam, celebrating Thomas’ first-ever, peer-reviewed, academic article, written with his doctoral supervisor – and recent SDF interview guest – Darren Lilleker.
For at the very start of this month, the esteemed Journal of Public Affairs saw fit to publish “The challenges of providing certainty in the face of wicked problems: Analysing the UK government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic”, a very on-message, on-podcast, rather-more-academic-than-we-usually-are critical analysis of how the Johnson Junta has managed with the ‘wicked problem’ (technical term) of Covid.
Thomas summarises the arguments in the paper, of how Her Majesty’s Government’s response to the threat of the pandemic “has not been all that pretty”. After all the puffed-up, Cummings-laden rhetoric of the December 2019 election campaign which was supposed to be all about ‘getting Brexit done’ (“campaigning in poetry” to purloin Mario Cuomo’s phrase), Johnson’s cabinet of political pygmies has struggled to live up to the challenge of “governing in prose”.
Continue reading “Veni, vidi, vaxi”
From our very own version of Numberwang, to utilitarianism, the precautionary principle, the Plague of Athens 430 BC, to Gartner’s latest tech trends, the SmallDataForum serves up another mixed bag of goodies and smarties.
I kick off by offering a selection of ciphers for our very own SmallDataForum Numberwang from:
Continue reading “To vaccinate or not to vaccinate – or, when Uschi met Jezza”
- 0.1 (Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s silly argument that 0.1 is “a real rise”), to
- 6 (the number of episodes of Adam Curtis’s latest take on the dark forces at play in our modern world), to
- 10 (the maximum prison sentence in the UK Government’s culture war inspired Crime Bill for violating a statue, which according to Labour’s David Lammy “makes protecting statues more important that punishing rape”), and related to 118 vs 1, (the number of women killed last year where a man was charged or convicted vs ‘statues killed’, as per the unrivalled Marina Hyde)
- 10 in 21 (the Top Ten data and analytics tech trends in 2021 according to Gartner) to
- 40 vs 12 (percentage of population COVID vaccinated in the UK vs EU average)
- 25,000 (excess UK COVID deaths due to the delayed winter lockdown, according to a new report)
- and last but not least, $450m (the sum Cision paid for Brighton based social analytics firm Brandwatch, leaving the three of us a bit speechless, and NOT AT ALL ENVIOUS of founder CEO Giles Palmer…).