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I’m back on this again. In more ways than one. Notion has some sort of weird twitter embedding bug:

So until that’s fixed, I’m back on Medium (the medium place) for a bit. “Putting words on the internet is a solved problem” I always used to say. How the internet words mock me back.

Anyway, I’m writing these again for a few reasons. One, I’m starting a new job soon and I want to write regularly about the job (from my viewpoint) to keep me honest, and to prevent that bunker mentality that can creep in when you’re trying…


What we now doubt (which we used to think), was that our models will enable us to look into the future and, indeed, to change the future to the benefit of mankind. We… the experience of recent years has been such that as soon as we develop a model that seems to be reasonably good at explaining the present, and there are few enough of those god knows now, the future changes.

I first watched this documentary in about 2004 and that quote has stayed with me. I have interpreted it to mean that over-reliance on one methodological framework…


I’m writing new sections of PhD stuff and in the spirit of peer review, I’m going to try and blog as much of it as I can and as much of it as is interesting to a general (but slightly knowledgeable) audience. This is a section I’ve written out differently several times. I am excluding complete and detailed references and some linking material to other sections. It is unfinished.

What, in relation to civic technology, is government?

As stated elsewhere, this project is not a history of government’s relationship with the web. …


Good job everyone! My personal favourites today are Lizzi’s D12 and Ann’s jurassic park.


Hello friendly participants. The baby is settled, judging (and compiling a blog from disparate tweets) is now happening. Scroll down to see your competitor’s work. There are some beautifully bucolic garden scenes and I also have a great deal of time for the various food shots, especially Lizzi’s bread. A winner is declared, who will receive no prizes beyond this congratulatory emoji: 🎉.

I can’t vote for my wife, but I can highlight a nicely composed photo.

Criminally underrated composting worm content.


Moving from “extremely online” to “only online” is a shift. For me, someone who could only really be described as ‘psychologically inseparable from the internet’, this feels like additional work. I’m seeing more scams goign around my family. The GOV.UK prototyping toolkit being used to make ever more convincing scam sites. But hidden in all of this are some well intentioned and pro bono things. But, often, they are falling into traps that make me pause before sharing, and if I had no secondary information about them, I would recommend that someone asking if it was legit binned it.

No links, no way to tell if it is actually endorsed by these organisations whose authority is being appealed to.

Bad post it note, on a rainy window.

Sometimes it can be hard to articulate an unease you’re feeling with something ethereal. I’ve worked alongside service designers for years and sometimes have felt what a few people have articulated recently on the internet:

I think the problem with service design isn’t about the methodology though — I think people’s unease might be coming from a different problem that runs through both Service Design and…


Close reading is a nasty thing to do to someone else’s work. So, be aware that I am doing it not because the writer is bad or the ideas are without merit, but because I really, really disagree with the statements and I want to take them apart (without malice).

There was an article in Wired a week or two ago that was doing the rounds.

I think it is utter bunk for many structural reasons. I’m going to pick out some big quotes and ideas from this and try and demonstrate why.

That the internet has transformed politics, there…


2019 man. There was a lot of it. Like this note. It is comprehensive.

I drank a lot of coffee in Brew in Oxford. They have a little record player in the corner and the disc that is regularly spinning is Transformer, so let’s soundtrack this with that.

Workkkkkkkk

I’ve worked on two big projects this year. The first was three months of consultancy for the ODI looking at Data Trusts.

Since July I’ve been at Cabinet Office looking at how we can use machine learning to support subject categorisation of emails and documents.

Both of these have been challenging…


It’s been a difficult month or two. I’ve had a lot of health things go wrong and that has been both stressful in terms of worrying about not being able to work (no sick leave for contractors) and dealing with the most pain I’ve ever had. But here we are again. More notes, more chat about where things are right now. Let’s kick off.

Near work.

Work work

I’m working on something interesting at the moment that we’re about to start development work on. How do you classify emails for the future? How do you deal with massive unsorted piles of data that need…

Alex

Public sector specialist. Anthropologist on the internet.

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