Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I file emails, why can't I file webpages?

Google! I file away my emails, so why can I not easily file away web pages that I have visited (into my cache)? On all browsers and devices.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

SUV's and Cleantech Events - Sustainability

In Cambridge, UK, we work to address the issues of our era. It was, one-time, a centre of the Reformation and home to Erasmus, and lately host to the discoveries and sequencing of DNA.

So today we have Cambridge Cleantech (www.cambridgecleantech.org.uk) and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (www.cisl.cam.ac.uk).

And, until recently, there was the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), headed by the very keen Prof Doug Crawford-Brown. However the inertia and reluctance to spend anything means that change in Cambridge is moving at a glacial pace, unlike global warming, which is fast outpacing any move to mitigation.

In this context I wonder how does the media impact of "SUVs New York auto show" (eg [1]) (or "Iran to buy 100 Airbus") compare to the overall media impact of cleantech?

How will it be possible to change the main game (which might soon be the survival of humanity)? And, what is the main game (which might be winning tokens for myopic shareholders, Trump and Islamic loons)?

Or is there, actually, no hope?

[1] www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/03/22/suvs-take-center-stage-new-york-auto-show

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hollowing and the Assets Bubble - FT letter - not published

Letter to the Financial Times - January 18th 2016


The hollowing of margins (Sainsbury's Home Retail bid, FT 17 January), and the end of the growth funding scheme (Zoellick/Rogoff, FT 18 January), might be a harbinger of bigger needed adjustments.

The only way that the giant grocery retailers in the UK might survive the onslaught of our heavy discounters is through ruthless cost cutting. So how soon will we see robotic grocery pickers and stackers? And driverless taxis - which it will be trivial to build for retrofit - using the algorithms of Google, Mobileye or Delphi and off-the-shelf hardware?

But where will that surplus, which formerly went to employees, accumulate. In a hollowed out world, where needs are met by the few, it will not trickle to the least skilled humans, or to the less resource rich regions.

And the model, of perhaps the last 160 years where redistribution flowed from growth financing, has probably reached it's logical conclusion in absurd asset bubbles.

In this context redistribution - through explicit wealth, and consumption, taxes - will grow in urgency. Likely when we face calamity. And the time will come when we are surely driven to devise allocation systems beyond just "rewards for productivity, and for frugality".

Mark Reader

Twitter: @READER_MA