Browsing All Posts filed under »Interesting«

Ho Chi Minh City

December 24, 2012


Vietnam is catching up.  They’re taking on China in low-cost manufacturing and have clear ambitions of their own. But there’s still a charm about Saigon that has already gone from much of urban China – starting with an airport that feels as though the troops have only just moved out.  Everywhere you turn buildings that […]

10 strangest foods in China

August 27, 2012


There are lots of strange things to eat in China. Before moving out here, I read Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper by Fuschia Dunlop and, whilst I have no real desire to eat the former, I’ll confess something of an addiction to Sichuan pepper already – a lip-numbing, fragrant pepper that I hadn’t come across […]

Cascading simple information

February 18, 2011


A nice illustration of how even the simplest of information can be distorted beyond recognition if it passes through enough people. If your message is complicated to start with, don’t expect word of mouth to produce a more faithful rendition. <p><a href=”″>A Sequence of Lines Traced by Five Hundred Individuals</a> from <a href=””>clement valla</a> on […]

Digital Suicide

September 16, 2010


It is an interesting idea that, for those whose lives have been lived out online, disconnection is being talked about in terms of digital suicide. Interesting, but melodramatic in the extreme. Addiction of any kind is going to be difficult to shake off and, as clinics in the US are seeing, treating people who have […]

Mapping LinkedIn

August 30, 2010


Choose your news carefully

July 27, 2010


I feel there may be a paradox in using Twitter as a way of building credibility. The thinking goes something like this: Microblogging thrives on News News thrives on Novelty Novelty is at odds with Credentials So if you’re Tweeting about something, I will assume that it’s of novel value to you (something you’ve just […]

Taking credit

June 23, 2010


In late 2009, The Federal Trade Commission in the States ruled that bloggers with a clear interest in a product (such as being employed by the company that makes it) should reveal their affiliation online if they are talking about said product in an attempt to reduce the amount of misinformation online. That started a […]

Symbol of Courage: A History of the Victoria Cross

November 30, 2009


More of a book for dipping in and out than for reading cover to cover.  The background to the battles during which VCs were awarded is enlightening (although I picked this up somewhat annoyingly just weeks before Private Beharry’s latest medal).  The dispatches notes themselves are surprisingly ordinary and although a fantastic collection overall, can […]

Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion

October 30, 2009


I’m often wary of books that look like this for fear of them masquerading as an interesting read before revealing themselves to be nothing more than a spurious collection of sales truisms.  This book is different. It walks through theory in an enlightening and surprising kind of way to leave you knowing about techniques that […]

Booksellers complain about Oxfam

August 5, 2009


Who would win in a straight fight, a charity or a bookshop?  Of course, it shouldn’t come to this.  The notion of charity chuggers charging librarians in the streets of Hay is a curious one (though I suspect the chuggers would have it) but since it looks like that bout is currently on the cards, […]